It’s time to take a step forward if you believe that a career in accounting will allow your talents to shine in the F&A industry. The aspiration of every Finance & Accounting student is to work in the Big 4. With one of the most prestigious and internationally recognized accounting certifications, the US CPA (Certified Public Accountant) you can enter the realm of the Big 4. However, not all students can translate their aspirations into reality due to the rigorous and challenging recruitment process. Nonetheless, it is not unattainable to work for the Big 4. With appropriate guidance and exceptional skills, securing a position in your desired Big 4 can be achievable.
Learn how to win over the Big 4 by reading the information below.
Table of Contents:
- What are the Big 4?
- How do the Big 4 hire?
- Interview Rounds/ Selection Process at the Big 4
- Skills for Making a Strong Impression on Big 4 Firms
- How Miles Education Helps to Get a Job in The Big 4?
- Addressing the Accountant Shortage Worldwide
- Common Interview Questions to Join the Big 4
What are the Big 4?
The four biggest accounting and professional services businesses in the world are termed as the “Big 4”: Deloitte, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), EY (Ernst & Young), and KPMG. These companies provide clients in many industries and sectors with a variety of services, such as audit, tax, consulting, and advisory services. They are also renowned for their extensive reach and capacity to offer in-depth answers to challenging business issues.
How do the Big 4 hire?
Each of the Big 4 companies has its own distinct hiring process, with different standards for evaluating a candidate’s abilities, background, and other crucial credentials. Although the majority of new hiring is normally made in September after international university graduations, these companies often do continual screening of possible candidates and recruit throughout the year.
The Big 4 mostly hires through a variety of channels, such as:
- Setting up career fairs: The Big 4 companies organize events where job seekers can explore career options and interact with recruiters.
- Recruit globally certified candidates as a priority: The Big 4 prioritizes candidates who hold globally recognized certifications, such as CPA or ACCA.
- Holding placement drives: The Big 4 conducts placement drives at universities and other educational institutions to recruit fresh graduates.
- Requesting internal recommendations: The Big 4 often asks their current employees for referrals to identify potential candidates for job openings.
- Hiring on college campuses: The Big 4 visits college campuses to meet with students and conduct interviews for potential job opportunities.
- Doing one-on-one hires through job portals: The Big 4 uses job portals to find potential candidates and conduct one-on-one interviews to assess their suitability for job openings.
Interview Rounds/Selection Process at the Big 4
To join the Big 4, candidates must typically pass multiple rounds of interviews, which generally include the following:
- Initial HR Interview – This round is designed to assess the candidate’s background, career objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and other relevant factors. Group discussions and debates may also be conducted for candidates hired through campus or job fairs.|
- First Technical Round – In this round, the candidate is evaluated by the Manager or Team Leader under whom they would work. Candidates are expected to demonstrate their knowledge of accounting standards, corporate law, taxes, and other technical skills. Depending on the level of the position, there may be additional rounds of technical interviews.
- Partner/Director Round – For some positions, candidates may be interviewed by a Partner or Director. The purpose of this round is to evaluate the candidate’s behavioral traits and determine if they are a good fit for the firm.
- Final HR Round – After successfully completing the previous rounds, candidates typically have a final interview with senior HR personnel to discuss salary expectations and other employment terms.
It’s worth noting that the specific interview rounds and their order may vary depending on the firm and the role in question.
Skills for Making a Strong Impression on Big 4 Firms
To impress the Big 4 firms, candidates should aim to demonstrate a combination of technical skills and soft skills, including:
- Strong academic background: Candidates should have a good academic record with relevant degrees, certifications, or qualifications.
- Technical skills: Candidates should have a solid understanding of accounting, finance, taxation, and other technical skills relevant to the job.
- Communication skills: Candidates should be able to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, and managers, both verbally and in writing.
- Analytical skills: Candidates should be able to analyze data, identify trends, and draw insights to help clients make informed decisions.
- Adaptability: Candidates should be able to adapt to new situations, work under pressure, and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
- Teamwork: Candidates should be able to work well in a team environment, collaborate with colleagues, and build strong relationships with clients.
- Problem-solving: Candidates should be able to identify and solve problems creatively and proactively.
- Leadership: Candidates should demonstrate leadership potential, with the ability to take initiative, manage projects, and inspire others.
How Miles Education Helps to Get a Job in The Big 4?
It’s thanks to the trust built over a decade in the students and professional community that Miles Education continues to be the market leader and India’s best CPA/CMA review institute. After completion of training-assessment-scoring cycles, Miles CPA alumni are entitled to-
- 100% placement rate at Big 4 and top MNCs
- Assured pathway to work in the US for 3 years
- 10 LPA* starting salary for freshers in India
- $60,000+* CTC for Miles CPA Alumni (freshers) in the US
- Up to 600% salary hike for experienced folks
With 220+ tie-ups with Big 4 and Top MNCs, for learning & placements, Miles constantly works towards bridging the corporate candidate gap with the requirement met in making employable accountants.
The Miles Academic team, consisting of over 100+ globally renowned faculty and industry experts, is driven by a strong commitment to excellence. At the helm of this team is Varun Jain, the world’s favorite CPA/CMA instructor. Together, this faculty is dedicated to equipping Finance and Accounting professionals with the necessary skills to become CPAs of the future.
Addressing the Accountant Shortage Worldwide
Miles Education has consistently prioritized addressing the existing challenges in the Finance and Accounting field. Recently, several reputable media outlets have highlighted the significant scarcity of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in both India and the US. Now you know why Miles offers guaranteed jobs for CPAs in India & in the US.*
Common Interview Questions to Join the Big 4
Following are some typical interview questions a US CPA can encounter while seeking to work for one of the Big 4 accounting firms:
- Why do you want to work for the Big 4?
- What do you know about our firm?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What is your experience with accounting software?
- Can you give an example of a time when you had to work in a team to accomplish a goal?
- How do you stay current with changes in accounting regulations and standards?
- What are your career goals, and how do you see this job fitting into them?
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to solve a complex problem?
- What motivates you to work hard?
- How do you prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively?
- Can you give an example of a time when you had to communicate complex financial information to someone without an accounting background?
- What kind of experience do you have with auditing, tax, or advisory services?
- Can you describe your leadership style?
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to overcome a difficult challenge in your work?
- How do you handle conflicts with coworkers or clients?
Note: It’s important to prepare thoughtful responses to these questions and to research the specific firm you are interviewing with in advance. Miles Education, the best CPA review course provider in India offers effective interview support through organizing ‘Meet and Greet sessions’ with professionals from the Big 4, aimed at providing valuable assistance during the interview process.
In conclusion, working for the Big 4 is a significant achievement for many aspiring accountants. However, the recruitment process is rigorous and challenging, requiring candidates to demonstrate a combination of technical and soft skills. It is essential to have a strong academic background, excellent communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills, and the ability to work well in a team environment. Additionally, receiving guidance from CPA training institutes such as Miles Education can provide candidates with a better chance of securing a position in the Big 4.
Finally, addressing the worldwide shortage of accountants is a critical challenge, and our institute is working towards bridging the gap between the industry’s demand and available talent. By providing specialized training and placement services, they are equipping the next generation of finance and accounting professionals with the necessary skills to succeed in their careers.