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Life after the big four

jjyoungjjyoung Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited June 2005 in Business School - MBA
Hey everyone,

I just graduated with a masters in accounting from the University of Illinois, have passed the CPA, and will be starting work with Deloitte pretty soon. I'm already trying to plan ahead, and I'm trying to figure out what my options are for the future. I understand that most who go into public accounting do not stick with it for the rest of their careers.

Is investment banking or consulting viable for me in the future? Will having public accounting experience help me at all in getting those jobs? Will being in a big four help me get into a decent business school? What other options are available to me?

Please give me your thoughts, and thanks!
Post edited by jjyoung on

Replies to: Life after the big four

  • redhare317redhare317 Registered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    If you don't want to take the partner track, you can go into private (industry) accounting through one of the companies Deloitte audits. Salaries are typically higher in private accounting, especially if you ever become a CFO.

    I-bankers must know accounting because a lot of what they do involves financial statement analysis. I don't really know of too many accountants who went to get their MBA's, so I don't know so much about B school placements from the Big Four. But you can definitely go into i-banking or consulting. You have some pretty good options. Have you considered a career in law, like tax law?
  • jjyoungjjyoung Registered User Posts: 5 New Member

    Thanks for the response. Yes, I am thinking about law school as an option, although not tax law. I was thinking more of corporate law, but I've been a little scared off by law after doing additional research about careers in law in general. Seems that a lot of sources that I've read have indicated many negative things about law, such as the poor culture at law firms, and the unhappiness of many lawyers. Several research papers I read indicated that 50% of lawyers would consider a different career if they could do it over again, 40% are considering leaving the profession, etc etc. I don't know if this research is true or not.
  • redhare317redhare317 Registered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    I'm not too knowledgable about law. You really never know how it is until you study it and then work. Life can be good if you choose the firm that's right for you, but yeah, a lot of big city law firms can be very demanding. Would you mind working as a lawyer for Deloitte? Of course, a lawyer at a Big Four doesn't get as much pay as a lawyer in a big city law firm, but the work might be less demanding. If you haven't already, you should try asking in the Law forum. I guess it all narrows down to what you exactly want to do. Many lawyers that I know hate what they do because they chose the career only for the money.
  • silencenowsilencenow - Posts: 29 New Member
    just out of curiosity, what campus did you go to? urbana-champagn?
  • jjyoungjjyoung Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Yes, I went to the one in Urbana-Champaign. Go Fighting Illini :)
  • jjyoungjjyoung Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I've heard of people in the big four moving on to become controllers. How likely is it that someone would be able to do this? Also, what kind of hours and salaries do controllers get?

    I've tried searching for some of this information on the net, and haven't really found any good resources.
  • redhare317redhare317 Registered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    I don't know how accurate this info is, but it's really all I have. It's from a 2005 Salary Guide for accounting/finance positions. The research is done by Robert Half International Inc:

    Company $ Volume in Millions (I'm guessing it's revenue?): salary range

    $500+: $105,750 - $147,250
    $250 to $500: $95,000 - $129,000
    $100 to $250: $81,000 - $106,750
    $50 to $100: $68,500 - $87,750
    To $50: $61,250 - $73,500

    These are pretty much averages. There's a footnote saying that advanced degrees/professional certifications are assumed at the controller, director, CFO level.
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