You may heard of a book on the “insider’s guide” to Big 4 accounting interviews – yes it is the e-book titled Big 4 Book of Secrets.
Intriguing name… but I heard you asking… is the content helpful for you to learn more about these “bulge brackets” in the accounting industry, and more importantly, help you get the job of your dreams?
At this stage of my career, there is no need to read such a book; but for the benefit of all my readers I recently purchased a copy and am planning to reveal just a little bit of its secrets to you all, as well as giving my opinion on whether the book is worth it.
(By the way, I don’t have a Big 4 background, but I do work in the finance industry all my life working closely with Big 4 auditors, and my husband got his first job at Coopers and Lybrand (now PWC) so I think I am in a good position to review this book.)
Big 4 Guru Target Audience
The book is obviously targeted to those who aspire to break into the cream of the crop of the accounting industry, the Big 4 accounting firms.
I understand that Big 4 isn’t for everyone, so if you are one of those who prefer a regional CPA Firm for a variety of reasons, your gut feeling tells you this book isn’t for you…
… but let me tell you this: after reading through the book I believe that Big 4 Book of Secrets is a guide that’s going to be a great help to any aspiring CPAs who is in the process of looking for jobs or upgrading their jobs.
Big 4 Book of Secrets Is A Great Insider Guide For Anyone Who Wants To Break Into Public Accounting
Why? Because if you read and master the skills outlined in this book, you’ll greatly increase your chance to get hired in Big 4; and if you have the ability to nail an offer from Big 4, you will have absolutely no problem getting a job in any CPA firm, be it local, regional or national.
How This Book Can Help Land You A Job Anywhere From A Local Accounting Firm To Big 4
- Big 4 Book of Secrets Gives You An Insider View Of The Big Guys In The Accounting Industry
The book gives a well-summarized description for each of the Big 4: PwC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG. Not only that it saves you time in digging around the websites for this information, it is written with a personal touch, as if you have a friend in the industry that tells you about each of this firm.
I personally like the way she chronicles how the founders of these firms became successful and how we can relate to them and their success in our own career.
Why This Is Important
Whether you are going for the Big 4 or regional and local accounting firms, the knowledge of the biggest players in the industry, in my opinion, is very important to show your commitment to the industry you are going into, which certainly helps in your interview process.
- Big 4 Book of Secrets Prompts You To Think Thoroughly On Your Career Path
This is probably not the intention of the book; but as I read the first chapter about “why Big 4”, I keep asking myself: if I were in the position to look for an accounting job, should I pick Big 4, vs regional CPA firms, or accounting jobs in corporate or the government?
While not everyone necessarily agree that “there is no better way to start your accounting career in Big 4”, the book certainly does a great job in listing the distinct advantage of this career path, and this information in itself is excellent for your own evaluation of Big 4 vs your other career choices.
A Step-by-Step Guide To The Entire Interview Process
But obviously this is the most practical section of the book and “Big4Guru” (i.e. the author. I believe she’d like to stay anonymous) dedicates 4 chapters explaining the process and the tips in great detail.
Just to give you a peep of what’s covered:
Before The Interview
The (possibly only) source that recruiters collect resumes and positions they are hiring
5 ways to shine in college job fairs
How to get yourself in as lateral hire (someone not fresh out of college)
One “high-risk-high-reward” job seeking method you can consider…
During The Interview
What type of person you should expect in your first interview
Where you can expect the different rounds of interviews to be held
Whether (or in which round) they will ask technical questions
The different skills in impressing an HR vs the auditors during the interviews
The 3 things to avoid at all cost during the interviews
Just how difficult the interviews can get, and it’s not about the questions
3 “ugly” technical accounting items that you better get prepared
Sample of great follow-up questions that you can use in any Big 4 interviews…
After The Interview
How to write an effective thank you note in the 21st century
3 action points you can do to maintain your advantage…
… and much much more!
Other Priceless Tips
I love reading the appendix on the insider look at the hierarchy of each firm, and I also find the appendix B a great life-long lesson for many of us.
The book is showered with tips here and there so it’s really motivating book to read for any aspring CPA looking for a good job (not just Big 4 jobs) in the accounting industry.
If I were a recent graduate, or someone looking to find a job in CPA firms (big or small) in the US, I will definitely get hold of this book (and secretly wishing the other interview candidates don’t have it!!)
Grab The Most Recent Update!
Big 4 Book of Secrets has just recently updated the book. Please check out the website for the her own introduction of the book.