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seremify007

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Given the volume of questions on this throughout the forum, here is a nice central location for asking questions on professional services/accounting firms in general.
 

Alkanes

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Pls give a timeline of a typical career progression starting as a grad at the big 4 in audit (say Deloitte/PwC).
 

obliviousninja

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2-3 years senior consultant
4-5 years manager
6-7 years senior manager
After that, it really depends as partner is quite hard to break into
 

Chronost

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2-3 years senior consultant
4-5 years manager
6-7 years senior manager
After that, it really depends as partner is quite hard to break into
You're missing a few positions, in addition once you come to Manager level you'll find that it tends to vary a lot more and it's not rare to find people on at a certain position for many years for various reasons/circumstances.
 

obliviousninja

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You're missing a few positions, in addition once you come to Manager level you'll find that it tends to vary a lot more and it's not rare to find people on at a certain position for many years for various reasons/circumstances.
#cutdown #igotrektd
 

seremify007

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Also varies by firm as some offer time based/lockstep promotions whilst others require business case type approval every step of the way.

Some firms also have a few other positions in the middle (eg assistant manager and director) depending on market/industry.
 

Alkanes

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What is a typical salary progression for a grad starting at big 4 or accounting in general in audit/tax/consulting?
 

Crisium

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Also varies by firm as some offer time based/lockstep promotions whilst others require business case type approval every step of the way.

Some firms also have a few other positions in the middle (eg assistant manager and director) depending on market/industry.
Someone from the Institute of Charted Accountants is visiting our school to give a talk on chartered accounting, if you still work there do you think that it would be worth going (based on the people you work with/have worked with in the past)?

Also could you give us a brief outline of what you do in your average day of work :3
 

seremify007

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What is a typical salary progression for a grad starting at big 4 or accounting in general in audit/tax/consulting?
I think there are lots of surveys out there on the internet for Australia Big 4 for each LoS and years of experience/expected title. I haven't really followed this closely in the past year as I moved overseas but from memory they weren't too far off the mark. Alternatively, wait until BRW publishes their accountants salary tables (they've done it before).
 

seremify007

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Someone from the Institute of Charted Accountants is visiting our school to give a talk on chartered accounting, if you still work there do you think that it would be worth going (based on the people you work with/have worked with in the past)?
I'd go to that. Not sure if they're promoting the profession, cadetships, or they are actually representatives of their firms. Either way I'd go so you get a better idea of what's happening and you can always ask their perspectives.

Also could you give us a brief outline of what you do in your average day of work :3
I don't think my average day of work is representative of a graduate/cadet/intern :)
 

ilikecats

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I totally figured out networking.
4 years of working and I've never been prouder of myself.

I think i sat at my desk all Friday with the biggest smirk on my face because of this. I've got 45 tax returns to do, but i was so proud I can be like "so. I know this guy..."
 

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Could you shed some light on Transaction Services in these firms? (pay/progression/exit opportunities etc.)
 

seremify007

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Unfortunately I'm not an expert on transaction services/deals specifically but it generally follows a similar path to consultancy in general within professional services firms at least at the more junior levels (i.e. graduate).

Progression is similar to the rest of professional services too however there will be specific expectations/metrics which are probably less technical-based and more relevant to the role whether it's a PMO, presentation, sales, etc... type behaviours.

Exit opportunities - depends what you end up dealing but I think you could go both bigger league as well as in-house.

Can anyone who is more specialised in this space shed some more light?
 

Jinks

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Could you shed some light on Transaction Services in these firms? (pay/progression/exit opportunities etc.)
I'll take a shot at this. Even though I don't work in this area specifically I know a fair bit about it and people who do.

Firstly, to clarify, when you say Transaction Services are you talking about the area as a whole or specifically transaction services?

For example, EY calls their broader team Transaction Advisory Services and this captures everything from pure M&A advisory to deals modelling to real estate advisory to due diligence, whereas PwC calls the area Deals, and within deals you have M&A, real estate advisory, transaction services etc.

For the purpose of this I'll assume you mean the broader area. Pay and Career progression is in line with the broader structure of professional services firms and you can find plenty of information on this online - I'd prefer not to go into specifics.

Exit opportunities largely depend on the specific area you are in within Deals/TAS. For example you'll see people from valuations or M&A making the jump to investment banking whereas people from TS might go in-house to a Corporate Development role. Another fairly common exit is in-house strategy at a large corporate. I've also seen direct exits into small private equity firms however this is not the norm. I think when looking to exit the decision is around the type of work you want to do, obviously if you love working on live deals and want exposure to bigger deals (rather than the middle market and below where Big 4 tends to play) then IB may make sense. If you're sick of financial modelling and are looking for a role thats a mix of quantitative and qualitative tasks you'll probably get that from in-house CorpDev/Strat.

Something else to keep in mind is that TS service lines tend to be one of, if not the most competitive service lines to break into. They don't usually take many graduates or interns and the people applying are usually the same that are trying for IB. A common route is a couple of years in assurance, consulting or something else before making the switch.

Hope that answers your questions!
 

Drifting95

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I'll take a shot at this. Even though I don't work in this area specifically I know a fair bit about it and people who do.

Firstly, to clarify, when you say Transaction Services are you talking about the area as a whole or specifically transaction services?

For example, EY calls their broader team Transaction Advisory Services and this captures everything from pure M&A advisory to deals modelling to real estate advisory to due diligence, whereas PwC calls the area Deals, and within deals you have M&A, real estate advisory, transaction services etc.

For the purpose of this I'll assume you mean the broader area. Pay and Career progression is in line with the broader structure of professional services firms and you can find plenty of information on this online - I'd prefer not to go into specifics.

Exit opportunities largely depend on the specific area you are in within Deals/TAS. For example you'll see people from valuations or M&A making the jump to investment banking whereas people from TS might go in-house to a Corporate Development role. Another fairly common exit is in-house strategy at a large corporate. I've also seen direct exits into small private equity firms however this is not the norm. I think when looking to exit the decision is around the type of work you want to do, obviously if you love working on live deals and want exposure to bigger deals (rather than the middle market and below where Big 4 tends to play) then IB may make sense. If you're sick of financial modelling and are looking for a role thats a mix of quantitative and qualitative tasks you'll probably get that from in-house CorpDev/Strat.

Something else to keep in mind is that TS service lines tend to be one of, if not the most competitive service lines to break into. They don't usually take many graduates or interns and the people applying are usually the same that are trying for IB. A common route is a couple of years in assurance, consulting or something else before making the switch.

Hope that answers your questions!
Do you have any idea of the exit opportunities for real estate advisory? I'm assuming REIT's and other fund managers?
 

Jinks

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Not too sure on exit opportunities from real estate advisory although I know they are much more limited. Once in real estate it seems that you're always in real estate (which is not a bad thing if its what you like).

Another factor that I imagine would come into play is your degree/qualifications. For example I think you can't work as a valuer if your degree isn't accredited by the relevant body for that state etc. so this may influence your exit opps to an extent.

An interesting (and reliable) source of information for real estate positions and salary ranges (although they are for the US) is http://celassociates.com/prime/wp-c...esInc.NationalRECompensationSurveyResults.pdf
 

obliviousninja

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Which stream in a big4 firm is the most chills and has the best work life balance?
 

seremify007

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Which stream in a big4 firm is the most chills and has the best work life balance?
inb4 someone says a non client facing role (eg HR, IT, legal, compliance, risk management, etc)

In all seriousness, it varies depending on the firm and location, and you also need to take into account what the firm actually does.

e.g. Some would say HR or recruitment has it easy - but given the sheer volume of new recruits come through the doors and the high dependency on people (rather than technology, research, etc) - and suddenly the role of people management is instrumental to the organisation.

That being said if I had to pick which roles had it "best" in terms of hours (based on my perception) I'd probably go for one of the administrative or clerk-type positions e.g. secretary, expenses approval, etc... but again, even these might vary from office to office within a firm.

Back on topic though, between the usual three of audit, tax and consulting. I think tax probably would win the best work life balance purely if I were to define that based on predictability. After all, if you know you are working late you adjust but it's when you have other plans which have to be cancelled due to work - that's when it starts to get frustrating. Audit does have peaks and troughs but there are more peaks but at least it's semi predictable. Consulting is the least predictable by it's nature with non recurring work and an all hands on deck type mindset...
 
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