When I received answers to my inquiries from people in the profession, many of whom continue to this day to be my friends, I was intrigued. The reason I’m so consistently willing to discuss my perspective with so many people, especially young professionals, is that I was once in their position and had many of the same questions.The primary purpose of this article is to offer a balanced perspective to those who may be interested in such a career path regardless of industry focus or subject matter area.
These “service lines” then roll into four major divisions which are: Assurance, Transaction, Tax and Advisory. The new regulation will have a significant impact on these companies for obvious reasons.It may not look pretty on an organizational chart (that is if you could even find one) but I assure you there is critical logic behind this labyrinth of practices.This section is specific to Ernst & Young, but more than likely holds true for other firms in the Big Four.Let’s forget what these groupings actually do for the time-being. Because they have to so in order to remain current with the rigorous demands of an ever-changing market landscape.Now, imagine twenty (random number) other practices such as PAS which falls under the RAS umbrella. Now once again try to imagine ten or so other service lines like RAS with once again a bunch of sub-service lines such as PAS. New practices form and old practices consolidate just about every year. Here’s an example: Imagine for a moment that a new regulation to govern “Wall Street” firms is passed and will be enforced in one year’s time. We will tell you what you need in a relationship, where you screwed up (without knowing it) in past relationships and a customized action plan to make your next relationship successful.The Professional Services Career Path: A Big Four Employee Perspective What is it like to work on the advisory side of a Big 4 firm? Typically, if there’s time to discuss and there’s mutual interest in the exchange, I’m immediately bombarded with a slew of follow-up questions like: What do you do exactly? I respect all of the Big Four firms, especially mine, a great deal but feel that the only way to offer up a truly unbiased perspective on the lifestyle is to provide genuinely candid insight.Feel free to bounce around if you already have a solid understanding of certain sections.A former colleague of mine summed it up with the following catchphrase: “What we sell is the space between these two ears.” This bit of Yoda-like wisdom was followed by a slowly pointed finger to my forehead.It is not nearly as consistent as Assurance work, but it is one of the fastest growing offerings within the firm.You might be thinking at this point, “Which group is right for me, Assurance or Advisory?