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Leaving big 4 consulting

Last Updated: 15 May We spoke to a former audit graduate at PwC who prefers to remain anonymous about why she chose the graduate scheme she did, the value of her internship at PwC, what doing an audit graduate scheme is like, and where it might take you. When I graduated ina lot of my fellow maths grads leaned towards the banks — specifically investment banking.

Options after Big 4 (1 to 4 Years)

I note that this has changed in more recent years. I had an older sibling who advised me against choosing banking while I was in university.

Transitioning from big 4 to finance or consulting

Post-crash, the market was uncertain and a lot of her colleagues had been let go. Given my degree, assurance seemed like a natural choice. If you are at a competitive university, especially in a finance-related degree, you will know that the second year sees students frantically applying for internships. I followed suit — applying for a single internship at PwC — putting all my eggs in one fragile basket.

Not surprisingly, I was rejected following my telephone interview. Fast forward a year and I was in a much stronger position. So, the internship was over. I always give the same answer — it is such a personal decision. If you strip everything back, all four firms are going to provide good experience and opportunities for your future career.

Regardless of the firm, you will have access to some of the biggest, most influential businesses in the industry. I liked the culture, client base and, at the time, they were ranked number one although I appreciate this fluctuates. However, as an example, I know people that have worked at both PwC and EY who say EY has a more relaxed feel and more areas for growth. Do your research and follow your gut.

You travel through the graduate scheme with a big group of different but like-minded people that you become very close with. You will have no idea where these people are going to end up but, for me personally, they have been integral in terms of decision-making, support and happiness throughout my career. Within audit, you work with many different teams internally risk assurance, regulatory teams, valuations, to name a few and it means your internal network grows exponentially without too much effort.

This is great if you ever want to transfer or have access to different parts of the firm. From an external perspective, a good bulk of your time will be spent at the client site.

Spending so much time with the client can be annoying at times FOMO from the people working at the officebut it is a great opportunity to network with external colleagues. This bolstered my confidence, knowledge and experience extremely quickly, and I was able to discuss and challenge areas of audit fairly early on in my career.

Work experience aside, over the three years, the majority of your time and hair loss will be attributed to the ACA exams or ACCA depending on the firm.

Yes, they are challenging but doable. The qualification still holds so much weight out in the market and is very well respected — qualified accountants are always high in demand in any industry. It is globally recognised and if you complete the work experience and pay your fees, you have it for life. On a practical level, you learn about much more than just accounting and the skills needed for audit.

The ACA qualification created the foundation for the rest of my career and so was well worth the tears.As the title suggests, leaving my firm in a few days. More than happy to address any questions, general or detailed, regarding my experience. What's next? Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? Much like you'll read in a lot of posts, people's experience in big consultant firms, especially the big 4, can be hit or miss.

Mine was a miss. I was placed in the FS industry I hate it from a consulting perspective, most of the work is pretty boringa lot of my projects were not that interesting. After 2 years, I made a formal request to switch industry and roles, and they were more than happy to help, but they kept changing the dates on me and whether or not it would be doable, so I just decided to take matters into my own hands a bit more.

When I am in town, all the transportation and food adds up, but when you travel, you have no expenses for the most part. That ends up saving me a few hundred dollars a month especially cause I eat pretty well when i travel. Every team is different, but most of my projects, even if there wasn't that much work to justify us flying out M-Thursday, we still flew out. Nothing is worse than knowing you have to fly out on Sunday, when the work you have can all be done remote.

Some teams are better at managing that than others. But when you travel fo a while, it takes a toll, and you just want to be home to get a breather sometimes. So F her. That sounds interesting. Are you considering going back to b-school? And how does going to the MM IB allow you to be a generalist in regard to industry? Wouldn't that put you in FS? How is the compensation, considering you won't be able to expense all of your food like you would if you were on the road?

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Damn, I didn't know so many people were salty about not finishing Carmen San Diego. Upset enough to throw shit lol. Tricks of the trade.Many people in public accounting want to transition into a finance or consulting role.

Why is this? The reason that people want to go into finance and consulting is because they are seen as more front office roles versus accounting.

Leaving the Big 4? How To Maximize Your Value

Accounting is seen as a back office role and has a negative connotation. If you work in the big 4 and especially in assurance, your clients typically dread seeing you. There is the typical stereotype of the client hating their auditors. If you are in finance there is a perception that you are helping a company take their existing money and make it into more money. This is viewed as sexy. Another reason people choose finance is just because of the way it is portrayed in the media and in movies.

Even though those movies did not end well for the main characters, people still think that being on Wall Street equals cool.

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That gives the finance role more of a celebrity feeling to it. The same goes for consulting. Consulting is seen as beneficial and helping the client out. There are plenty of headlines around consultants helping firms out as well. Consulting has a positive connotation to it as well as opposed to the negative connotation of accounting.

It is much easier to transition into consulting now than it was 10 years ago. This is because 10 years ago, the big 4 accounting firms did not have large consulting practices after many of them sold their consulting practices after Sarbanes Oxley regulations.

Quitting Big 4 Consulting in 2 days - AMA (I'll keep it 100)

Now all of the big 4 have large advisory practices. You can tell by the amount of revenue that each of the big 4 accounting firms earn from advisory each year. To transition into consulting, you merely need to research how you transfer within the big 4 accounting firms. It is different within each firm.

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It is usually easier to transfer as an associate because there are more openings. They can fill one of their openings for new recruits with existing experienced staff from other practices.Encouraging people to shoot for a Manager position increases the likelihood that more Senior Associates will stay longer than they ordinarily would. FloQast has a number of Big 4 alumni among their ranks, and they all had different experiences, and most have landed in successful careers without ascending to manager.

Caleb Newquist, Editor, Going Concern: Talk a little bit about your Big 4 experience and how it prepared you for work outside of the firm. I applied to all of the Big 4 and was offered the job after my internship. Since I worked with multiple teams, different managers, seniors, partner, you see different dynamics and should be able to adapt to different environments and management styles.

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Some clients are buttoned-up, some are casual and laid back. Working in Big 4 prepares you to work just about anywhere because you get to work with teams of all different sizes and teams of all kinds of people.

When you move to different job the structure is probably less rigid and you can do more of what you want. When I am speaking to folks that are in the shoes I was in I can speak about my first-hand experience. I can relate to frustrations that a number has changed after the fact during the month-end close. FloQast gives you that peace of mind that things are tied out, you are really done and you can move on.

Getting into the Big 4 and Your Future Career

CN: Looking back, do you think you left your Big 4 firm at the right time? How do you feel about it now versus how you felt about leaving then? Marc: I do feel like I left at the right time; [I] was doing a pretty big career shift in my case so there was [little] value in staying much longer.

I left after my first senior year and I think that was enough experience. As far as financially, it really had a negligible impact on me — people who stuck around for years have around the same salary that I do now. Mandy: I left after the first year. She left in December which was bad for her team going into busy season but the problem was she was always in busy season. Be respectful of your teams. She gave one month notice instead of the usual two weeks.

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Once you stay for a year one busy seasonyou have a good idea if auditing is what you want to do. Good time to assess.

You can get your CPA after one year of experience. I have friends that stayed until senior manager that are making the same as me. Once you have a Big 4 name on your resume, that carries plenty of weight. Mandy: There is validity if you want to become partner in public or go be a controller in private accounting. It seems like if you stay until manager, your best career opportunities will be in the accounting industry.

Overall, it seems better to try different things early in your career while you have the chance. Mandy : I thought I would stay three years until I became a Senior.Although they share many common features, they are also different in several ways. What is the definition of Big 4 Consulting? Big 4 are offering an extensive range of financial auditing services, including audit, taxation, business and management consultancy, and risk assessment, mainly to Fortune clients. Being industry experts, the Big 4 has taken consulting to the next level by being able to assess the individual needs of each customer and offer the appropriate services.

On the other hand, there are differences in the way they handle management consulting with the use of technology. Technology enables consulting firms to customize their services and to anticipate complex business issues. However, although the level of skills is equally high, the approach is different. Today, PwC employsemployees around the world, highly-skilled to offer audit, assurance, advisory, and tax services. Deloitte was founded in and today is the largest consultancy firm in the world in terms of revenues and personnel.

Deloitte employsemployees at its branch offices around the world. Also, inDeloitte ranked in the 90th position as one of the best companies to work for. KPMG, headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, was launched in and today it employsemployees worldwide. The company offers audit, tax, advisory, and industry-specific services, placing great value on its customers and quality of service.

Search for:.Get all the most popular episodes, right in your inbox. I'm Bob the CPA. Today, I'm talking with Vince LoRusso. He's a Big 4 alum with experience in a variety of industries and different size companies.

In this interview, Vince and I are going to talking about leaving the Big 4, specifically the fears we had when we were leaving, how to maximize your value in leaving, and the different workplace cultures you should look for in your next job. Learn everything you need to know to have a successful and fulfilling accounting career. Whether you're on the partner track or you're making your own path, this is Abacus. There's great training programs and a lot of on-the-job learning.

You work with other highly intelligent, motivated people, and your network of friends and colleagues is something that will last you the rest of your career. But it's no secret that most of you aren't going to make partner at your current firm. So I hope this helps you make an informed decision when you're looking for something new. You can get links to everything we talked about in today's episode at the Show Notes by visiting abacusshow. Now let's get into the interview.

Today, we're going to be talking about leaving the Big 4 public accounting and kind of some of the options that are available afterward. But first, can you tell us maybe a little bit of your career story, what your path has been, and kind of how that makes you qualified to share this advice with others?

Yeah, I've had a huge mix, quite a variety of experiences. Within PwC, I worked on firm financial services to healthcare to concessions, retail sort of industry, so I've got a good mix of that industry experience, and in seeing from large to small, I was on public clients and private clients.

So it's a great scale within those few years. Then, from my own personal decision, I wanted to move somewhere new and kind of warm.

leaving big 4 consulting

So I jumped out to L. So it was a little nerve-racking, but I planned it early enough, and I actually committed to that final busy season of PwC. But I was speaking with recruiters and seeing what that job market looked like, and I had some positives and some negative experiences with the recruiters. But I finally got into a job that was with Cornerstone OnDemand, and it was right before they were going public, and I was fortunate enough to work on their IPO and really part of a very fast-growing team.

So it was kind of chaotic, but it was exciting, and looking back, that was a very fortunate situation. So I got into a high-growth company, and I say high-growth because that's a very specific type of culture.

Then after leaving Cornerstone, most of my time has been more on the consulting side, and I would, again, just go to different industry with different types of clients, different sizes.

And all along the way, I'd see all these different types of cultures and the type of people that go to each culture.So my university and big 4 firms in general act like working in audit at a Big 4 is so prestigious, so I bought into it BW also ranked Big 4 as having top internship programs, best places to start your career, and etc, so I was even more convinced.

So does the big 4 really look that good on my resume if I do it? Are the exit opportunities worth it if any? Exit opps for big 4 accounting opportunities usually consist of moving into another type of accounting, corporate finance executive positions, or CFO positions.

If you are interested in moving into something like IBD or PE that will not be a possibility usually unless you go back to business school. That's basically their only exit opp lulz. From what I've heard, the exit opportunities are limited and it is rare to break into i-banking or PE from big 4. I don't think they work 80 hours a week though - actually, I highly doubt it As far as accounting jobs go, working at one of the Big 4 is as prestigious as you can get.

If you're trying to compare prestige across professions, you're gonna lose. Generally speaking, accountant is not considered a prestigious job title.

The majority of fortune hundred CFO's are ex-Big 4. Success stories of Big 4 employees are commonplace, but like anything else, the experience is what you make it. When you start at a Big 4 firm you will be a slave working long hours for relatively low pay It's like that everywhere. If you want to make more money corporate law or investment banking are better places to be. As far as accounting related resume points go, Big 4 is the gold standard. You have to work your ass off in every field if you want to be successful.

You don't go into accounting because you want to get rich.

leaving big 4 consulting

Accounting is the least risky of the professional services and therefore has the least upside. Furthermore, as an accountant you're in a support role, not a value creation role, and as such your earning potential is inherently limited. As an accountant you will always have a job, but you'll never get rich. Again, the exit opportunities will be what you make them.

leaving big 4 consulting

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leaving big 4 consulting

Networking Guide. I don't see what's the big deal. I work intern at a multi-national healthcare company in their tax group, and all I can say ex-Big 4 employees fill all of our top positions, in tax and in finance. Personally, the exit opportunities are limited towards banking HF and PE shops certainly have a need for experienced tax attorneys as well. But that sounds easier than done with the over saturated market.

I suggest you network, network, network if you want to get in to banking. What do you think of someone if, they didn't work in public accounting, but got their CPA assuming the state doesnt have strict work exp requirements? That said, trying to play the prestige game is a losing proposition; there is always going to be someone more "prestigious.

Would you say one needs a Top school MBA to get an executive level position i. If you're interested in doing Big 4, go ahead and do it. It's a great place to start a career and you will learn a lot about how large corporations work.

No, you do not need a top school MBA to get an executive level position. C-suite executives I will examine CEO's exclusively to avoid confusion can come from any educational background.

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