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Gone are the days when you had to hold a CA or CS certificate to get into the top accounting firms. With the increased pool of young talent in the field and demand for a greater workforce, many of the accounting giants now hire fresh graduates. With a B.Com degree in hand, one can go as far as joining one of the Big 4. This is a nickname given to the top accounting firms in the USA - KPMG, EY, Deloitte and PwC. Despite an intensive recruitment process, if you are interested, you can join the Big 4 after a B.Com degree. “How” you may ask. Read the article below to get all of your questions answered.
Also Read: Best Career Options After B.Com
What are the Big 4?
The Big 4 is a name given to the top four Accounting firms in the US. The ranking is given measuring the revenue of these companies. The Big 4 include Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG), Ernst & Young (EY), Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). these companies offer services like auditing, valuation, tax, management and strategy consulting, assurance, market research and legal advisory services. These firms also audit financial statements for most of the companies in the S&P 500.
How do the Big 4 Hire?
Every company has its own way to hire. In this age of digitalisation when everyone has access to multiple platforms, companies have now started to use various ways to post advertisements for vacancies. Following are the paths that the Big 4 use to hire candidates.
Hire through job portals (one on one hire)
College campus placements
Organising career fairs
Interview Rounds/ Selection Process for the Big 4
As mentioned above, the selection process for Big 4 is extensive involving several interview rounds judging candidates for different skills required for the job. Following are the rounds that the Big 4 generally use to select a candidate.
Round 1: Initial HR Interview
This round includes HR asking questions to candidates pertaining to their background, objectives, weakness, strengths, etc.
Usually, when the placement is done through job fairs or college campuses, the HR team also conducts debates or group discussions.
Round 2: Technical Round
In this round, the Team Leader who will be managing the candidate at work takes the interview.
Questions in this round are asked to test a candidate’s knowledge in corporate law, accounting, taxes, etc.
Based on the job role or level being offered, candidates may be required to sit for the second or even third round of the Technical interview.
Round 3: Partner/ Director Round
As the name suggests, this round is taken by a Director or Partner.
There is a thin to no possibility of this round happening for an entry-level job but a fat one for a high-level job.
This round is done to assess the candidate’s suitability for the firm.
The interviewer judges candidates based on their behavioural aspects and analyses them.
Round 4: Final HR Round
After the completion of all the above rounds, candidates have to appear for one final round with the senior HR personal.
This round is done to finalise the candidate and discuss the remunerations and T&C of the employment.
How to Impress the Big 4 Firms?
If you possess proper skills, you can impress anyone and become the star candidate. These are some skills that you must possess to get a job at Big 4 after B.Com.
Technical Skills: Without proper knowledge of corporate law, accounting standards, taxes, etc, getting a job in the Big 4 would not be possible. One must be well acquainted with the recent technical updates, newly issued accounting pronouncements, amendments to the relevant acts, etc.
Communication Skills: This is a skill that is a prerequisite for getting into any company, be it the Big 4 or not. One must have a good command of the English language, both in written and verbal form. These skills are of great value at the time of HR interviews, group discussions and debates.
Computer Skills: As an accountant or auditor, you will be using a lot of software. If you lack computer competency, working every day will become a huge challenge for you. So consider it as another important skill to master.
Impressive Resume: Making an impressive resume is also a skill that could become a deciding factor in most cases. Big 4, being an extremely popular target for job-seeking graduates, gets applications or resumes that are, sometimes, ten times the number of vacancies. In cases like this, having an impressive resume and cover letter can get you shortlisted for the next round.
Work Experience: This one is not as much of a skill as it is an added bonus to get you highlighted in the eyes of interviewers. If you hold any experience in the relevant field, your chances of getting selected may increase.
How to Get a Job in the Big 4 After B.Com?
In the age of the internet where everything is just a fingertip away, things have become much easier. It is not the finding a vacancy part that is tough but the getting selected part. The companies post job advertisements on multiple platforms to get qualified and skilled candidates. Stay active on job sites and applications like LinkedIn. You can also visit the official portals of these firms and look for the job openings under their ‘Career’ section. You will be able to access all the relevant information there and then, you can apply to the position that interests you the most and for which you are qualified.
Common Interview Questions to Join the Big 4 After B.Com
Although there is no denying that the interview questions for everyone can not be the same, there are some common questions asked in most interviews. It’s better to prepare for these questions so that you don’t find yourself lost while sitting for an interview for the Big 4. Here are the top five questions that you can prepare for.
How to Answer
Please walk me through your resume.
Make sure you are aware of all the facts and information mentioned in your resume. This would be your time to elaborate on the achievements you have mentioned. It would be advisable to start by providing the latest information.
Tell me about yourself.
Begin with some of your personal details and then move to your job experience and qualifications. You can also add your hobbies and strengths that match the job requirement to sound eligible.
Why do you want to work for us?
Now for questions like these, it is crucial that you have done proper research on the company, its culture, competitors and the main service lines. Visit their official websites to gather this information.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Demonstrate that the positive aspects of your personality are key roles required for this position. While talking about your weaknesses, show that you are in the process of improvement and are sure to turn them into strengths.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This question is asked to see your seriousness and aspirations towards the profession and life in general. Use the answer to demonstrate your interest in excelling in your area.
Top B.Com Colleges in India
If you are ready to prepare for the Big 4 and want to pursue B.Com for that then we have the top colleges for you. Check out these colleges below that will help you move closer to your dream job. If you want to apply to any of these colleges, you simply have to fill the CAF (Common Application Form) available on CollegeDekho. Through this unique interface, you will be able to access expert guidance and ensure an easy and successful application.
Stay tuned with us to know more about job prospects after B.Com.