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How to get into the Big Four firms

General
Blog Date
November 20,
2023

The Big Four (Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG) are highly renowned and globally recognized professional services firms. These organizations are sought after by job aspirants for their unmatched reputation, extensive client base, and the promise of a rewarding career. Aspirants are drawn to these firms by the allure of exceptional career prospects, diverse client exposure, and the prestige that comes with being associated with such industry giants. 

To gain entry into this exclusive domain of the Big Four, upskilling is a prerequisite. Online courses are a great option for fresh graduates and working professionals to augment their qualifications. Acquiring industry-relevant skills can help individuals establish themselves as valuable resources and improve their chances of becoming a part of the Big Four. Let us understand the steps and strategies for landing a job at the Big Four firms.

Read more: Top online degree courses to upskill yourself 

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What are the Big Four Companies

The “Big Four” refers to the four largest and most influential global professional services firms in the world. These firms are:

  • Deloitte
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Ernst & Young (EY)
  • KPMG

The designation “Big Four” transcends mere size, encapsulating the collective influence and expertise of these firms. Their extensive resources, global networks, and ability to provide a wide array of services make them indispensable partners for businesses navigating intricate challenges. The Big Four’s standing and impact in the professional services domain underscore their integral role in the global corporate landscape.

  1. Deloitte: Deloitte, a multinational professional services firm, excels in offering a comprehensive array of services, including audit and assurance, consulting, tax, and advisory. Its extensive global network allows seamless collaboration across borders, and the firm is recognized for its innovative approach to addressing complex business challenges.
  2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC): PwC is renowned for its expertise in various professional services, encompassing audit and assurance, consulting, tax, and advisory. Its global presence and extensive clientele, including prominent businesses and organizations, demonstrate its standing as an industry pioneer. The firm’s emphasis on delivering value and helping clients tackle complex challenges has solidified its reputation.
  3. Ernst & Young (EY): EY is a globally recognized professional services firm that provides audit, advisory, consulting, and tax services. EY’s mission of “Building a Better Working World” underscores its dedication to helping businesses navigate change and achieve sustainable growth. EY’s commitment to high ethical standards, coupled with its extensive global network, places it among the elite Big Four firms.
  4. KPMG: KPMG is known for its services in audit, tax, and advisory. The firm’s commitment to ethical conduct and rigorous standards of quality is widely recognized. KPMG serves a wide spectrum of clients, from local enterprises to international corporations, thanks to its global presence. 

The Big Four have cemented their position as important players in the business world due to their standing and influence in the professional services sector. 

Benefits of working in the Big Four Accounting firms

The benefits of working in a Big Four firm extend far beyond the conventional considerations of compensation and prestige, making an enriching career choice for many professionals in the field. Let us delve into more detail regarding the benefits of working in the Big Four accounting firms.

  • Strategic global exposure:

Employment with a Big Four firm provides a strategic vantage point for global exposure. Professionals participate in large-scale cross-border projects, gaining insights into diverse business landscapes. This strategic global exposure is invaluable, cultivating a nuanced understanding of international markets and regulatory environments.

  • Holistic learning ecosystem:

Big Four firms are synonymous with a holistic learning ecosystem. Continuous professional development is ingrained in the culture, offering employees access to avant-garde training modules, workshops, and thought leadership resources. This dynamic learning environment ensures that professionals do not merely keep abreast of industry trends but are also positioned to lead innovation.

  • Prestigious clientele:

The Big Four are renowned for serving an elite clientele comprising some of the world’s most prestigious companies. Working with such esteemed clients not only enhances the professional’s portfolio but also exposes them to the complexities and challenges faced by industry leaders. This firsthand experience with top-tier clients contributes significantly to the development of expertise and industry insights.

  • Networking opportunities:

Within the Big Four, a sophisticated networking architecture thrives. Professionals interact with peers, clients, and thought leaders, fostering a culture of collaboration. This inclusive networking extends beyond immediate circles, creating a nexus of opportunities that transcends organizational boundaries.

  • Career advancement:

Career opportunities with the Big Four accounting firms are tremendous, offering well-defined milestones. Advancement within the organization is typically based on merit, performance, and demonstrated skills. This clear progression framework motivates employees to strive for excellence and provides a roadmap for their career growth within the firm.

Read more: Will an online degree get you a job? 

  • Project portfolio diversity:

Professionals in Big Four firms navigate a kaleidoscope of projects encompassing audit, tax, and advisory realms. This diverse project portfolio is instrumental in honing a well-rounded skill set. Exposure to varied challenges cultivates adaptability and a holistic understanding of business intricacies.

  • Technological infrastructure excellence:

Big Four firms prioritize technological prowess, investing substantially in cutting-edge infrastructure. This commitment ensures that professionals have access to state-of-the-art tools and methodologies, amplifying their ability to deliver high-quality services efficiently.

  • Brand recognition:

Having Big Four experience on a resume carries substantial weight in the business world. The prestige associated with these firms opens doors to a wide array of career opportunities. Brand recognition not only enhances an individual’s professional credibility but also signifies a high level of expertise and commitment to excellence in the field of accounting and consulting.

Tips to enter the Big Four companies

Entering the esteemed realm of the Big Four companies requires a meticulous and strategic approach. From networking finesse to showcasing a versatile skill set, these tips serve as a guide to navigating the competitive landscape and positioning oneself as a standout candidate in the hiring process. The points one must remember to enter the Big Four organizations are:

  • Develop technical and soft skills:

Strive for a balance between technical competence and soft skills. Big Four firms value not only your expertise in your field but also your ability to communicate effectively, collaborate with diverse teams, and adapt to changing situations. Continuous improvement in both areas will make you a more attractive candidate.

  • Continuous learning:

Showcase your commitment to ongoing learning and professional development. Highlight relevant certifications, workshops, or additional qualifications. Stay informed about industry trends, showcasing your dedication to staying at the forefront of your field.

  • Research the companies:

Gain a deep understanding of each Big Four firm’s ethos. Familiarize yourself with their values, company culture, and the specific services they provide. Tailor your applications to demonstrate not only your skills but also your genuine alignment with the unique identity of each company.

  • Build a strong resume:

Craft a dynamic resume that goes beyond listing job responsibilities. Showcase specific achievements, quantifiable results, and any experiences that demonstrate your unique contributions. Tailor it to emphasize the skills and accomplishments most relevant to the Big Four’s expectations.

  • Networking is key:

Actively engage in professional networking to expand your connections within the industry. Attend industry events, join relevant online communities, and leverage platforms like LinkedIn to connect with professionals at the Big Four. Establishing genuine relationships can offer insights and potentially open doors.

Also Read: Importance of networking in career development

  • Prepare for case interviews:

Big Four firms’ recruitment and hiring process often use case interviews to assess problem-solving and analytical skills. Practice solving business cases, both independently and with peers if possible. Clearly articulate your thought process during interviews, showcasing your ability to approach complex problems systematically.

Read more: Reasons to consider an online degree this academic year 

Prepare for jobs in the Big Four firms with online courses through Online Manipal

Explore Online Manipal for a distinguished selection of academic degrees and professional certifications, precisely curated to empower students with the knowledge and expertise required to thrive within the coveted Big Four firms. These offerings encompass a spectrum of disciplines, encompassing finance, accounting, management, and data analytics, all impeccably aligned with the exacting standards of these prestigious establishments. 

Students with aspirations to join the echelons of these leading firms can elect to pursue distinguished degrees in finance and accounting, ensuring the development of a strong foundation in the fundamental domains that the Big Four demand. Through these programs, students not only acquire theoretical acumen but also gain practical insights and industry-relevant expertise. These distinguished programs empower students and open the doors to a promising career in the distinguished sphere of the Big Four firms, where their discerning competencies are held in the highest regard.

Read More: Are online degree courses & regular offline courses of the same value?

Conclusion

A career with the top-tier Big Four firms is an aspiration many hold dear.  While the journey is demanding, you may navigate the path with a well-structured approach encompassing education, practical experience, skills development, and effective networking. The opportunities within these prestigious firms are unparalleled, and with dedication and persistence, you can make your mark. To further enhance your readiness for the challenges of this elite career path, consider enrolling in online programs offered through Online Manipal. These programs aim to impart to candidates the specific skills and knowledge required to thrive in the Big Four’s fierce marketplace. You may position yourself as a top candidate in this demanding industry and start a rewarding and successful career in the fast-paced finance and accounting sector by embracing upskilling and learning via continued education courses.

Disclaimer

Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.


Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

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