How To Enter The Big 4 Accounting Firms After Becoming A CPA

Ask any finance student their ultimate dream and the most common answer you will hear is – working at Big 4. Getting a job in Big 4 accounting firms, namely Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY) and KPMG is itself a milestone in one’s career and also promises a rewarding career. 

A right educational qualification, like a Chartered Public Accountant (CPA) or a CA, can make things easy. However, qualification is still half the job done. The other half is about planning, preparing and applying for the job. 

In this blog, we will highlight some key tips and tricks to differentiate your profile and land a job in Big accounting firms after completing CPA. 

  • Prepare a Compelling Resume

A Big 4 firm receives hundreds of job applications daily, that too for the same role. Why should they hire you over others? Your resume should convey what differentiates you from other applicants. 

The first step begins with your resume, it is a make-or-break thing. If your resume is strong, you can quickly receive the interview call. If your resume is just like the hundreds of applications they see daily, it will fade away into oblivion.

How to let your resume do the talking? Apart from listing your educational qualifications, give a unique perspective about some key projects you have been a part of. Explain what you accomplished in those projects, and what were your takeaways. Include points that demonstrate your ability to work in a fast-paced team environment with shorter turnaround times, which is crucial in Big 4 firms. 

Ensure that your resume is well-crafted, clear and concise with a proper objective and expertise that signs with the requirements of the job you are applying for. 

Also Read – How Much Does a CPA Earn in the US, India & Big 4?

  • Grab an Early Internship

Internships are often considered to be a gateway to jobs. If you get an opportunity to intern with Big 4 firms, grab it with both hands, even if it comes at a lower stipend and long working hours. 

Internships can offer you a wealth of practical experience and a glimpse of what the full-time role would look like. A short internship during CPA or even after CPA can help you sharpen your technical skills and business acumen. 

If you perform well during your internship, you can stand a chance to get a job offer in the same firm, without going through the tribulations of job applications. 

An internship in the early stage of you CPA career can increase your chances of getting a full-time role at Big 4. 

  • A Strong Education Background

Firstly, you need to have the right qualifications to work in Big 4 accounting firm. Completing a CPA course or any other similar accounting degree like a CA, ACCA or CFA course can help you crack entry-level jobs in Big 4 accounting firms. Big 4 accounting firms pay high salaries to CPAs, CFAs and CAs. 

Familiarize yourself with the CPA exam structure, CPA study materials, its eligibility criteria, and passing marks if you are a CPA aspirant. You need to clear all 4 CPA exams in 18 months to earn the certification.

At Proschool, we provide extensive training for CPAs. Not just sessions, but we also task-based simulations, Becker study material-inspired notes, mock tests, and even personalized guidance and eligibility evaluation. 

Get best in class CPA Study Material, Live Online Classes from Indian Faculty & Placement Assistance – all at one place!

  • Start Networking

You never know where the next opportunity can come from. Networking is the key to success, even if you want to get interview calls from Big 4. Start talking to accounting professionals working in top firms. You can know about their roles, responsibilities, and challenges and once you build a good rapport, you can ask them for job references. 

Your chances of getting hired increase if you have internal job referees. You can even reach out to people working at Big 4 through Linkedin or Twitter and ask for job recommendations. Asking for something is quite important.

Also Read – What Is the Total Cost of CPA in India?

  • Select a Specialization 

Big 4 firms offer a wide range of services, including financial advisory services, consulting, audit and tax to various companies. Research and explore the different specialization areas to identify your long-term career goals, strengths, and interests. 

You should consider the demand and growth prospects of each specialization area. Once you have narrowed down your area of specialization, you should build skills that are required for that job profile. 

You can also consider taking up upskilling courses to gain relevant skills and improve your profile. 

  • Prepare for Interviews

There are multiple rounds of interviews in Big 4 firms. Preparing for Big 4 interviews is not just about knowing your stuff, but also about practicing how you talk and handle tough situations. Once you clear the first round with HR, the other rounds are stress interviews where the interviewer evaluates your ability to handle pressure. 

While preparing for Big 4 interviews, you should revise technical skills but also focus equally on soft skills. You can practice mock interviews to refine your responses and adapt to stressful situations. Brownie points if you could have a professor or a senior professional interview you and give feedback. 

You can reach out to Big 4 employees to know about their interview experiences and the kind of questions asked. Websites like Glassdoor can also give you a gist of the interview process at Big 4. 

Also Read – 9 Best Reference Books for CPA Exams

  • Have a Backup Plan

While seeking a full-time job at Big 4 after completing CPA is good, it is also wise to have a backup plan. You can explore similar job roles in mid-sized firms or industries. This not only provides a broader perspective but also makes you well-prepared. 

You can sharpen your skills, gain relevant work experience and later move on to the Big 4 in a mid-senior role. 


The tips discussed here will surely get you closer to getting your dream job in Big 4 firms. Acquiring a solid educational qualification like a CPA or CFA will surely be a stepping stone to success. We provide training courses for CFA, ACCA and CPA. You can visit Proschool to learn more about these programs. Know the best accounting courses in India and abroad or get in touch with our experts to determine the best career path for you.