8/7/11

Does anyone know what the starting accounting salary is for someone at the Big 4 who has 150 credit hours? (I know you can start at 150 credit hours and still be working toward your MBA).

I plan on starting during my last year of grad school, I will have 150 credit hours but no MBA for another year after starting.

Is there an increase when you achieve your MBA and CPA?

How about your J.D - does anybody work for the Big 4 and have a law degree on top of your MBA and CPA?

Please let me know which firm & city you work for.

Thanks!

Comments (61)

8/7/11

are you getting a part time mba? Otherwise this doesn't make sense.

Also, no one is going to tell you their firm and city.

Salary can vary depending on location and line of practice, but I'd assume around $55k as a starting salary.

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8/7/11

@accountingbyday - Yes it is a part time MBA. There was another thread on this site where people listed their city and firm along with their salary, but it was from last year. Thanks.

8/7/11
8/7/11

In London its starting salary of around $45k in audit, very slightly more for consulting ($46-48k).

8/7/11

45k - 52k depending on the city

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

8/7/11

http://goingconcern.com/2010/08/starting-salaries-...

These numbers haven't changed much from last year.

150 credits, no MBA, NYC will be mid to high 50's

If you complete the CPA within a year of employment some firms will give a 5k bonus
If you complete the CPA within 2 years it goes to 2k or 3k

No increase in salary for MBA or CPA as far as I know, but you can't move above a certain level without your CPA

J.D.'s depending on city will make about 10k to as much as 20k more starting

I think that we are all clinging to a great many piano tops...

In reply to happypantsmcgee
8/7/11
happypantsmcgee:

45k - 52k depending on the city

This.

8/7/11

Do you think you could get more for having a MAcc?

8/21/11
8/21/11

I have a friend who finished her BS in accounting 3 yrs, did her MAcc in 1 yr. Now works FT at PwC and basically $55k base with $5k bonus if she passes her CPA. No sign on bonus and I imagine her yr end would be around $2-5k range. This is audit in the NYC office

9/14/11

Try http://www.big4gossip.com/pay/basic-salaries

It is usually UK info only, but they've put some US Big 4 salaries on there now.

9/14/11

Don't know if it's going to help you but in Australia what I know is...

EY Audit - 53k (sign on unknown)
EY Tax - 58k (sign on unknown)
Deloitte Audit - 52k + 1k sign on

9/16/11

Audit mid 50s with sign on bonus and CPA bonus if completed within 1 yr of graduation.

8/24/12

I think that it definitely depends on where you live and have gone to school, etc. My husband is in a CPA Crystal Lake program and we are still not 100% sure what he will make when he is done. Good luck figuring everything out!

11/30/12

JD first year NY makes between $75,000-80,000. I've heard some get $79k.

11/30/12

HEY, WHAT WAS THE QUESTION AGAIN??????????

In reply to ekimlacks
11/30/12

ekimlacks:
http://goingconcern.com/2010/08/starting-salaries-...

These numbers haven't changed much from last year.

150 credits, no MBA, NYC will be mid to high 50's

If you complete the CPA within a year of employment some firms will give a 5k bonus
If you complete the CPA within 2 years it goes to 2k or 3k

No increase in salary for MBA or CPA as far as I know, but you can't move above a certain level without your CPA

J.D.'s depending on city will make about 10k to as much as 20k more starting

That is depressing... why would you ever go to law school only to continue in accounting making only 10-20k more... you would make far more money just working in an ops role at a bank and bar tending at night... nonsensical

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12/1/12

Courtesy of goingconcern:

Average salary offer for auditors was $52,643.
-Average salaries for the Big 4 firms were as follows: PwC - $53,214; KPMG - 51,833; Ernst & Young - $52,500; Deloitte - $52,750.
-The range of audit salaries was $57,000 on the high end to $48,000 on the low end.

12/2/12
12/2/12

Wow I would think NYC Big 4 would be making somewhere around 60k just to adjust for the cost of living.

12/3/12

Work like a banker, get paid like an accountant.

Ouch

In reply to DreamMonkey
12/3/12

DreamMonkey:
I have a friend who finished her BS in accounting 3 yrs, did her MAcc in 1 yr. Now works FT at PwC and basically $55k base with $5k bonus if she passes her CPA. No sign on bonus and I imagine her yr end would be around $2-5k range. This is audit in the NYC office

Accurate. Except, it's pretty common to get a bonus below $2,000. Some as low as $500.

In reply to papeete
12/4/12

papeete:
DreamMonkey:
I have a friend who finished her BS in accounting 3 yrs, did her MAcc in 1 yr. Now works FT at PwC and basically $55k base with $5k bonus if she passes her CPA. No sign on bonus and I imagine her yr end would be around $2-5k range. This is audit in the NYC office

Accurate. Except, it's pretty common to get a bonus below $2,000. Some as low as $500.

ewwwwwwww

In reply to rufiolove
12/4/12

rufiolove:
papeete:
DreamMonkey:
I have a friend who finished her BS in accounting 3 yrs, did her MAcc in 1 yr. Now works FT at PwC and basically $55k base with $5k bonus if she passes her CPA. No sign on bonus and I imagine her yr end would be around $2-5k range. This is audit in the NYC office

Accurate. Except, it's pretty common to get a bonus below $2,000. Some as low as $500.

ewwwwwwww


what's worse, many of the people come from no-name colleges and think they have made it big because they are at the big 4. so they pick up the obnoxious self-important behaviors of bankers... but yet... their bank accounts are teeny tiny. * and my no name colleges I mean schools that start with "Saint" or have a total enrollment of 2,000 kids.
In reply to papeete
12/4/12

papeete:
rufiolove:
papeete:
DreamMonkey:
I have a friend who finished her BS in accounting 3 yrs, did her MAcc in 1 yr. Now works FT at PwC and basically $55k base with $5k bonus if she passes her CPA. No sign on bonus and I imagine her yr end would be around $2-5k range. This is audit in the NYC office

Accurate. Except, it's pretty common to get a bonus below $2,000. Some as low as $500.

ewwwwwwww


what's worse, many of the people come from no-name colleges and think they have made it big because they are at the big 4. so they pick up the obnoxious self-important behaviors of bankers... but yet... their bank accounts are teeny tiny. * and my no name colleges I mean schools that start with "Saint" or have a total enrollment of 2,000 kids.

Given those numbers I just don't see why anyone would ever get be an accountant when they could make way more in back office finance doing almost nothing. Almost all the kids I know working in Big 4 are as smart or smarter than kids I know working in the back office and yet they make less money. You might as well have a chill job if you are going to get the same pay. Also, the salary progression is much more rapid in the back office... I feel bad for accountants. Boring job and terrible pay.

12/4/12

Well, this thread makes me regret everything about my undergrad choice.

In reply to rufiolove
12/5/12

rufiolove:
papeete:
rufiolove:
papeete:
DreamMonkey:
I have a friend who finished her BS in accounting 3 yrs, did her MAcc in 1 yr. Now works FT at PwC and basically $55k base with $5k bonus if she passes her CPA. No sign on bonus and I imagine her yr end would be around $2-5k range. This is audit in the NYC office

Accurate. Except, it's pretty common to get a bonus below $2,000. Some as low as $500.

ewwwwwwww


what's worse, many of the people come from no-name colleges and think they have made it big because they are at the big 4. so they pick up the obnoxious self-important behaviors of bankers... but yet... their bank accounts are teeny tiny. * and my no name colleges I mean schools that start with "Saint" or have a total enrollment of 2,000 kids.

Given those numbers I just don't see why anyone would ever get be an accountant when they could make way more in back office finance doing almost nothing. Almost all the kids I know working in Big 4 are as smart or smarter than kids I know working in the back office and yet they make less money. You might as well have a chill job if you are going to get the same pay. Also, the salary progression is much more rapid in the back office... I feel bad for accountants. Boring job and terrible pay.

You ever think it's because maybe that's what they want to do? Maybe they're more interested in accounting or feel that the exit opps would be better down the road than some expendable back office job at a bank. Not everything's about the money.

In reply to jckund
12/5/12

jckund:
rufiolove:
papeete:
rufiolove:
papeete:
DreamMonkey:
I have a friend who finished her BS in accounting 3 yrs, did her MAcc in 1 yr. Now works FT at PwC and basically $55k base with $5k bonus if she passes her CPA. No sign on bonus and I imagine her yr end would be around $2-5k range. This is audit in the NYC office

Accurate. Except, it's pretty common to get a bonus below $2,000. Some as low as $500.

ewwwwwwww


what's worse, many of the people come from no-name colleges and think they have made it big because they are at the big 4. so they pick up the obnoxious self-important behaviors of bankers... but yet... their bank accounts are teeny tiny. * and my no name colleges I mean schools that start with "Saint" or have a total enrollment of 2,000 kids.

Given those numbers I just don't see why anyone would ever get be an accountant when they could make way more in back office finance doing almost nothing. Almost all the kids I know working in Big 4 are as smart or smarter than kids I know working in the back office and yet they make less money. You might as well have a chill job if you are going to get the same pay. Also, the salary progression is much more rapid in the back office... I feel bad for accountants. Boring job and terrible pay.

You ever think it's because maybe that's what they want to do? Maybe they're more interested in accounting or feel that the exit opps would be better down the road than some expendable back office job at a bank. Not everything's about the money.

Yes, I think it's everyone's life ambition to reconcile balance sheets and book journal entries or compare supporting documents to filings in order to identify discrepancies and then email people to substantiate numbers. Exit opps aren't any better...

In reply to rufiolove
12/5/12

rufiolove:
papeete:
rufiolove:
papeete:
DreamMonkey:
I have a friend who finished her BS in accounting 3 yrs, did her MAcc in 1 yr. Now works FT at PwC and basically $55k base with $5k bonus if she passes her CPA. No sign on bonus and I imagine her yr end would be around $2-5k range. This is audit in the NYC office

Accurate. Except, it's pretty common to get a bonus below $2,000. Some as low as $500.

ewwwwwwww


what's worse, many of the people come from no-name colleges and think they have made it big because they are at the big 4. so they pick up the obnoxious self-important behaviors of bankers... but yet... their bank accounts are teeny tiny. * and my no name colleges I mean schools that start with "Saint" or have a total enrollment of 2,000 kids.

Given those numbers I just don't see why anyone would ever get be an accountant when they could make way more in back office finance doing almost nothing. Almost all the kids I know working in Big 4 are as smart or smarter than kids I know working in the back office and yet they make less money. You might as well have a chill job if you are going to get the same pay. Also, the salary progression is much more rapid in the back office... I feel bad for accountants. Boring job and terrible pay.

I don't know what is so difficult to understand about why people go into Big 4, especially over operations. With all the prestige whores here I figure people would know that something like 75% of CFOs come with a CPA and have an audit background. It's a marathon, not a race. Set yourself up for the long haul.

12/5/12

Sure, and the percentage of people who start a career in Big 4 who eventually become CFOs is extremely low. Sure, some will become partners after 15 or so years (also a small percentage - likely the same as the percentage of back office finance types who end up heading the the Finance groups of desks at investment banks), but all the rest will toil their career through mid level management. I'd much rather go the route of Finance at a bank than Audit for Big 4, especially given that comp will be roughly the same.

12/5/12

Not knocking the career. We certainly need auditors, merely saying that they are not compensated that well given the difficulty of their job (read: hours and lifestyle) or the rate at which they can be promoted. This is why you see so many people posting things like "Chances of breaking into BB from Big 4."

It is very easy to get promoted through the back office track and to make six figures. You basically just have to show up...

In reply to rufiolove
12/5/12

rufiolove:
jckund:
rufiolove:
papeete:
rufiolove:
papeete:
DreamMonkey:
I have a friend who finished her BS in accounting 3 yrs, did her MAcc in 1 yr. Now works FT at PwC and basically $55k base with $5k bonus if she passes her CPA. No sign on bonus and I imagine her yr end would be around $2-5k range. This is audit in the NYC office

Accurate. Except, it's pretty common to get a bonus below $2,000. Some as low as $500.

ewwwwwwww


what's worse, many of the people come from no-name colleges and think they have made it big because they are at the big 4. so they pick up the obnoxious self-important behaviors of bankers... but yet... their bank accounts are teeny tiny. * and my no name colleges I mean schools that start with "Saint" or have a total enrollment of 2,000 kids.

Given those numbers I just don't see why anyone would ever get be an accountant when they could make way more in back office finance doing almost nothing. Almost all the kids I know working in Big 4 are as smart or smarter than kids I know working in the back office and yet they make less money. You might as well have a chill job if you are going to get the same pay. Also, the salary progression is much more rapid in the back office... I feel bad for accountants. Boring job and terrible pay.

You ever think it's because maybe that's what they want to do? Maybe they're more interested in accounting or feel that the exit opps would be better down the road than some expendable back office job at a bank. Not everything's about the money.

Yes, I think it's everyone's life ambition to reconcile balance sheets and book journal entries or compare supporting documents to filings in order to identify discrepancies and then email people to substantiate numbers. Exit opps aren't any better...

you are forgetting admin. That's a .HUGE part of big 4 jobs.
there are target lists, and clients lists, and DMS lists, and I really can't remember it all because it's like a nightmare you are glad finished. oh and I especially loved billing every freaking minute of the day. and writing an explanation of what you did for client X when you log 40 minutes for email checks.
did I mention the 500 questions to establish independence?
those are fun.

12/6/12

I guess the other issue is arent majority of the BO BB jobs in NYC/NJ, etc whereas you get more geographical flexibility with the Big 4. Knowing what I know of the Big 4, I would rather do back office at a BB as well. Especially if you are smart, you will have an easier time cutting a rug over your less talented peers. There are jobs out there where you can make 200-300k working 40-50 hours a week like in reinsurance. These jobs are just not as glamorous as high finance and get shit on these boards. I would still prefer one of those chill jobs then big 4 though. The other problem is your exit opps are all accounting related for the most part (internal audit, accounting manager, etc)..might as well just start in BO considering you end up in BO F500 making less then BO at BBs

3/7/15
3/7/15

I am a JD, Masters of Tax and work in international tax. JD/MST's are placed into the tax service line rather than audit. There is a premium paid for the JD. If you have any more questions by all means fire away...

3/7/15

Correct. Admin is huge.

3/7/15

45-60k, depending on the market.

3/7/15

26k gbp if uk. +1-3k if london, big 2 firm.

3/7/15

Big 4 NYC Auditor - $57,000 base, $5,000 once you pass your CPA, and a (very) small bonus at year end.

Gang, Gang, Gang

In reply to trazer985
3/7/15
3/7/15

Why the fuck do people do accounting? It makes no sense to me, you can go work for a F500 and make more money AND they'll pay for your CPA.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

3/7/15

I will excuse MBP's ignorance. I worked at KPMG. We were told by the chairman that the big 4 is no longer an apt description. It's the Big 2 (PwC and Deloitte) with E&Y and KPMG way behind. I have blood relatives in the higher echelons (as in, really really high up) of PwC who say the same thing.

People do accounting because its a really safe haven for finance jobs in any economic climate.

3/7/15

Quicker career projections. 5 year in public accounting will put you in a lot higher position than 5 years at F500 company.

As to the original post, it is between about 45-58k. Market size is the only factor, it doesn't matter if you have Masters, Bachelors, or CPA before.

All firms have 5k CPA bonus. Most have done away with sign on bonus, except in rare cases.

In reply to pacman007
3/7/15
pacman007:

Why the fuck do people do accounting? It makes no sense to me, you can go work for a F500 and make more money AND they'll pay for your CPA.

Most people do Big 4,which also pays for your CPA, then switch to industry after a couple of years.

In reply to manbearpig
3/7/15

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

In reply to trazer985
3/7/15
trazer985:

I will excuse MBP's ignorance. I worked at KPMG. We were told by the chairman that the big 4 is no longer an apt description. It's the Big 2 (PwC and Deloitte) with E&Y and KPMG way behind. I have blood relatives in the higher echelons (as in, really really high up) of PwC who say the same thing.

People do accounting because its a really safe haven for finance jobs in any economic climate.

I work at Deloitte, and there are literally zero people here who refer to Deloitte as a big 2 firm. the chairman of kpmg probably either had some sort of inferiority complex, or was trying to blame the loss of some key engagements by saying "we're not really in the same market anymore so it's cool". as for your relatives at PwC, they probably have a superiority complex (and are trying to distinguish themselves) because PwC is more or less a firm full of uptight assholes.

big 2 is a fun card game though...

-MBP

3/7/15

It is the Big 4. Not the Big 1, 2, or 3. Nobody in accounting would know what you are talking about if you didn't say Big 4. They all do the same thing, pay around the same, and promote people around the same time. Different firms have different reputations depending on the city, and even country they are in. KPMG is smaller than the others now, since after Enron, the others all merged and KPMG didn't. They are interchangeable companies. People obviously prefer the firm they work at (during busy season they hate the firms they work at), and will make it sound like the others are worse. It depends on who you talk to, and what kind of mood they are in. But overall my point is, no such thing as a Big 2, it's the Big 4.

3/7/15

What are some realistic exit opps for someone who worked for 5 years or so at a Big 4, lets say at leaving once they become a manager?

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson

3/7/15

^Most big4 accountants leave for controller positions. Most consultants leave for internal strategy groups at their clients. Pay is vastly different though. Big4 managers in accounting can make as little as 80K. Big4 managers in consulting (at least at D) can make as much as 150K. The level at which they enter the industry is also different. Most of the people who have left my group (3rd/4th year managers) have joined banks at the Director level. 1st/2nd year managers have joined at the Associate Director/VP level. 3rd year + senior managers generally join at the managing director level. Keep in mind though that these are not FO positions. They are BO/MO/(whatever O corporate treasury/market risk/credit risk is). Still they make considerably more money for a considerably better lifestyle once they leave. Big4 is all about accelerating your career. You can become a manager at big4 in 4 years, so after 6ish years, you could jump ship to industry at the Director level, which would take you 10 years if you go straight there. The problem is, in those 6 years, you are cramming in 10+ years worth of work.

-MBP

3/7/15

manbearpig:
^Most big4 accountants leave for controller positions. Most consultants leave for internal strategy groups at their clients. Pay is vastly different though. Big4 managers in accounting can make as little as 80K. Big4 managers in consulting (at least at D) can make as much as 150K. The level at which they enter the industry is also different. Most of the people who have left my group (3rd/4th year managers) have joined banks at the Director level. 1st/2nd year managers have joined at the Associate Director/VP level. 3rd year + senior managers generally join at the managing director level. Keep in mind though that these are not FO positions. They are BO/MO/(whatever O corporate treasury/market risk/credit risk is). Still they make considerably more money for a considerably better lifestyle once they leave. Big4 is all about accelerating your career. You can become a manager at big4 in 4 years, so after 6ish years, you could jump ship to industry at the Director level, which would take you 10 years if you go straight there. The problem is, in those 6 years, you are cramming in 10+ years worth of work.
In reply to Brennan
3/7/15

Brennan:
manbearpig:
^Most big4 accountants leave for controller positions. Most consultants leave for internal strategy groups at their clients. Pay is vastly different though. Big4 managers in accounting can make as little as 80K. Big4 managers in consulting (at least at D) can make as much as 150K. The level at which they enter the industry is also different. Most of the people who have left my group (3rd/4th year managers) have joined banks at the Director level. 1st/2nd year managers have joined at the Associate Director/VP level. 3rd year + senior managers generally join at the managing director level. Keep in mind though that these are not FO positions. They are BO/MO/(whatever O corporate treasury/market risk/credit risk is). Still they make considerably more money for a considerably better lifestyle once they leave. Big4 is all about accelerating your career. You can become a manager at big4 in 4 years, so after 6ish years, you could jump ship to industry at the Director level, which would take you 10 years if you go straight there. The problem is, in those 6 years, you are cramming in 10+ years worth of work.
3/7/15

Not always true. I will agree that Big 4 is a terrific way for people to advance their careers, its not always going ot be a Corporate Controller role after such a short time. Most companies I work with will require a CPA and 5+ in public but then they also want another 5-10 years in industry. I have not seen many companies at all bring on a Controller who only has public accounting in their background.

3/7/15

MrPaulAllen:
What is a typical Big 4 entry-level accountant's salary?

50-55K depending on School and which city.
3/7/15

whether you work in Atlanta or NYC, it still starts at 50-55k. Take the cost of living into consideration.

3/7/15

The Big 4 firms spend thousands of dollars each year researching what the market is currently paying. They know what each of the other Big 4 firms are offering new hires, they know what private industry and government are paying people in your field, and they know what the compensation expectations are in your city or area. Simply put, these firms are not going to lose talent due to poor starting offers.

3/7/15

Jacksonville, FL- 51k starting. I don't think there is a signing bonus.

3/7/15

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.

3/7/15
3/7/15

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