How To Get A Job In The Big 4 Accounting Firms

How To Get A Job In The Big 4 Accounting Firms

We all have goals and ambitions for our careers. Higher education programs such as MBA, CA, CPA, ACCA, CFA, and others need students to choose a graduate path.

Graduation is the minimum professional requirement for any accounting or technical position, whether in the public sector, the commercial sector, or the military. There are a variety of possibilities open to an accounting graduate these days.

How Hard Is It To Get Into Big 4 Accounting Firms?

Getting into the Big Four is not hard; anyone with a sensible accounting and finance background is eligible to apply, and they typically hire twice a year. After completing the application procedure (which is normally done online), you will be contacted for an interview, which will be followed by a written test (in some scenarios).

In recent years, the Big 4 accounting firms in the United States and other parts of the world have been hiring a large number of accounting graduates. However, securing a job at one of the Big 4 accounting firms is not easy. Now let's talk about these accounting firms and how to get a job there.

What Services Do The Big Four Accounting Firms Provide?

The Big 4 accounting firms are the world's four largest professional services firms, delivering a wide range of services. The following are the details:

  1. Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)
  2. Deloitte
  3. Ernst & Young (EY)
  4. KPMG

The following are the primary services that these firms provide:

  1. Auditing and attestation
  2. Tax consulting
  3. Internal control, risk and governance services
  4. Market research
  5. Other business advisory

Apart from the aforementioned, they also offer corporate financing and legal services. They are in charge of the great majority of audits for both public and private companies.

Where do Big 4 accounting firms recruit?

The big 4 accounting firms recruit candidates through:

  1. College campuses
  2. Organization of career fair
  3. Placement drives
  4. Through job portals
  5. Internal referrals

You can also look for job openings on their website's career page.

Various Interview Rounds in Big 4s

What are big 4 interviews like? To get into the Big 4, a candidate must go through numerous rounds of interviews. Typically, these rounds go like this:

1. Initial HR interview

In this round, HR will inquire about the candidate's background, career goals, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. The questions, however, are not restricted to those listed above. When hiring takes place on campus or at job fairs, the HR team holds group discussions and debates.

2. First Technical round

The technical part of the interview is conducted by the Manager/Team Leader with whom the candidate will be working. Accounting standards, business law, and taxes, among other things, are required of a candidate. There may be a second or third round of technical interviews, depending on the level at which candidates are hired.

3. Partner/Director round

Partner/Director is in charge of this round. For entry-level candidates, the interview may or may not take place. The goal of this round is to determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the company. Here, the candidate's behavior is examined and studied.

4. Final HR Round

After completing all of the preceding steps, a candidate must present for a final round of interview with senior HR personnel in order to be considered for the position. Typically, in this round, HR discusses a candidate's monetary and other expectations, as well as the terms and conditions of employment.

Basic Skills Required to get into the Big 4 accounting firms

The following skills are essential for clearing all of the above-mentioned rounds of interviews and getting into Big 4 firms:

1. Communication Skill

Having good communication skills is a must for getting into one of the Big 4 firms. A candidate's mastery of the English language should be excellent (both verbal & written). This is critical for both the HR and technical rounds. Furthermore, in group discussions and debates, good communication is necessary.

2. Technical Knowledge

A candidate must have a thorough understanding of accounting standards, corporate law, and taxes. They should also be aware of recent technical improvements, amendments to relevant acts, and newly issued accounting pronouncements, among other things.

3. Computer Skills

This is yet another vital skill to possess. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

4. Others

Apart from the aforementioned, one should be well-versed on one's résumé and current events. One should not brag, but rather be humble and kind. Also, the candidate should be dressed appropriately for the interview, as this makes a favorable impression on the interviewer.

It is vital to remember that, despite the length and difficulty of the interview process, if a candidate is well prepared and avoids several frequent blunders, he or she will be successful in converting the interview. Let's go over some typical mistakes and interview questions that should be avoided.

Cover Letter and Resume mistakes

A Cover Letter and resume are the first point of contact between an employer and a candidate. Many times, it has been seen that Big 4 firms have turned down good candidates due to a poorly written cover letter and CV. The cover letter and résumé should both be brief, concise, and to the point. Candidates should be aware of the following typical mistakes to avoid:

  1. Unformatted papers, grammatical flaws, and typos
  2. Making assertions about oneself that aren't backed up
  3. Making a novel-length cover letter and resume
  4. Ignoring crucial details and achievements
  5. Too much personal information is written.

What Questions Do They Ask In A Big 4 Interview?

For any interview, there are no pre-determined questions. However, based on previous recruiting trends and analyses, certain questions that are frequently asked can be anticipated. The following are some of the details of Big 4 interview questions and how to answer them:

1. What are your strength and weakness?

This is a frequently asked question in both the HR and technical rounds. For each of your strengths, give specific instances from your experience that are relevant to the position you're looking for. Make an effort to spend less time talking about your flaws. Demonstrate what you've learnt from them and how you've taken good steps to address them.

2. Why do you want to work for the firm?

Demonstrate that you've done your personal research on the company, that you understand its culture, primary service lines, competitors, and so on. It is critical for candidates to visit the firm's website in order to gather the necessary information about the firm.

3. Please walk me through your resume

One should be aware of his or her resume. It must state what is true and accurate. Frequently, candidates include misleading information on their resumes. It becomes a trap for them, and a skilled interviewer can tell whether a candidate is lying.

4. Tell me about yourself

This is yet another common question. Candidate should start with the most recent information and work backwards. Following information about prior jobs and qualifications, one should include personal information such as family background, interests, and so on.

5. Where you would like to see yourself in next 5 years?

The candidate's response to this question reveals his or her career goals and commitment to a successful career. The best answer would be to excel in the field in which the candidate would work and progress to the next level.

How To Tackle Interviews If Your GPA Is Low?

We are all aware that Big 4 conducts multiple rounds of interviews in order to select the best candidate. For selection, they use a grading system in which your academic qualifications and performance in group discussions and the initial HR round are given equal weight. Many times, individuals are selected for the technical round despite having a poor grade. It is critical to be adequately prepared for the technical round in such situations.

Those who have previously appeared for such an interview should be consulted. Have a mock interview for practice. Examine the most recent subjects and revisions to applicable laws. Candidates are chosen even if their first score is low if the technical team is satisfied. The most important component in your selection will be your confidence on the day of the final interview.

The Big 4 refers to the world's top accounting firms. These multinational corporations need candidates that are well-versed in accounting and are familiar with international accounting standards. As a result, candidates that are qualified ACCAs or CPAs are preferred.

The AICPA Institute offers an international accounting certification called CPA. The course is offered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which is situated in the United States and accepts applicants from all over the world. The US CPA program is designed for applicants who have finished their bachelor's degree in a related discipline and requires a high level of commitment from students.

Another course that gives accounting instruction is the ACCA. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is a UK-based organization that represents all Chartered Certified Accountants. The ACCA course is organized into multiple levels, and it is available to candidates both before and after graduation.


This article answers the question "How do I get a job at Big 4 accounting firms?" As previously stated, the big 4 accounting firms offer excellent employment opportunities. Working for a Big 4 firm can also aid with general personality development and financial advancement later in your career.

As a result, it is critical for all aspiring candidates interested in a job with the Big 4 to begin interview preparation while they are in their final year of college. Remember that there is no quick fix for success. It's the consequence of a lot of hard work and effort. As a result, it's critical for everyone to stay focused and work hard in order to reach the big leagues.

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