yoyo1230
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So I'm a 2020 graduate from a Russell group uni with a 2:1 in economics and accounting. I didn't apply for positions in final year as I was unsure on what I wanted to do and have been struggling to get a graduate job since.

I applied for big4 consulting but have been rejected from them all so I think big 4 audit is a more realistic goal. My situation is I cant apply for big4 audit for 2021 intake now but i have been offered an ACA audit position with a top 15 firm.

Is the 'big 4 experience' worth the wait of an extra year for a potential job offer or am i better taking the offer I have?
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ajj2000
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When does the grad scheme you have been offered start? When would the big 4 scheme start were you to be successful - sept 21?

Do the big 4 firms still have open places to apply for sept 21?

Which city would you apply for? Is it the same location as your current offer?
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SomeWelshGuy123
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(Original post by ajj2000)
When does the grad scheme you have been offered start? When would the big 4 scheme start were you to be successful - sept 21?

Do the big 4 firms still have open places to apply for sept 21?

Which city would you apply for? Is it the same location as your current offer?
OP said they've been rejected so the earliest they can apply is either Spring next year, if they're lucky or September next year for a 2022 start. Best bet is to just accept the offer, you can always move into B4 later if you want.
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yoyo1230
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(Original post by ajj2000)
When does the grad scheme you have been offered start? When would the big 4 scheme start were you to be successful - sept 21?

Do the big 4 firms still have open places to apply for sept 21?

Which city would you apply for? Is it the same location as your current offer?
Also sept 2021 start, I’m unable to apply for big4 2021 I take due to the failed consulting applications.

Top 15 firm is in my local city about an hour from London, would be keen to move to London ideally.

Really just looking to get my career off to the best start I believe I could reasonably achieve and ideally would like to move into consulting further down the line
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yoyo1230
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(Original post by SomeWelshGuy123)
OP said they've been rejected so the earliest they can apply is either Spring next year, if they're lucky or September next year for a 2022 start. Best bet is to just accept the offer, you can always move into B4 later if you want.
Think I’m swaying towards accepting the offer, even though I believe I could get onto a big4 scheme I’m keen to get my career moving. Just wondering if this would limit my chances of moving into consulting at some point in the future
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SomeWelshGuy123
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(Original post by yoyo1230)
Just wondering if this would limit my chances of moving into consulting at some point in the future
Nope.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by yoyo1230)
Also sept 2021 start, I’m unable to apply for big4 2021 I take due to the failed consulting applications.

Top 15 firm is in my local city about an hour from London, would be keen to move to London ideally.

Really just looking to get my career off to the best start I believe I could reasonably achieve and ideally would like to move into consulting further down the line
If you wanted to apply for a different sort of job I could understand hanging on, but applying for big 4 audit to start a year later seems a pretty big deal:

- significant risk that you don't get an offer, and might not get any offers from top 25 ish firms. Not being negative here (how many did you apply to this year and how many offers?) but I'm concerned that if we move to a tough recession the number of openings reduce significantly. A close relative of mine got a training contract around 2009/10 - about as bad a time as you could get over the last 25 years. The department he joined took on 2 graduates in his year. Previously they had taken on 10 or more.

- waiting 2 years after graduation is a long time unless you are doing something really great at the moment.

If you are interested in audit better to take the bird in hand and look to transfer to big 4 after 3 years.
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yoyo1230
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(Original post by ajj2000)
If you wanted to apply for a different sort of job I could understand hanging on, but applying for big 4 audit to start a year later seems a pretty big deal:

- significant risk that you don't get an offer, and might not get any offers from top 25 ish firms. Not being negative here (how many did you apply to this year and how many offers?) but I'm concerned that if we move to a tough recession the number of openings reduce significantly. A close relative of mine got a training contract around 2009/10 - about as bad a time as you could get over the last 25 years. The department he joined took on 2 graduates in his year. Previously they had taken on 10 or more.

- waiting 2 years after graduation is a long time unless you are doing something really great at the moment.

If you are interested in audit better to take the bird in hand and look to transfer to big 4 after 3 years.
Thank you!

Applied for around 30, 1 offer, and passed to another 2 ACs but seeming unlikely there will actually be space on them (there is some hope I guess)

I'm not particularly interested in audit, I personally think it will bore me as I like being challenged and thinking/ problem solving, but I believe I could manage the exams and stick it out for the ACA qualifications

My aim is consulting / commercial banking, these are areas that really interest me but I'm also aware they are super competitive. Another option I thought of is to save and apply for a masters and hope this would make me more employable
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bluntcactus
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it's very possible to switch from audit (post-ACA) to corporate finance/valuations then to IB, consulting and commercial banking. if anything, working for a smaller, top-15 firm will give you more responsibility and a wider exposure to different industries early on, compared to, say, working for KPMG and being stuck with one, massive corporation for 6 months at a time. although regarding the master's, I personally did an msc in finance but I don't see myself as more competitive than applicants with solid work experience already.
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roomieeeeeee
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(Original post by yoyo1230)
Think I’m swaying towards accepting the offer, even though I believe I could get onto a big4 scheme I’m keen to get my career moving. Just wondering if this would limit my chances of moving into consulting at some point in the future
Hi OP I think youve assumed its "easier" to get into audit and although this is true to an extent because it is the largest service line at all the B4 therefore there are more roles, it does not necessarily make it any easier to get an offer in audit than in advisory. you're still competing with a plethora of great candidates. I highly recommend you spend time critically unpacking why this recruitment season didnt go well for you and learn from it if you decide to take a year out to wait.. although i ultimately think its silly to turn down any job offer in this economic climate you should take it, qualify and move to B4 with experience they are literally starved for experienced hires because many people leave after qualifying. All the best
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BRUHBRUHBRUH!
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Overtime which do you think is more lucrative in the B4, consulting or audit? I’m in one of the final stages for an audit apprenticeship but wondering if I should also try and pursue consulting at a different firm. I don’t really mind either in terms of the actual work done, just wondering which pays more do you think?
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yoyo1230
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Thanks for the advice! I have decided to take the offer now anyway. As for reflecting on this interview season I progressed to initial video interview with almost all applications so this seems to be the main hurdle for me. Lack of real feedback doesn’t help much as Im unsure if they look deeper into your application at this point or if it’s based solely on video responses. Funnily enough the 3 video interviews I passed seem to be the last ones I did so perhaps my interview has improved over the application process. Hopefully being in a client facing position will help more with this and the experience will give a boost to my CV
(Original post by roomieeeeeee)
Hi OP I think youve assumed its "easier" to get into audit and although this is true to an extent because it is the largest service line at all the B4 therefore there are more roles, it does not necessarily make it any easier to get an offer in audit than in advisory. you're still competing with a plethora of great candidates. I highly recommend you spend time critically unpacking why this recruitment season didnt go well for you and learn from it if you decide to take a year out to wait.. although i ultimately think its silly to turn down any job offer in this economic climate you should take it, qualify and move to B4 with experience they are literally starved for experienced hires because many people leave after qualifying. All the best
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yoyo1230
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(Original post by BRUHBRUHBRUH!)
Overtime which do you think is more lucrative in the B4, consulting or audit? I’m in one of the final stages for an audit apprenticeship but wondering if I should also try and pursue consulting at a different firm. I don’t really mind either in terms of the actual work done, just wondering which pays more do you think?
Someone with more experience would probably be able to answer this better but I’d assume consulting would generally pay better based on starting salaries and salary progression shown on glasdoor etc. That’s said an overwhelming amount of CEOs are ACA qualified so audits definitely not a bad start to a career
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BRUHBRUHBRUH!
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(Original post by yoyo1230)
Someone with more experience would probably be able to answer this better but I’d assume consulting would generally pay better based on starting salaries and salary progression shown on glasdoor etc. That’s said an overwhelming amount of CEOs are ACA qualified so audits definitely not a bad start to a career
Ah okay, thanks.
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Cryptographic
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(Original post by yoyo1230)
So I'm a 2020 graduate from a Russell group uni with a 2:1 in economics and accounting. I didn't apply for positions in final year as I was unsure on what I wanted to do and have been struggling to get a graduate job since.

I applied for big4 consulting but have been rejected from them all so I think big 4 audit is a more realistic goal. My situation is I cant apply for big4 audit for 2021 intake now but i have been offered an ACA audit position with a top 15 firm.

Is the 'big 4 experience' worth the wait of an extra year for a potential job offer or am i better taking the offer I have?
FWIW I ended up getting offers from 2*Big 4 (both Audit), one just outside B4, and one just inside the Top 10.

Generally the very small companies (20th down) don't have the tech or contracts to pay well, and the top 6/7 leverage their brand to pay less and treat you badly.


In the end I went for the Top 10 one, it's well known enough to enable me to go Big 4 after, but crucially pays more, has lower standard working hours (35 vs 37.5), a week more holiday and crucially actually pays overtime. The salary bump for the Top 10 is only about £1k more than B4 for a grad, but when you rack up 250+ hours OT (to take you up to an average week of 40 hours, which is less than B4 Audit) @£20/hr the compensation difference is very significant.
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DavidACA96
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I started at a firm barely in the top 100, found it easy enough to get into GT and rejected offers from big 4 throughout my ACA training contract. Take the job now and move in future if/when you get an offer from a big 4 firm - you might even realise smaller is better in a lot of ways 🙂
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Seba.fr1
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Look at it this way - where will you be in 4 years time? Here are your options

1. Go to top 15, qualify in 3 years, move to big 4 (relatively easy once you qualify) for a year. Four years from now, you’ll be qualified with a year of big 4 post-qualification experience.

2. Spend a year doing something else, then (hopefully, assuming you get an offer in a tough market) go to big 4. Four years from now, you will have just qualified.

Either way, you’ll have big 4 experience in 4 years time. Unless you are going to spend the year doing something worthwhile (and I mean that sincerely, if you want to take a year to do something awesome, go for it) then take the offer you have at top 15. It’s easy to get big 4 experience after you qualify if you really want it.
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Seba.fr1
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(Original post by DavidACA96)
I started at a firm barely in the top 100, found it easy enough to get into GT and rejected offers from big 4 throughout my ACA training contract. Take the job now and move in future if/when you get an offer from a big 4 firm - you might even realise smaller is better in a lot of ways 🙂
That’s what guys have been telling me for yeeears 🤣😎
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