Myths About Working At The Big 4

Myths About Working At The Big 4

21 June 2017

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Working at ‘The Big 4’ might seem like an equally daunting and exciting prospect. The chance to hone your skills at the most reputable names in Accountancy is a smart career move, but can you get the same experience at a smaller firm?

There are many myths – both positive and negative - surrounding life at The Big 4 firms. You will, no doubt, have heard several conflicting stories about the experience of working for such internationally renowned firms.

It seems prudent, then, to dispel any myths that you might have heard – especially if you are considering taking on a role at one of the firms in question.

Here are just some of the half-truths, rumours and legends about life at The Big 4.

You will be working around the clock

There are sorts of horror stories about employees staying at their desks till the late evening. Whilst this isn’t the case, you are also unlikely to be working a regular 9 – 5, depending on clients and workloads. Being organised is the key to getting ahead and keeping on top of your to-do list. You will be on an unparalleled learning curve – even if you do have less of social life than you used to. Most firms also offer flexible working so that there is a much better work/life balance than ever before.

Your CV goes to the top of the pile

Whilst many  firms are impressed by a commitment to The Big 4, you also have to be able to demonstrate what successes you were able to make during your time there. If you have qualified, working in the Big 4 is a great way to gain post-qualified experience and really accelerate your career. Being able to successfully work in such a fast-paced environment is looked on very favourably.

You get to travel the world

The Big 4 have offices all over the world, and you may well be asked to work on a project at one of these international locations. Sounds jet-set, right? Well, think of it this way: Audit deadlines are usually tight. It may well be that all you will see of a foreign country are the four walls of your hotel and your client’s office. However, a lot of firms offer a secondment opportunity to their staff, making an international career entirely possible.

You have access to the best brains in the business

You absolutely will be working along some truly great individuals. However, these colleagues will all have their own deadlines to meet, so if you have an image of a Dead Poet’s Society type mentor, this might not be the case. That being said, if you can get along to any networking events, you should definitely take the opportunity to make contacts and get to know people in a more relaxed environment.

You will be promoted straight away

Whilst you won’t be left dwindling at the same desk job forever, promotion (and the salary that goes with it) takes time, just like any other job. Although, starting salaries within The Big 4 tend to higher and there is definitely more opportunities to take the next step. Within The Big 4, however, you will start to reap the benefits of your hard work.

If you would like to speak to me about opportunities within The Big 4, I would be happy to discuss your career confidentially. Click here to see my contact details.




Written By Fiona Ashcroft


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