Moving from a ‘Big 4’ to mid-tier accounting firm

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With mid-tier accounting firms offering the opportunity to gain broad experience and skills and sometimes more responsibility, why are the ‘Big 4’ still in such high demand for accounting professionals? 

Is it that the ‘Big 4’ genuinely offer better training opportunities and open more doors for future progressions, or is it a case of being attracted to the prestige of working for such organisations? Brendan Lucas, (Business Services Manager) recently took this leap of faith, and here we discuss his thoughts on the move. 

Like many before him, Brendan went straight into university study from high school and then landed a coveted training position with a ‘Big 4’ firm in Sydney. It wasn’t long before the city work life that comes with such a position was no longer an attraction and Brendan jumped ship to take on a more senior position within a mid-tier firm. 

From a personal perspective, lifestyle is a major factor in the decision. The work/life balance offered within new roles suit people and their priorities. However, from a professional perspective, it is the opportunity to get involved with more business development, take on more responsibility and have a closer working relationship with clients.

There has been a distinct shift over recent times. Candidates see moving to mid-tier firms as a good career move as it provides the opportunity to work on more diverse clients, but also the breadth of work and their exposure to it is far greater. 

Mid-tier firms offer broad exposure to a wider range of clients and the opportunity to gain experience across a range of business functions, for example in business services you can get tax, advisory, audit and account preparation experience, rather than just one or the other.

If you’re interested in getting to know your clients better and keen to step up to more responsibility, this is definitely a move worth considering. 
However you may need to get your hands dirty and take on more responsibility. It is important to weigh up all the pros and cons before making any final decisions.

Understanding your motivators and assessing what is most important to you and your career aspirations is essential when deciding which direction to take. Research your options and take into consideration the long-term benefits or consequences.

Discuss your options with your recruitment consultant. It is their job to listen to what you are looking for, understand your overall objectives and motives and match you to a role and organisation most suited to you. They will be able to provide advice and tips on your career move as well as details such as company roles and salary expectations.


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