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Accountants: Do you like your job?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by longskate88, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. longskate88

    longskate88 Well-Known Member

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    One more questionf or everyone, are there only the Big4 vs. EveryoneEsle, or are there companies that are almost as good as the Big4, and will look alsmot as good on your resume? Does it simply relate to the number of employees and the size of the accounts they handle?
     
  2. Clown Shoes

    Clown Shoes Member

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    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks for the info. What are you doing now? Do you think hours would be fewer at a private firm? [​IMG]
    Hours all depend on the company you work for and how they manage their people. If you are looking at doing public a few years with the intent of going to a private company in the accounting dept, then your schedule will be a bit more relaxed unless the company is super disorganized, which sadly some are. From what Ive seen, private is much more 9-6ish with few weekends except for end of month and when the audit team is in there for a Q or the year end audit. Obviously the higher up the ladder you are in private (A/P manager, A/R manager, low level controller, corp controller, CFO, etc) the hours will be longer. Pay is better in private, even from the entry level jobs but you are better off with the public experience and those 3 letters after your name, CPA, before going private. What I do now? I used my accounting experience as a stepping stone to work for uncle sam in a totally unrelated field in which I make about the same (but will top out much lower) but am happy when I go to work instead of just collecting a pay check.
     
  3. Clown Shoes

    Clown Shoes Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    One more questionf or everyone, are there only the Big4 vs. EveryoneEsle, or are there companies that are almost as good as the Big4, and will look alsmot as good on your resume? Does it simply relate to the number of employees and the size of the accounts they handle?
    Yeah, 2nd tier firms are good as well as regional firms. As long as the name is recognized (for good reasons) by the company you are applying to, you should be good to go. Big 4 firms are a household name thats widely recognized as "the standard" and also most likely produced the person who is interviewing you for said job. The thing to remember though is that once your resume gets past the pre-screening phase and you interview, all bets are off. From that point on its about you selling yourself as a person rather than paper credentials so don't think time at PWC, EY, KPMG, Deloitte will guarantee anything. Also, with the current situation in the financial world, there are layoffs and rescinded offers across the board (more so on the consulting side of the firms, but still) so be aware that you cant really fuck off as much as you could 2 years ago.
     
  4. Clown Shoes

    Clown Shoes Member

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    Dec 27, 2008
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    NYC
    My sister is an accountant, and I work in Finance. It seems like you should stick with accounting and go work for a Big-4 firm. A big 4 job is the gold standard in accounting. If you went for finance, only i-banking will give you the options a big-4 job will give you when you're done. My sister doesn't like her job, but it's bearable. She'll probably leave after she has 3 years experience, but she'll have a lifetime of a big-4 on her resume.
    Thats the norm. Suck it up for a few years, get your CPA license, then use that experience to sling shot yourself into private. The big 4 mutually uses us as worker bees for those 3 years so everyone wins or loses depending on how you wish to look at it.
     
  5. stylinnn

    stylinnn Member

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    Oct 23, 2008
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    New York
    Thanks! Only question, what will she do after leaving the Big4 if she doesn't like accounting? [​IMG]

    My sister wants to eventually run a non-profit, so she'll probably go work for one. When being considered for a leadership position in a non-profit, having an accounting background is really helpful, because it gives the board comfort that you know how to run a business, and won't waste all the money they donate. Yet another example of how accounting comes in handy everywhere.

    She might get an industry job for a few years first though.
     
  6. suited

    suited Well-Known Member

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    Depending on your situation, it may be fairly hard to get into a big 4 firm with a 3.0 GPA. There are certainly no guarantees. Your best bet is to land a really great internship to give you a leg up on your resume, because there will be plenty of applicants to big 4 with 3.5-4.0's.

    An accounting degree is much more versatile than a Finance degree. My degree is in Finance and I plan on doing my masters in Accounting. If you want to stick to the corporate end of Finance, much of it is heavily Accounting related, so you'd almost still be better off with an Accounting degree.

    As far as ibanking, there's a misconception that all of these folks are Finance people. There is a large percentage of ibankers that have Accounting backgrounds. There are very few, and I mean very few jobs that require a Finance degree.
     
  7. longskate88

    longskate88 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to the above poster, I doubt I'll make a Big4, but maybe the next tier down, whatever that is here in San Diego [​IMG] Just read this, doesn't sound as bad as I thought (Day in the Life at a Big4) http://www.vault.com/nr/main_article...id=0&ht_type=1 except for the 11pm quitting time during tax season! Whew, these people must REALLY like what they do [​IMG] . I guess with those kind of hours, everyone who didn't like it left a LONG time ago though [​IMG]
     
  8. Johnny_5

    Johnny_5 Well-Known Member

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    In the woods
    Does anyone know what Big 4 is looking for in a potential intern? I really want to start applying to firms over the next couple of weeks.
     
  9. Clown Shoes

    Clown Shoes Member

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    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    Does anyone know what Big 4 is looking for in a potential intern? I really want to start applying to firms over the next couple of weeks.
    you most likely missed your window for this summer/fall since they wont be interviewing during busy season. Interviews started back in September for interns and next year's new associates. That is unless you have some inside connection to a partner who can make your interviews happen. What are they looking for? First look good on paper. At least 3.3 from a school that they recruit from. Recruiters should've came to your school this fall as well as showing up at accounting society/ Beta alpha Psi events throughout the year. You can always apply through the website but your resume better stand out big time as they get thousands of apps through the site and have but a few seconds to glance at each one. Once you get to the interview, you made the cut as far as meeting the bare minimum criteria. Now you have to sell your self as a good coworker, hard worker, someone that can be an asset as an intern/associate and someone who can be fun and not a drag on an engagement. Think, if 50 people get interviewed for the intern job they most likely all have similar GPAs, similar activities, similar participation in accounting society and beta alpha psi so the interview is where you get a chance to sell yourself and separate from the pack or fall to the wayside.
     
  10. Johnny_5

    Johnny_5 Well-Known Member

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    Damn. I was under the impression that the deadline for internships in Big 4 was in March. I do have a couple of ins (Deloitte Alumni and someone who works for KPMG), maybe they will be able to get me an interview.
     
  11. Serg

    Serg Well-Known Member

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    Your GPA only matters to a certain point, there are people with 4.0's who don't get hired. If you going to be pushing some long hours these people often want someone who they like. Not to mention that plenty of women get hired for their looks depending on the area recruiter but you chances of getting hired below a 3.3 are pretty low as they will often discard your resume without even interviewing you. If you get your foot in the door and get a interview your GPA no longer matters it is all about how you present yourself (you will interview with at least 3 different people).

    Most internship hiring is done in September/October. If you do not get a internship your chances of full time hire are significantly reduced.
     
  12. Texasmade

    Texasmade Well-Known Member

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    In Houston and Dallas most initial interviewing takes place in March for all of the big 4 firms, GT, BDO, and RSM. You interview in March 2009 for internships in Jan 2010. Start signing up now through your career service center at your school for interviews. If the big 4 don't recruit at your school, then call your nearest big 4 office and speak with a campus recruiter.
     
  13. leonuk

    leonuk Active Member

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    Oxford, England
    To clarify, tax returns blow
     
  14. Johnny_5

    Johnny_5 Well-Known Member

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    In Houston and Dallas most initial interviewing takes place in March for all of the big 4 firms, GT, BDO, and RSM. You interview in March 2009 for internships in Jan 2010. Start signing up now through your career service center at your school for interviews. If the big 4 don't recruit at your school, then call your nearest big 4 office and speak with a campus recruiter.

    So you interview a year in advance for an internship? That's crazy. Almost every other firm I have looked at (not in accounting) is interviewing in March for June. If this is the case my dream of a big 4 internship this summer has been crushed.
     
  15. longskate88

    longskate88 Well-Known Member

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    To clarify, tax returns blow

    Why? Looks like any other paperwork to me[​IMG]
     
  16. Serg

    Serg Well-Known Member

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    So you interview a year in advance for an internship? That's crazy. Almost every other firm I have looked at (not in accounting) is interviewing in March for June. If this is the case my dream of a big 4 internship this summer has been crushed.
    Having a job early all set by senior year of college is fantastic...... pay is decent not great..
     
  17. Texasmade

    Texasmade Well-Known Member

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    So you interview a year in advance for an internship? That's crazy. Almost every other firm I have looked at (not in accounting) is interviewing in March for June. If this is the case my dream of a big 4 internship this summer has been crushed.

    Yes that's how the accounting firms do it here. It's probably different for industry jobs. For big 4 summer internships, those are really hard to get if you go audit or tax. This is because there isn't as much work to do in the summer as Jan-April.
     
  18. Viktri

    Viktri Well-Known Member

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    Vancouver, BC
    Why? Looks like any other paperwork to me[​IMG]

    Do you have experience preparing them for clients? I thought you were still a student.
     
  19. longskate88

    longskate88 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have experience preparing them for clients? I thought you were still a student.

    No, I don't have any experience with them, that's what I'm curious about...is it really that bad? [​IMG]
     
  20. Texasmade

    Texasmade Well-Known Member

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    No, I don't have any experience with them, that's what I'm curious about...is it really that bad? [​IMG]

    I did VITA a few times when I was in school. I helped nonresident aliens (foreign exchange students) prepare their tax returns. The best reaction is when you do their tax return and it turns out they owe money. The look of anger and shock on their face when they owe a couple hundred dollars sure did make me want to not go into tax.
     

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