Big Accounting Firm or Small Accounting Firm -- Which is Better?

June 3, 2015
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While you were training to be an accountant, chances are you already decided which type of accounting firm you wanted to work for. Perhaps you wanted to work as an accountant for a large firm. Maybe the name and the reputation impressed you. You may even have been attracted to the idea of working in a large city such as New York or Chicago. On the other hand, you might have been one of those that preferred the idea of working for a small firm. Maybe you wanted a job with less pressure, and one that allows you to be more intimate with clients.

The answer to which type of company is better to work for depends entirely on you. Regardless of what other accounting jobs articles tell you, there are advantages and disadvantages to each, so it's a personal choice. Here are a few things worth thinking about before you make your decision.

 

Culture

Company culture is important no matter what field you work in. Your career in accounting will likely span 40 years plus, meaning it's important you work somewhere that makes you happy.

Smaller accounting firms will usually have more intimate cultures. Larger firms on the other hand will be busier, and may require you to take care of a multinational's accounts, rather than a person's. Knowing what type of culture you prefer is essential when choosing between small and large companies.

 

Prestige

Accountancy jobs are one of the most reputable jobs around. They've been around for centuries, and are just as important now as they've ever been. Somebody who saves a person money will always be in high demand, but there's more to accounting careers than just that.

Does the idea of working for one of your country's largest accounting companies appeal to you, or are you not all that bothered?

 

Experience

Unless you were put on the fast track to success at school, chances are you'll need to work extremely hard to land a job at one of America's biggest accounting companies. When these firms look to hire an accountant, they go for the best, somebody who can bring heaps of experience to the workplace.

If you have your heart set on working for a big firm, you'll be happy to put in the extra work. If you prefer to just do your job quietly, a small firm will likely suit you best. Big firms require a better accountant resume, which means more work will be required on your part.

 

Salary

Accountant jobs pay well, but it's no secret that some pay better than others. Bigger firms make more money, so therefore are able to offer better compensation packages. Smaller firms on the other hand are unable to compete with this initially. While you'll still be able to work your way up in a smaller company and earn bonuses, initially your salary is likely to be less attractive than someone's at a larger firm. Even though the accounting job may technically be the same, salary will vary.

 

Conclusion

There are a multitude of things that decide a person's attitude to where they work. Some value money alone and will gladly do what it takes to reach the best companies. Others want their accountant job to feel more personal, and want it to have a people element to it. Whichever you choose depends entirely on you. There really is no right or wrong.

When wondering how to find a job or how to hire an accountant, it's important to ask this question. Unless an employee has thought about the type of company they want to work for, they may find themselves unfulfilled if the decision is made for them.

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