It sounds cliché, but companies like Airbnb are changing the way we conduct business. They are attracting hordes of consumers, have become magnets for top talent, and form breeding grounds for the next wave of tech superstars. Accounting is no exception, with the demand for talent –- and the potential payout for top talent -– at historic highs. However, competition for these elite roles is tough. To learn more about how they “got it,” we spoke with Airbnb’s accounting team. Here are the top three things we learned.
#1: To get into tech, your best bet is to start in public accounting.
In total, we sat down with six of Airbnb’s accounting team members. How many of those got public accounting experience early in their careers? Five out of the six (aka 83%, or “the vast majority”).
Among the five who started with public accounting, we found a mix of Big 4 and boutique firms. In general, Big 4 experience carried more weight for the job application process than smaller boutique firms, but the most important factor was to “tick the box” for public accounting. It tells the tech world that you bring a broad set of experiences and have the hustle required to get stuff done. As one of our interviewees said, “I look specifically for Big 4 experience; it means you have a strong work ethic and know what it takes.”