Big 4 promotion timeline – 2 questions plz

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  • #190193
    Mike555
    Member

    I am trying to better understand the time needed to reach certain promotions, would really appreciate some pointers. I have looked through ALL the big 4's websites but find NO INFORMATION, very frustrating!!

    Can someone please confirm the typical/usual promotion timelines for the big four for audit in particular through senior manager?

    My understanding is that for EY, KPMG and Deloitte it takes…..

    2 years to make senior associate

    3 years to make manager

    2/3 years to make senior manager

    And that for PwC it takes

    3 years to make senior

    3 years to make manager

    2/3 years to make senior manager

    SECOND QUESTION:

    I have heard that PwC has a “promotion day” in late spring/early summer when EVERYONE gets promoted and the # of ‘years' is really based on the # of busy seasons. So basically if you start full time in August of 2012 you become a Senior Associate in June of 2014 if promotion day is in june. Is that true?

    And is that true for all the big four or only PwC/which ones?

    THANK YOU.

    #619407
    Tripp11
    Member

    Promoting based on the number of years, if this is truly the case with those B4 firms, seems to be the most asinine methodology ever known to man/woman.

    In my last firm (Top 10 national) and my current firm, promotions were/are strictly on merit. If you perform and accept more responsibility, and you are able to handle your assigned tasks in an effective and efficient manner, you are promoted; however, you are only promoted to that next level if you are capable of (and most likely, already doing) doing those duties typical of someone in that position.

    #619408
    MultiMediaWill
    Participant

    @Tripp11, I don't think you addressed any of his questions. I'm interested in this as well.

    #619409
    Tripp11
    Member

    Sure I did. I answered his second question. And if they TRULY promote on number of years, and not on merit, thank goodness I never worked for B4 then. How stupid is that?!?

    #619410
    Determined CPA
    Participant

    Really depends – I worked at PwC and was promoted after 2 years, others were 3. They want you to be ready.

    And yes, there is a promotion day but I don't think they go by ‘1 busy season' = 1 year.

    If youre trying to chose which company to go to, I wouldn't worry about that as much. Just do the best you can and it will happen in good time!

    #619411
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    So, despite my name, I'm not going to try to speak for every firm.

    In general, RANKS are gained year by year. PROMOTIONS are dependent on a variety of factors, but let's grossly oversimplify it and say your end year review/meeting. You'll discuss your performance and then a basic rating is assigned, which will determine whether or not you're promoted and whether or not you'll receive pbc.

    Promotions are not mandatory based on time, some people do get left behind if they are not adequate enough or do not have the proper certifications.

    Yes, most if not all of the firms have a specific review season and promotion cycle that takes place on certain days. This isn't exactly top secret knowledge, goingconcern posts “articles” around these days yearly.

    Tripp sippin that big4haterade I see.

    #619412
    soyanks
    Member

    @Mike555

    Your understanding of the timeline is just about right. But no firm will promote someone just because they accrued X number of years. It's combination of the time you spent with the firm (which allows you to gain the experience that you need) and also based on merit. Your evaluation will include a question for the evaluator on whether:

    1) If he/she (evaluator) believes you are ready for the promotion

    2) If you were exposed to X number of areas necessary to be promoted

    3) If you have the technical accounting knowledge to be promoted to the next level

    4) If you've demonstrated the leadership ability to be promoted to the next level, etc etc

    Additional requirements may include certain things like CPA certification (you can't get promoted to a Manager without it, etc at certain firms), billable hours, extra curricular activities, and office politics (some firms are more political than the others)

    So if you fail to meet the required criteria, you won't be promoted, regardless of the number of years that you've accrued. Vice versa, you can beat the “normal timeline” if you have exceeded expectation at all level (for example, getting 5 out of 5 on all evaluations, assuming 5 being the highest) year after year.

    #619413
    Mike555
    Member

    Bigfourexpert – thanks a lot for thoughts

    “In general, RANKS are gained year by year. PROMOTIONS are dependent on a variety of factors”

    Could you please confirm the difference between promotion and rank as you use these terms here? promotion is associate -> senior associate manager etc while ranks is your performance relative to your peers?

    And in GENERAL, though, PwC is a bit slower than the other of the Big 4 right?

    KPMG, Deloitte, EY – any difference in promotion speed in GENERAL? I know there are exceptions.

    Thank you

    #619414
    Mike555
    Member

    Bigfourexpert – thanks a lot for thoughts

    “In general, RANKS are gained year by year. PROMOTIONS are dependent on a variety of factors”

    Could you please confirm the difference between promotion and rank as you use these terms here? promotion is associate -> senior associate manager etc while ranks is your performance relative to your peers?

    And in GENERAL, though, PwC is a bit slower than the other of the Big 4 right?

    KPMG, Deloitte, EY – any difference in promotion speed in GENERAL? I know there are exceptions.

    Thank you

    #619415
    Mike555
    Member

    Sorry for double post above.

    #619416
    Mike555
    Member

    @soyanks

    Thank you for your perspective. Really appreciate. Two more things

    1. Which firms are more political than others? And/or which Big 4 offices in NYC are more or less political than others? Based on your knowledge/experience?

    2. I understand that there's a lot that goes into a promotion – politics, certifications, experience with firm, CPA/other licenses etc plus of course performance

    BUT WITH ALL THAT SAID, which firms are faster with promotion in general than others? This is IMPORTANT to me for personal reasons I don't want to go into but I would REALLY REALLY REALLY appreciate any pointer on this. HR people are not very forthcoming and I can't seem to find much AT ALL on going concern etc

    Thank you so much, grateful for your reply.

    #619417
    Tripp11
    Member

    So, bigfourexpert, you confirmed my belief that B4 firms DO not promote solely on tenure. So, I answered the OP's second question adequately. And I still stand behind my comment that promotion solely on tenure is the most asinine concept ever.

    Where am I drinking the B4 haterade?

    #619418
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Just in case you're waiting on a reply, I'm swamped with work today and tomorrow so won't be here much. But keep on sippity sippin'!

    #619419
    ibacCPA
    Member

    bigfourexpert did mention an end of year review and rating. Promotions obviously aren't solely based on years of service. There's a review system in place for employees.

    #619420
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    “BUT WITH ALL THAT SAID, which firms are faster with promotion in general than others? This is IMPORTANT to me for personal reasons I don't want to go into but I would REALLY REALLY REALLY appreciate any pointer on this. HR people are not very forthcoming and I can't seem to find much AT ALL on going concern etc”

    It doesn't matter. Your insane for caring so much to base your decision/choice firm off of. There are so many more important things. But I'll humor you.

    All the big 4 firms are pretty darn similar. PWC typically delays the promotion to senior by a year (takes 3 vs 2) but you are still eligible for manager after 5 years at any of them. In the long term, promotions at big 4 tend to be tenure based (it is very very very unlikely to ‘jump' classes/ranks – I've never seen it), so your obsession with this isn't really going to help you any. BUT if you really want it to guide your decision making, choose any firm but PwC, because you may end up leaving under three years (in which case you can leave with the Senior title everywhere but at PwC) or right after the three years (in which case you can have a full year of being a senior under your belt).

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