Beyond The Big 4


Did you know that there are options beyond The Big 4?

If you already work at a Big 4 firm or are planning to in the future, have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “why?” Sure, it was the natural choice. It was right there in front of you. It was what everyone else was doing – college classmates, peers, old colleagues. You figured: The Big 4 firms are the best firms. And, that makes sense…considering the limited information you were given.

But, what you may not know, is that beyond The Big 4 there are hidden treasures: local, regional, and national firms. You may think to yourself, “well of course I know about local, regional, and national firms.” However, do you really know anything about them? Did you know that they offer many of the same perks that The Big 4 firms offer, sometimes with other benefits that you may have not even known to be possible?

We’re not saying you have to switch right away. We’re not saying you have to switch at all. We’re just asking you to hear us out and to be open-minded.

What you have at The Big 4 versus what you could have at a local, regional, or national firm:

At The Big 4 firms, you are likely to work up to 400 hours of overtime every year, unpaid. That’s a lot of hours. That’s a lot of unpaid hours. At local, regional, and national firms, you will likely be paid (especially in California) for these hours and you will even more likely be working significantly fewer hours of overtime. Your hourly rate may even be increased, given that you would be paid for every single hour that you work. In just cutting down to 200 hours of overtime a year, you gain an extra 8 days every year. What could you do with 8 extra days? Oh, the possibilities…

Likely, you do a lot of traveling in your current job at your Big 4 Firm. Traveling is fun, sure…if you’re sight seeing. You’re probably not sight seeing and thus, your trips are probably not that fun. Working at a local regional, or national firm will give you more flexibility in traveling (or not), cutting your travel days down tremendously.

The Big 4 firms are located in large cities, typically in downtown areas. Chances are, you don’t live downtown. If you’re lucky, your commute isn’t long and going to work at your Big 4 firm every day is not a big deal. But, you may be one of the unlucky ones facing an hour commute every day. Is it worth it? If you could find a firm that has a high quality of work but is close by your house, wouldn’t that be better? Now you’re thinking: no such thing exists. That may not be true. Many local, regional, and national firms are located in other neighborhoods, giving you more opportunities and a shorter commute.

Are you considering it? Good. You should be rewarded for the hard work you do. But, we get it: The Big 4 is all you know. Not only are The Big 4 firms all you know, but also, you were told that one could not possibly do better than The Big 4. Now you are conflicted. Is being paid overtime and spending less time on airplanes worth giving up the best of the best? Let us address this question. Let us give you some information on who, “the best” really is. We’re not saying anything bad about The Big 4, because The Big 4 could be great; however, something else could be great too.

Big 4 firms are innovative, intricate, and advanced. You might think: no other firm could compare to the Big 4 firms’ sophistication. While the clients do differ – think multi-billion dollar versus multi-million dollar companies– the level of work is the same. Top accountants in these local, regional, and national firms began their careers as partners of the Big 4, 6, or 8 firms. They understand, appreciate, and mimic the same levels of advancement displayed by The Big 4. Where these smaller firms differ from The Big 4 is often in philosophy of how they treat individual employees. Like The Big 4, they are committed to giving their clients the very best.

Many people believe that The Big 4 firms provide the highest salaries in the business. While this may be true in some situations, many times, smaller firms actually pay their employees more. Local, regional, and national firms are dedicated to their employees. They value their employees’ time. This philosophy is not only demonstrations in overtime bonuses, but also, in salaries themselves. Smaller firms are committed to their employees, just as their employees are committed to the firms. This means paying their employees for the hard work they contribute to the company.

Does any of this sound good to you? Do these firms sound like the perfect balance of quality of work and quality of life? If so, please contact us for more information on various firms in your area (or others) that may be the perfect fit for you.


Allan Fisher || [email protected] || (661) 799-0101