Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
February 7, 2023

Big 4 Refugees: Where Are They Now? Are They Still Miserable?

Unless you’re completely illiterate, you’re aware that we cover lots of news on layoffs and exoduses here at GC. Layoffs seem to be more of ’08-’09 trend while this year the exodus seems to be en vogue.

That being the case, some of the people that you knew while they were in public accounting have completely disappeared never to heard from again. Those of you still at the mercy of the billable hour might assume that these refugees are loving life in their new jobs – working 40 hours a week, making far more money and seeing more than an hour or two of sunlight on a regular basis.

But do these ex-Big 4 and public accountants really have it better? One reader wonders aloud:

Something came to mind recently when talking to my ex-Big 4 friends, who were laid off in the mass curling about a year ago. Being someone who was laid off by a Big 4, I somewhat have to agree and feel the same way. That is, I have heard from so many of these friends who hate their current jobs, and considering quitting. Even more are thinking about going back to school. So I wasn’t sure if this only applied to my friends, or is a general trend among those laid-off from Big 4s.

So I thought it would be interesting in the thought of other people who were laid off by the Big 4s. Where are they now? Do they like their jobs? Or do they feel the same way? If they don’t like their current jobs, what are their intentions? And maybe even the question of whether they would consider going back to a Big 4?

Lots of questions in there, so it’s really a grab bag. Jump in on whatever applies to you – headed back a life or Ramen and frozen pizza to get at Masters or PhD? Still glad you escaped public accounting with your sanity intact? Thinking of – gasp – going back?

Firms are definitely looking for help as evidenced by the pleas by PwC and Ernst & Young to their current employees to refer everyone and their dog for possible employment, so hey, it’s an option for those that feel that the non-Big 4 grass is faux-green. Discuss.

Unless you’re completely illiterate, you’re aware that we cover lots of news on layoffs and exoduses here at GC. Layoffs seem to be more of ’08-’09 trend while this year the exodus seems to be en vogue.

That being the case, some of the people that you knew while they were in public accounting have completely disappeared never to heard from again. Those of you still at the mercy of the billable hour might assume that these refugees are loving life in their new jobs – working 40 hours a week, making far more money and seeing more than an hour or two of sunlight on a regular basis.

But do these ex-Big 4 and public accountants really have it better? One reader wonders aloud:

Something came to mind recently when talking to my ex-Big 4 friends, who were laid off in the mass curling about a year ago. Being someone who was laid off by a Big 4, I somewhat have to agree and feel the same way. That is, I have heard from so many of these friends who hate their current jobs, and considering quitting. Even more are thinking about going back to school. So I wasn’t sure if this only applied to my friends, or is a general trend among those laid-off from Big 4s.

So I thought it would be interesting in the thought of other people who were laid off by the Big 4s. Where are they now? Do they like their jobs? Or do they feel the same way? If they don’t like their current jobs, what are their intentions? And maybe even the question of whether they would consider going back to a Big 4?

Lots of questions in there, so it’s really a grab bag. Jump in on whatever applies to you – headed back a life or Ramen and frozen pizza to get at Masters or PhD? Still glad you escaped public accounting with your sanity intact? Thinking of – gasp – going back?

Firms are definitely looking for help as evidenced by the pleas by PwC and Ernst & Young to their current employees to refer everyone and their dog for possible employment, so hey, it’s an option for those that feel that the non-Big 4 grass is faux-green. Discuss.

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles

ChatGPT at PwC

Unable to Bill For It (Yet), PwC Australia Tells Staff They Can’t Use ChatGPT For Client Work

Hate to be the burster of bubbles for anyone out there excited to unload your work on ChatGPT but PwC Australia has told its people that for now, playing around with AI should happen strictly off the clock. Australian Financial Review reports that in this morning’s internal newsletter, PwCers were told not to feed client […]

a "you're hired" handshake

Advice on How to Get Hired at EY From the Vice Chair of Talent

Insider has published an ‘as-told-to- essay from EY Americas Vice Chair — Talent Ginnie Carlier in which she offers insight on what the firm is looking for from prospective hires. One takeaway: add a “personal purpose statement” to your résumé if it doesn’t already have one. This is not a bland objective — those have […]