Is it possible that the BIg Four Company will cancel the September intake offer


Hi all,

I was offered a job in one of the big four companies last September.

Due to the financial crisis, I have noticed that lots of companies are axing jobs.

As a non-UK gradaute, I feel quite worried at the current stage.

If you have any ideas regarding this question, please feel free to offer your opinions.

Your answers will be greatly appreciated.


It’s very very very unlikely they’ll cancel it altogether. If things get very bad there’s a chance they could delay your start by 6 - 12 months, but you would receive a decent chunk of your salary if this happened, e.g. they’d call you up, tell you they can’t take you on board in September but could take you in March and to keep you happy, they’d give you a £5 - 10k cheque.


I know that banks are doing that paying 10k for defered entry, but i really cant see the big4 doing such things especially when there is probably something in the contract saying they are able to delay your start. But the big4 are still doing well and i cant imagine your start will be defered.


I was wondering this also considering I’ve just rejected my only other offer :s


You have to remember that as a graduate starter you won’t be of much financial use to the firm until a year or so after you start when hopefully the economic crisis will be nearing and end and they will need your skills. If the financial firms are struggling it’s the newly qualified people who will be facing cuts, especially as not as many of them are moving on when they qualify like in previous years.


sammau, the newly qualified people are definitely worth a lot since the company has invested so much in them. They won’t be the first to face cuts if they company need to make any jobs cuts.

VCR, I very much doubt the Big 4 would just cancel your contract. Audits are statutory and still need to be done and the Big 4 have well balanced strategies so that they can weather the economic crisis adequately e.g. if corporate finance work is down, insolvencies & restructuring will be on the rise so all they have to do is move people around. Also, you can see how KPMG has offered reduced hours & pay instead of just making job cuts. If they refused to hire now, then they will be left short when the economy eventually picks up.


If the newly qualified people are worth that much to the firm then why is the attrition rate so high?


The attrition rates are high due to newly qualified’s choosing to leave and not due to them being forced out.

Newly qualified’s in the Big 4 start getting head hunted even before they are fully qualified. After you do the final exam, literally as you are walking out of the exam centre, recruitment agents are waiting outside and handing you their business cards and then the barrage of emails and calls offering you jobs come along. The partners are aware of this and quite accepting of the fact that once you are qualified, you are very marketable. The reason people choose to leave is more than likely due to the salary difference upon qualification. The banks and some positions in the industry can offer salaries that are about £20K more than what you would earn if you stayed in the Big 4 after qualifying and a lot of people are attracted by this and choose to leave.

Just to butress my point, have a look at the links below:
Newly qualified (within Accountancy)

Newly qualifed (in a bank)

My point is, the Big 4 invest quite a bit to train you and would do their best to retain you though this isn’t always possible as you are only tied in for the initial 3 years training contract.


My point is that the Big4 rely on people leaving once qualified as they wouldn’t be able to accommodate a full graduate intake as senior associates/potential managers. With the job market so unstable at the moment a lot of newly qualified staff are staying put and its these extra people that firms ultimately don’t need and would chop first if a firm took a massive nosedive, not new graduates.


The Big 4 don’t ‘rely’ on people leaving, they ‘expect’ it and that makes all the difference. The Big 4 usually recruit newly qualified from other firms to fill this gap when people leave. The downturn in the economy which has resulted in more people staying just means they don’t have to recruit from outside. They can definitely accomodate all the people who qualify.

It’s pretty common-sense stuff really… a newly qualified can do the same job faster and more efficiently than a new graduate and will be available to be used 100% of the time unlike a new graduate who will be out of the office and at college for most of the time within their first 18 months. Newly qualifieds can be charged out a a more expensive rate as well. If you think about it, if you had to choose between someone who knew nothing about the job and someone who has at least 3 years experience, who would you choose? Promotion to manager is not automatic in the Big 4. It is dependent on performance (and probably to some extent on the amount of managerial roles that are available). The Big 4 will have no problem promoting those they ought to and leaving the remaining newly qualifieds at the same level (albeit with more responsibility). It is also important to note that it takes a lot of effort to become qualified and those who failed along the way will have been fired so the numbers will have reduced anyway.

Having said this, I want to re-iterate that I don’t think they will be reducing graduate numbers. The economy will pick up eventually and they will need people when this happens. It would be a flawed strategy not to hire now.

Have a look at the links below as well…