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Recommended Article : How much you know about Big Four (audit firms)
1. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, popularly known as just “Deloitte”, is probably the biggest professional service organization in the world. The firm was founded by William Deloitte in 1845. It went through a series of mergers and reorganizations but kept its brand name along with its quality standards and company values. Now, it emerges as one of the most successful brands in the world.
In 2012, it had approximately 193,000 professionals in more than 150 countries demonstrating excellence in providing audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and tax services to clients worldwide. SeeDeloitte Website
2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
PwC is one of the world’s largest providers of accounting services. It employs 180,000 professionals in 159 countries around the world. The company was formed by the merger of two large accounting firms — Price Waterhouse, and Coopers & Lybrand. The two decided to merge in 1998 and dedicated themselves to provide services of value while establishing and maintaining good customer relations. Big 4
PwC firms operate locally in different countries around the world. These independently owned and managed firms, like other international companies, share common values and standards. PwC provides excellent assurance, consulting, and tax services. See PWC Website
3. Ernst & Young (E&Y)
Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young to create Ernst & Young in 1989. Ernst & Young is a global organization of member firms in more than 140 countries. It employs people equipped with professional skills and values of integrity, respect, teamwork, enthusiasm, and motivation. These form the core values of Ernst & Young.
The organization also values knowledge and skills development, helping around 170,000 employees achieve their potential through professional training and career growth programs. Ernst & Young offers assurance, advisory, tax, and specialty services. See E&Y Website
4. Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)
KPMG is a global network of accounting firms providing audit, tax, advisory, special interest and industry-specific services. It employs approximately 152,000 professionals working together to provide quality service in 151 countries around the world. Big 4
The organization was formed in 1987 through the merger of Peat Marwick International and Klynveld Main Goerdeler. Like other professional service organizations, KMPG places great value on its people and quality of service. See KPMG Website
How to Apply to Big 4 for Articleship?
This is an oft asked question on this blog. Big4 in a way created brand for themselves – and doing articleship training with them is much sought after. Usually Big4 would take students who have got good marks and cleared the groups in one attempt. The way to apply to Big4:
1) ICAI BoS Articleship Placement Portal http://bosapp.icai.org/
2) Most often the Big4 firms put out the application for articleship on the local ICAI office notice board – so one can apply through it
3) Direct deposit of application form to their office. Its often wiser method to get telephone number of such firm and try to speak to the articleship recruitment dept. In some firms, one can meet the HR people, but in others, one may not be let inside their office!
4) Application through email
5) If you know some CA who is working in such firm, then that may be a good route to apply.
A few things to remember about Big 4
In India, the Big 4 is a tag for the Big Consultancy firm on a worldwide basis. However from the articleship perspective, one should remember that each of such firms have different CA firms attached to them. It is these CA firms where one would be doing articleship.
Now, these CA firms may have the same name as the Big4 or may have different name. So for example one of the Firms related to E&Y is SR Batliboi & Co etc, similarly one of the CA Firm attached to KPMG is BSR & Co, for Deloitte one is AF Furguson & Co.
In PwC, the firms attached go by the name of PriceWaterHouse and Lovelock & Lewis. Now, even PriceWaterHouse is not one firm – but there are 7 to 8 different CA Firms in different cities in India that go by this same name of PriceWaterHouse! So PwC in Delhi may be pretty different than that in Bangalore!
Moreover such firms may even be Proprietorship! One of the firms that go by name of LoveLock & Lewis is Proprietorship! – but then these are Big!
Another thing to remember, that while in a Big4 firm, at a place there may be 10 to 15 partners, but there may be 70 to 80 CA employee working under them – so its big hierarchy! And CA students may not even be able to meet the Principal (if the Principal is a partner)
Avenues to articleship in Big 4
Apart from doing the ‘normal’ articleship in one of the CA firms attached to Big4, there are other ways also:
1) As per ICAI, one can take training under a CA who is employee in a CA firm. So, if the Big4 firms allows such a thing, then one can do articleship under any of the CA employee of such Big4 firm
2) One can do industrial training in the Big 4 during last year of articleship, as the Big4 (the private limited consultancy company) is eligible for providing such industrial training by ICAI
Induction Process in Firms
The usual way of inducting an Article is interview. In Big firms there may be two levels of interview – HR interview & Partner level interview. In other firms it may be the partner directly taking interview. If you have worked previously with any CA firm, and the CA knows you well, he would not need to take your interview.
Key aspects for entry are as under (requirement)
1. Communication skill –
English (verbal & written) is very critical for entry into Big4. If your English is OK then try to further improve it with correct pronunciation & accent while speaking English.
At the time of Group discussion, decide your position to speak & respond depending upon knowledge of topic. Starting the discussion is not necessary, you need to listen others, respond in logical manner, if you don’t agree to something raise your views with caution and defend with very strong logic. Give chance to others to speak.
2. Technical knowledge –
Depending upon your current exam status, you need to be very strong in Accounting Standards, Income Tax Act, Companies Act, Auditing Standards, etc.
Please mark my word, even if you are not excellent in English & you have strong technical knowledge & capability to showcase that knowledge during written test / Group Discussion & interview then you will definitely get entry into Big4.
3. Computer Skills –
You should have good knowledge of Ms-Word, Excel & PowerPoint.