Deloitte, PwC, or E&Y for Accounting Tax?

Hello WSO,

I am currently a college student deciding on where to intern as an accountancy major who wants to specify in tax in the Chicago office. I got internship offers from Deloitte, PwC, and E&Y for tax. In terms of E&Y, they wanted me in their famous FSO department while PwC and Deloitte was general tax internships. I was wondering if you could possibly give me some of your insight regarding where would be the best place to go if I want to stay in public accountancy for 10 years or even to reach partner as well as the field of tax I should go in? Also, I heard that PwC gives the most job training, but it pays the least and takes the longest to get promoted? Could you possibly confirm on that and would it be worth it to stay with PwC for the training? Lastly, I was wondering if you could answer some possible good exit strategies from tax?

Thanks,

HJ

Comments (18)

Mar 20, 2013

> Tax
> Good exit strategies

Pick one

    • 1
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Mar 20, 2013

Take the training thing with a grain of salt. They all provide 2 weeks of general training before you are assigned a group and its not that special. FYI audit fees are higher than tax fees. Those partners make more and barely any of them have anything more than a CPA and an undergrad degree. You'll find tax partners with CPA, JD, LLM. Where you intern doesn't matter too much although some firms might consider your months as an intern towards your career and promotions going forward. I think PWC might do that but I'm not positive. I believe PWC pays the most but takes the longest to make senior associate - but you make manager quicker. It really doesn't fucking matter at all. They have the market cornered and everything is relatively similar. If you land an internship with any of the big 4 the other 3 will hire you full-time when you graduate. What you need to do is figure out where you want to live once you graduate and pick the firm from there. If you want NYC and you want Tax you want Deloitte. If you want Chicago it could be different. If I were you, and if I wanted to be a tax guy, I would work at a regional firm and basically have them pay you to learn how to run your own tax shop. Once you open your own place you get tax benefits (I'll let you figure those out for homework) and the sky is the limit. Tax and accounting might not be glamorous but once you're your own boss with your own clients you can make as much as you can pull in. Don't need to keep your head in the trough - you keep what you kill. Remember, the most expensive apartment in manhattan was purchased by a guy who sells shit for a living.

    • 1
Mar 20, 2013
Cookies With Milken:

Take the training thing with a grain of salt. They all provide 2 weeks of general training before you are assigned a group and its not that special. FYI audit fees are higher than tax fees. Those partners make more and barely any of them have anything more than a CPA and an undergrad degree. You'll find tax partners with CPA, JD, LLM. Where you intern doesn't matter too much although some firms might consider your months as an intern towards your career and promotions going forward. I think PWC might do that but I'm not positive. I believe PWC pays the most but takes the longest to make senior associate - but you make manager quicker. It really doesn't fucking matter at all. They have the market cornered and everything is relatively similar. If you land an internship with any of the big 4 the other 3 will hire you full-time when you graduate. What you need to do is figure out where you want to live once you graduate and pick the firm from there. If you want NYC and you want Tax you want Deloitte. If you want Chicago it could be different. If I were you, and if I wanted to be a tax guy, I would work at a regional firm and basically have them pay you to learn how to run your own tax shop. Once you open your own place you get tax benefits (I'll let you figure those out for homework) and the sky is the limit. Tax and accounting might not be glamorous but once you're your own boss with your own clients you can make as much as you can pull in. Don't need to keep your head in the trough - you keep what you kill. Remember, the most expensive apartment in manhattan was purchased by a guy who sells shit for a living.

Well I know for sure that Deloitte has a better tax department than PwC or E&Y. Does it truly matter who has the greater market share in a certain industry even though they are all considered the "Big 4." In Chicago anyways, E&Y actually pays the highest though. PwC just constantly bragged about how their training program was the best, so I was just curious.

Thanks so much for the feedback/advice!

Mar 20, 2013
Cookies With Milken:

If I were you, and if I wanted to be a tax guy, I would work at a regional firm and basically have them pay you to learn how to run your own tax shop. Once you open your own place you get tax benefits (I'll let you figure those out for homework) and the sky is the limit. Tax and accounting might not be glamorous but once you're your own boss with your own clients you can make as much as you can pull in. Don't need to keep your head in the trough - you keep what you kill. Remember, the most expensive apartment in manhattan was purchased by a guy who sells shit for a living.

Could not have said it better myself ^

Go Regional/Local for a few years and learn as much as you can about 1040/1120 prep and other misc items, then open up your own shop and pull in 100K+ working 30 hours a week during non-busy season, assuming you are not socially inept and can have clients like you.

Mar 20, 2013
Ruskii:
Cookies With Milken:

If I were you, and if I wanted to be a tax guy, I would work at a regional firm and basically have them pay you to learn how to run your own tax shop. Once you open your own place you get tax benefits (I'll let you figure those out for homework) and the sky is the limit. Tax and accounting might not be glamorous but once you're your own boss with your own clients you can make as much as you can pull in. Don't need to keep your head in the trough - you keep what you kill. Remember, the most expensive apartment in manhattan was purchased by a guy who sells shit for a living.

Could not have said it better myself ^

Go Regional/Local for a few years and learn as much as you can about 1040/1120 prep and other misc items, then open up your own shop and pull in 100K+ working 30 hours a week during non-busy season, assuming you are not socially inept and can have clients like you.

Not to thread jack, but opening up my own place is something I definitely plan to consider, but I wanna take the Big 4 audit route in case I do wanna do the corporate thing long term. Will I learn a damn thing about how to run my own Tax and Accounting practice or not in the least?

Mar 20, 2013
Art.Vandelay:
Ruskii:
Cookies With Milken:

If I were you, and if I wanted to be a tax guy, I would work at a regional firm and basically have them pay you to learn how to run your own tax shop. Once you open your own place you get tax benefits (I'll let you figure those out for homework) and the sky is the limit. Tax and accounting might not be glamorous but once you're your own boss with your own clients you can make as much as you can pull in. Don't need to keep your head in the trough - you keep what you kill. Remember, the most expensive apartment in manhattan was purchased by a guy who sells shit for a living.

Could not have said it better myself ^

Go Regional/Local for a few years and learn as much as you can about 1040/1120 prep and other misc items, then open up your own shop and pull in 100K+ working 30 hours a week during non-busy season, assuming you are not socially inept and can have clients like you.

Not to thread jack, but opening up my own place is something I definitely plan to consider, but I wanna take the Big 4 audit route in case I do wanna do the corporate thing long term. Will I learn a damn thing about how to run my own Tax and Accounting practice or not in the least?

No, you won't learn anything but how to do Audit testing.

May 15, 2014

No. Working in the Big 4 is a completely different animal than a local/regional firm. You might not even do a complete tax return from start to finish, but just work on one specific part of the return. As far as how to run a practice, you definitely won't learn that at the Big 4.

If I were you I would start with Big 4 get a couple of years under your belt, pass the CPA exam, maybe stay until senior associate and then find a head hunter to get you into a regional firm unless you want to go the finance route. Work a few years there and you'll learn how the business side works, then move out on your own with a few clients and keep the $$ for you.

If finance route I would avoid Tax altogether and do audit as tax is such a small sliver of the finance function of any business. My friends have found it very difficult to move from Tax to Finance directly out of Big 4. It can be done...but most likely will be a long frustrating process. Much easier to move from Audit to Finance.

"Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money." - Mickey Bergman - Heist (2001)

Mar 20, 2013

Just go to the one that's strongest in your region OP. Typically, outside perception is Deloitte/PwC > Ernst > KPMG, but in my home city, all the top kids want to go to KPMG because they clean up in that particular city. They're all virtually the same, so check out which ones work with the clients you'll want to work on and go to that office.

Mar 20, 2013
Accrual Dictator:

Just go to the one that's strongest in your region OP. Typically, outside perception is Deloitte/PwC > Ernst > KPMG, but in my home city, all the top kids want to go to KPMG because they clean up in that particular city. They're all virtually the same, so check out which ones work with the clients you'll want to work on and go to that office.

Do you possibly have any recommendations for places to look at that would give information regarding strength in a certain region? Like I know for tax overall Deloitte is strongest in Chicago, but I was wondering does strength and marketshare really matter?

Mar 20, 2013

I can't say anything about tax unfortunately. I know for audit the best way to look it up is to google F500s or other public companies in your area (in your case Chicago/Illinois) and then check their 10-K to see who audits them. Tax and audit, if I'm not mistaken, can't audit the same clients due to conflict of interest or something, so I'm not sure how to look up who is strong in tax unfortunately. Sorry about that. The only way to do it is to ask the people at the firm who they work with.

Mar 20, 2013

For Big 4 I only think strength/market share matter if the one you choose is a clear bottom feeder to the other three, and there I'm just thinking in terms of promotion and growth opportunity within tax. I don't believe that's much of an issue in Chicago. You'll find most of the large companies have some work with 3 or even all of the big 4 in something (advisory, audit, tax, etc) so there's plenty of work to go around.

I like CWM's idea re:working at a smaller shop if you eventually want to go out on your own.

    • 1
Mar 20, 2013

accountancy major? E&Y's "famous" FSO department? the best place to go to make partner?

jesus christ just hope you don't get fired for being a douchebag

Mar 20, 2013
allysan1027:

accountancy major? E&Y's "famous" FSO department? the best place to go to make partner?

jesus christ just hope you don't get fired for being a douchebag

I do not understand how that is dbaggy in any way? E&Y has a very interesting FSO department due to it being separate from the other departments...

Mar 20, 2013

I just realized I recognize both ruskii and the OP from /r/accounting....

Awkward

Mar 20, 2013
Art.Vandelay:

I just realized I recognize both ruskii and the OP from /r/accounting....

Awkward

I'm glad we check the same websites? lol...

Apr 28, 2013

2012 Leaders In Tax by USA Revenue:

PricewaterhouseCoopers : $2,578,910,000
Ernst & Young : $2,542,000,000
Deloitte Tax : $2,482,730,000
KPMG : $1,553,310,000

For BIG4 Tax in New York, I'd probably rank the firms in this order as well. However, that's subjective to begin with and can be different by region. Major corporations will use most or all of the BIG4 for various tax projects, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. The only thing you can do to check is find out the auditing firm for the corporation, because that guarantees the firm does the ASC 740 tax work for that corporation as well.

May 11, 2014

OP - what are your academic credentials - MTx, JD, etc? Based on that will likely indicate which service line you will be hired into. Have you been made an offer and if so into which service line?

May 15, 2014

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