job offer - salary negotiation



I would be really glad for some of your thoughts and/or advice.

I received a job offer from one the Big 4s and I am very happy about it. But the only thing is that basic salary is very low. This distracts me a little bit because I already hold an advanced degree and so I was thinking of whether I should negotiate on the salary or is it not custom and I should better accept the offer as it is.

I would be really grateful for your thoughts. Maybe some of you have already experience in this or they could just tell me whether they negotiated or not.

Thanks a lot!


I don’t think you will have any flexibility with the salary. The reason the salary is low is because they have to pay for your training. Once you complete your training (typically 3 years), you salary will rise.

Don’t reject the offer based on salary- being ACA qualified is worth much more than your starting salary.


Salary negotiations…


Have you been offered a graduate role, or another kind of role?

If it is a graduate role, generally I would say you couldn’t, and shouldn’t, try to negotiate salary at all. Graduate schemes are very structured, right down to salary, and it’s unlikely a Big 4 firm would be happy paying you a different figure to all the other people on their scheme. If your graduate colleagues found out you were being paid more, this could create friction… so they are likely to keep everyone’s starting salary at the same level.

Furthermore, consider how many top quality candidates are applying to the Big 4 firms. If they make someone - you - an offer, and you start asking for more cash, there is nothing to stop them withdrawing your offer and giving it to someone else, someone who is prepared to accept a lower salary.

In your position it’s best to accept, work your socks off once you get there, and make sure you get a promotion as quickly as you can.

Generally salary negotiation is not an option for graduate roles of any kind because graduates aren’t such a valuable asset as more experienced hires. As they have less value, they hold less power in negotiations.

Salary negotiations are an option later in your career once you have specific skills which would be an asset to a company, and something they are prepared to pay a bit more for.

Has anyone tried negotiating salary for graduates jobs :eek:? If so - how did it go?!