Excited woman
Email This Article

Big accounting firm or small? Choosing the right size work environment

Candidates for positions at CPA firms may decide to join a large firm or a small- to mid-size firm for individual reasons, but "Each firm offers something unique regardless of size," says Kathy Downs, Recruiting Manager at Robert Half Finance & Accounting in Orlando, Florida.

An individual may choose a smaller firm because they have a decreased travel requirement, and the commute to clients is shorter, Downs says. Small- to mid-sized firms generally serve private clients whose day-to-day demands do not require the long hours that can be necessary for SEC-registrant clients served by the larger firms.

Some applicants may look forward to the broad range of clients they can serve in a large firm and may want the outstanding technical experience they will gain serving clients in a large firm. "Others know exactly what they want in terms of industry specialization, and they may turn to firms -- often the smaller firms -- that serve that industry," Downs says.

CPA firms will provide different learning contexts depending on size. Some individuals learn better in the formalized programs offered by the larger firms, while others learn better when they can reach out to senior accountants or even partners, as is possible at a smaller firm. Most large firms have formal mentoring programs in place that can also enhance the learning experience.

At a smaller firm, the CPA may have access to more clients earlier in his or her career, while at a larger firm the individual might spend almost six months of the year at one client. While the larger firms are extremely competitive, Downs says, "In these firms you are grounded by professionals who are just as ambitious and as motivated as you are, and that can help you to reach even higher."

"But it all goes back to the culture of the firm," Downs says.

"Most accounting students are aware of cultural differences while they are still in school," says Jim Nolan President of the National Society of Accountants, and owner of Nolan's Accounting and Tax Service in Oklahoma City. They come into the job market with a "gut feeling" about the differences in culture.

Some may choose a large firm in the same way they chose to attend a large university, he says, although many small schools have outstanding accounting programs, and their graduates are successful in many different environments.

The larger firms have an advantage in compensation packages, Nolan says, because they can offer higher starting salaries and bonuses. "There are fewer openings in smaller firms," he says, "but there are also fewer applicants to compete with."

"Personal relationships come more quickly in the small firm," Nolan added. "It is easier to establish rapport both with clients and the owners of the firm."

Source: Staff Writer, AccountingWEB

© 2012 | Contact Us | Site Map | | | | About Us | Follow us

Related pages

auditing job descriptioninterview thank you note samplesaccounting resume entry levelaudit accountant job descriptionfunctions of accountancyaccounting jobs in hulljob offer letter template wordbookkeeper job outlookrothstein kass and companyfp&a careerpayroll administrator definitionmba cover letter templateinventory control description resumeresume competencies examplesaccountants job descriptionsample resume for medical billingproperty management assistant dutiescomptroller job descriptionsample resume for payroll assistantrequesting salary increasemid size accounting firms in nycjob vacancies for accountantaccount manager cover letterpayroll accountant resumeaccounts payable resume sampleassistant accountant job responsibilitiescustomer service officer resume sampleroger cpa exam reviewcontrolling manager job descriptioncv examples for administration jobsprocurement cv samplegm financial employee reviewsaccounting jobs in alexandria vacover letter for bookkeeperpublic accounting resume examplescorporate treasury job descriptioncpa resume objectivehow to become an accounts payable clerksample resume consultantaccounting jobs atlanta gaaccounts receivable clerk duties and responsibilitiescpa manager salaryhead of treasury jobsaccounting jobs nova scotiaoffshore accounting jobsaccounting for chargebacksyager cpa reviewduties and responsibilities of cashier in hotelpersonal finance advisor job descriptioncash posting specialist job descriptionoracle account payablesit business analyst sample resumeaccounting jobs manitobaresume format accountantaccountant application letter sampleroger cpa review courseaccounts receivable and accounts payable job descriptionqualification resume samplead hoc accounting dutieslawyer assistant job descriptiontop accounting firms in njvp manufacturing job descriptionsample mba application resumegeneral ledger accountant resume samplebookkeeping position descriptionappointment letter format in wordresume posting boardsaccounts receivable billing clerk job descriptionextensive resume samplemis resume examplesample resume for internal auditorresume specimen