So I’m currently a graduate accounting student at a smallish state school and getting ready to intern in audit with a Big 4 in the Spring. Honestly, as long as I don’t screw it up I feel like I have a great chance at getting an offer. But audit seems boring and I want to do something that involves both finance and accounting. I’ve done a search on this forum, but I got limited info at best. So I’m hoping someone can help me with some questions I have: 1.) How hard is it to transition from Big 4 Audit to Big 4 TS/Business Valuation? I’m planning on passing all 3 CFA exam levels within 3/4 years. I’m also looking at valuation certifications like the ASA or AVB. Most of the job postings include CFA as “desired”, but really stress experience. Is this a case of experience > qualifications+smart guy+few years in audit? Or do Big 4 really consider hiring internally? 2.) How relevant is the CFA in valuation work? Will it not be worth my time? Or will I get to do some interesting work when it comes to investment valuation? 3.) ALL the job postings seem to be looking for Seniors, Managers, or Directors. Do people just migrate to valuation work from different careers or are there entry-level valuation associate jobs out there? I’m obviously still finding out more about the career, so if anyone can point me in the right direction I’d appreciate it.
- It a common practice in Big 4 to transfer people from audit into TS after, say, 2 years. On the other hand, I don’t see much transfers from audit to V&M. 2) It is definitely relevant and I think it will be worth your time. 3) Yes there are entry positions in valuation & modeling. If you don’t have anyone inside, maybe you should try with audit and then try to get in V&M. It easier to transfer within the firm. From my experience, Big 4 usually hires valuation professional from other smaller valuation shops and, of course, between each other. I’m currently with Big 4, valuation & modeling. Passed CFA L3 and ASA, and still waiting for 4 years of experience. Cheers Milos
Thanks for your reply Milos. It definitely reinforces what I’ve been thinking. I’ll see if I can network and get more info on entry level positions, but it’s good to hear the audit —> TS/v&m is a possible route.
I’ve been in valuation for 15 years and CFA becomes more relevant by the hour. ASA and AVB are good for tax and litigation related valuation, but CFA is now the big dog designation in the financial reporting world IMO. I can’t speak to movement within Big 4 as I’ve always been in independent shops. Milos has probably done SAS reviews of my work if he is in the Northeast US.
Do independent shops hire recent graduates? And if so, what kind of background do they typically look for? I was planning on passing CFA level 1 and the CVA exam before graduation in an attempt to get my foot in the door. Just not sure which way to go about getting more info. Most of our career events that have either accounting or finance firms mainly have accounting/audit/or financial planning jobs. So it’s more difficult to interact with valuation recruiters (if they even exist in my area) than say Big 4 audit. Any suggestions on getting in contact with possible recruiters for an entry-level position?
el duque Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Do independent shops hire recent graduates? And if > so, what kind of background do they typically look > for? > > I was planning on passing CFA level 1 and the CVA > exam before graduation in an attempt to get my > foot in the door. > > Just not sure which way to go about getting more > info. Most of our career events that have either > accounting or finance firms mainly have > accounting/audit/or financial planning jobs. So > it’s more difficult to interact with valuation > recruiters (if they even exist in my area) than > say Big 4 audit. > > Any suggestions on getting in contact with > possible recruiters for an entry-level position? We hire at all levels. Of our 5 most recent hires (going back over a few years), 3 were fresh out of undergrad as finance or econ majors and interned with us first, 1 was a recent top 20 MBA graduate who had already passed L1 and had a corporate finance background before MBA, and the other one had a couple of years experience with a competitor and was L3 candidate when we hired. All 3 undergrad hires were familiar with the CFA program, which was a big factor in offering them internships in the first place. There is a valuation specific head hunter firm named Borrowman Baker. You might want to look them up on the web. I’ve never worked with them personally, but I know we’ve interviewed candidates they’ve sent us in the past.
Thought I’d resurrect this moderately old thread for a quick update/question for anyone interested. So, from speaking with a few people at my firm, Big 4 Audit ----> Valuation is doable but uncommon (less so pre-recession); Networking + good reviews+ CFA is probably a good bet. Any valuation guys want to weigh in on exit opportunities, compensation, satisfaction with work? I’m actually pretty interested in regards to compensation outside the Big 4 (apparently better than audit, but not awesome). If one were to work at a P/E firm or Boutique IB for instance, how good/bad is the compensation? How about the exposure to clients? Again, I’m coming from a back office perspective, so I’m not expecting BB IB money here. Middle office is fine with me, but front office would be nice. Edit: twice for spelling