To accept PwC or BDO? (2012)

PwC
BDO

#1

Hi fellow wikijobers!

I am fortunate enough to be offered audit trainee positions in BDO and PwC, both in regional offices.

Choosing between the two is a major dilemma, although I appreciate it is a very nice problem to have and don’t think for a minute I am not delighted to be in this position!..

I am looking for advice from anyone as to how I should decide. What would the difference in salary be at start of TC, after a few years, long term? Would there be any difference in long term prospects.

I’m edging towards BDO because I liked the people there and feel I would probably get a more varied range of work. However, I am concerned that I could regret turning down PwC.

Any input would be great!..

And if anyone has any questions about the process for either firm let me know and I will try and help!


#2

Well done, as you say, it’s a great position to be in! I just started with BDO in September so you can have my biased opinion below:

The reason I accepted my offer from BDO was the people and the working environment. Although I was still in the interview process for some of the Big 4, I withdrew my applications as I just thought BDO would be a great place to work. I am in the London office so not sure how the clients compare regionally but you are basically given responsibility from the very start. You are generally out at a client’s office with only a senior so you start doing work from the beginning. You’re not expected to work a 25 hour day and my hours are 9.30-5.30 so there is time in the evening to do your studying.

The first month you aren’t actually in the office as you go to BPP for two weeks and then all the new starts go to Cambridge for a fortnight. You stay in the halls and it’s basically like a mix of working and freshers’ week! When you become more qualified, you’ll have the opportunity for secondments abroad as well.

There is more I could go on and on about but if you have any specifics then I’m happy to answer them!


#3

Thanks mrunner for taking time to reply!

I’m stumped to be honest. I’ve heard long term its better to have Big4 on your CV - this is the main thing stopping me from committing me to BDO. However, as you have pointed out yourself, there seems to be a better work-life balance at mid tier firms.

There’s also the financial consideration - I know starting off there isn’t much difference in pay (big4 a few thousand more per annum) but does the difference grow larger as the 3 years training contract rolls on?

comments from anyone would be most welcome!


#4

without a doubt accept the PwC role !!! My friends work at KPMG and theyre on £42k+ after yr 3. You wont get that at a mid-tier firm. Also you get the good repotation of the big 4 on your CV and they also adopt a work-life balance


#5

I believe that upon ACA completion at BDO the salary is £40k so there’s not that much in it.

I do agree that the rep of the big 4 is more prestigious especially if you wanted to say move to a bank, but BDO would still put you on track.

Also from what i’ve heard from many people currently at big 4 (Deloitte,KPMG) you will get far less of a work life balance than you would at, say BDO or GT. Overtime is practically mandatory at big 4, at BDO it is ‘frowned upon’ and if you have to do it (which you probably will at points) it is paid - which it isn’t at the big 4. One of my friends at Deloitte often grumbles that for the hours he’s putting in at work per week, he’s actually getting paid peanuts!


#6

i am in exactly the same situation, can totally relate with the worry of turning down a big 4 firm and regreting it in future…

the big thing for me was the travelling - at pwc you are expected to travel a lottt! this isnt my cup of tea so im going for bdo. dont forget bdo is still a big firm, so you will have similar opportunities e.g. secondments abroad, but instead u get a broader range of experience. i just dont feel pwc is for me! also like lebig said above, pwc dont pay overtime…bdo do, so the extra pay probably compensates for that!

at the end of the day, working somewhere u enjoy will always compensate getting more money and working somewhere u hate. so just go with where you think you will be happiest :slight_smile: u can always leave after ur training contract and work elsewhere!


#7

As someone that currently works in recruitment, I would advise you to go for PwC. Having one of the Big 4 on your CV does absolute wonders for your future - literally anyone with Big 4 experience is gold dust - you have far better client exposure (I think BDO only audit 1 of the FTSE 100). Pay wouldn’t even be a factor for me - it’s all about what opportunities lie ahead.

With PwC, you can do your 3 years and then go to BDO or a mid-tier practice firm. However, you can also go to work for huge international firms easily.

With BDO, it will be harder to make the transition over to the Big 4 afterwards (though it is possible) or working for bigger clients etc. People that say ‘work life balance is better at top 10’ are bullshitting. I’ve met up with candidates from both the Big4 and top 10 etc, and they all say the work/life balance is pretty crap in your first few years whilst you are studying. That’s the name of the game unfortunately, and if I were you I wouldn’t make my decision on things like pay / how long you are going to be working as a trainee. Fair enough you may get more responsibility at BDO, but ultimately, your clients won’t be a prestigious, and so it won’t look as good on your CV.

Make the decision based on what you want to do in your future, and what opportunities lie ahead from the company you choose.

TL;DR Go for PWC.


#8

As someone that currently works in recruitment, I would advise you to go for PwC. Having one of the Big 4 on your CV does absolute wonders for your future - literally anyone with Big 4 experience is gold dust - you have far better client exposure (I think BDO only audit 1 of the FTSE 100). Pay wouldn’t even be a factor for me - it’s all about what opportunities lie ahead.

With PwC, you can do your 3 years and then go to BDO or a mid-tier practice firm. However, you can also go to work for huge international firms easily.

With BDO, it will be harder to make the transition over to the Big 4 afterwards (though it is possible) or working for bigger clients etc. People that say ‘work life balance is better at top 10’ are bullshitting. I’ve met up with candidates from both the Big4 and top 10 etc, and they all say the work/life balance is pretty crap in your first few years whilst you are studying. That’s the name of the game unfortunately, and if I were you I wouldn’t make my decision on things like pay / how long you are going to be working as a trainee. Fair enough you may get more responsibility at BDO, but ultimately, your clients won’t be a prestigious, and so it won’t look as good on your CV.

Make the decision based on what you want to do in your future, and what opportunities lie ahead from the company you choose.

TL;DR Go for PWC.


#9

Hi Mrunner! I’m currently applying for the trainee program at BDO and want to get some insights from insiders like you. May I email you perchance? Thanks so much!


#10

Hi mrunner! I’m applying for the trainee program at BDO and wonder if you could kindly give me some more insights about the work and the organization as an insider? Thanks so much


#11

Hey guys,

Just wanted an opinion (if this page is still active!)

I’ve been fortunate to get an offer from PwC and BDO (London office, for both) .
I applied for BDO Public Sector Assurance (External & Internal audit) and for PwC, I applied for Assurance (Internal Audit).

I’m quite torn in between both as I think they are both really good companies!
I’m edging towards BDO because I liked the people there and feel I would probably get a more varied range of work. However, I am concerned that I could regret turning down PwC.

Any advice? Hmm.