Chances of moving up the ladder at a big 4
How common is it to move up the ladder at a big 4 accounting firm? I understand most people leave after 2 years or so but if you stick it out and actually enjoy it is it common to be promoted? (assuming you have your CPA license) Is promotion performance based or just political?
Big 4 Promotion Timeline
While some accounting firms still adhere to the "up or out" approach to promotions, this varies from firm to firm. In general, WSO members have observed the following promotion timeline at Big 4 firms:
- Associate: 2 - 3 yrs
- Senior Associate: 2 - 3 yrs
- Manager: 2 - 5 yrs
- Senior Manager/Director: 2 - x yrs (can be a wide range here)
Big 4 Salary Progression
Salary depends on firm, location and other factors, but here is a general range WSO members have observed personally or in friends/family in the industry.
- Associate: ~$50-60k
- Senior Associate: ~$65-75k
- Manager: ~$80-100k
- Senior Manager/Director: ~$120-160k
- Partner: $200k+ (builds up over time as you buy equity)