Every coin has 2 sides. Similarly, taking up 3 years of your articleship at a firm will have both pros and cons. This article aims to give you a general idea of articleship experience at a mid-sized firm and a big firm so that you can make a clear list of your priorities to make a wise and informed choice. You must understand that these views are subjective in nature and hence, its purpose is only to give you an unbiased perspective.
1. The most important factor which comes to light while deciding between a mid-sized firm and a big firm is its brand value. The social recognition and perks of working at a big firm continues even after your articleship period with respect to the job opportunities and other monetary benefits.
2. One of the important benefits of working at a local audit firm is to gain knowledge and experience with regards to the documentation work. The articles are involved and engaged in the preparation and filing of documents from step 1. This is in contrast to the corporate culture wherein the documentation and paper filing work are taken care by a different department altogether.
3. Scope of work: The work in Big 4 is extremely focused and concentrated on specific fields. This will help you in gaining a strong base and deep knowledge in the particular area you’re engaged in. Whereas, local audit firms work on a rather ‘vast than deep’ knowledge policy. This gives you exposure to various services like book keeping, accounting, internal audit, consultancy services etc to name a few.
4. Most of the mid-size firms are rather ignorant when it comes to your CA Final exam preparation and fees. The lack of unanimity will make it difficult for you to fight for your study leave. Unlike this, Big 4 firms offer a properly fixed study leave CA Final exam preparation.
5. Travel time is a huge factor you must consider before joining any firm. Going for a midsize firm helps you to select such firms which have clients located within your city limits. Whereas for big firms who have various clients in and out of the city, it is rather inflexible to decide where you get your client listing.
6. Weekends are an important time to concentrate on the CA Final preparation as you’ll be drained out of energy with CA Final classes and office work on weekdays. So, it is important to join a firm where they don’t make you work during weekends. It is a known fact that most of the midsize firms has Saturdays and even Sundays (during busy season) as working. Compared to this, the Big 4 has declared it off on weekends for its articleship students, provided there are no work emergencies and deadlines to be met.
7. Money is always a factor, nevertheless it’s secondary when compared to all the other factors. Normally, mid-size firms offer pay packages ranging from 5K-8K per month. In contrast to this, the stipend offered by big firms ranges from 10K to 25K or even more in some cases.
Regardless of the type of firm you decide to join in, make sure you do proper research about the particular firm to ensure you end up in a qualitative and knowledgeable space. Take your time to analyse the effects and come to a decision. Put sufficient thought and research into your decision so that you can learn the maximum from your 3-year training period without regretting your choices.