As others have stated, one of the best places to start your accounting career is at a public accounting firm. The Big 4 public accounting firms (PwC, EY, Deloitte, KPMG) would provide the most opportunity for your career progression, however, there are many smaller firms that would still be a great start to your career and may not have as long of hours. When it comes to access to training and the most up to date technologies, your best bet would be Big 4. I started my career at PwC - the learning opportunities and quality of people that I work with make the time commitment worth it.
In my experience, the different places you can start all have pros and cons, and it depends on your long and short term goals. The Big 4 (PwC, Deloitte, EY, KPMG) will most likely provide you the best foundation for your future career. However, the hours can be brutal, especially if you're in certain groups. Smaller public accounting firms would most likely provide fewer hours and less stress but without some of the future career benefits of a Big 4 firm. Going directly into industry would provide provide the best work-life balance, but much fewer exit opportunities. Ultimately, it depends on what you're looking for in your workplace
As an accountant, you will encounter various different types of opportunities where you could work and apply your accounting knowledge and skills i.e. public accounting firms, private accounting, industry, etc. Many students after college pursue a career within the Big 4 accounting firms. As I am currently working in one of them, I would say that public accounting is a great place to get exposure to different clients and industries. However, I would say that one of the most important aspects that you should consider is the workplace "culture", and meeting the people that you will work with beforehand. At any job you will be able to learn a lot, but it is very important that you like where you work at and the people you work with.
If you are starting your career then the best place to work would be Wells Fargo, Franklin Temple ton like organization.
The Big 4 is a good place to start, but any accounting firm would provide experience and knowledge that would help to grow and further your career in the accounting industry.
Hi Elizabeth, I think it is depends on what you want out of your accounting career and how a career can meet your values/needs. Some people like to start in one of the Big4 Accounting Firm because it is a great foundation to their accounting career. However, working in a big accounting firm, we also work long hours and often have tight deadlines to meet. Some people may not work well under stress while other do. However, in Big4, we also learn a lot of information in a short period of time. That is a big plus as this can help you in the future. On the other hand, if you do not like working under stress or pressure, working at Big4 can also burn you out quickly as there may be time where there is not much of a work-life balance. In industry, you will be working under a less stressful environment, only focus on a few areas to learn at a time, and you will have more of a work-life balance. All in all, I think the best place to work or start working would be whichever place that meet the most of your values and needs for both short term goals and long term goals. I would suggest weight out pros and cons for all your options in short term and long term and go from there.
Usually the best is to start in public accounting. Big4 (kpmg, Deloitte, ey,Pwc) would be considered the best places to start in public accounting
To begin your career, I think the best place to work as an accountant is a professional services firm such as EY, Deloitte, KPMG or PWC. If you can handle the long hours and travel, there is no better training firm than a big professional services firm. If you prefer a smaller firm, you can still get great experience at a smaller local maybe solo practioner accounting firm in your town. I love my accountant and she's been in business for 30 years. She did begin her career at EY and later opened her own accounting firm.