Big 4 fully qualified chartered accountant - AMA

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Sash12
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#41
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#41
Within audit, do you need to speak to clients loads? is it mainly done through emails? and is the audit role mainly independent or will you have to do a lot of teamwork?
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natninja
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#42
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(Original post by Obuni)
LOL yes you are right, the resourcing team doesn't like me! That was my experience in PwC (feel to reveal the firm as I have nothing to lose). Not sure if other firms are nicer or not.

I'm very jealous you did not have to do any tedious ticking and bashing in your third year. What are you up to these days?

In terms of my move, it is actually a corporate finance role outside of big 4! Will be M&A(Modelling + Valuation)/Consulting work.
Tbh the amount of politics it's easy to upset someone unknowingly and shaft yourself for three years...

I handed in my notice the day after my TC ended just over a year ago and went off to work for a private equity firm in fund/portfolio management.
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Obuni
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#43
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#43
(Original post by Sash12)
Within audit, do you need to speak to clients loads? is it mainly done through emails? and is the audit role mainly independent or will you have to do a lot of teamwork?
Yep, you speak to the client virtually all of the time. In order to audit a company, you have to heavily rely on the client to send you the information underpinning their financial statements.

In a world of normality, audit teams will go to the client and work there for a few weeks, so that it's easy to just walk over to the client's desk and speak to them. Nowadays, it's through emails and zoom/skype/teams calls. I'd say audit work is pretty independent. You are indeed part of a team, but each team member pretty much gets allocated their own sections to audit by the manager. Sometimes there is crossover, for example your teammate may have already audited part of the balance you're auditing.
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Shah99
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#44
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When applying for a firm, in the SJT stage, you have to answer as if I'M ALWAYS going to be the one to step up (if someones absent) and take on more work.

Is this a reality when you actually get the job?
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Obuni
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#45
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#45
(Original post by Shah99)
When applying for a firm, in the SJT stage, you have to answer as if I'M ALWAYS going to be the one to step up (if someones absent) and take on more work.

Is this a reality when you actually get the job?
Good question! I think it is the case to be honest, depending on if you want to be a high flyer in the firm or not. I was never one to do this because I knew I was going to leave the firm pretty much from the day I joined
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Shah99
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#46
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(Original post by Obuni)
Good question! I think it is the case to be honest, depending on if you want to be a high flyer in the firm or not. I was never one to do this because I knew I was going to leave the firm pretty much from the day I joined
Have you/others ever said no to additional work?
Did you reject going to events etc (those that would take up your free time i.e. after 5pm)?
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Obuni
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#47
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#47
(Original post by Shah99)
Have you/others ever said no to additional work?
Did you reject going to events etc (those that would take up your free time i.e. after 5pm)?
I haven't said no to additional work IF I have the capacity. If you clearly have capacity and reject extra work, you are pretty much asking to get a terrible review from your manager. This is irrespective of how well you performed in the work you were initially allocated!

Yeah there was loads of socials I didn't attend, I don't think anyone cares that much to be honest. This is where there tends to be a diversity problem. I don't really drink and i'm not really in to the pub and binge drinking culture that is forced down your throat in most corporates. It's interesting though because I think big 4 are starting to take diversity more seriously and finally realise that staff shouldn't be penalised for not wanting to go and get drunk after work
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berries123
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#48
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Consulting is viewed as much better than audit. I’d imagine first year in consulting is making PowerPoint slides vs grunt work in audit. Why is consulting considered to be so much better? They also don’t do the ACA, will this be a disadvantage down the line?Thank you.
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berries123
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#49
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How much travelling is actually required in audit? I’ve heard that it’s not too common in London during the first year or two?
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Obuni
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#50
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(Original post by berries123)
Consulting is viewed as much better than audit. I’d imagine first year in consulting is making PowerPoint slides vs grunt work in audit. Why is consulting considered to be so much better? They also don’t do the ACA, will this be a disadvantage down the line?Thank you.
Brilliant question, and a topic that isn't discussed regularly. Strategy consulting is seen as a sexy profession due to the big names such as MBB (Mckinsey, Bane and BCG). Strategy consulting at the big 4 is a very good profession, as it has better exit opportunities than audit (I believe you can go to MBB and then off to private equity if you want). However, notice i'm putting strategy in bold. Management consulting on the other hand isn't that great in terms of exit opportunities. Furthermore, management consultants study CIMA which is just inferior to the ACA if we're talking prestige, it's that simple.

However, what people don't often say is that you can do audit and move to corporate finance (which i'm in the process of doing) and you can move to private equity after. The exit opportunities in audit are almost as good as strategy consulting to be honest. You just have to endure a boring 2/3 years of your life and a job which doesn't have much prestige to it.

Last thing i'd say is if you want to go to the big 4, apply for audit over strategy consulting. Audit is far easier to get in to and as I said, audit's exit opportunities are only slightly worse than strategy consulting. Finally, auditors are far more skilled in accounting than consultants and the more prestigious fields such as private equity or corporate finance need staff with a good understanding of how accounting works.

So i'd say Strategy Consulting > Audit > Management Consulting.
Last edited by Obuni; 1 week ago
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Obuni
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#51
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#51
(Original post by berries123)
How much travelling is actually required in audit? I’ve heard that it’s not too common in London during the first year or two?
Tough question to answer, really depends on the clients you are placed on. There are many clients in central london (Kings Cross, Chancery Lane, Bank etc), but there are definitely quite a few clients who are based further out in areas such as Uxbridge. I've literally worked on clients next to heathrow airport before, where i've had to travel about 2 hours to get there.

In that sense, it's luck of the draw really and you just have to hope you're not placed on clients who are based very far away.
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berries123
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#52
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(Original post by Obuni)
Brilliant question, and a topic that isn't discussed regularly. Strategy consulting is seen as a sexy profession due to the big names such as MBB (Mckinsey, Bane and BCG). Strategy consulting at the big 4 is a very good profession, as it has better exit opportunities than audit (I believe you can go to MBB and then off to private equity if you want). However, notice i'm putting strategy in bold. Management consulting on the other hand isn't that great in terms of exit opportunities. Furthermore, management consultants study CIMA which is just inferior to the ACA if we're talking prestige, it's that simple.

However, what people don't often say is that you can do audit and move to corporate finance (which i'm in the process of doing) and you can move to private equity after. The exit opportunities in audit are almost as good as strategy consulting to be honest. You just have to endure a boring 2/3 years of your life and a job which doesn't have much prestige to it.

Last thing i'd say is if you want to go to the big 4, apply for audit over strategy consulting. Audit is far easier to get in to and as I said, audit's exit opportunities are only slightly worse than strategy consulting. Finally, auditors are far more skilled in accounting than consultants and the more prestigious fields such as private equity or corporate finance need staff with a good understanding of how accounting works.

So i'd say Strategy Consulting > Audit > Management Consulting.
Thank you for the detailed response! Really appreciate your time. Lots of food for thought but audit definitely seems to provide a solid foundation. Thank you for your insights regarding exit ops, really useful to hear from someone directly rather than recruitment!
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berries123
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#53
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#53
Best of luck in corporate finance!
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berries123
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#54
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Sorry final question, I’ve got an internship for audit at a big 4 this summer. Any tips especially if it ends up being virtual? Thank you!
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sabana
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#55
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#55
Do you know about much about "accounts and business services" service line. Does it involve audit or is it more accounts preparation?
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Chelsea2018
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#56
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Does anyone know what the training salary and then once qualified salary is like for the ACA trainees at the big 4?(Birmingham)
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Obuni
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#57
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#57
(Original post by berries123)
Best of luck in corporate finance!
Thanks!
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Obuni
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#58
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(Original post by berries123)
Sorry final question, I’ve got an internship for audit at a big 4 this summer. Any tips especially if it ends up being virtual? Thank you!
Easy, just appear keen and always ask for work. Go to any socials the team may have also! I think the conversion rate from summer internship to audit grad schemes is extremely high so you're in a great position.
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Obuni
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#59
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#59
(Original post by sabana)
Do you know about much about "accounts and business services" service line. Does it involve audit or is it more accounts preparation?
Never heard of it, is this in the big 4? I tried to google it and didn't find much.
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Obuni
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#60
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(Original post by Chelsea2018)
Does anyone know what the training salary and then once qualified salary is like for the ACA trainees at the big 4?(Birmingham)
Not too sure but i'd say inbetween 30 and 40k. I doubt it's over 40k since it's a regional office
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