Should I Stay or Should I Go? What to Expect If You Switch Accounting Tiers

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How do you know that you’re with the company that’s the right fit for you and your career objectives?

With so many factors to take into consideration, looking for the most suitable role, company and tier of accounting firm is difficult. The multitude of options within the accounting industry makes comparing all pros and cons of accounting tiers a near impossible task. Be it Big Four, mid-tier, corporate or small business, our latest guide gives you the pros and cons you need to see whether the grass really is greener on the other side.

One of the biggest factors that influence a decision to switch accounting tiers is a negotiated salary and benefits package.

Big Four 

The largest firms often offer bigger salary packages to attract and retain the best candidates. So PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte deliver salaries and benefits that are at the top of the market, possibly with perks like a company vehicle, private health insurance, child care, and salary sacrificing. 

But it may come at a price – a fast pace of work and long hours. Looked at on a pay-per-hour basis, a Big Four salary package may not be as great as it appears on the surface. 


The larger mid-tier businesses (such as BDO, Grant Thornton and Findex) always have their eye on what the Big Four are doing, and try to match their salary and benefit offerings. 

Although they might not quite meet the Big Four heights, salaries are likely to be attractive and competitive. Not bound by the rules of a mega-organisation, these firms may be able to offer more flexible bonuses and commissions. 

Regional or local accountancy firm or corporate

At this level, benefits are more evenly spread and reasonable remuneration will make only part of the attraction. While salaries may be lower, the stress factor and expectations regarding hours worked are also likely to be lower. 

Once again, there may be more elasticity available to negotiate a bonus, profit-sharing or employee shares.

If you would like to download the full version of Should I Stay or Should I Go? What to Expect if You Switch Accounting Tiers, you can do so by clicking here.

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