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Ever wondered if it’s worth taking a pay cut to work for the Big4?

So you work for a mid-tier practice firm but are keen to join a Big4 but they pay less – What’s that about? And why should I take a cut??

In an ideal world you never want to take a pay cut but why should you perhaps think about it?

 

Long term gain – playing the long game both within practice and in industry.

Within practice, candidates are often seen as more valuable if they have the Big4 background. It’s a fact that the experience you gain puts you in good stead for practice roles at smaller firms. If you can handle what the top tier throw at you then you can be confident to lead the way and make positive change if you then decide to work at a mid or lower tier firm.

If industry is your end goal then we regularly place ex-practice candidates into industry roles and typically the first demand our clients make is “they should be ex-Big4”. We’re not saying that if you don’t work for a Big4 it’s impossible to secure your ideal role in industry but what we are saying is that your chances will be higher if you do and you’ll have access to a larger pool of international companies.

 

Is it really a cut?

They may initially require you to take a small cut but salaries do increase substantially as you change grade plus you have the additional bonuses, car allowance, medical, etc that come hand in hand with the infrastructure that a larger company can offer so when you add it all up the cut may actually be a gain.

You need to make the decisions that are right for you at any particular time in your career – take the time to weigh up the options, list the pros and cons and see what the long term ramifications could be – you might be surprised.

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“I want to get out of audit!” If I had a £1……..

Done 3 years or more in audit and want to transition into the advisory world but don’t have the experience? I hear this a lot and genuinely am keen to help candidates make this step however it’s not easy. My best advice is to gain any experience you can within the firm you are in. Put your hand up to do an internal rotation or secondment to another team in the advisory space. One of the Big4 won’t look at vanilla audit seniors with zero TS/CF exposure for a role in those teams because they can source those people internally. So make yourself accessible within the firm you are in and network with the right people. Then once you have the experience you can look to navigate your way into a new permanent role at another firm.

If you’re looking to move countries and move from audit to advisory then I’m afraid that’s even tougher. Come over in audit then transition once you’re here otherwise your options will be incredibly slim OR transition where you are then make the geographical move with the experience you need.

This probably isn’t what you want to hear and I’m sure some will beg to differ with me but from my experience within the Big4 the above rings true. Opportunities within the mid-tier/smaller practice firms may well differ. As always if I can help you make your desired move then I will do my very best to do so. If I can’t I’ll be honest with you and try and point you in the right direction : )