EY vs. PwC vs. Accenture?

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Hi Everyone,

I've been lurking this forum for a while but now that I'm at a crossroads with job offers, I figured I would come out of the shadows for some help. Here are my current three offers (all are in the same city):

  • EY Business Advisor Program (non-financial services): rotational program with regards to industry/competency
  • PwC Management Consulting: you are assigned an industry (have not been assigned yet)
  • Accenture Management Consulting Development Program: assigned to competency, change management division (which is fine with me)--not industry specific for the duration of the program

PwC Management Consulting vs. E&Y - Culture Considerations


Source: WSO Consulting Industry Report 2018

All of these companies have different things to offer.

  • EY seems to have the best culture/work-life balance/etc.
  • PwC has the name I would want on my resume if everything else with the firms were held equal.
  • Accenture pays a TON (currently $17,000 more than PwC, the lowest, after initial bonuses and salary. And this doesn't even include performance bonus or overtime), matches 100% of 401k contributions, and has a much better MBA sponsorship program.

Accenture Competitors = Worse Pay?


Source: WSO Consulting Industry Report 2018

I know money isn't everything, but the pay gap is actually pretty large between Accenture and the other firms, especially because of the overtime, and I am graduating with a good amount of student loans.

Top Consulting Firm Exit Opps

But I am hesitant because I have heard that MBB tends to have this unspoken rule about ever letting people from Accenture in and:

  • Right now I see myself trying to interview at an MBB as a lateral hire a few years from now
  • I'd love to get into a relatively decent grad school in the future

PwC vs E&Y vs Accenture - Final Verdict?


Source: WSO Consulting Industry Report 2018

It's a difficult decision that depends on many factors, including:

  • Compensation
  • Culture
  • Work/life balance
  • Exit opps
  • Career goals

You can gain additional insight on different consulting opportunities in these posts:

Comments (57)

Nov 19, 2014

I'm guessing you read the Accenture interview article from ManagementConsulted.com that stated this. Although it may have applied at some point, I believe this to be more of a myth than truth. I've actually met a number of people that have moved from Accenture to MBB, although at the manager level. I don't think recruiters at MBB are going to look at a candidate from Accenture and automatically assume that they will not be competent enough to work at their firm. It will all come down to the experience you gain on your projects and how you tell your story--and this is true for any firm you decide to join.

Nov 19, 2014

From what has been posted here don't expect to get paid OT at Accenture...

Nov 20, 2014

- Not sure about undergrad, but at MBA level recruiting ACN > PWC > E&Y
- You most likely won't get overtime in ACN (or anywhere else), unless its a government project where client is charged hourly
- You may make extra money by eating Subway or something for dinner and saving per diem
- MBB lateral is rare from anywhere at early stage. Lot of people from ACN, etc. do move to MBB after MBA
- More ACN people in top MBAs than E&Y and PwC (then again ACN has larger program)
- Bonus at all places suck
- ACN is defnitely not a bad move when your other options are PwC and E&Y

Nov 20, 2014

If you are in a stressed financial situation I find it a bit odd that you'd pass up on 17k for a maybe true urban legend about a move you may make. Chase the money, pay off those debts and be free.

Nov 20, 2014

Definitely go Accenture. It will bring you piece of mind from those loans. And if MBB wont hire you because you worked at Accenture and did what was best for you then they are a-holes. However, I doubt this is the case and it shouldn't hinder your chances in the future to work there at all.

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Nov 20, 2014

Definitely go Accenture. It will bring you piece of mind from those loans. And if MBB wont hire you because you worked at Accenture and did what was best for you then they are a-holes. However, I doubt this is the case and it shouldn't hinder your chances in the future to work there at all.

Nov 20, 2014

I'd go with Accenture. I know someone at my M/B/B that was there previously, so people do make the switch.

Nov 20, 2014

interested

Nov 20, 2014

As a former Accenture guy, I would say if you like tech strategy and implementation, you can't really beat Accenture.

As for tier and brand name - I would put Big 4 consulting below ACN consulting, and I'm not sure if anyone would disagree. Consulting just isn't their primary business. The only Big 4 group that I'd rather be in than Accenture MC is Deloitte S&O.

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Nov 20, 2014

Much appreciated, I certainly like where I'm at, but to add a bit of complexity to the fold, the other firms are offering not only a significant boost in pay but also a level advance (think Associate -> Manager)... something that otherwise staying put would take an additional 3 years to achieve even on the fast track.

Nov 20, 2014

How much is prestige worth to you versus opportunity an impact?

Think about it.

Also, the more appropriate factors to look into are their clientele trends and engagement histories. Name is a name is a name, but if you can get on some really badass string of engagements you can leverage that a lot (if you're thinking of eventual exit options, but if you're going to stay in the firm then this is a no-brainer)

Nov 20, 2014

Thanks again... I feel like I want to stay in the consulting game for the next 10 years of my career... I'd rather pursue the partner track than corporate. That could change but at the moment my only consideration is firm vs. firm(s) with respect to Advisory/Consulting.

Nov 20, 2014

If you have a chance to join Deloitte S&OP with a pay bump, a promotion that would otherwise be 3 years away, and increased focus in your field of choice, it seems like a no-brainer to me unless it comes with other catches.

In general, if your plan is definitely to stay in consulting for 10 years, it sounds like you are probably well served by taking the promotion. None of the big 4 consulting arms are that far inferior to Accenture's management consulting group (MBB considers Deloitte S&OP a significantly larger threat and we definitely pitched against them more frequently than we did Accenture). If you leave after 10 years as a junior partner at any of these practices, your exits are way more about your personal network and personal branding, so the 3 year head start on getting to partner would be invaluable in a lot of ways. A few things to consider:

Does this promotion hold up down the line (e.g. are you 3 years closer to partner or do the big 4 firms have more intermediate titles? Essentially, I would think about it as how quickly the promotion gets you to selling and brand-building activities like writing white papers, speaking at conferences, etc. Don't get caught up in the title differences between firms if your outlook is 10 years).

Are you putting yourself in a position to succeed? (Making partner at any of these firms is not easy and far from automatic - if you have a strong reputation internally and partners who know and support you, that is not necessarily something you can count on replicating at a new firm, especially if you come in with higher expectations as something of a mercenary lateral-hired from a competitor. This also applies in terms of whether you are ready to hit the ground running in a manager role - promotions are no use if they damage your career trajectory)

Are you confident that you want to pursue the partner track? (Leaving at the partner or principal level really reduces the differences between these firms - if you burn out or don't make the partner cut, however, these differences come back into play. Each of them place differently into business schools and have different reputations within different industries/geographical regions. You might want to hedge your bets unless you are very certain that you can and want to stay in consulting)

Obviously I'd do the rest of the due diligence as well - current pay scale and average progression comparison, etc. but in your position you should know more about that than I do. Good luck with whatever you choose.

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Nov 20, 2014
signposts:

If you have a chance to join Deloitte S&OP with a pay bump, a promotion that would otherwise be 3 years away, and increased focus in your field of choice, it seems like a no-brainer to me unless it comes with other catches.

In general, if your plan is definitely to stay in consulting for 10 years, it sounds like you are probably well served by taking the promotion. None of the big 4 consulting arms are that far inferior to Accenture's management consulting group (MBB considers Deloitte S&OP a significantly larger threat and we definitely pitched against them more frequently than we did Accenture). If you leave after 10 years as a junior partner at any of these practices, your exits are way more about your personal network and personal branding, so the 3 year head start on getting to partner would be invaluable in a lot of ways. A few things to consider:

Does this promotion hold up down the line (e.g. are you 3 years closer to partner or do the big 4 firms have more intermediate titles? Essentially, I would think about it as how quickly the promotion gets you to selling and brand-building activities like writing white papers, speaking at conferences, etc. Don't get caught up in the title differences between firms if your outlook is 10 years).

Are you putting yourself in a position to succeed? (Making partner at any of these firms is not easy and far from automatic - if you have a strong reputation internally and partners who know and support you, that is not necessarily something you can count on replicating at a new firm, especially if you come in with higher expectations as something of a mercenary lateral-hired from a competitor. This also applies in terms of whether you are ready to hit the ground running in a manager role - promotions are no use if they damage your career trajectory)

Are you confident that you want to pursue the partner track? (Leaving at the partner or principal level really reduces the differences between these firms - if you burn out or don't make the partner cut, however, these differences come back into play. Each of them place differently into business schools and have different reputations within different industries/geographical regions. You might want to hedge your bets unless you are very certain that you can and want to stay in consulting)

Obviously I'd do the rest of the due diligence as well - current pay scale and average progression comparison, etc. but in your position you should know more about that than I do. Good luck with whatever you choose.

-It appears that each firms titles map 1 to 1 (the potential new firm doesn't have any additional/intermediate titles that would make the promotion a wash)
-Putting myself in a position to succeed.... probably the single most important factor that has caused any hesitancy in this decision. I'm confident in my abilities, I just don't want to end up in a place where I'm either a bad fit or wish I had stayed put (the grass is always greener!). I wouldn't want a promotion if I wasn't groomed enough at my current level to be able to perform, so I don't think that's an issue, I think it's more of a fit with the type of work I would be doing.
-Partner Track: This is my current goal I want to strive toward, that's why any move I may make, I want it to be to a firm that I stay put at for some time so I can develop relationships and my internal network. I don't want to be that guy that bounces from place to place at the sight of an attractive offer. I want a move to be not only a short term, but also a long term (career) move.

Nov 20, 2014

OP, if one of these offers is from Deloitte Technology Consulting ( Deloitte & Touche ERS/advisory) and your offer with Accenture doesn't consist of NOT pure Management Consulting but Systems Integration or similar... Deloitte Consulting > Accenture overall. There are things that either firm/arm does better but Deloitte Consulting is just the better brand overall.

When it comes down to it you won't go wrong with either, but I think its hard to argue against Deloitte Consulting > Accenture.

Cheers

No pain, no pain.

Nov 20, 2014

bump

Nov 20, 2014

Pee Double You See

Nov 20, 2014

PM me.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Nov 20, 2014

PwC has better brand recognition and take advantage of that by typically paying less

but still would take PwC

Nov 20, 2014

Take PwC for management consulting or if you're far more interested in IT then Accenture

Nov 20, 2014

I vote for F500 strategy & finance at a Fortune 500.

Nov 20, 2014

What's your end goal? 40 years from now, where do you want your career to have ended?

That will help with this discussion,

TT

Nov 20, 2014

End goal would be either running own company or investing in others

Nov 20, 2014

Based on that, I think experience in a F10 Strategy & Finance role opens you up to a lot more opportunities than a consulting role.

TT

Nov 20, 2014

I can't speak for the other firms, but PwC in the UK is very highly regarded. Because of the quality of the practice I believe their strategy practice pre-Strategy& was able to command the same rates as McKinsey and BCG. With the caveat, I'm PwC, and not from that office. This is just what I've seen.

Developmentally, the UK consultants I've met are incredible.

TT

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Nov 20, 2014

I work at EY advisory for quite while. Don't really have too much other big 4 experience, but I would recommend EY as the people here are really helpful to the others and passionate about what they are doing. The only drawback is that after several years of work, you might find yourself have reached the bottle neck, and don't know where to go next. It could be the problem for all big 4 advisory branches. Last but not least, if you are just about to get out of college and this is the first job you are looking for. Definitely go for it. All those companies above won't let you down.

Everyone has a plan until he got punched in the mouth.

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Nov 20, 2014

hi,my name is Ary. I saw that you have been working at EY advisory for quite while, would you able to providing me any advice in working at EY advisory please? I find myself very good at advising people and most of time people telling me that this is my true talent about and they feel me highly trustable. But many people said the real work might not as same as we expected. Only expert like you could tell us what the job really does?

im working as an accountant with 2 years experience.I was trying to apply for the advisory position in EY, but i was told lack of experience for senior/ manager positions. im already graduated over 2 years, not eligible for graduate program.

Is there any position in between senior and graduate in EY? and Based on your many years professional experience, any advice to help me make this transition from accountant to consultant? what role i could use my experience?

Thank you very much!

Nov 20, 2014

How does KPMG compare. I heard the CF branch is much stronger than their consulting arm (relatively). Is this true? Deloitte bought monitor, PwC bough booze, ey bought part he non. Is KPMG left in the dust?

Nov 20, 2014

I think saying KPMG being left in the dust is a bit of an exaggeration. Globally, the firm made $23B last year in revenue, hardly a small number. They'll have quite a large war chest in case they decide to make a purchase.

That being said, they have been building up their consulting practice, albeit slowly, in the last few years, notably acquiring SECOR, among others. I'm sure they're sniffing around in the midst of the other three making moves, but don't count them out.

What still needs to be figured out is how well the model of Big 4 + Tier 2 strategy shop will work out. Remember that Monitor Deloitte is only 1.5-2 years in the making, Strategy& is what, 3-4 months? Still unclear if they can really utilize all that IP and those connections to move more into higher-level strategy work.

Nov 20, 2014

I used to have an offer with KPMG management consulting for London office but I didn't take it. The office was alright, however the people are quite "bureaucracy" and not that open. Pay is good and better than audit I believe (but then for audit they also pay for your ACA so depend on how you value that qualification). The AC was quite boring and doesn't make me feel comfortable...may be it's just me and that AC in particular. However I don't have much experience with others so take this with a grain of salt.

"He never chooses an opinion, he just wears whatever happens to be in style"
(Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace)

Nov 20, 2014

I'm not exactly an expert on the field, but from what I understand, PwC tends to be viewed as the top dog, EY and Deloitte are slightly behind PwC, and KPMG is usually ranked at the bottom.

Big generalization though, and I'm sure it's different if you want to slice it by office and group.

Nov 20, 2014
jmayhem:

I'm not exactly an expert on the field, but from what I understand, PwC tends to be viewed as the top dog, EY and Deloitte are slightly behind PwC, and KPMG is usually ranked at the bottom.

Big generalization though, and I'm sure it's different if you want to slice it by office and group.

I disagree, but admit that there may be regional differences; each firm may be stronger in one area geography vs. another.

I wrote a post about this in another thread but the overall summary goes something like this:

Deloitte > PwC > KPMG/EY

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/consulting-vs-tas-v...

Nov 20, 2014
jmayhem:

I'm not exactly an expert on the field, but from what I understand, PwC tends to be viewed as the top dog, EY and Deloitte are slightly behind PwC, and KPMG is usually ranked at the bottom.

Big generalization though, and I'm sure it's different if you want to slice it by office and group.

Disagreed, at least for consulting groups in the U.S.

I'd say it's more like Deloitte > PwC > EY >> KPMG

Nov 20, 2014

EY has been on the rise and has separated itself from KPMG over the last year or two it seems. This is not including the Parthenon acquisition, which has joined the TAS service line rather than advisory.

Nov 20, 2014

In the good ole US of A, sure the D > P > E > K thing is fine

In united kingdom (soon to be un-united?) I think PwC indexes better

Nov 20, 2014

I've been told KPMG is generally more well regarded in the UK/EU than stateside - has anyone else heard this?

Nov 20, 2014

Yes, and generally true. Also true in Asia.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Nov 20, 2014

Interested as well. Did you make a choice?

Nov 20, 2014

1) I think exit ops are relatively the same between the two - but it depends greatly on the type of projects you work on versus the firm.

2) I want to say PwC> EY, but again, it depends on what part of PwC's group you get into (if you can forsure try and get into CIPS or TICE, those groups are much more interesting that FS and Healthcare imo)

3) Both have the same structure for the most part - the only major differnce i know of is that PwC is pushing hard for a 3 year promotion program for UGs. Most places have a standard 2 years as a Analyst then you're promoted but PwC has been pushing 3 years. The only group I know that hasnt been pushing the 3 yr rule as hard has been CIPS and TICE

4) It all depends on the group you get into at PwC, so I'd say they average eachother out since its luck and networked based

5) Cant comment - people is all on personal preference. And flexibility is more project based than company wide.

6) PwC pays bonuses for all staff levels, the amount is dependent on your rating. EY does not offer bonuses until you get promoted to Senior.

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Nov 20, 2014

Appreciate the insight, any idea how I can ask PwC to match the EY salary?

Nov 20, 2014

Have you already gotten your PwC offer?

If you're from UG, I think its pretty set in stone what the salary is, so IDK if there is much negotiating there, but always worth a try. I have heard of people being able to negotiate for a higher signing bonus though (from 5k to 10k or something along those lines).

In terms of how to do it, you will definitely need to call them to talk in person and tell them that you have a competing offer from another Big 4/competing firm that offers a higher salary and seeing that they can do to match. Again, I think their salaries are pretty set in stone so do not be surprise if they dont budge, but you can probably fight for bigger signing bonus.

It is important that you call them to do it (it may seem easier to do it via email, but it also makes it easier for them to say no). A phone call puts everyone on the spot. You'll probably get some fight back or reasoning as to why they believe the offer is competitive at that amount, and you probably won't get an answer right away. The point is to get them to think it over and talk with whoever.

Nov 20, 2014

Thanks for the advice

Received my PwC offer today, and as expected it's $5k less than EY (base), and $2k more than EY (signing bonus) Called the recruiter and left a message to chat, will talk to him about the potential $ increases.

PwC also placed me in an office that wasn't even on my preference list. How easy is that to change? Is that an error on their part?

Again, appreciate the guidance.

Nov 20, 2014

Definite bring up the location preference and see what they can do. But I know for PC its a pretty easy process to swtich office locations (assuming the target location is a hub/lead office).

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Nov 20, 2014

Personally, within the Big 4 I favor Deloitte Consulting and EY due to the culture.

As for your question EY edges in flexibility and people, but for PwC depending on how integrated strategy & goes, might be slightly more prestigious

Nov 20, 2014

I know a couple of guys in PwC MC. All they do is create decks that no one really reads. PwC TC is implementation is Strategy& is strategy. MC is a weird group but you'll still be able to learn a lot and tell people you work in management consulting. I would take Accenture Strategy because they get great projects and do actual strategy. Can I ask you what your offers were from both? I'm assuming these are straight out of undergrad.

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Nov 20, 2014
Communist:

<

p>I know a couple of guys in PwC MC. All they do is create decks that no one really reads.

Kind of sums up consulting in general...

"Abbreviated Guide to Powerpoint" by GettingDrunkinFirstClass - Couple of highlights

"The process of creating a knock-'em'-dead deck is a tedious art of bullshitting, managing expectations (read: deception), and if it cannot be avoided, the occasional inclusion of a fact here and there."

"Presentation of the deck is sometimes "rolled-up" into an executive review deck. This means that your $400,000, month-long strategy project that results in 1 slide and 80 pages of appendices that will be summed up to the executive in 30 seconds and a dozen minced words."

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