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How do I manage to find out which type of accounting firm is the right one for me?

Having an accounting job after college is something I am very excited to pursue and work hard for. However, I do not know which types of firms I should apply for. I know I should go and look at all types of firms, but what makes a work-place the "right one"? #business #finance #accounting #economics


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Maria’s Answer

If you can, I recommend trying to do a couple of internships at a variety of firms. During college, I interned at a couple different types of companies and it gave me a feel of what type of company I'd want to work for (public vs private vs government). If internships aren't an option, try doing some meet and greets.


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Jacqueline’s Answer

Hi Mark,

Great question! When choosing the type of firm I wanted to work at, I first thought about size. Would I want to work at a large firm with a large network, or a small firm with a tight knit community? It all comes down to personal preference! Kind of like choosing a college. Next, I would look at the values the firm holds. Do their values align with mine? What to they do to enact their values?

After doing your research, you should try to talk to as many people as possible. Attend networking events your school offers. Listen to what the representatives have to say about the firm and ask them questions that are important to you. For example, do they offer volunteer opportunities? Do they provide networking opportunities?

Apply for internships or leadership positions! The best way to see if you'd like to work at a firm is to try it out! If you intern at a firm and don't feel like its the right fit, assess what you liked and didn't like about working there.

Good luck in your journey!

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Eva’s Answer

Hello, I worked for 2 of Big Four companies (Big 5 at that time). I think you need to look at all the relevant sources of information to make the best decision.
Sources of information are:
1, your friend/school mates already working there - ask them for their opinion, likes and dislikes, this might be the most relevant source of information
2, web page of the company - is it dynamic, aggressive, trustful - you need to compare the image it sends out with your own personality - does it match you? do you like it?
3, presentation at campus, university - do you like people doing the presentation
4, hiring process - try more than 1 company to be able to compare. Focus on openness, quality of communication, etc. I went through hiring process of 3 of Big 4s, and received offer of 3, and selected based on 1- 4.
5, articles in professional literature - there are often articles about accounting firms, about their scandals, etc.
6, of course the most important might be the type of work you would be offered - if for example you want to concentrate on financial sector, but you got to know during interview, that you would work on manufacturing sector audits, then you might to try some other company.


Hope this would help you :-)


I hope this would help


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Vicki’s Answer

Only you can figure out which one is truly right for you, but you should apply to all different types. Getting to know the people from the various firms or companies, seeing how you get along with them, getting a sense for what the work life is like. Are there "slow" periods, really busy periods, does everyone kind of keep to themselves, or are there social events (sporting events, happy hours, etc.) that they do together. What kinds of clients does the firm have that you might want to be assigned to, do you have any input into the assignments you might have? Are they diverse or all the same industry, does that industry sound interesting to you? Many people that go into public accounting will leave that firm and go to a client or another company from that industry as that is where you will now have experience.
Don't rule out going straight to a specific industry and by-passing the public audit experience. If you know that you want to be in high tech, insurance, telecommunications, finance/banking or whatever, don't be afraid to look at those companies as well. There's no rule saying you have to go into public accounting, but if you don't know what industry you might want to be in later, then public accounting can give you exposure to different industries.


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Alex’s Answer

Talk to as many firms as possible at career fairs and see what they are like. This will hopefully lead to interviews and then internships. This is where you can really decide what you like. All firms are similar but have different cultures and feels. This is where it is important to make the right choice. Also talk with as many professionals from different firms as possible. Everyone has cool and interesting insight to offer.

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Kristina’s Answer

Finding a firm that feels like a good fit is very important, and I know that it can be difficult to determine this through online research alone. Many firms offer internships, shorter programs, career fairs, and recruiting events. I would recommend looking into what programs different firms offer to try to participate in some of those. I personally utilized my college's career center to learn about different programs, but that is only one option. It might also be helpful to think of questions ahead of time to ask individuals working in the industry, as this might help you make those difficult choices. Having these conversations and getting a glimpse of what each company's culture will likely make that decision much easier.

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Lauren’s Answer

A good way to get to know Accounting Firms and what they have to offer would be joining an Accounting student org at your school and attending any corporate or professional events they have. It is a great way to learn about firms in your area and great way to network. Internships are another great way to work with a company. You are able to learn, gain real life experience, and get to know that specific company. Staying involved in student orgs and making friends with others who are in the same major is the best way to start your career.

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Jake’s Answer

Hey Mark,

That's a great question! In terms of what accounting firm is right for you, it really depends on how you fit into their culture. Many accounting firms offer recruiting events for college students which is a great way to talk to their employees and see what firm you relate to the best. Also, throughout your college career you also will get the opportunity to apply for internships which will give you first-hand experience in what it's really like to work at that company. If none of these options apply to you, you can always reach out to the firms themselves and see what they have to offer for you. I hope this helps! Best of luck to you.

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Victoria’s Answer

It is very hard to figure that out but I think it goes back to identifying what you value professionally and personally. If you value having social relationships you may make your choice based off of who you vibe with at networking events.

Victoria recommends the following next steps:

Spend time thinking about what you value in a firm and full time job
Saved!
Speak to people at different firms in the role you look to be in
Saved!

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Margaret’s Answer

I suggest trying to get into a Big Four firm as your goal. They assist in getting you certified as a public accountant. They also have clients in all industries so you can try to move around through different clients and decide which industry you favor. They are also so large that you can go into auditing, tax, compliance, consulting, etc. so you can also choose what type of work you like. Having a Big Four firm on your resume is a plus even if you decide to go to a smaller firm, start your own business, go into government work, or move into industry.


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Emilio’s Answer

The best way to find out is to network with people at various firms and do an internship. I've had experience at both a Big Four and a Mid Tier firm and having these different experiences has allowed me to figure out where I'm most happy.

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