The Big 4 refers to the four largest international Accounting services firms that offer a wide variety of services for the public and private sectors. They include:
These four companies service their clients through some of the essential categories in business operations. These four firms make some of the most extensive Business reports, Industry insights, Financial Advisory, Public sector valuation, and Operational reporting.
Some of the major categories of services offered by these firms are:
Apart from this, they also provide Corporate Finance and Legal services. They handle the vast majority of Audits for publicly traded companies, private companies, and public sector enterprises.
An individual freshly graduating from a bachelor’s or master’s degree may have their sights on a job at one of these big four firms.
The big four have very lucrative packages and careers for young, skilled, and talented individuals ready to enter the area of professional services.
For example – the average salary of employees at KPMG will be close to ₹8,50,000 per annum. Salaries at KPMG range from an average of ₹3,28,890 to ₹20,70,877 per annum. The other three firms have a pay scale either matching or above the range, as per job roles and experience of candidates.
The Big 4 companies have their own way of hiring, the scale of measurement of skill, weightage to experience, and other essential requirements of the candidates.
They screen candidates as per the requirements and continue to hire throughout the year. However, the bulk of their new hires start in September, post the university graduations happening globally.
The big four majorly hire through the following scopes:
Many third-party event management firms host and organize career fairs. They allow firms to set up shop to discuss career prospects at their firm with the attendees of the fair. The big four often take up a significant position at these fairs.
Prospective candidates can attend these fairs, look at the openings available at the firms, network with the firms’ representatives at the fair and understand their job roles, tasks, and nature of work they will be applying for.
At these fairs, firms aim to speak to the candidates and make them aware of their work culture, clients, categories of work, and several other things. Candidates may ask their questions, seek tips, and make connections at these fairs. Some candidates even manage to impress the firm representatives and have their CVs floated to HR. Candidates may also drop their CVs and cover letters with the firms at these fairs. Recruit Globally certified candidates as a priority.
Big four firms and other MNCs require Certified professionals like CMA, CPA, ACCA, CFA, CPA, and CA. Gaining globally recognized credentials in Finance and Accounting can ensure that you have the edge over others who are vying for the position. They ensure building domain expertise, higher exposure to the practical world as well as access to global networks. These certifications can be the best way to secure a job with a high salary and great designation. According to the survey, Globally certified professionals get a 60 percent hike compared to professionals without any certification. So in order to advance the career in Finance and Accounting, globally recognized certifications are necessary.
Placement drives are also a vital category under which the Big Four recruit candidates for positions they want to fill. More often than not, placement drives are for new entrants and collaborate with institutes and colleges around the country.
This includes candidates taking aptitude tests and several rounds of interviews and then being paired with the organizational departments. Candidates face intense competition and a grueling selection process to secure a spot at these firms.
The process of aiming for a job at one of these big four Accounting firms requires grit, ambition, and a lot of hard work. For fresh candidates and experienced ones, one arena to enter these firms is through internal referrals. The industry is well-knit and closely positioned; employees of one firm know employees of others.
Often, job openings requiring specializations are known to current employees who would recommend others for the position. Having someone recommend a candidate for a job at the big four is a matter of several factors augmenting at the right time for the right job role and the right person.
Internal referrals have the personal reputation of the referee attached to the performance of the candidate. Therefore, it is a matter of great trust between the referee and the candidate. Networking in the industry is a really important factor that counts towards being able to have someone refer one’s candidature to the firm.
The churn rate at these firms is relatively high because of the intense work culture, fast-paced life, and long hours. Many employees also seek to enter corporate or other categories of work after their initial years at these services firms. Some also move towards a master’s or Ph.D. degree after gaining the necessary industry experience. Therefore, to make up for positions and the need of the growing businesses, and human resources requirements, these firms recruit annually from university campuses.
Firms are a part of campus placements that help them directly engage with final year outgoing students of the universities and offer them positions even before their final year examinations. Often, the big four firms approach the country’s top universities for these campus placements.
Many jobs by the Big Four are now being listed on various job hunting portals. The employers can post advertisements of the various vacancies they have, the details of the job descriptions, and the minimum requirements candidates need to meet to apply for the said positions.
Because of the interface of most of these portals, firms can directly access information of these candidates like CVs, cover letters, and recommendations from previous employers or academic guides. After the initial screening on these portals, the HR from firms reach out to the most suitable candidates, carry out the firms’ internal hiring process with them, and reach a conclusion on the hiring.
Candidates need to acquire the necessary minimum requirements for the jobs they seek. These firms also require candidates to be at the top of their class and have a strong aptitude and be good team workers and be efficient employees. Additionally, they must prepare themselves for aptitude tests, interviews, and other technical requirements.
Organizations need specialized skills, knowledge, and expertise in developing strategic business plans. While applying for the Big 4 firms, here are the following roles that you can explore :
Employees in this field display expertise in where and when to buy and sell investments. They have expertise in Financial Forecasting, Reporting, and operational metrics.
For experienced professionals, advanced positions like Investment partner, financial consultant, or portfolio manager are considered suitable options in this career path.
The average salaries range between Rs. 4,00,000 – Rs. 9,93,000 / annum
Employees focus on reducing Financial waste and increasing profit from production costs. They analyze manufacturing operations equipment availability and perform month-end Cost Accounting close.
Experienced professionals could apply for Senior Cost Accountant and Financial Controller.
The average salaries range between Rs. 3,70,000 – Rs. 9,00,000 / annum
Employees in this domain check all Accounting and clients’ databases and ensure they are updated and functioning correctly. The study inspects & balances the sheets and other related financial statements and records. They may also review and recommend changes in internal audit controls.
The average salaries range between Rs. 3,50,000 – Rs. 5,30,923 / annum
Corporate Controller needs to report to the CFO and is also responsible for converting data into information that includes Financial Reports and Income Statements. They supervise all Accounting and Financial functions at companies and perform financial risk assessments and prepare annual budgets and forecasts.
The average salaries range between Rs. 19,00,000 – Rs. 50,00,000 / annum
In conclusion, getting into one of the big four may be a challenging endeavor, but it remains a lucrative career opportunity for young professionals in today’s job market. Some of the most talented and skilled candidates enter these firms with a wide variety of job roles and opportunities with high pay and global exposure.
If you are looking to crack the interviews of the Big 4, then certifications like CMA USA and CPA can be beneficial in your endeavors. You could speak with the experts at NorthStar Academy to enroll in programs that are sure to get you placed in any company that you desire. Enroll now!