Having a career in prominent accounting firms is a dream for many people. However, not everyone understands the hype. If you are an accounting student looking for career options or someone established in the field but wants an improvement, the big four are probably a great career choice.
You might know about the perks of working in a large firm, but what’s the accurate picture? Why do people take this hiring seriously when they take their studies? Consider this article a guide to all the essential things you need to know about the Big Four.
What Are the Big Four Accounting Firms?
The four big accounting firms known as the ‘Big Four’ are the largest in the US. These companies offer taxation, audit, consulting, assurance, and general advising services.
Over the years, they have expanded their roots to various parts of the world and even digitalized the system. These companies are incredibly competitive and offer high-quality and competitive environments to their employees.
The Big Four wasn’t always known by this name. Initially, eight mega accounting firms were known to people as the best. After consolidation in 1989, the new entities emerged as the ‘Big Four.’
These companies work for large companies. Would it surprise you if we said that most Fortune 500 businesses are their regular clients?
Their outstanding services come with premium training and internship plans for fresh accounting graduates to train them for the professional world.
The top accounting firms are Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. Let’s dive a bit into them to find out more.
Deloitte is the oldest and top-ranking accounting firm in the big four as of 2021. It was founded in 1845 but has merged with several companies to become a large corporation. Deloitte is currently in over 150 companies and plans to expand services worldwide.
Its primary revenue comes from consultation services.
Deloitte has established a university that trains their employees, so they are aware of the ‘Deloitte Way’ before joining the office. The extensive programs encourage internees to participate in them for better development. Recruiters mainly prefer freshies from their own campus because they know their standards.
The company boasts a whopping $59.3 billion in revenue as of 2022. We are expecting to see it rise in the coming future as well.
You can apply for a career from the Deloitte website. After submission, applicants are invited for the first interview with basic questions and answers. The shortlisted candidates are then passed through a second interview, where they prove their technical competence. You will receive an offer letter upon selection.
PwC stands for PricewaterhouseCoopers. It stands at number two among the Big Four. Pwc is known for its tax consulting and advisory firm that focuses on keeping your finances clear and giving you the best possible tax liability rates.
The firm was officially established in the 1800s but in 1998 merged with Coopers & Lybrand, and Price Waterhouse joined forces to give you Pwc. It is operational in over 150 countries, with around 300,000 employees worldwide (as of 2022).
This company is rated as one of the best to enhance your experience. However, with a boost in expertise comes long working hours, so be prepared for that. Working at PwC can be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience.
The selection process here is a bit different. You might need to go through an online test from which competent candidates are selected. Use the website to apply for a job at PwC.
3. Ernst & Young
Standing at number three, we have Ernst & Young. This firm was initially known as Ernst & Whinney but was merged with Arthur Young in 1989 – hence the new name. The company is boasting and thriving, with over 300,000 employed and currently 700 offices worldwide. This firm offers highly experienced as well as beginner roles.
It has been ranked among the 100 best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine, and that too for 24 whole years. Let’s see if the streak breaks or not. The team is dedicated to supporting you and providing the facility to work and develop your skills.
Taxation, consultancy, restructuring, and assurance are the main services provided by Ernst & Young. They pay their employees fairly well and allow them to provide better for themselves.
You can apply for their professional programs to student internships. Ernst & Young also has a talent community for which accounting and finance enthusiasts can apply. The firm plans to expand globally but is currently in over 150 countries.
The final company in the Big Four is KPMG. It has consistently seen revenue growth and is expected to rise in the future. Currently, KPMG has located in around 160 countries.
Audit, tax, and consultancy are the main services provided by KPMG, and they are broken down into different parts, making the company a full-service provider for its clients. Apart from this, they understand the value of having clients with high potential and understanding of accounts. You can find a lot of learning material and solutions to your account and finance problems.
You can apply for a career with KPMG. They go through extensive interviews to hire only the best. Internships might not pay well, but people who have landed a permanent job with the company should expect remarkable growth in their bank accounts.
Final Thoughts About Big Four Accounting Firm
Today we talked in detail about the Big Four accounting firms. These companies have very high revenue and deliver professional-quality services to their clients. These companies are an excellent choice for people who want to elevate their careers to new heights.
So, are these companies actually worth the hype?
Based on the research we put in front of us, the Big Four is a powerhouse for account and finance experts. These firms not just focus on getting the job done but also improve their skills.
If you are ready for a challenge and potentially long working hours, we suggest you start preparing for a career in the Big Four.