What sets the big four apart from each other?


I’ve falled down on this question before, i got asked by E & Y what sets them apart from the rest of the big four, but i’m struggling to see how they all differentiate and i’d have thought they all shared similar characteristics. I asked a guy at from E & Y what their unique selling point would be and he said the people, but surely all the big four would like to say that they had exceptional people and a great working environment which thrives off the many different walks of life people come from??

I’ve been on all their websites yet they all seem to be saying the same thing, with no main points from one sticking out over the others, so any help would be great. Thanks.


This is a very tough one - in reality there is relatively little that distinguishes the big four from one another. But this question is a good chance for you to demonstrate the research that the best interviewees have done: perhaps you went to an on-campus presentation and were impressed with the people, perhaps you’ve been really interested in the causes of the recession and so would like to work at the company looking after one of the most famous administration processes in history (PwC / Lehman Brothers); perhaps you speak a foreign language and like the way that KPMG’s scheme is structured to make it relatively easy to do a secondment in a European office; or maybe you are really interested in the retail and consumer sector and saw here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_&_Young#Major_clients) that a lot of EY’s clients are based in this sector.

This is a question that really shows who has done their research; the people that can’t answer it well are normally the people who haven’t done much research at all into the world of accountancy or the individual firm prior to interview.

There’s a good article written by KPMG here http://www.thegatewayonline.com/article/114 about what they look for from candidates in assessment centres.

Good luck!