4 Tips for Landing a Big 4 Interview
If you are graduating next Spring or even this Winter, the economy has not recovered enough to make job finding easy for new college graduates. But there are things you can do to increase your chances of landing an Big 4 accounting interview.
You should apply to Big 4 accounting in September and leverage your school's resources to do so. Many times Big 4 accounting firms will come on to campus and conduct first round interviews. They will also have guest speakers at the school's club events. These are good opportunities for you to network with professionals and build business relationships. If you were to apply after you graduate, it would be more difficult because most firms will put you outside of the on-campus hire pool. Whereby you would be competing with experienced hires even though you just graduated.
2) Would passing certain sections of the CPA exam (REG, FAR, BEC, AUDIT) help land an interview?
It certainly would not hurt, but it wouldn't help as much as you think it would. These are not make or break must need items on a resume. All Big 4 firms will offer you a bonus for passing the CPA within the first few years you are with the firm. So, they expect that you don't have your CPA exams passed. Networking with the recruiter/professionals, GPA, and work/extra curricular activities weigh more heavily.
3) Would taking a class on MS Access help my resume for a public accounting firm?
Quite honestly, we don't use MS Access in public accounting. I would say being able to use excel, word, and powerpoint more efficiently is more important. If I were to focus on one of the three, I would say excel is much more important. In accounting, excel shortcuts and macros will help you save time and you will appreciate it much more when you are working busy season hours.
4) Does having no working experience in accounting hurt my chances of landing an accounting internship?
Absolutely not! Firms don't expect you to have a ton of experience in accounting right out of school. They expect that you have a genuine interest and are dedicated to accounting. What does help is that you have some kind of work experience or leadership position in college.