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08-03-2011, 21:10   #1
technoviking
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BIG 4, Switching Departments

Hi there,
starting a graduate program in assurance soon, how likely is it that I can switch to advisory or transaction services, assuming I am a top performer amongst the graduates. Also, how quickly can I look to make the switch?
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08-03-2011, 23:08   #2
mydearwatson
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I'm not sure you quite understand how the whole thing works!

You have been hired to work for a particular partner in a particular area of assurance. Assuming that you are a "top performer" (which is a big assumption to make!), why on earth would they want to just give you away to another department?! Most firms are extremely understaffed as it is at the moment.

There's really very little movement between the departments in the Big Four, at trainee stage at least. If anything, I've seen trainees from TS and Advisory etc. spend some time in Audit/Assurance, particularly in busy season. It doesn't really go the other way, not as far as I've seen anyways.

What I would recommend is that you mention to your performance manager, as part of your performance reviews, that you would be interested in gaining experience in these areas. Summer would be a good time to bring it up, as chances are you won't be doing too much then.

However I would imagine that the most you would get would be a couple of weeks here and there - a full transfer, as you seem to be hoping for, would be quite unlikely.

Only speaking from my own experience however!
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08-03-2011, 23:31   #3
technoviking
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mydearwatson,
thanks for the detailed reply.

I said assuming I'm a top performer because I am assuming the advisory/TAS groups are more selective because I applied to these and was asked after the fact would I be interested in assurance, therefore i assumed the only way I could be considered for these groups would be to stand out from my own crowd.

when u said "you are hired for a particular partner", is this the partner that interviewed me in the final round usually?

other than that, thank you for your info, I am coming from the US and know there are differences in culture and current economic climates, which will result in differences in dealflow and department movement - just wanted to get a taste for the Dublin Office
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08-03-2011, 23:38   #4
redz11
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I'm sure it differs between the Big Four firms, but in my particular firm at least, yes you would most likely be in the group of the partner who interviewed you.
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09-03-2011, 09:36   #5
jessup
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technoviking View Post
Hi there,
starting a graduate program in assurance soon, how likely is it that I can switch to advisory or transaction services, assuming I am a top performer amongst the graduates. Also, how quickly can I look to make the switch?
I'd be very careful about adopting the strategy that you're suggesting.

I've seen this very scenario in D&T where it became obvious that a girl took up a position in a service line/dept because it was the one she was offered but not the one she really wanted. She wasn't in place a wet week and was looking to move. She thought an internal transfer would be a matter of routine so took up the position (in A&A funny enough!) in order to glide into FAS. Trust me, it's certainly not routine for trainees to make those sort of moves. The Partner, HR, her colleagues etc. were not best pleased.

She was reminded that she signed a contract for three years and the most appropriate time to look for a move would be at the end of that contract. Moves at that stage are more common but you have to remember that you will have built up your experience in Assurance so the Partner in Advisory will only take you on if he/she hasn't retained enough of his/her own trainees.

I've seen some trainees move dept during a contract but it's rare and usually after at least one or two years. In many cases it might be a move within A&A where you might move from an A&A Partner specialising in one sector to another.

Last edited by jessup; 09-03-2011 at 09:40.
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09-03-2011, 13:49   #6
Cyrus
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it is highly unlikely you will get to move during your contract, you may as well forget that idea now,

like has been said already, if you are good they wont let you go and if you arent you arent going to be required elsewhere, plus you will get off on the wrong foot angling for a move early on.

my advice, do your 3-3.5 years in audit, learn the basics of accountancy and when your contract is reacjing expiry express an interest in staying within the co and moving depts, if necessary make contact with a director or partner in the desired department to speak with them too.

i moved from audit to insolvency and enjoyed both areas, both gave me a lot of experience which has helped me along. dont forget training in audit leaves a lot more jobs open to you that working in CF or insolvency for your training.
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09-03-2011, 18:15   #7
Jim2007
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This is an eye opener for me! It's over 20 years ago since I trained at a big 4 in Dublin and those days you spend at least 6 months in most of the departments, I think it was even needed to cover the experience requirements for the ICAI.

Have the experience requirements changed so much that you can get away with such limited experience???

Jim
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09-03-2011, 18:43   #8
Cyrus
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You needed cf and insolvency exp to qualify?
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09-03-2011, 21:30   #9
Jim2007
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You needed cf and insolvency exp to qualify?
I can't remember the actual requirements, but we all got tours of duty in Legal (Company Sec. stuff), Audit, Business Services (small companies, sole traders, partnerships, high net worth clients...) and Corporate Finance/Insolvency. And few like myself spend tours in Management Consulting.

Outside of doing 6 months in each, you could spend longer in anyone of them provided that there was work and the partners in the area where happy to have you on board.

I guess things have changed a lot.

Jim.
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13-03-2011, 22:54   #10
technoviking
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thanks for your candor on those replies. i'll make sure to keep the head down for the next few yrs and then make moves after the contract.

jim,
your glory days sound like a far better system in my opinion.
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