Life outside the Big 4

  20th December 2010      
 Accounting & Finance, Company News, Employment, Recruitment

A recent study conducted by Accountancy & Finance Recruiter, Marks Sattin has revealed that a number of Generation Y accountants are now looking outside of the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms (Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young and PwC) for employment.

The research shows that only 40% of accountants with less than three years experience said it was important to work for one of the Big 4 firms. This is in stark contrast to the industry average which is 67%.

Laura Wilson, associate director of the professional services division at Marks Sattin, explains that this is the result of disillusionment and distrust,

“The credit crunch has convinced Generation Y that being involved in big business is not necessarily something to be proud of — 16.4% of our respondents said that they distrusted large organisations more since the downturn.

The Big 4 firms suffered in the eyes of trainee accountants (more than 40% agreed that the Big 4 had a ‘bruised’ reputation) thanks not only to appearing to be part of the machine, but also for having clients who are perceived as being part of the machine. That put many trainee accountants off working for the top firms and this has led to a rise in the number of trainee accountants seeking to begin their careers outside the Big 4.”

This change in values could be good news for many smaller and regional accountancy firms who may be able to snap up some quality candidates who previously would have only considered working for one of the Big 4.

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