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Difference in Big 4 and small audit firm - Part 2

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Old 06-08-2019, 09:37 PM   #9136
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Thank you jace88 and Feerah for the insights. Much appreciated.

Taking into account firm support for CA qualification, how much do you think it would cost out of my own pocket to obtain the qualification? TIA
The firm pays everything for you, including the annual membership fee. However, if you fail any paper, the subsequent exam fee will be paid by you.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:06 PM   #9137
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Thank you for confirming my hunch! Really much appreciated!!

The firm pays everything for you, including the annual membership fee. However, if you fail any paper, the subsequent exam fee will be paid by you.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:25 PM   #9138
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True.. but then will the junior who qualified via the qualification route get higher pay than the senior who was under the old scheme? Then the senior how to give instruction to the junior earning more pay...

And the designation of the 5 days course is the same as the CA qualification. Imagine you got degree 5 years ago liao, then now they say change curriculum, ask you go back take undergrad modules to be on par as the new graduates?

lol... I just need to clarify whether the raise applies to those who obtain the designation or the qualification.

If designation, then those grandfathered ACCA who converted to CA SG also qualify.
did we ever confirm if the raise applies to all grades/levels?
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:26 AM   #9139
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Are you able to get any exemptions for ACCA? If you are doing all 13 papers, it may take a few years to complete (assuming you are working full time). Please do not underestimate it - the last few papers are challenging and have low passing rate.

Just be prepared for a steep pay cut when you enter audit because you may have to start from associate level (A1/A2). (Im talking about low 3k)

If you are very determined to switch career, I advice you to check out if you qualify for SQP foundation programme instead! It would be a bonus if your company is an ISCA ATO.
Hello, Thanks for the reply. No i do not have any exemptions for ACCA. Then if that is the case, would it then be better if i do not join an audit firm? since it would essentially be a reset button.

Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:55 PM   #9140
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Hello, Thanks for the reply. No i do not have any exemptions for ACCA. Then if that is the case, would it then be better if i do not join an audit firm? since it would essentially be a reset button.

Thanks!
By going into accounting & audit, you already pressed the reset button. If you believe being in the finance function is more bearable than your previous role, might as well go forward from here.
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Old 13-08-2019, 12:23 PM   #9141
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Dear All,

I need some career advice on a career switch into accounting industry.

I am 29 this year and come from a non-accounting background(Local U- Degree). I have been working for 3 years in a logistics MNC and have decided to take up ACCA to make the switch into the accounting industry.

The company has also kindly agreed for me to make an internal transfer into the accounting department under a 1 yr contract. However, as I have 0 accounting knowledge, I will start off doing paper work and admin.

What I would like to ask is after this 1 year, should i take my chances and try to join a mid tier firm/big 4 firm or should I continue on and do more corporate accounting(other companies).

This is keeping in mind that I would like a holistic experience and my final goal is to do FPnA or even FC job in the long run in commercial/MNCs. Worst case is do financial accounting or even internal audit.

By reading through the forums I'm guessing it's very unlikely for me to
join a Mid Tier Firm/Big 4 after just 1 year. Hence, likely I need to wait for my ACCA to be completed, by then I would be 31 years old already.

So i would like to ask...

1. Is it enough of a holistic experience if i just join Mid-Tier Firms then jump to commercial/industry?
2. What are my chances of joining a Big 4 Firm once I finished my ACCA?
3. If i join Mid-Tier Firms in order to jump to Big 4, it is unlikely as it means i hit the reset button and start from associate again when I'm 33(assume 2 years in Mid-Tier Firm).

Keeping those in mind, is it then better that I forgo the Big 4/Mid Tier Firm route and continue on my corporate accounting journey?

Thanks so much and appreciate any feedback on this!!
Wow, that is very brave of you.

1. There's no need to jump to mid tier. There are plenty around who started straight in accounting and still managed to progress in their career. See if you can manage to join any FMCG as finance analyst. FMCG companies have the best analytics function.
2. Close to zero. Unless you have contacts there.
3. Yes. That's right. so if you go by the route, by the time you are a manager, you will be close to 40. Note that there's plenty of managers at 26/27 yo there. Especially some of the big 4s that does double promotions.

My advice is, join one of the FMCGs as finance analyst. The bigger ones like Unilever, Diageo etc or at least the europeans/us ones. But you got to put int he hours. If you do well then, your progress will not be slower than any big 4 or maybe even faster.
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Old 13-08-2019, 07:38 PM   #9142
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Wow, that is very brave of you.

1. There's no need to jump to mid tier. There are plenty around who started straight in accounting and still managed to progress in their career. See if you can manage to join any FMCG as finance analyst. FMCG companies have the best analytics function.
2. Close to zero. Unless you have contacts there.
3. Yes. That's right. so if you go by the route, by the time you are a manager, you will be close to 40. Note that there's plenty of managers at 26/27 yo there. Especially some of the big 4s that does double promotions.

My advice is, join one of the FMCGs as finance analyst. The bigger ones like Unilever, Diageo etc or at least the europeans/us ones. But you got to put int he hours. If you do well then, your progress will not be slower than any big 4 or maybe even faster.
I graduated at around 26yrs old with ACCA.. joined audit for 3months and then quit.. thereafter I go into commercial accounting.. around 33yrs old then get Asst Manager position in a semi govt company... consider quite slow..7yrs.. if go through audit probably 4-5yrs can reach manager position le..
Now if you have decided to go commercial... got to prepare to upskill and learn more about IT, enterprise system, cloud, programming, etc so can improve employability in the future. Really tough life... if last time I endure 4-5yrs now can sit back relax as fin manager le
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Old 13-08-2019, 10:47 PM   #9143
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2. Close to zero. Unless you have contacts there.
To add on, the reason why Big4 don't usually hire associates in their 30s is not because they discriminate by age.

But it's that at that stage in your life, you usually have less energy and more committments compared to fresh grads in their early 20s. It would be difficult to endure the long hours during peak, not to mention tolerating the monotonous nature of audit. Furthermore, you may be reporting to a manager who is only in his/her late 20s.

But like others have said, you don't even need to go into audit before you can get a decent job in accounting. Big4 branding helps, but only to a certain point.

With increasing digitalization, it may be even more useful to have skills such as business analytics, data visualization, information system management compared to just auditing knowledge.
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Old 14-08-2019, 01:35 AM   #9144
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Dear All,

I need some career advice on a career switch into accounting industry.

I am 29 this year and come from a non-accounting background(Local U- Degree). I have been working for 3 years in a logistics MNC and have decided to take up ACCA to make the switch into the accounting industry.

The company has also kindly agreed for me to make an internal transfer into the accounting department under a 1 yr contract. However, as I have 0 accounting knowledge, I will start off doing paper work and admin.

What I would like to ask is after this 1 year, should i take my chances and try to join a mid tier firm/big 4 firm or should I continue on and do more corporate accounting(other companies).

This is keeping in mind that I would like a holistic experience and my final goal is to do FPnA or even FC job in the long run in commercial/MNCs. Worst case is do financial accounting or even internal audit.

By reading through the forums I'm guessing it's very unlikely for me to
join a Mid Tier Firm/Big 4 after just 1 year. Hence, likely I need to wait for my ACCA to be completed, by then I would be 31 years old already.

So i would like to ask...

1. Is it enough of a holistic experience if i just join Mid-Tier Firms then jump to commercial/industry?
2. What are my chances of joining a Big 4 Firm once I finished my ACCA?
3. If i join Mid-Tier Firms in order to jump to Big 4, it is unlikely as it means i hit the reset button and start from associate again when I'm 33(assume 2 years in Mid-Tier Firm).

Keeping those in mind, is it then better that I forgo the Big 4/Mid Tier Firm route and continue on my corporate accounting journey?

Thanks so much and appreciate any feedback on this!!
As long as you can chiong and remain positive, its doable!
I know a first year coming in at 35 years old. he was a regular and left as senior to be commercial FM
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Old 18-08-2019, 10:51 AM   #9145
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anyone know whats the current pay progression in Big 4 from associate 1 to manager? heard there's quite a few changes in recent years, but hearing conflicting info on what's the exact salary by grade. Currently a G2 in blue firm.
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Old 18-08-2019, 06:03 PM   #9146
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anyone know whats the current pay progression in Big 4 from associate 1 to manager? heard there's quite a few changes in recent years, but hearing conflicting info on what's the exact salary by grade. Currently a G2 in blue firm.
Ask your seniors may be better. But manager is ard 6k plus

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Old Today, 01:24 AM   #9147
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Hi everyone, would like to seek advice on an issue. I will join the black firm as an A1 in October, and during the interview, HR explicitly mentioned that everyone will have undertake CA program, which is fine since I’ve already had the intention to. I have about 2 months till I start, so I am intending to buy some additional references to familiarise myself for the Singapore Tax modules under foundation SQP.

Just a few days ago, I connected with someone from the black firm who told me that SQP is not compulsory and that there are some associates with no intention in doing so.

Need some advice on this please! I am afraid that after preparing myself before I join, the firm may not have the intention to sponsor, or I may have to wait for some time before I get to start the SQP training.

Any advice will be much appreciated! TIA!
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