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Corporate Tax or Audit at Big 4 (Better Opportunities) Watch

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    Corporate Tax
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    Audit
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    Hi guys,

    Which one out of Audit and Corporate Tax at the Big 4 allows career progression within practice? For example is it easier in CT to progress onto manager and tax consultant positions within a firm when compared to audit.

    Also which one out of Audit and Corporate Tax has the better exit opportunities, if I wanted to leave to work in the banking sector (equity research) or industry.

    I understand that tax is more pigeonholed but the fact that this is corporate tax will it mean that I will have better opportunities to move into equity research for example when compared to indirect tax or personal tax?

    The fact that the Corporate Tax offers both the ACA and CTA joint qualification does that improve chances of progressing onto a different career path?

    Thanks to anyone who replies in advance xD
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    (Original post by DreamChaser111)
    Hi guys,

    Which one out of Audit and Corporate Tax at the Big 4 allows career progression within practice? For example is it easier in CT to progress onto manager and tax consultant positions within a firm when compared to audit.

    Also which one out of Audit and Corporate Tax has the better exit opportunities, if I wanted to leave to work in the banking sector (equity research) or industry.

    I understand that tax is more pigeonholed but the fact that this is corporate tax will it mean that I will have better opportunities to move into equity research for example when compared to indirect tax or personal tax?

    The fact that the Corporate Tax offers both the ACA and CTA joint qualification does that improve chances of progressing onto a different career path?

    Thanks to anyone who replies in advance xD
    Firstly if you want to make that career move I'm/going to assume you are finisheing university rather than a school leaver?

    About the same difficulty to progress, both streams have a high attrition rate as salaries in industry are far hiigher.

    Making a move to banking/ER is possible from audit but exponentially harder from tax - and its already a hard move from audit. If you wanted to move from tax you'd have to move into a financial advisory group probably through M&A tax or (less likely) a direct move.
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    (Original post by natninja)
    Firstly if you want to make that career move I'm/going to assume you are finisheing university rather than a school leaver?

    About the same difficulty to progress, both streams have a high attrition rate as salaries in industry are far hiigher.

    Making a move to banking/ER is possible from audit but exponentially harder from tax - and its already a hard move from audit. If you wanted to move from tax you'd have to move into a financial advisory group probably through M&A tax or (less likely) a direct move.
    Thanks for the reply.

    So it doesn't make a difference at all that it is corporate tax; I was thinking along the lines that in corporate tax you will be working with FTSE 100 companies and may give you better opportunity to move into Equity Research than audit.

    My follow-up question would be is there a specific sub-division within audit that would improve my chances of progressing onto Equity Research or does it not make a difference.

    I have an assurance offer from PwC and I was wondering will I be on a rotation of the different departments during my 3-year ACA placement or will I be allocated a specific department?

    Thanks for your help, it is very much appreciated.
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    (Original post by DreamChaser111)
    Thanks for the reply.

    So it doesn't make a difference at all that it is corporate tax; I was thinking along the lines that in corporate tax you will be working with FTSE 100 companies and may give you better opportunity to move into Equity Research than audit.

    My follow-up question would be is there a specific sub-division within audit that would improve my chances of progressing onto Equity Research or does it not make a difference.

    I have an assurance offer from PwC and I was wondering will I be on a rotation of the different departments during my 3-year ACA placement or will I be allocated a specific department?

    Thanks for your help, it is very much appreciated.
    No because the skill set in tax is so different (despite what the tax guys say) that it just isn't as useful as audit for making that lateral move.

    I don't know much about PwC tbh but I'd imagine they'd at the very least give you a choice between corporates and FS - FS will give you the best chance to network and develop your technical skills while corporates is more likely (particularly with PwC) to give you bigger name clients. I'm in a banking audit group and we fairly often have to do corporate valuation models when assessing illiquid shareholdings for example.
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    (Original post by natninja)
    No because the skill set in tax is so different (despite what the tax guys say) that it just isn't as useful as audit for making that lateral move.

    I don't know much about PwC tbh but I'd imagine they'd at the very least give you a choice between corporates and FS - FS will give you the best chance to network and develop your technical skills while corporates is more likely (particularly with PwC) to give you bigger name clients. I'm in a banking audit group and we fairly often have to do corporate valuation models when assessing illiquid shareholdings for example.
    I wanted to ask what other jobs can I progress into after graduating with an ACA in audit,I hear people talk about Product Control, management, are these jobs any more appealing than audit itself?

    If in the long term I would like to open my own small accounting practice then would you say a background i in tax or audit I said better for this.

    In terms of salary would you say progressing onto an investment bank and working in the Equity Research division would be the most rewarding financially or are there any other options that I should consider.
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    You need to remember that if you're good at your job, you'll have plenty of opportunities to progress. So choose the scheme that would best suit your interests and skills, not the one that you may struggle working in for a few years, decades, or whole life.
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    (Original post by smiley7116)
    You need to remember that if you're good at your job, you'll have plenty of opportunities to progress. So choose the scheme that would best suit your interests and skills, not the one that you may struggle working in for a few years, decades, or whole life.
    I understand, but from what I have gathered is that once you qualify in Tax then your stuck in Tax simply because all the companies will view you as Tax person and will therefore not give you opportunities to move to different careers.

    There seems to be this stereotype with Tax that seems to limit your bail out opportunities in the future, and even if you do manage to leave practice and go into industry then you will end up in a Tax role to some extent.
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    If anyone else is reading; my follow up question would be, if I wanted to open my own small tax firm in the future, would I be able to do this if I graduated from a background in audit.

    Or would it be better for me to pursue some Tax in order to have better credibility and respect from clients on my small tax practice.

    Does you think whether doing Audit or Tax makes any difference in terms of opening your own tax practice?

    Thanks in advance to the two people who have replied to me, I really do appreciate your input.
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    Do you have a particular passion to be a tax accountant? If so, pursue it!

    The fact is, both will set you up well enough. Audit probably had broader exit opportunities in the traditional sense, but in the literal sense it's you're career and you can do what you want with it. If you decide you want to study tax for 3 years then become a financial statement type of accountant, I bet you could. If you decide you wanted to study audit for 3 years then become a chef, I bet you could. If you decide you want to study tax for 3 years and then become an auditor, I bet you could. You get my drift?
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    (Original post by M1011)
    Do you have a particular passion to be a tax accountant? If so, pursue it!

    The fact is, both will set you up well enough. Audit probably had broader exit opportunities in the traditional sense, but in the literal sense it's you're career and you can do what you want with it. If you decide you want to study tax for 3 years then become a financial statement type of accountant, I bet you could. If you decide you wanted to study audit for 3 years then become a chef, I bet you could. If you decide you want to study tax for 3 years and then become an auditor, I bet you could. You get my drift?
    I get what your saying, I guess it comes down to the tax vs audit argument, I want to pick something that I enjoy but I am not sure, on one side tax would definitely be more beneficial if I want to specialise in tax and stick with it, however audit will allow me better exit opportunities if I don't want to carry on in practise and move to banking industry or other positions.

    The only problem is that if you pick one of the two you will most likely end up in that department for the rest of your career and it is unlikely that will move., that's the dilemma.
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    (Original post by DreamChaser111)
    I wanted to ask what other jobs can I progress into after graduating with an ACA in audit,I hear people talk about Product Control, management, are these jobs any more appealing than audit itself?

    If in the long term I would like to open my own small accounting practice then would you say a background i in tax or audit I said better for this.

    In terms of salary would you say progressing onto an investment bank and working in the Equity Research division would be the most rewarding financially or are there any other options that I should consider.
    Product control = boring but pays well. Most other jobs are perceived as better than audit but are just not for me (I'm hoping to move into equity research or corporate finance once I qualify)

    If it was a general practice audit for sure - then do a tax qual on the side when you've qualified. It's what my dad did and with the market as saturated as it is now for small practices you need something to differentiate.

    No. I've seen (rare) ads for VP product control roles at about double what you'd get in ER/IBD that say they are ok for a newly qualified. Someone from my firm left post qual and went straight into a role as group head of financial reporting at a FTSE 100 which pays considerably more than a junior ER position.
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    (Original post by DreamChaser111)
    I get what your saying, I guess it comes down to the tax vs audit argument, I want to pick something that I enjoy but I am not sure, on one side tax would definitely be more beneficial if I want to specialise in tax and stick with it, however audit will allow me better exit opportunities if I don't want to carry on in practise and move to banking industry or other positions.

    The only problem is that if you pick one of the two you will most likely end up in that department for the rest of your career and it is unlikely that will move., that's the dilemma.
    Much easier to move from audit to tax, used to be very common- not sure if still is as most people who want to do tax do it from the start
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    (Original post by natninja)
    Much easier to move from audit to tax, used to be very common- not sure if still is as most people who want to do tax do it from the start
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    I had some further questions; is an Equity Research position at an Investment Bank considered as a Front Office or Back Office role.

    Is it very difficult to make the move from working as an Equity Researcher at an Investment Bank to getting a job as an ER in a hedge-fund?

    Progressing on say that I went for Audit at a Big 4, what should my course of action be so that I make that transfer to Equity Research, do I have to do CFA level 1 exams, would it be better to transfer to Transaction Services (TAS) for a year and then move to ER or transfer to Corporate Finance and then move to ER.

    Thanks so much for all your help man, you have been very insightful.
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    (Original post by DreamChaser111)
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    I had some further questions; is an Equity Research position at an Investment Bank considered as a Front Office or Back Office role.

    Is it very difficult to make the move from working as an Equity Researcher at an Investment Bank to getting a job as an ER in a hedge-fund?

    Progressing on say that I went for Audit at a Big 4, what should my course of action be so that I make that transfer to Equity Research, do I have to do CFA level 1 exams, would it be better to transfer to Transaction Services (TAS) for a year and then move to ER or transfer to Corporate Finance and then move to ER.

    Thanks so much for all your help man, you have been very insightful.
    Do you actually want to do any of these things, or do they just sound impressive? Sounds like you're planning about 5 job moves ahead of time without a clear understanding of what you're aiming for.
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    (Original post by M1011)
    Do you actually want to do any of these things, or do they just sound impressive? Sounds like you're planning about 5 job moves ahead of time without a clear understanding of what you're aiming for.
    My end goal would be to work in an investment bank in a FO role, but I have been offered an Audit role at a big 4 and I was trying to see if it is feasible to move into FO in an IB later on.
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    (Original post by DreamChaser111)
    My end goal would be to work in an investment bank in a FO role, but I have been offered an Audit role at a big 4 and I was trying to see if it is feasible to move into FO in an IB later on.
    Sounds like you don't know if the role you're talking about is front or back office. Makes me wonder what your motivation to pursue that particular career path is.

    If your goal is an IB, why are you joining big 4? Did you not get through interviews at IBs or not have the right academics / WE?
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    (Original post by M1011)
    Sounds like you don't know if the role you're talking about is front or back office. Makes me wonder what your motivation to pursue that particular career path is.

    If your goal is an IB, why are you joining big 4? Did you not get through interviews at IBs or not have the right academics / WE?
    I know that the role I want to pursue is Equity Research or Private Equity, as having researched these job roles I feel that I will enjoy it. I didn't get any interviews for investment banks that's basically it.
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    (Original post by DreamChaser111)
    I know that the role I want to pursue is Equity Research or Private Equity, as having researched these job roles I feel that I will enjoy it. I didn't get any interviews for investment banks that's basically it.
    OK - well others here can advise you far better than me on the world of IB, but my 2 cents; don't walk into your first job after university already thinking of it as an undesirable stepping stone to something else. Otherwise you'll have a miserable time, and probably mess up good opportunities.
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    (Original post by M1011)
    OK - well others here can advise you far better than me on the world of IB, but my 2 cents; don't walk into your first job after university already thinking of it as an undesirable stepping stone to something else. Otherwise you'll have a miserable time, and probably mess up good opportunities.
    That's good advice, I will make sure that I enjoy my time as much as I can.
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    (Original post by DreamChaser111)
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    I had some further questions; is an Equity Research position at an Investment Bank considered as a Front Office or Back Office role.

    Is it very difficult to make the move from working as an Equity Researcher at an Investment Bank to getting a job as an ER in a hedge-fund?

    Progressing on say that I went for Audit at a Big 4, what should my course of action be so that I make that transfer to Equity Research, do I have to do CFA level 1 exams, would it be better to transfer to Transaction Services (TAS) for a year and then move to ER or transfer to Corporate Finance and then move to ER.

    Thanks so much for all your help man, you have been very insightful.
    Sorry about the late reply - quite busy atm, working on the audit of a supranational Financial Institution

    Generally considered FO though you could either be producing internal or external reports

    Depends what you did and what sort of fund it is really, I don't actually know but wouldn't be too hard I imagine- though I know PE like their investment analysts to come from an M&A background so if you wanted to do that some time in corp fin would be good

    You can actually make a buy side transition directly from big4 corp fin or TAS. Won't help you a huge amount in ER as different skill set- would be v. Helpful for M&A though

    CFA unnecessary - it's more geared towards portfolio management so by all means do it but while doing the ACA you'd struggle to find the time, even as a top student
 
 
 
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