For those that have worked at mid-tier firms and big4, what do you mean when you say that the big4 has more resources than mid-tier firms? Specifically in audit. I've been at BDO since I was an intern

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Neither at Deloitte

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PwC had a major overhaul during the last few years. It's why their PCAOB scores are best in class. 80% of their workbooks have a template to follow with a library of procedures that have all been vetted by national assurance.

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Any resource you use at BDO, the B4 version is better or more complete. For example, national offices are much larger and have more specialists, there are offsite resource centers to send shitty tasks to other countries to do, the audit software is significantly better, there are dedicated data management teams to do all the JE testing uploads and testing of the data for completeness, specialized data auditing software to assist with JE testing that allows you to query the entire dataset instead of using IDEA or Excel, committed investment teams to do all your investment testing, etc...

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Oh did I mention at PwC 80% of the audit workbooks have a dedicated template, which has a library of procedures. As you check off the procedures applicable it creates new tabs with further detail to give a consistent format to the work papers vs BDO where staff have to make their own and you could have 20 different versions of a UL Search.

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@SS1 that workbook template sounds very efficient. I hate inconsistent workpapers from one year to the next for the very same test

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From a tax guy even at a big 4 do your own research first before going to national to ck an issue you need to learn basics and all too often people become compliance machines and don't learn issues.... mid size depends on the firm some like to do thorough anal jobs and think that's what makes a solid professional

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It's literally just a cost thing. B4 have deeper pockets. They can commit tens of millions to these initiatives and not blink an eye. Midtier don't have as deep pockets.

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^^ I work at EY but have done work paper reviews at PWC and this just makes life so much easier. We do not have that at EY

At Deloitte I could ask a question and someone somewhere knows the answer. At midtier, no one seems to know, "I'll research and get back to you." This is in tax

If you have more resources to spoon feed you answers. Does that mean b4 people are less well rounded because they rarely have to do research themselves and are just robots checking boxes?

I was way too specialized at big four. At mid tier your more of a generalist

You're*

Seems like generalist are more suitable for controller jobs in industry

^No tax people are suitable for controller jobs. On the audit side everyone has a general understanding of basics before they soecialize

For the most part nobody in public is suitable for an immediate controller position at a larger company. How can you be expected to run an entire accounting department when you've never implemented a month-end close before? Usually you need a few years corporate experience before someone is going to let you run things.

More resources at the Big Four, yes, but I don't think middle-tier firms are in any way less competent.

Mid tier firms couldn't handle the size of a large account like IBM or Apple, but that's again a resource thing, rather than a competency thing. All the firms have smart people at them. When you have less resources you've got to cut some corners that larger firms don't, to keep partner profits in-line.

Big 4 has more expensive software packages and more specialists at the national level. I don't think either thing should affect your choice of employer though.

Big 4 often needs that software to deal with f500s and the sheer mass of information involved with that. Rsm or bdo doesn't need that crap when working on a 50 million dollar client.

^Thats not true. Audit software you need for every job. I've seen both midtoer and B4 audit software. Midtier software doesn't touch B4. It's not the Fortune 500, it's that mid tier doesn't have millions to commit to developing the technology as robustly. Partners still need to get paid.

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