{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I am trying to decide between 2 offers, BDO vs. KPMG. KPMG is offering about $4k more on base, the extra $1,200 in reimbursable items, and pension but Big 4 brings WLB fears while I love the time I've spent at BDO, everyone is great and I can't recommend it enough. \n\nThe big selling point KPMG is pitching me on is the MADA program. I really want to get my Master's and BDO doesnt have a set vehicle for that. Has anyone gone through MADA?\n\nBDO assc. offer in hand, KPMG intern offer in hand.", "post_id": "6257738bd46c15002a58ea0c", "reply_count": 13, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5bba0e1299c5a000173c940d", "bowl_name": "Compensation, Salary and Bonus", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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I am trying to decide between 2 offers, BDO vs. KPMG. KPMG is offering about $4k more on base, the extra $1,200 in reimbursable items, and pension but Big 4 brings WLB fears while I love the time I've spent at BDO, everyone is great and I can't recommend it enough.

The big selling point KPMG is pitching me on is the MADA program. I really want to get my Master's and BDO doesnt have a set vehicle for that. Has anyone gone through MADA?

BDO assc. offer in hand, KPMG intern offer in hand.

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Not saying this just because I work at KPMG, but I would go with KPMG. You’ll be struggling with WLB no matter which of these two you choose. Might as well choose the one with a bigger name and higher salary. An internship is basically a full time offer as long as you don’t f it up.

Also don’t know much about MADA, but since KPMG will fund it, go for it. It won’t hurt you to have that on your resume.

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There is no guarantee you will work less at BDO. It’s all a roll of the dice with clients. Get the big name first then figure out what makes you happy.

I really feel like you should take the Big 4 offer. There is such a big difference in career options with the stamp of approval of Big 4 on your resume.

If you join a smaller firm you will find an uphill battle later on going through recruiting processes. I know a lot of hiring conversations at my firm (now working in industry) start with we need someone with big 4 experience. When I am hiring, I pretty much throw out anyone that isn’t big 4.

If you hate the big four, you will have no issues transferring to a smaller accounting firm later.

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The exit ops have been on my mind in addition to MADA. My end goal is to go private and boutique for myself (after 5-10 years in PA) instead of going industry. Big 4 is a great place to learn from the best and to learn fast but is the Big 4 stamp super important for niche work under my own shingle/LLP with a J.D.?

I will say my WLB in Big 4 hasn’t been bad. Sure, we have bad days and weeks and even months sometimes, and there are certainly times when I know not to schedule anything due to busy season, but overall I feel like I have flexibility. I’ll let you know on pay in a few months lol.

From my experience the higher up you get (manager here), the more you see people working smarter not harder and setting boundaries. Harder to do when you’re a staff/senior. However, in terms of the people who are always working and have bad WLB, in my experience it seems to be people who do this to themselves. Perfectionists, can’t move things along, screw around, don’t have a whole lot going on outside of work so they choose to work a ton (then complain), workaholics to begin with, etc.

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Big 4 - that’s an investment in your future.

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I’ll play devils advocate. I started my career with big4, but found that it was probably a better idea to start at a smaller firm. The reason, you get more diversity of work earlier on, which lets you decide what you are really interested in and what you want for your career. You can always go to big four later on if you need that stamp of approval. At big four you will get really good at doing certainly things, but it likely will be a niche area. WlB really depends on the group you are in and the clients, it can be good or bad at both.

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That's one of the big reasons I haven't signed the KPMG offer. The flexibility BDO offers is wonderful in addition to the fact it feels much more relaxed.

Sure busy season has been busy, I am such a nerd I had nothing better to do so I picked up FT hours during spring break; I was learning a ton, they needed the work done, and I really wanted to see the office at night when people were stressed. Not once have I seen anyone get overly bent out about things. People's schedules are essentially there own; any issues get reviewed, discussed, and fixed without any unnecessary craziness; everyone is insanely helpful with interns and each other, they share knowledge, accept input, teach and learn constantly up and down the rank line. It's a great team where everyone puts in work and noone is in each other's ass, honestly it's probably one of the healthiest teams I've ever worked with. If it wasn't for potentially getting my Master's paid for I'd have signed already.

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Which team would you be joining at each firm?

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Tax at BDO and Audit at KPMG. I'm open to either for different reasons and have already considered the Tax v. Audit question, both would allow me to do either.

Additionally, I'm a non-traditional student, very very early 30's with prior work experience in a few different fields. Finally got around to getting my 150 this year. I know it doesn't make a huge difference but I'm not walking into this a green eyed 21yo thinking I'll be partner in 4 years. I can find work outside of PA, I'm choosing to be here because it's the best place to learn and I love what I do.

Having experience with both, I think it’s overrated when people say they require big 4 experience. The people who are saying that are the people who CAME from big 4. At a smaller firm, you get way more differing opportunities and have to juggle a lot more varying clients. While you’d still get great experience in big 4, the midsize firms get some of the crappier clients (just being honest) which honestly you learn a hell of a lot more on them some super clean cut Fortune 500 company. The skills you learn are invaluable from working on clients like that. Especially since it sounds like you’re wanting to start your own practice or do your own thing down the road? The clients at a midsize firm would be more your niche than big 4. Just my two cents!!

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Absolutely agree in some ways big four is a lot easier especially with clients. In big four you get like four big clients and everything is usually pretty well organized with processes in place. Smaller firms you get like 25 clients with less processed in place/ you create the processes and really get in the weeds of things.

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