Accenture Consulting vs Deloitte Advisory - Advice on the offers

Frannnk21's picture
Rank: Chimp | 8

Hello everyone. I am seeking some advice in regards my next career move. Any thought or suggestion would be extremely helpful.

Situation: New Analytics Consultant Weighing Career Options

I currently work at Deloitte as an Analytics Consultant (for about 6 months) in the Advisory (NOT CONSULTING) practice. I recently received an offer to join Accenture for their Consulting Analyst program. Through this program I'll have a chance to work on Management Consulting, Tech Consulting, or Digital Consulting projects. It is like a rotational program where I can also look into different industries.

Dilemma 1: How Do I Make a Change from my Current Group?


As an Analytics consultant I work with mainly SQL and SAS programming languages. It doesn't matter which industry (TMT, Financial Services..etc) my project is placed into, I'll be working with those programs. Of course there is more than just programming, but that's the bigger part of my job. Recently, managers (Deloitte) have contacted me because of these skills, but I am not interested in programming. My brand at the firm as an Analytics consultant is that I must like to work with SQL and/or SAS among other programs.

Dilemma 2: Will I Be Pigeonholed as an IT Guy?


While Accenture has a decent name ( #5 - Vault Guide- in regards Management and Strategy Consulting), I am a bit concerned that other companies ( Bain, McKinsey, BCG) would see me as a IT guy due to the Accenture name in the technology sector. I was told that most of Accenture's projects are mainly IT related, however there are definitely projects non IT related. Plus, I'll have the flexibility to NOT do coding projects. I like Accenture because I'll be doing the real management consulting. Deloitte Advisory is more like Risk, Compliance, Regulatory consulting. In fact, most if not all, projects at Deloitte Advisory are Risk, Compliance, Regulatory based.

Dilemma 3: Can I Get Strategy Consulting Exposure at Accenture?


Even though the Consulting Analyst program doesn't include exposure to the Strategy Consulting, I was told that I could definitely work with them on certain projects. I would have tried to move into Deloitte Consulting, but that's something that might be pointless. Deloitte Advisory and Consulting rarely work on the same projects. In fact, they (Consulting) have no idea what folks in Advisory do.

Career Goals

  • Short-term: My immediate goal is to join a reputable firm where I can do some related work that can help me get into PE.
  • Medium-term: In a few years (3-4 years) I would like to attend a really good MBA program.
  • Long-term: After I receive my MBA I would like to work for 1. Private Equity, 2.Investment Banking or Top 3 Management Consulting firms (to get into PE).

Accenture Consulting Analyst vs. Deloitte Advisory Consultant: Which Is Better?

If I go with Accenture, I will aim for M&A, Valuation related projects (it's more on the Strategy side). The pay is better than Deloitte Advisory. There is a 15K difference. Plus, the exposure to Management Consulting is great and the possibility to join Strategy projects is there. Plus, a good amount of people who are at Accenture come from Ivy League schools, which is great in terms of connections.
If I stay at Deloitte, then I will aim for Consulting or Valuations practice. This will take a few years with a high risk of not happening at all.
Which one has a better brand (kind of hard to compare since one is Advisory (NOT CONSULTING)) to get into a prestigious MBA program?


Recommendations

In this situation, considering OP's experience and goals, WSO Certified Consulting Professionals recommend making the move to Accenture. Their reasons included:

  • Pay bump
  • Potential to work on MC
  • Could help get into a better MBA program

They also cautioned that the move from consulting to PE would be a steep uphill battle, given how competitive the industry is and how few consultants are able to make the jump.

Related Reading

Want to learn more about Deloitte, Accenture and other consulting companies?

Check out WSO's Consulting Industry Report which includes company reviews and compensation stats from 250 consulting companies.

Consulting Industry Report

Comments (7)

Jan 25, 2017

I see where your head is at, but I think you are overvaluing Accenture.

1) From what I have heard, Accenture likes to keep strategy very separate from their traditional MC, TC, etc. I am a rising senior who was focused on strategy consulting during undergrad recruiting, and I was very turned off by ACN for their lack of exposure to strategy. During my networking/interviews with higher level management, they would often tip toe around my question when I asked about strategy. The junior level employees were a bit more straightforward with me that they were fairly siloed into their specific industries/functions without the ability to work with the strategy team.

2) If you are looking to jump into PE, I am afraid that you have a very steep uphill battle ahead of you. PE firms generally only recruit out of consulting from MBB. There are a few exceptions to this, as boutiques with a strategy focus and strong PE commercial due diligence groups (L.E.K. and Parthenon come to mind) place some consultants into PE. PE straight out of Accenture is practically unheard of. Think about why you want to go into PE (coming from Big 4 advisory that is a seriously huge jump!) because there is a long road ahead if you are set on it.

3) I have never worked for Accenture and only have exposure to them through office visits/networking/interviews, but I have never met anyone from an Ivy. I do not doubt that they are there, but I wouldn't put the "connections to Ivy people" down as a pro. In fact, from my regional semi-target (think UT, IU, UCLA, etc.) the people who ended up at Accenture were the ones who struck out for most other consulting recruiting. I don't mean to knock Accenture too hard, but it's not the cream of the crop from the Ivies that will be there. Long story short, if you think moving to ACN will give you access to a network of Ivy leaguers in PE/MBB/IB/etc. I think you are mistaken.

4) Generally, to get into PE post-MBA you need to have pre-MBA PE experience. PE is ridiculously competitive, so PE firms have a significant upper hand in recruiting relative to the applicants and are able to be super picky about their candidates.

With all that said, Accenture would probably allow you to go to a better MBA program. If you can hit the top 15 then you should be set if you still want to exit to IB (and maybe MBB depending on where you end up). A 15k bump in salary sounds pretty sweet too. Good luck.

Jan 27, 2017

Hey The Nightman,

1) I agree, perhaps I put a little more emphasis on Accenture. However, to be fair Accenture just integrated this new rotational program where analyst are encouraged to diversify their experiences in different industries and consulting groups ( MC, TC..etc) Obviously, Strategy is not included which sucks since that's where the "interesting" projects can be found ( for me, at least).

2) I agree with this point as well. Trying to get into PE out of Accenture would be practically impossible. My idea is to get into a reputable MBA program and then aim for PE (main goal), top IB or MC (second option).

3) I can definitely see your point here. I probably did get carried away. I just happen to have connected with some Accenture folks who went to some Ivy League university. However, I agree with you " the people who ended up at Accenture were the ones who struck out for most other consulting recruiting".

4) PE is definitely competitive. Trying to get pre-MBA PE experience out of Deloitte Advisory or Accenture Consulting would be very difficult. But my main goal is to be placed in a top MBA program.

At this point, I am definitely leaning towards Accenture. I like the exposure to different industries, projects, and to be involved with MC projects. Thanks a lot for your input!

Jan 25, 2017

Accenture recently rolled MC and TC together which diluted the prestige of their MC practice. It sounds like you could run the risk of swapping to work at A that isn't much better itself than D, while losing what prestige comes with working at D.

I will say this, good luck at jumping straight to PE, I would either try to pivot to a LevFin IB group first or get to a DD/CorpFin role at MBB+P+LEK.

Jan 27, 2017

@a7b9c13,

Yeah, Accenture basically placed most of their Consulting groups (MC, TC..etc) together. I'm not sure if the prestige of MC would be diluted though. I agree, whenever people compare Deloitte vs Accenture most people would pick Deloitte. However, my case is a bit different. I'm comparing Deloitte Advisory vs Accenture consulting. Deloitte Advisory is part of the accounting side and the work is not the traditional consulting. Jumping to PE from either firms is just tremendously difficult. Thanks for your suggestions!

Jan 26, 2017

Go to Accenture, this is coming from a guy who used to work at DC. As you said, trying to get into DC from Advisory is nearly impossible. Since Consulting and Advisory are two separate legal entities, there is basically zero incentive for Partners to facilitate staff moving from one to the other, I wouldn't expect it to happen.

The clock is ticking and you only have 2-3 years before you'll likely be applying to MBA programs. I think Accenture consulting will be viewed more favorably than Deloitte Advisory. The work will probably be more interesting as well.

    • 1
Jan 27, 2017

Hey gpck,

I'm glad a fellow Deloitte ex- employee shared his opinion. I am definitely leaning towards Accenture. DC, as we both agreed, would be a very difficult transfer from the Advisory side. A lot people join the Advisory practice and later realize that Consulting is more interesting. However, the company (partners) don't really see a benefit for this switch. In fact moving from the different groups within Advisory is incredibly difficult as well. I agree, time keeps moving and it seems that Accenture would be more interesting both the work and when trying to make it to a top MBA program. Thanks for your suggestion!!

Best Response
Jun 5, 2017
Comment
    • 2