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Here’s how you can pursue your articleship in the Big 4

It is a dream for many CA students to be able to do their articleship from one of the big 4.

For the unversed, the big 4 refers to 4 accounting firms recognized on a worldwide basis. They consist of powerful accounting firms namely, Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, and E&Y.

Apart from being at the helm of the finance domain, these companies also provide a nourishing experience when it comes to CA article ships.

These firms and their partner firms have a rich corporate culture and world-class pedigree which attracts candidates to article at these firms.

There are majorly two reasons why a CA candidate seeks to article for the big 4 firms,

  • Relatively better Stipend
  • Opportunity to work with elite clientele and understand their business.

In essence, these are also the major aspects that differentiate the big4 from other prestigious firms.

What are the requirements to get an articleship in the big4?

Conventional rules, and stereotypes will convince you that you need to clear both groups of IPCC, in the first attempt to even apply for articleship in these firms.

As you might have guessed, that’s not true!

Scoring high in the IPCC, and clearing the groups in the first attempts might give you an edge over the other highly voluminous competition.

However, it’s not a constraint to be able to apply for the big 4.

If you are an IPCC rank holder or have cleared the groups on 1st attempt, (or for that matter have relatives who have connections in the big4),  then you will have an easy way to get an interview and a chance to apply for the firms.

However, if you don’t have any of that, that doesn’t mean that you are incapable of applying for these firms.

It just means that you have to try that much harder to impress them on the first go.

A thumb rule for that is being proper, and planning well for your efforts.

Stipend expectations when doing articleship from the Big 4

The Big4 firms are known to offer the highest articleship stipends among other companies.

This is part of the reason many CA students strive to do their article ships from these firms.

ICAI has set the standards for the minimum stipend an article must receive during his/her articleship period.

Following are the minimum stipend constraints set by the ICAI:

minimum stipend for articleship

Now when it comes to the Big 4 firms, they pay a much higher stipend to their articles.

On average, an article working for these firms could expect a stipend of ₹12,000 for the 1st year, ₹16,000 for the 2nd year, and ₹20,000 for the remaining articleship period.

However monetary benefits are not the only reason students flock over to the Big 4 firms, the kind of corporate exposure, and work experience they can provide to their articles is unparalleled.

Methods to apply for articleship in the big 4

While the vacancies/applicants ratio is unbelievably low in the case of Big 4 firms, if you have the right skills and put in some extra efforts, you might as well become a part of the top 1%. (or in this case, top 0.1%)

Here are some methods by which you can apply for the big 4 firms:

Search for opportunities on the ICAI BoS Articleship portal

If you are a CA student seeking an articleship, you can visit http://bosapp.icai.org to get information about companies that might have listed their requirements for articles on the platform. 

The Board of Studies (BoS) has also introduced an optional Articles Placement Scheme for the selection of Articled Assistants by CA Firms.

Under this scheme, CA firms requiring articled assistants can interact with candidates who have either passed group-1 or both groups, or have been admitted under the Direct Entry Scheme, and are eligible for undergoing articled training for selection as articled assistants in the C A Firms

Find articleship requirements through job portals

Job portals can be a powerful way to find and convert job vacancies.

They can also be utilized for finding good articleship positions.

You can create your account through these portals and apply to vacancies listed on the platforms.

These job portals usually have a vast network of recruiters and HRs and thus have information about the latest job vacancies that they share on their platforms.

Some Job portals can also help you find and land these positions through counseling and training resources.

Visit this job portal to find your desired articleship opportunities.

Apply for articleship directly with the firm

Often CA students miss out on this obvious information, but you do have the option of applying directly to the big 4 firms. You can contact these firms directly by appealing to their articleship recruitment department, taking your time, filling out your application form, and submitting it directly along with your CV.

The easiest way to proceed with that is to visit the official websites of these firms and look for any current articles requirements.

You can also connect with the firms’ HRs and get started on the hiring process.

Reviewing the ICAI noticeboard periodically

ICAI itself can provide you with a vast number of opportunities, and you should not take those lightly.

Oftentimes, the big 4 companies post their articles requirements on ICAI’s noticeboards.

You can easily apply through it and opt-in for the interview process.

Even if you don’t see any Big4 opportunities, many prestigious firms post their requirements on the ICAI noticeboard, and thus you can go for other better opportunities too, this way.

Applying for articleship through personal references

If you have good contacts up there in the corporate world who may already be employees on the Big4 firms, you have a good chance of being accepted as an article there.

Just tug on those connections and they may help you get an interview with the firm.

Additionally, if you don’t have such contacts, you can build them by interacting on social platforms.

Remember though, your contacts or references can at most times, only get you an interview.

You will have to take care of the rest yourself.

Outbound using Linkedin

If you know how to leverage the power of LinkedIn, you will seldom need to opt for any other method or platform to meet your requirements.

Also See, Benefits of using Linkedin.

Linkedin is a great platform to search for job opportunities, as well as for hiring the right candidates for your requirements.

Thus almost all the HRs, recruiters, and company managers are present on Linkedin right now.

With the right approach, you can build some great contacts on Linkedin that might help you apply for an article ship in your desired firms. (including the Big4s)

However, before you start pitching out to HRs and recruiters, you need to build a trustworthy profile and showcase your experience and skills on Linkedin. In some ways, your Linkedin profile can also act as your online portfolio.

Once you have optimized your LinkedIn profile to match your skills and qualifications, you can start approaching company HRs and recruiters, and building connections.

Wanna learn how to make a kickass LinkedIn profile for a job search? Here you go.

Conclusion

While gaining an articleship for these firms is a bit of a task, it is worth every effort. However, even if end up not getting in any of the big 4 firms, it’s not a reason to worry.

There are a lot of big firms in which you can apply and still make it big in your CA career.

In the end, all that matters is your drive and your passion for your profession.

 

This information piece is brought to you in association with jobaaj.com

 

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