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Big4 Accounting

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Big4 Accounting [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2007, 05:21
I understand that Business Schools prefer certain industries. Is 3-4 years of big4 accounting experience "good enough' for ultra elite schools? Is Big4 Accounting looked down? Thank you.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2007, 06:27
It depends on how fast you have progressed... the adcoms I have talked to have said that they receive so many applications from auditors at Big4 accounting firms. The ones that differentiate themselves are the ones that

1) rise to manager position in 4 years as opposed to 6 years,
2) seek opportunity to work in various offices oversea (i.e. Germany, London, and Hong Kong),
3) have other experiences other than pure 4 year auditing (i.e. IB, MC, PE),
and/or 4) must be close to becoming a CPA and/or CFA.

I think these rules apply only to the schools in the top 5 range. Otherwise, four years of auditing experience is very attractive to other B-schools in top 20.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2007, 07:09
Thanks for the reply.

So if I obtain my CPA (should pass tests before working), and if I move into a managerial role w/in four years, I should stand an ok chance? My GPA is 3.5, and I should obtain around a 700-710 (projected from LSAT and GRE tests I have taken in past).

Two More Questions:

1.) Are there many exit opportunities for a Big4 Auditor into IB prior to entering business school? For example, if I did 3-4 yrs with Big4 Audit, and then transitioned into IB for 1-2 yrs before entering business school?

2.) I know the base salaries for most entry auditing positions, but I cannot find compensation for advanced levels. Do you the general hierarchy of Big4 firms and estimated compensation? I know IB compensations but I have trouble finding Big4. Keep in mind I am not asking for the high NYC levels, but in general an average from offices across the USA.

Thanks Again
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2007, 07:42
I may be the wrong person to ask... since I haven't gone back and visit the "current" salary level.... but in the past, assuming you are on the non-NYC, "fast track"...
1yr: 50k associate
2yr: 62k senior 1
3yr: 75K senior 2
4yr: 85K-95K Manager 1 w/ CPA

As for opportunities after 4 yrs of auditing... you will usually get a lot of headhunters offering you high-paying, non-public accounting roles. For financial reasons, most of my friends take up these offers. These jobs are steady and the pay package is above average. The ceiling for these positions is usually the controller position, making 150k a year.

Very few people are able to leave accounting roles after auditing. Virtually, no I-bank will take a Big4 auditor as a corporate finance analyst. The few people, who have made the switch, do so by having great networking skills and by going to a much smaller (less brand name) investment bank.

The other more common and attractive career switches for auditors are fraud consulting, accounting system consulting, and equity research. For equity research, you need to have CFA (at least level 3 candidate) to go along with your CPA. These two combinations will make you very attractive to the recruiters of equity research position. I must say that it’s not easy to get CFA and CPA… after all, asides from the bar exam, these tests have the lowest pass rate of all professional certifications.

Of course, another way out of auditing is via MBA track, which is why you are here. Four years of auditing experience, with great stats (which you have, assuming your GMAT score is up there), multiple international experiences, some excellent extracurricular accomplishments (i.e. create a program that allows kids to read better, or raise 1mm for dana-faber), you will be able to land a seat at one of the top 5 MBA schools and have the most prestigious job opportunities waiting for you to earn… (you still have to earn them).

Whichever path you end up choosing, big4 auditor’s route should be financially rewarding… maybe not in the millions, but definitely better than 85% of the American households out there.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2007, 13:08
Thanks for all of the help!
  [#permalink] 18 Apr 2007, 13:08
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