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Garden Stater Needs Help Choosing Between Ernst & Young and Deloitte

Welcome to the “Thank Tim Flynn It’s Friday” edition of Accounting Career Couch. In today’s post, we have soon-to-be Big 4 employee wringing her hands over which firm to choose in New Jersey – Ernst & Young or Deloitte. Will the wrong decision put her career on the path to ruin? [effect]

Looking for career advice? Is your integrity being challenged? Need ideas on how to woo an unresponsive accountant addicted to love? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll help you chase down the love of your life (or recommend a good lawyer).

Back to our Garden State go-getter:

I have received an offer for a full time position at both Ernst & Young and Deloitte, NJ offices. I am coming right out of college and would like to get input on which one to choose. Both of them are really great and I like the people at both places- although I can say that I felt better taken care of with Ernst & Young (they had partners calling to extend the offers and made many follow up calls to make sure they get all your questions answered.

I have been going through some company reviews for both, and it seems to be that the major complaint for EY is the salary raises and the limited opportunities for career advancement (I would like to know if this is accurate information). As per Deloitte, the main complaint seem to be the long hours- which is expected for a Big 4, however career advancement seems to be very good. – once again I would like to know if this is accurate and if it is true that career advancement is better at Deloitte than it is at EY.

I would really appreciate your help as I need to get back to these companies within a month and it is a very large decision to make.

Dear Jersey Girl,

Our knowledge about the Garden State amounts to a just a few things:

1. Medford and Byram Township seem like nice places to be from.

2. The Nets suck.

3. Pretty much anything from The Sopranos.

4. No matter how convenient it is in reality, we don’t like taking the PATH.

None of these points help you. What we can tell you is that effort made by the E&Y partners may be the tie-breaker. If everything between the two firms seem the same and the E&Y partners won big points with you, that’s who you should choose.

Now. Your concerns in the other two areas are a little unfounded. First – Ernst & Young’s most recent salary increases were better than Deloitte’s until the recent mea culpa by the Green Dot Gang so if nothing else, they’re staying competitive.

Secondly – we’re not sure what you mean by “limited opportunities for advancement” but E&Y is a huge firm with plenty of opportunities. Plus, if you want something to happen, you’ll make it happen. Doors don’t slam shut just because you choose one firm over another. Plus, the path to partner is long with a big parking lot right in front of it.

As far a long hours are concerned – this has been covered ad nauseam. You’re working lots of hours no matter what. This should not be a decision point.

As far as the specifics about the offices across the Hudson, we’ll leave that up to the peanut gallery. Help the girl out.