Big or small? The pros and cons of accounting jobs in different company sizes
It’s easy to assume that the bigger the company, the better the job and the better opportunities you’ll be offered. But this isn’t always the case – small firms have their advantages too! Here’s the pros and cons of different financial companies to work for.
On average, larger companies are in a position to offer you a higher starting salary and a wider range of benefits, including health insurance, dental or childcare options. Larger companies also have more opportunities to move laterally – transferring to other departments or offices. Finally, the largest companies are the most likely to have the latest accounting software, with the opportunity to get really stuck in to a wide range of accounts.
‘The nature of the beast’ is a common criticism or larger companies, meaning that, due to the high levels of safeguarding or departmental structure, it can sometimes be tricky or very slow to implement new ideas or processes, no matter how time-saving. In addition, larger companies have more competition for job roles, well known firms always have candidates desperate to work for them, making it quite a competitive environment.
The big four accounting firms; Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Ernst & Young represent some of the largest companies to work for in the accounting field.
Smaller firms typically offer the opportunity to work on a much wider range of accounting services –you’ll get a more varied set of experiences and may even be the only accountant there! Smaller firms may offer faster routes for progression, as there will be less people ahead of you on the ‘career ladder’, plus it can be much easier to discover and implement innovative solutions to your problems. Finally, if you’re looking for the ‘family feel’ in your work, smaller firms might be the right choice for you.
Unfortunately, the majority of smaller firms do have tighter professional development budgets, meaning you may have to pay for your own tuition or Institute membership fees. In addition, small firms may not be able to afford the latest or the biggest accounting software, and working with much smaller accounts isn’t suited to everyone.
Your local accountancy practice may be a ‘small firm’
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