Fall Recruiting season is almost upon us. Accounting firms are getting ready to start visiting campuses in search of new talent. Recruiting season goes by so quickly and can be a stressful time for people looking to secure opportunities. If you're in a position to talk to the different firms and potentially evaluate multiple offers in the end, here are some things to consider when making your final choice.
Compensation is typically the same across all firms for similar service lines, e.g., PwC Tax Group won't earn that much more than EY Tax Group, etc. It might vary by one or two thousand dollars, but it evens out when you consider incentives Firm X might offer that Firm Y doesn't. The most remarkable difference in salary comes by virtue of location. Employees in New York or San Francisco would typically earn more than employees in Atlanta because of the significant difference in cost of living.
Accounting firm benefits are pretty much the same too. If Firm X comes up with a new benefit that the other firms don't currently offer, it's only a matter of time before the other firms follow suit.
Innovation within an accounting firm is important to consider because processes are always evolving. Pay attention to the firms focused on innovative endeavors. The most forward-thinking firms are typically around longer.
Ultimately, if you're weighing multiple but similar offers, your decision will come down to company culture. Whatever impression you get after various encounters and meetings with accounting firm personnel is a good indication of what people are like in that group. Pay attention, and consider going with the accounting firm in which you feel most aligned. You can also take it one step further by reading mission statements on websites or news articles about what the firm has been up to recently. Plus, you can also try talking to former employees to get their perspective. Where can you find them? Go to LinkedIn. However, while firm culture is a huge factor in having a good work-life, you're mostly in charge of your own experience anywhere.
-- Darryl Ucheya, Tax Associate at KPMG
Darryl Ucheya is currently a Tax Associate at KPMG and the creator of Shrewd CPA. The views represented in this post are his own. When he's not busy servicing clients, he enjoys the outdoors and writing about life as an accounting professional.