The Big Four – What is it and How Can You Get in?

Eva Rapkauskaite

If you have never heard of the Big Four Accounting Firms – You have been living under a rock. But don’t worry I am here to help you and brighten up your knowledge about The Big Four.

What are they? 

The Big Four Accounting Firms include PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG.
They are leading players in the accountancy industry, with their services spanning advisory, audit, tax, risk consulting and management consulting.

All four firms work across a variety of industries, including: aerospace, automotive, banking, construction, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, transportation, wealth management, media, government and public sector, manufacturing, private equity, technology, oil and energy, financial services, healthcare, insurance, professional services, real estate, retail, and telecommunications.

As part of firm strategy and direction, all four firms have strengthened their focus on tackling key economic and social issues affecting both the accountancy sector and the UK as a whole in recent years. These issues include Brexit, diversity, the gender pay gap, social mobility and digital transformation.[1]

PwC

  • Have offices in 157 countries, 721 locations
  • More than 223,000 people employed
  • PwC ranks as the second largest professional services firm in the world behind Deloitte
  • The firm was formed in 1998 by a merger between Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse. Both firms had histories dating back to the 19th century.
  • The trading name was shortened to PwC in September 2010 as part of a rebranding effort
  • As of 2017, PwC is the 5th-largest privately- owned company in the United States

At PwC, employers or intern progress is their priority. You’ll be working with clients, learning from your team, sharing your unique perspective and making a difference. The work you do will be as varied and interesting as the clients you’ll work with. You can expect to work with the biggest brands in Irish and international business, building strong relationships and getting the chance to learn from the best.

How can YOU join them?

Luckily for us, PwC does a lot of Internship Programs throughout the year. Currently you can apply to the Summer Internship 2019, it will give you a real experience how it is to work for the PwC and discover the first-hand if professional service is the career for you. You can choose to intern in any of their offices: Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford or Wexford. You will have a chance experience the life of a PwC graduate during a fully paid internship that can last for either eight or 12 weeks.[2]

Deloitte

  • Largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals.[3]
  • Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services with more than 286,200 professionals globally.[4]
  • In FY 2018, the network earned a record $43.2 billion USD in aggregate revenues.[5]
  • As of 2017, Deloitte is the 4th largest privately-owned company in the United States.[6]
  • In June 2016, Deloitte changed its branding and adopted a new logo with Deloitte written in black colour instead of earlier blue.

How can you join them?

Just like the PwC, they do a lot of internship programmes. As they say: ‘’An internship at Deloitte is a fantastic way to get up close to the world of business, find out what excites and inspires you, and where it could take you. As well as vital work experience, you’ll get a good idea of whether we’re the firm for you.’’[7] They had Summer Internship 2019, sadly it is already closed – take a note of this and definitely try applying next year!

More information about the Internships at Deloitte: https://www2.deloitte.com/ie/en/pages/careers/articles/faqs1.html#

EY

  • Multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
  • EY is one of the largest professional services firms in the world
  • EY operates as a network of member firms which are separate legal entities in individual countries.
  • It has 270,000 employees in over 700 offices around 150 countries in the world.[8]
  • It provides assurance (including financial audit), tax, consulting and advisory services to companies.

How can you join them?

EY does a lot of internship programmes, currently they have a Summer Internship 2019 and Graduate Programme 2019 – applications are still open!! ’’This summer internship gives you experience to develop your commercial and personal skills, gain a thorough insight into the world of professional services. You’ll meet partners and clients and get an opportunity to show us what you’re best at. You’ll receive regular feedback from your counselling manager, showing you how you can develop. And we’ll assign you a buddy who’ll be there to answer any day-to-day queries. The social side is important too, with plenty of opportunities to meet people and a night out before you return to university.’’

KPMG

  • Headquarters in Amstelveen, the Netherlands
  • KPMG employs 207,050 people.[9]
  • Has three lines of services: financial audit, tax, and advisory. Its tax and advisory services are further divided into various service groups.
  • The name “KPMG” stands for “Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler.” It was chosen when KMG (Klynveld Main Goerdeler) merged with Peat Marwick in 1987.
  • In March 2017 KPMG launched a campaign designed to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology-based professions.[10]

How can you join them?

Just like the other three companies, KPMG has many student internships and graduate programmes throughout the year. Currently, the applications to Graduate Programme 2019 are open and many other opportunities with the KPMG can be found here: http://www.kpmgcareers.ie/graduates/opportunities/

’’ Our Summer Internship Programme predominantly takes place in KPMG Dublin and Belfast offices, with a number of roles available in Cork and Galway. Summer Internships in Dublin are 8-10 weeks duration and aimed at college students who are in penultimate year of study. Summer Internships in Belfast are 3 weeks duration and aimed at college students across all years of study. You will have the opportunity to work for the Audit, Tax Consulting or Advisory Departments.’’[11]

SO… 

Dear Senior Fresh and Fourth Year Students listen up! The Big Four is the perfect place to get work experience that would get you ready for the future careers. If you are still doubting yourself – DON’T!  Because of the constant programmes, many students get a chance to work there and even come back to work full-time once they graduate!

  • If you are thinking should I even, try to apply? Definitely do!

[1] https://www.accountancyage.com/rankings/big-4-accounting-firms

[2] https://www.pwc.ie/careers-ie/student-careers/summer-internships.html

[3] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/10/04/deloitte-overtakes-pwc-as-worlds-biggest-accountant/

[4] https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/global-revenue-announcement.html

[5] https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/global-revenue-announcement.html

[6] https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/global-revenue-announcement.html

[7] https://www2.deloitte.com/ie/en/pages/careers/articles/summer-intern-programme.html

[8] https://www.ey.com/en_gl/news/2018/12/ey-global-chairman-and-ceo-mark-weinberger-to-step-down-effective-july-1-2019

[9] https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2018/12/global-review-2018.pdf

[10] https://www.computerweekly.com/news/450415622/KPMG-launches-campaign-to-encourage-women-into-tech

[11] http://www.kpmgcareers.ie/graduates-landing/graduate/

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