If you have ambition and drive, accounting firms with hundreds on staff can be an exciting environment. Not only is there more opportunity for promotion and salary growth, there can be a wider range of roles or pathways that you can follow. There may also be options to relocate to cities around the globe if you work for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young, or KPMG…the ‘big four’ accounting firms.
A growth hacking accountant in large firm should be:
Knowledgeable: The expectations can be high in large companies, and you will be expected to be an expert in the work that you perform. Large firms recruit employees from reputable colleges and typically expect candidates to be at the top of their class.
Driven: Most new hires are placed in entry level positions and are expected to prove their worth. The environment can be highly competitive and the attrition rate is usually high, with some firms hitting double digit turnover rates. The ability to navigate the waters and chart a career course in large firms can pay off in the long run.
Collaborative: You’ll likely work in teams of 5-15 peers who work with clients in all aspects of their business, including purchasing, equity transaction, divestitures and acquisitions, financial reporting and more. Collectively, your team will need to have deep knowledge and the ability to share and apply it to your client’s business.
Communicative: Much of your job will involve writing, analysis, public speaking and “creative ideation,” where you will be expected to come up with innovative solutions to solve problems and help grow the firm and your clients’ businesses.
Engaged: You’ll be responsible for helping your clients to grow and strengthen their business, so you will need to understand their industry, competitors, access to capital, reporting standards and more. Each client will rely upon you to care about their business and to act as a trusted advisor.
As one accountant in a large firm said, “there can be a lot of long hours in the job…and it’s a service industry, so you’re not making the next Facebook.” On the flip side, the status gained from working at a large firm can give you the credentials and skills that can take you anywhere in the world of finance and accounting.