In the 16 years that Vault has ranked public accounting firms by prestige, only three firms have taken the title of “most prestigious”: EY (2007), Deloitte (2009), and PwC (2008; 2010-current). With the release of Vault’s 2022 Accounting 50 last week, that’s 13 straight years now that PwC has been viewed by accountants as the […]
It was big news around these parts when we found out Deloitte Consulting was kicked off the Big 4 throne by EY-Parthenon in Vault’s most recent ranking of the 50 best consulting firms to work for. Deloitte had held down fourth place (No. 1 among the Big 4) for five consecutive years, so it was […]
There wasn’t much that changed in Vault’s 2021 ranking of the most prestigious accounting firms, at least in the top 25. PwC was named the most prestigiousiest firm for the 12th straight year, the Big 4 took the top four spots once again, and the same firms that filled up the top 25 in 2020’s […]
While you guys were wasting billable hours yesterday still debating which fast-food restaurant has the best fried chicken sandwich, we posted an article about the latest Vault Consulting 50 rankings and how the Big 4 did pretty well. If you missed it because you were trying to hunt down a Popeyes fried chicken sandwich, all […]
A little while ago, we told you how PwC locked down the top spot in Vault’s 2020 Accounting 50—the seventh consecutive year the firm has been ranked No. 1. But believe it or not, this isn’t the longest win streak P. Dubs has going when it comes to Vault’s rankings. Even though the House of […]
Another day, another ranking. Today's list comes courtesy The Times. For the sixteenth time, the Times has whipped up a list of the Top 100 Graduate Employers. By asking 18,336 graduates who left UK university in 2014"Which employer do you think offers the best opportunities for graduates?" the paper has awarded PwC with the top […]
Perhaps you heard the news today that tax firm WTAS decided to sprinkle a little coup padre on the dead name of Arthur Andersen to resurrect a zombie of a firm name: “Our issues with Enron were the mistake of a few,” said Mark Vorsatz, WTAS’s chief executive officer, who started the company 12 years […]
Vault has been teasing us for weeks with the promise of their annual Accounting 50. It's finally here, and we'll get to that in a minute but before we delve into the full ranking, let's celebrate #1 PwC once again: Not only did New York-headquartered PwC again rank No. 1 in the Accounting 50 (and thus […]
Just a friendly reminder, Vault will be releasing its latest Accounting Rankings — when else — on April 15 so those of you who like to whip it out and compare should mark your calendars accordingly. For now, we get a teaser: This year, we surveyed more than 10,000 accountants at the top 90 accounting […]
After a couple of interesting teasers on LGBT relations and satisfaction among women, our friends at Vault have unveiled their Accounting 50 ranking today. The results will probably annoy many of you because, yes, PwC topped the three big categories in Vault's 2014 rankings — Overall Ranking, Prestige, and Diversity.
On Tuesday, Ernst & Young became the third surprise victor in the Vault Accounting 50; the first Big 4 firm to take the honor since the change in methodology for the 2011 list. It's a comeback of sorts for E&Y who has basically been the butt of many, many, many Lehman Brothers jokes. For some […]
Earlier this week, we learned that Grant Thornton was the new numero uno on Vault’s Accounting 50. The VA50 is determined by a number metrics that are weighted to come up with an overall score as to which firm is the best of the best. According to Vault, Grant Thornton was able to leverage their better work-life balance for employees to overcome their lack of prestige to pull this off.
For many people in the accounting world, however, this is meaningless. Reputation is everything and if you’re not working for one of the firms that are of highest regard, you’re simply a chump. Accordingly, Vault still presents a prestige ranking and while there aren’t many surprises, for many, this is the list. And the top firm on the list? P. Dubs.
1 (1) PwC
2 (3) Deloitte
3 (2) Ernst & Young
4 (4) KPMG
5 (5) Grant Thornton
6 (7) McGladrey
7 (6) BDO
8 (8) Moss Adams
9 (10) J.H. Cohn
10 (9) Plante & Moran
11 (13) Crowe Horwath
12 (12) Clifton Gunderson
13 (11) EisnerAmper
14 (22) LarsonAllen
15 (14) Rothstein Kass
16 (15) BKD
17 (18) Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
18 (16) Reznick Group
19 (21) Dixon Hughes Goodman
20 (19) Cherry Bekaert & Holland
21 (24) Anchin, Block & Anchin
22 (17) WeiserMazars
23 (23) CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann
24 (29) ParenteBeard
25 (28) Wipfli
26 (31) Friedman
27 (27) Marcum
28 (34) Berdon
29 (35) Citrin Cooperman & Co.
30 (36) Eide Bailly
31 (26) UHY Advisors
32 (37) WithumSmith + Brown
33 (32) Elliot Davis
34 (38) Margolin, Winer & Evens
35 (33) Marks Paneth & Shron
36 (40) Blackman Kallick
37 (25) Novogradac & Company
38 (49) RubinBrown
39 (NR) Schonbraun McCann Group
40 (50) Kaufman, Rossin & Co.
41 (NR) Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain
42 (45) Frank Rimerman & Co.
42 (48) Habif, Arogeti & Wynne
43 (NR) Buff Pilger Mayer, Inc.
44 (NR) Horne
45 (NR) Rehmann
46 (NR) Schenck SC
46 (NR) Suby, Von Haden & Associates
46 (NR) Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman
47 (41) Aronson & Company
48 (NR) SingerLewak
49 (47) SS&G Financial Services
50 (NR) Katz, Sapper & Miller
Oh! and probably most importantly, the prestige ranking is what we use to seed the brackets for the Coolest Accounting Firm in the spring, so it’s doubly important. Commence bickering.
Yes my friends, the Purple Rose of Chicago’s focus on all things dynamic and pinstripe hating was enough to catapult the firm to the #1 spot on Vault’s Accounting 50. Va rnton’s rise “an upset of sorts” but I’ll go ahead and say this is more worthy of “shocker” status. This is like “Dewey Defeats Truman.” It’s the Miracle on Ice. Hell, it’s like when Brad Pitt finds Gwenyth Paltrow’s head at the end of Se7en (what do you MEAN you haven’t seen it?).
Don’t get me wrong, Grant Thornton is a fine firm. Sure, purple isn’t my favorite but the people there seem nice and very capable but HONESTLY this was not expected. When he hears the news, Stephen Chipman will probably start running through halls of the Chicago office sans
pants trousers rallying everyone down to the nearest pub (pictures, please). Anyway, let’s get to the Top 25 (previous year in parenthesis), shall we?
1 (23) Grant Thornton
2 (2) PwC
3 (1) Deloitte
4 (3) Rothstein Kass
5 (5) Dixon Hughes Goodman
6 (6) Moss Adams
7 (11) WithumSmith + Brown
8 (8) Friedman
9 (4) Marcum
10 (28) EisnerAmper
11 (14) Eide Bailly
12 (18) SS&G Financial Services
13 (12) Berdon
14 (7) Elliott Davis
15 (NR) Rehmann
16 (33) Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
17 (17) Armanino McKenna
18 (16) CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann
19 (41) Marks Paneth & Shron
20 (20) Schenck
21 (10) Cherry, Bekaert & Holland
22 (21) Ernst & Young
23 (22) KPMG
24 (25) McGladrey
25 (24) BDO
As for how GT orchestrated this epic upset, here’s Vault’s Derek Loosvelt:
Although the Big Four firms PwC and Deloitte both significantly outscored Grant Thornton (the perennial fifth largest accounting firm in the country) in terms of prestige, Grant Thornton handily beat PwC and Deloitte in nearly every quality of life category. In other words, while the two Big Four firms’ names still carry much more weight than Grant Thornton’s in the marketplace, insiders are much more pleased with their day to day work lives at the non-Big Four GT than their peers are at PwC and Deloitte. In fact, non-Big Four firms ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in all but three quality of life categories (these rankings will be released over the next couple of days). Although Grant Thornton did not top any single category, it consistently placed ahead of PwC and Deloitte. Particular tough categories for the Big Four firms were hours and overall satisfaction.
So there are a couple of stories here: 1) Holy shit – Grant Thornton?! and 2) prestige seems to carry less and less weight in favor of quality of life for those looking to choose a public accounting firm as their employer. We’ll be covering the Vault list and the firms therein with more posts but until then, feel free to comment on the Top 25 and what you make of GT as the new #1.
Contributor note: if you have a question for the Going Concern audience at large (including the useless dbags) or our team of accounting drop outs and degenerates, please get in touch.
Here’s a tip if you guys are thinking about submitting a question: it helps to know your motivation if you are asking for our advice. It’s difficult to tell you what you should do without knowing why you’re trying to do it, unless you’re asking us an obvious question like “should I take X position to make way more money?” because in that situation we obviously assume you’re in it for the money. There’s nothing wrong with that.
That said, this indentured serv So let’s commence to helping.
I’m currently working for a large mid-size firm as a Staff II and will become a Senior I next year on a relatively large public client. However, I’ve been debating whether or not I should follow up on opportunities to work at a Big 4 firm if it means I have to wait an additional 2 years to become a Senior I?
I know from my friends currently working in the Big 4 firm that new hires work for 3 years at the staff level before being promoted to Senior I. In addition, I may also slip one level from Staff II back to Staff I when I change firms. I’d essentially be 2 years behind my peers as a result of going to the Big 4 so I don’t know if making this switch would help or hurt my career. Is it really worth losing that much time in order to get the Big 4 name on my resume? Should I wait until next year in hopes that I could be recruited as a Staff III instead?
Surely I’m not the only one struggling with this decision, does anyone else have experience with this problem?
Thanks and Best Regards,
-Staff II(?) Auditor
Well, Would-Be Staff II, as you are probably already aware, the Big 4 item on your résumé is going to blow any of that mid-tier nonsense you’ve got going now out of the water (don’t get butthurt, mid-tier-ers. It’s not personal). The actual practical application of what you’re learning at a mid-tier firm versus what you might learn at the Big 4 is irrelevant here; it’s all about marketing yourself, and you’re better equipped to do that with bragging rights slapped all over your work experience. You’re pretty much only going to get those rights from the Big 4.
That isn’t to say you can’t gain valuable experience from your current employer, so it comes down to what you want to do career-wise and in what time frame you would like to accomplish it. Have you passed the CPA exam already? Are you itching to get out of public altogether? It’s pretty hard to try and push you in the right direction without knowing what that direction is. What do you want out of your career? Money? Prestige? Experience?
Why did you start mid-tier in the first place? Are you happy where you are? Do you enjoy the work and feel fulfilled? What is it you think Big 4 can offer that you aren’t getting at your current firm?
If I were you, I would wait it out, gain additional experience, keep those Big 4 contacts and try to make the jump when you have a little more leverage. The more secure you get in your skill set, the better equipped you’ll be to leverage that experience into a more ideal gig with a Big 4 instead of starting at bottom a level above the clueless interns.
I would also have a candid conversation with whomever you’ve been speaking to at the Big 4 about your concerns. Don’t come off as a money-grubbing, work-averse dick but definitely express an interest in being involved with work on par with what you’ve been doing with your firm, not taking a step back. Feel free to embellish whatever paperwork you’ve been assembling up until this point into a full-blown PCAOB-compliant masterpiece.
I’m sure any number of mid-tier grunts who read this site religiously can talk you out of making the jump, and for good reason, while others will tell you to jump now and worry about how quick you ascend the Big 4 ladder later. A smaller firm allows you a better chance at truly learning your trade instead of simply going through the motions and checking boxes; think of mid-tier as stripping at the pole as opposed to mopping up the floors. You probably won’t put stripping at the pole on your resume but you’ll be gaining practical experience you can segue into a better opportunity.
I’m not clear on the opportunity you’re after here. Can you clarify?
On Wednesday when all anyone could talk about was a little earthquake, we shared with you Vault’s Consulting 50. All of the Big 4 managed to make this year’s list after last year’s only featured Deloitte and P. Dubs, so everyone’s happy.
One list that the Big 4 always seem to do well is the ranking of prestigious firms. Granted, this is the consulting list and the likes of McKinsey, Bain, and Boston, per usual, dominate the top spots but the usual accounting suspects held their own. This list is far less interesting than the Vault 50, which saw a lot of jumping around by various firms but this is all about the prestige and closer your firm is to the top, apparently the less your shit stinks. Here’s the top with previous year’s ranking in parenthesis:
1 (1) McKinsey & Co.
2 (2) Boston Consulting
3 (3) Bain & Co.
4 (4) Booz & Co.
5 (5) Deloitte Consulting
6 (8) PwC
7 (7) Monitor Group
8 (9) Ernst & Young
9 (6) Mercer LLC
10 (12) Accenture
And some notables:
14 (13) KPMG
16 (22) Capgemini
18 (19) Navigant Consulting
21 (26) Roland Berger
25 (27) Huron Consulting
26 (28) Grant Thornton
28 (23) FTI Consulting
33 (30) PRTM
45 (48) BDO
The gang at Vault let us know that we can expect the accounting rankings in a couple-ish weeks, so stay tuned.
Welcome to the slightly-less-mad-Friday edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a future E&Y intern only wants to work on the sexiest tech clients that the House of Turley has to offer. How can one ensure that he/she lands only on the clients worth bragging to their peers? Let’s find out!