Moving from the big 4 to mid tier is an option that many people consider in their accounting careers.
Why is this an option that people consider?
People think about this because they hate their big 4 jobs and want a change.
Should you move from the big 4 to a mid tier accounting firm?
I don’t think it is worth it. Mid tier accounting firms are run the same as the big 4 except they are smaller. That means they have less resources. You will have to do more work yourself.
The hiring process is also annoying. Partners and executives at mid tier accounting firms think they are better than big 4 accountants because they aren’t big 4 accountants. They didn’t make partner at the big 4, so they will tell you that mid tier is better than big 4. They will also tell you that big 4 accountants learn less than mid tier accountants.
This might be true in some scenarios but not all.
Mid tier accountants have smaller clients with less issues than big 4 accounting firms. You might learn more about transactions, but you will learn more about tiny transactions. That’s good if you want to be a cfo or tax director for a small company, but it doesn’t help much if you want to move to a big company.
Mid tier accounting firms are a good option if you live in an area where the big 4 aren’t located.
Another issue with mid tier accounting firms is that their clients are often less knowledgeable. The clients don’t know how to treat basic accounting transactions. They will rely on you 24/7 to tell them what to do. You can’t bill all that time either because you’d bankrupt the company. You can see how working at a mid tier accounting firm quickly becomes a headache.
You should not be considering a 2nd tier accounting firm if you have the big 4 in your area. The hours aren’t different and benefits aren’t great enough to consider switching.