June 2, 2009
Career Assessment Assignment
As a rising senior majoring in accounting, only a year or two remain before I hopefully secure a
job with a large accounting firm. However, there are a number of firms within the U.S. that offer
very similar services and growth opportunities. Therefore, I should do some research and
compare the three main alternatives based on my set of four criteria.
The purpose of this memo is to present my analysis of the top three accounting firms that may
provide me with a great career where I may experience positive personal growth.
First I will explain the research methods used to analyze and collect data on the three accounting
firms as well as how my criteria were chosen.
My sources included Business Source Premier,
LexisNexis Academic, and the firms’ own websites.
Although their websites may present a
somewhat skewed picture, this was balanced by the use of the two academic databases.
firms’ websites helped inform me of the positive aspects of each firm, while the databases
revealed the other important details.
Choosing criteria was quite difficult at first, as the firms all seemed remarkably similar in terms
of services provided and location of regional offices.
I had assumed location would be a key
factor, but since all three firms having an office in Raleigh, a new strategy was needed.
careful consideration I ended up choosing four criteria which I ranked from one to four, with
four being the least important and one being the most.
Being forced to think about what factors
are important gave me a better perspective on choosing a location to start my career.
Overview of Firms
Here I will briefly introduce the top three firms up for consideration.
The largest of the three firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers employs over 146,000 people spanning
150 different countries.
It provides services from six categories: audit and assurance, crisis
management, tax, transactions, and performance improvement.
It formed in 1998 with the
joining of Price Waterhouse and Coopers, two firms with over 150 years of history.
Because it is
the world’s largest accounting firm, it has additional leverage within the Big Four.
dominant position means it faces severe completion, and so its power could wane in the coming
In addition, all three firms are extremely large and multinational, so the difference in size
is not of overwhelming importance.
Like the other two firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers has a
local office here in Raleigh (Datamonitor PricewaterhouseCoopers).
Another very large firm, Ernst & Young focuses on serving the thirteen major industries,
including banking, automotive, biotechnology and real estate.
It provides assurance and
advisory, transaction advisory, and taxation services. In addition it also aids clients in managing