Hopeful accountants must study for years, obtain a degree, and take licensing exams before they are eligible for work as a CPA, and work must begin early if a student is to have a chance at employment with one of the Big Four accounting firms. Students that choose to get in touch with one or all of the big accounting firms early in their college career have the best opportunity to work at one of these large establishments after accreditation and graduation.
Early Interviews are Essential
An accounting student must be particularly active in contacting the Big Four early in a college career so as to allow the recruiting managers the chance to become familiar with the student before the final interview after graduation occurs. Students should keep an eye on special visits by representatives from the firms and attempt to set up interviews as early as possible. The key is getting to know the recruiting personnel early so as to make the final series of interviews less stressful.
Ensuring Professional Appearance
The accounting industry is a calm and solid industry that requires its members lead responsible, honest lives. This means that every time an applicant meets with a representative from one of the firms, the student should dress professionally and take each meeting seriously. This means wearing a tie for men with both genders dressing conservatively. In addition, this honest appearance should extend to a resume. Overstating or exaggerating accomplishments is never a good idea for a prospective CPA.
Getting the Right Training
Becoming a CPA requires a bachelor’s degree and prospective CPAs will need to become certified. Other types of employment within the accounting field also often require certification in a specific industry. Although landing a successful interview with one of the Big Four firms doesn’t require prior industry experience, internships are exceptionally valuable on applications and will demonstrate first-hand knowledge of the industry in a work environment.
Get an Internship with the Big 4
Having real-world experience in any facet of the accounting field is highly desirable, but it’s even better if a student obtains training with an internship at PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, or Ernst & Young. Together, these firms hire thousands of interns each year to support staffs that range anywhere from 150,000 people to almost 200,000 employees.
Advanced Training is Valuable
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is a wonderful achievement, but certain types of employment do require additional school and certifications. The Big Four look upon advanced education very well, and obtaining a master’s degree is a great option. However, it is also possible to receive only a portion of advanced training at the graduate level and still make use of that education on a resume or during an interview.
The accounting industry has experienced some rather intense development over the past few decades. After several years of unpredictable existence, due to the volatile financial markets, the Big Four are exceptionally careful with hiring. For anyone who is new to the field or is still in the midst of training, starting the resume submission and interview process quite early is the best way to graduate and score a job with one of the largest accounting firms in the country.