Has anyone left Big 4 to a mid tier Accounting firm (GT, BDO, etc.)? If so, how was the change?

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Not from a big 4 accounting firm but I was at Accenture before. I would say the culture was the biggest change. Accenture (and I imagine the big 4 is similar, if not the same) had a cutthroat culture, management was very snooty, and I definitely felt like a number. I came into a culture where (not saying there aren’t politics) people weren’t cutthroat, management cares and is helpful and you know people at all levels because they know you exist. The other major difference was the resources and processes. Accenture had very streamlined and strict processes that work. From the technology, to the staffing, to the templates for deliverables. Everything was consistent and you knew where to find what you needed and when you found it, there wasn’t a doubt that it’s right. The change was difficult at first but not terrible and I was able to quickly adapt.

Btw, I speak in past tense of Accenture because I really don’t know what it’s like now. It’s been years since I left so things might have changed

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I had a hard time. There were a lot of things I hadn’t seen at B4 that they expect you to know at mid-tier, coming in as a senior was pretty rough. Big learning curve but it evened out quickly!

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This is actually really nice to hear. One of the biggest issues I had was that the learning curve was incredibly slow at big 4 (9/10, not the staff’s fault). I find that this is often the case when regardless of the client mix in general tax.

This is going to be a huge issue as the firm pushes technology and offshoring more and more. The staff simply don’t have the steep learning curve they need and feel like they are drowning (speaking from experience). Leadership has known its an issue for the past few years so it’ll be interesting to see how they address.

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Yes. It was fantastic. As a Sr Associate, I made more than an M2 at PwC in my market and I only worked later than 8:30 once. I also didn’t work a single Sunday all year

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To add, you’re going to hear it’s better from some, and worse from others. It’s on you to do your homework and pick the right firm. It’s not really possible to lump mid tiers together. Some will pay far better and have great quality of life and others could have you worse off than B4

This. I’ve worked at three firms: a regional, PwC, then a second regional.

Regional 1 was just ok. Pay was bad.
PwC had great training. The teams ranged from great to soul destroying and pay was so-so.
Regional 2 has been amazing. Excellent culture, pay, and work life balance. Some things frustrate me for sure, but the pros far outweigh the cons.

Anything outside the Big 4 and you really have to do your homework before you sign on. I’d imagine next tier firms (GT, RSM, BDO, etc.) are going to be somewhat consistent, but more variable than B4 from market to market

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