Big 4 TAS Interview Questions

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I just scored an interview for a full-time entry level position in the TAS group of a Big 4 accounting firm (valuation group). This was sort of a back up plan and I've spent the last 4 years of college gunning for ER. Anyone know what I can expect to be asked by HR during the initial phone interview? Basic HR cookie cutter questions like strengths/weaknesses type BS?

Also if anyone knows of any forums like this one but for Big 4 accounting stuff, that'd be awesome.

Comments (25)

Oct 8, 2014

almost all behavioral.

Oct 9, 2014

Went through an internship invitre in one of these groups. Basically all behavioral with a focus on why TAS specifically versus audit or tax. You may or may not have techncials that would all depend on your Senior Associate/Managers if you get an inperson interview, but mine weren't hard at all (i.e. what is wacc, what valuation methods do you know) - very basic, not in detail.

Oct 9, 2014

I have had to do two different case studies for TS jobs at two different big4s. During the first one they gave me a 30 page document describing a company and its financials and they asked me to pick out major financial and operational red flags and then present them to two partners and a senior manager as if it was a meeting with a buyer. I had one hour to read the document and then 15 min to present.

During the other case study, the interviewer gave me a 50 page information memorandum on a company in the industry I was going to focus on and asked me to identify red flags and recommendations on how to protect a potential buyer from them and high level analysis of historical and forecast earnings. Again, present my findings to a group of people. I had 30 min to read the IM and 30 min to present findings and answer questions.

Oct 9, 2014

They only asked me fit/behavioral questions. No technical stuff.

Oct 9, 2014

If it's entry level then I can't see it being overly technical. Know how how about the working capital cycle/accounting behind it. For a trade finance group you should have some idea how letters of credit work. If the team focuses on supply chain finance or structured trade finance you should try to have a basic understanding what those products mean so you don't look completely clueless.

Oct 9, 2014
kingb:

If it's entry level then I can't see it being overly technical. Know how how about the working capital cycle/accounting behind it. For a trade finance group you should have some idea how letters of credit work. If the team focuses on supply chain finance or structured trade finance you should try to have a basic understanding what those products mean so you don't look completely clueless.

thanks.

Oct 9, 2014

Staff level position?
basic RE concepts, cap/discount rates, lease terms, valuation methodology, show interest in RE.

Oct 9, 2014

Best advise I can give you: Don't do it. I have a buddy that is at that group at E&Y and it's post-transaction, goodwill accounting type work. It's not really "M&A" experience if it's already happened.

Oct 9, 2014
Ben Lorrelo:

Best advise I can give you: Don't do it. I have a buddy that is at that group at E&Y and it's post-transaction, goodwill accounting type work. It's not really "M&A" experience if it's already happened.

It's due diligence. It is M&A related and certainly better than audit.

Oct 9, 2014

"Better" is relative. The hours are much shittier (sure, there's no "busy" season, but hours are 60-70ish) and the comp is only marginally higher. If you do join the TS / TAS group at a Big 4, the best thing to do is make banking contacts for the deals you've worked on and jump ship as soon as you can. Only my 2c

Oct 9, 2014
Ben Lorrelo:

"Better" is relative. The hours are much shittier (sure, there's no "busy" season, but hours are 60-70ish) and the comp is only marginally higher. If you do join the TS / TAS group at a Big 4, the best thing to do is make banking contacts for the deals you've worked on and jump ship as soon as you can. Only my 2c

Uh, do you know people in Audit? Hours are about the same, both worse than Tax, but pay is better.

TAS makes more buy side contacts than banking contacts (who do you think hires TAS groups?). I know multiple guys that jumped from TAS to MM PE. Some struggled to stay, others are Principals and VPs.

It's more common to start out in the internal diligence side for PE, but the transition to the deal team is certainly possible and comp is far superior.

Oct 9, 2014

if you can get this position, take it and run!!! TAS/TS is wayyy better than audit, yes the hours are worse for only marginally better pay, but 1) the work is more interesting 2) better exit opps. i agree with the poster above tho, use this as a stepping stone to get to where you really want to be.

Oct 9, 2014

I realize that this position one not be like a banking position or a position at a PE shop, but it has to be better than audit and exit opps have to be better.

Does anyone know what to expect for the interview? Will it mostly be fit/behavioral questions or will there be technical questions as well? Thanks in advance for any insight.

Oct 9, 2014

Interview is on Monday. Any advice or tips or what the interview will be like?

Oct 9, 2014

I interviewed last year for another Big 4's TAS Due Diligence group. It was all behavioral about why I wanted to do TAS, what was it they actually did, etc.

Oct 9, 2014
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Oct 9, 2014