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What is typically expected of me when I qualify in a Big 4 firm?

In this blog post Heather Townsend shares an exclusive extract from the 2nd edition of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’ (Click here for a free sample chapter) to show what is typically expected from you when you qualify in a Big 4 firm.

In chapter 14 of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, we talk about how your role will change as you move upwards in the firm. The chapter looks at what is expected at each level within a firm. In the extract from the book, I will share what is expected of you as a newly qualified accountant, auditor or consultant.


Typical job title: senior, consultant, management consultant, executive, senior associate

Key focus of work: gaining experience and consolidating your technical knowledge and skills.

Typically after two to three years most trainees will qualify. Already by this time several junior people will have been rooted out and left – either because they haven’t passed their exams or they realized that their chosen profession was not for them. In this stage, you will start receiving more technically complex and challenging client assignments, projects and pieces of work. Although not always a certainty (dependent on the firm you are in), you will probably be trusted to have some direct dialogue with clients, although you may find that all your correspondence with clients will continue to be reviewed and signed by a partner before it is sent out. You may even be given a few assignments where you are expected to manage more junior members of the project team – for example, if you are part of an audit or surveyor team on site.

It is unusual to be expected to be actively involved in business develop­ment work. However, most firms will encourage and expect you to start building a network with your peers, inside and outside your profession (see Chapter 13) which will enable you to eventually win your own client work. Although you may not be given the opportunity to attend a pitch as part
of the pitch team, you can expect to help by carrying out research, preparing presentation notes and information packs.

How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life 2nd editionGet your copy of the 2nd edition of How to make partner and still have a life

To get your copy of How to make partner and still have a life at a 20% discount, use code HTMPG20 at the checkout on the Kogan Page website. Click on the image buy your copy


This article originally appeared in a different form on the How To Make Partner website.


Heather Townsend helps professionals become the The Go-To Expert. She is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’, Poised for partnership and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’, and ‘The Go-To Expert’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 


Heather blogs regularly at How to make partner and still have a life and works with future and current Big 4 partners and professionals from mid-tier firms all over the world


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