Making the switch to big 4

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    Hello all, I am currently going through the interview process for Big 4 am I’m wondering if I should make the jump. I currently work in a mid size regional and make mid 70s.

    I got licensed in December and from discussion with the HR contact he said to expect a salary decrease ( didn’t tell him what I made, but he wanted to be upfront with me), that I wouldn’t get hired at senior because I don’t have any SEC experience (expected). My question is what type of role is possible with 3 years experience though not in SEC clients? What starting salary and position is possible? If I start low if I show some aptitude will there be decent increases?

    And the question everyone asks…is the Big 4 experience

    Sorry for any typos, sent from my phone.


    I made a similar switch about 6.5 years ago. I was working for a local firm and had 3 years audit experience. Like you I had no SEC experience, but I also did not have my license. They brought me in as an associate. I had to take a pay cut, but it was a small one. For me, having Big 4 on my resume has helped and was worth it.

    Biff Tannen

    Don't do it. Big 4 is over-rated and very cut throat.

    AUD - 78
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 79
    REG - 85
    “An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends” - Benjamin Franklin

    @roll forward specialist

    That's ok. If the OP is cutthroat as well, he/she will fit right in to the culture that you speak of.

    REG - 60,73, Retake 02/2021
    FAR - 73,74,78
    BEC - 02/2021

    I have been on this journey off and on for over 10 years. I think it's about time that I wrap this up.


    What city are you in?


    The reputation of big 4 being cut throat and the people there being crazy type A personalities are totally false, dont let it scare you off. Even if working there is overrated, how much it helps career wise having it on your resume is pretty impactful.

    AUD - 83
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 77
    REG - 81
    Oh Hi There
    Hank Scorpio

    It depends on what you want to do long term. If you want to work for a larger company, SEC or not, then make the big 4 move. There are some people that want to work for smaller companies and in that case, work for smaller firms that work with those clients.

    AUD - 71, 79
    BEC - 69, 74, 75
    FAR - 71, 74, 80
    REG - 74, 78

    As a former Big4, absolutely, 100% make the switch. The doors this experience opened for me were well worth it.

    Your position is likely to be second year staff or possibly even entry level. With the license and good work product you can get early promoted. Salary depends on the location and group you'll be joining. 70k may be a senior level salary in Indianapolis, but entry level jobs in NY might be paying 70k+ depending on license, master's degree, group, etc.etc. You likely will have close to no room for negotiation here. Ask for a sign-on bonus though.


    Guys, thank you for all your feedback. I am still figuring out what’s going on, but I reached the same conclusion all of you did. The value of the firm on the resume and the experience I would gain is invaluable. I have some confidence in my basic audit skills, so I figured any pay setbacks are temporary and would be offset by future raises(if I put the work in). Now whether I actually get an opportunity is another thing.

    Will try to update this post once the process is over, could be helpful to someone in the future.

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