Big 4 & Mid Tier – Climbing the ladder

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  • #181792
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I've been told time and again how much the Big 4 and Mid-Tier firms promote personal and professional growth.

    My questions is: Is this still true for people working in non-accounting roles?

    The Office administrator/Executive Assistant at the firm where I currently work has been kicking a** as for 3 years, and about 6 months ago decided to get her CPA — I am convinced that she is committed. However, she's taking night classes to meet the requirements to sit for the exam and it'll be a while before she qualifies to sit in California (she already has a Bachelors degree in English from UC Berkeley).

    I wanted to recommend that she applies for a non-CPA role in the Big 4 or Mid-Tier (Office Admin, Executive Assistant, Team Assistant, etc), and maybe if by the time she was done with the additional credits and taking the exam, she could transition to a staff accountant position.

    Thoughts??

    #474689
    Mayo
    Participant

    I actually think that's a great idea. For one she'll be familiar with the business on a somewhat general level. And you're right, at least at the B4 I'm at, they do encourage strong performers and look for ways for them to excel. A few caveats though:

    -She HAS to be social. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. If she's a great Exec Assistant, but she's a bit quiet or shy, it's just not going to convince the partners she works for that she'd do a good job in a client serving role (Advisory, Tax, Audit). And at my firm there are a lot of opportunities to take leadership roles where she might be in charge of an event or committee, and she'll have the chance to interact with various service lines. Again, the more face time one has the better however if she's not that kind of person….

    -She doesn't have to be client serving at all. Big 4 and Mid Tier's need accounting personnel as well. And I've heard of people who have worked in our Finance department (expenses, revenue accounting, etc.) who went on to have good jobs in industry as financial analysts or accountants.

    -If she goes the route you mentioned, I would advise her to make sure she can stay at least 3-4 years in her role. It gives the company a good return on their investment in terms of training and resources spent to hire her. In addition, it's a good track record if she wanted to go ahead and switch roles like you've mentioned.

    Those are some thoughts off the top of my head. Hope that helps 🙂

    #474747
    Mayo
    Participant

    I actually think that's a great idea. For one she'll be familiar with the business on a somewhat general level. And you're right, at least at the B4 I'm at, they do encourage strong performers and look for ways for them to excel. A few caveats though:

    -She HAS to be social. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. If she's a great Exec Assistant, but she's a bit quiet or shy, it's just not going to convince the partners she works for that she'd do a good job in a client serving role (Advisory, Tax, Audit). And at my firm there are a lot of opportunities to take leadership roles where she might be in charge of an event or committee, and she'll have the chance to interact with various service lines. Again, the more face time one has the better however if she's not that kind of person….

    -She doesn't have to be client serving at all. Big 4 and Mid Tier's need accounting personnel as well. And I've heard of people who have worked in our Finance department (expenses, revenue accounting, etc.) who went on to have good jobs in industry as financial analysts or accountants.

    -If she goes the route you mentioned, I would advise her to make sure she can stay at least 3-4 years in her role. It gives the company a good return on their investment in terms of training and resources spent to hire her. In addition, it's a good track record if she wanted to go ahead and switch roles like you've mentioned.

    Those are some thoughts off the top of my head. Hope that helps 🙂

    #474691
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks Mayo!! I'll forward the insight. Much appreciated 🙂

    #474749
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks Mayo!! I'll forward the insight. Much appreciated 🙂

    #474693
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I work at a top 10 firm, we had a really good temp/bookkeeper whom we paid for to go back to school, and they eventually got their CPA and became a manager.

    #474751
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I work at a top 10 firm, we had a really good temp/bookkeeper whom we paid for to go back to school, and they eventually got their CPA and became a manager.

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