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2022 Accounting Internship Programs, Ranked

Winter is coming, and new stars will soon be born in public accounting as the latest wave of interns are about to flock to a windowless cubicle near you. And just in time for the arrival of this latest group of fresh, smiling-faced youngsters is Firsthand’s (formerly ranking of the top accounting internship programs in the US for 2022.

If you’re wondering what happened to Vault, our friends over at Above the Law told their audience this:

This past January, Infobase, the company that owns Vault, acquired Firsthand, a career mentoring and engagement platform for students and alumni. Over the course of 2021, the sites have been merging to create a new brand geared towards those who are seeking professional work in COVID times.

OK. Moving on.

The criteria that Vault used previously to determine the cream-of-the-crop internship programs hasn’t changed under Firsthand:

The rankings are based on a survey of more than 11,400 current and former interns from more than 100 internship programs.

This past summer, Firsthand asked interns to rate their actual internship experiences. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, respondents were asked to rate their internship experiences in six core areas: Career Development, Compensation and Benefits, Diversity, Full-Time Employment Prospects, Interview Process, and Quality of Life.

To determine an overall score for each program, the ratings were assigned relative weights based on what interns told us they value most in an internship. The overall scores are based on the following weighted formula: 30 percent career development, 20 percent employment prospects, 20 percent quality of life, 20 percent compensation, 5 percent diversity, and 5 percent interview process.

Based on this formula, Firsthand put together several internship rankings, including one solely for the accounting profession. Here are the 10 best for 2022, according to this most recent ranking (2021 ranking in parenthesis):

1. H&CO (NR)
2. Frank, Rimerman + Co. (4)
3. Aprio (8)
4. PKF O’Connor Davies (2)
5. Grant Thornton (7)
6. CohnReznick (tie 10th)
7. Armanino (12)
8. BDO USA (5)
9. Moss Adams (15)
10. Frazier Deeter (3)

The only Big 4 firm that made the top 20 accounting internship programs list was KPMG (13th in 2021) which came in at 17th for 2022.

But fear not, accounting graduates, who have grand plans to intern at a Big 4 firm (other than KPMG) one day. Each of the Final Four Horsemen of the Accounting Apocalypse made Firsthand’s ranking of the 50 most prestigious internships for 2022.

Most Prestigious

(Criteria: Interns were asked to rate the prestige of other employers to determine which internships are the most desirable. Survey respondents were presented with a list of top companies and asked to rate each company on how prestigious its internship is on a scale of 1 to 10—with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. Interns were asked to rate only the companies whose reputations they were familiar with.)

14. Deloitte (15)
18. EY (22)
22. PwC (30)
28. KPMG (37)

Say what you will about the nature of Vault’s (Firsthand’s) annual rankings and how they are perceived within the public accounting community, they usually generate a good discussion. So have at it below in the comments.

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2021 Accounting Internship Programs, Ranked