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September 27, 2023

Applying to Big4 as Experienced Associate or Campus Recruit for Tax?


I am graduating with my MST in Dec 2017. I went straight into the MST program from my undergrad (B.S. Finance and Accounting). I’ve been working at an Aerospace & Defense company as a “Tax Accounting Intern” for the past 3 years (PT during school yr; FT during summers/breaks). During this time, I have been through 3 compliance and 3 provision seasons, and recently, I’ve been assigned to keep up to date with tax policy issues regarding the new administration. I have become totally independent without the need of constant supervision. Please see below for additional tasks and projects I have completed during my time there:

• Prepared and filed Federal and state returns for domestic C corporations and foreign entities.
• Researched tax issues on databases such as CCH and RIA Checkpoint.
• Analyzed and reconciled general ledger income tax accounts.
• Prepared estimates, extensions, and annual reports.
• Prepared sales and use tax returns on a monthly basis.
• Trained new tax hires (associate to manager levels) on internal processes and procedures.
• Contacted appropriate authorities and responded to international, Federal, and state notices, as needed.
• Utilized Corptax and Thomson Reuters e-Form applications for provision, compliance, entity management, and data and process management.
• Assisted and prepared various other analysis and miscellaneous filings for all U.S. entities to
support (but not limited to) the following Federal forms: 1120, 7004, 5471, 5472, 8858, 8697, 8594, 8925, 5713, 851, 8832, and 8926.
When applying to the Big4 firms during the fall recruiting season, should I apply as a campus recruit or an experienced associate? It is my understanding that there’s not much negotiation in your salary as a campus recruit, regardless if you have masters degree. Here in the DC metro area, all campus recruits for Tax starts at $60K. I would much rather prefer my salary to match the experience I have under my belt (hoping for $65-70K). What is your advice?

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