The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

October 31, 2011

From Private Industry to Public Accounting: A Great Benefit for Professionals

Obtaining a position within a Public Accounting firm – especially one of the Big Four – is one of the most beneficial career decisions an accounting professional can make. Recruiters strongly recommend transitioning from Private industry to Public Accounting as a means of broadening one’s experience in the field. And to employers, such a transition demonstrates a natural progression in one’s accounting career. In this job market especially, Accounting professionals with Public Accounting experience have a competitive advantage.

More and more, postings for Accounting positions at reputable companies in the Private sector include the following: “Previous Big Four experience required.” The reason for this prerequisite is that employers recognize the valuable skills and unique experience that can only be gained at a major Public Accounting firm. For example, accountants who have worked in Big Four have likely had exposure to diverse industries and clients, and, therefore, have a more well-rounded accounting experience. Also, those who have worked in Big Four have typically dealt with some of the most prestigious companies and have interacted with some of the most talented professionals at all levels. For these reasons, employers in the Private sector view those with Big Four experience as high-caliber accountants who can be counted on to fulfill high expectations. To put it simply, accountants with Big Four experience are often deemed superior to those without.

Aside from increasing one’s marketability, securing a position within a Big Four firm offers many other benefits. Accountants working for these esteemed organizations have the privilege of receiving in-house training to further their knowledge in the field. These firms also provide support in obtaining professional licenses and certifications. In Private companies, however, especially those of smaller size, professionals may have to pursue such advanced education independently. Big Four firms also accommodate professionals who are looking to specialize in a particular area of accounting, allowing them to develop an expertise. And finally, given the high level of interaction with colleagues and clients, Big Four firms provide a networking gateway for accounting professionals.

Given all of the above, accounting professionals looking for the next step in their careers should strongly consider positions within Big Four or other reputable Public Accounting firms. Such experience is unique and highly rewarding and arms professionals with an invaluable competitive advantage.

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