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How to Apply to Big 4 for Articleship?
This is an oft asked question on this blog. Big4 in a way created brand for themselves – and doing articleship training with them is much sought after. Usually Big4 would take students who have got good marks and cleared the groups in one attempt. The way to apply to Big4:
1) ICAI BoS Articleship Placement Portal http://bosapp.icai.org/
2) Most often the Big4 firms put out the application for articleship on the local ICAI office notice board – so one can apply through it
3) Direct deposit of application form to their office. Its often wiser method to get telephone number of such firm and try to speak to the articleship recruitment dept. In some firms, one can meet the HR people, but in others, one may not be let inside their office!
4) Application through email
5) If you know some CA who is working in such firm, then that may be a good route to apply.
A few things to remember about Big 4
In India, the Big 4 is a tag for the Big Consultancy firm on a worldwide basis. However from the articleship perspective, one should remember that each of such firms have different CA firms attached to them. It is these CA firms where one would be doing articleship.
Now, these CA firms may have the same name as the Big4 or may have different name. So for example one of the Firms related to E&Y is SR Batliboi & Co etc, similarly one of the CA Firm attached to KPMG is BSR & Co, for Deloitt one is AF Furguson & Co.
In PwC, the firms attached go by the name of PriceWaterHouse and Lovelock & Lewis. Now, even PriceWaterHouse is not one firm – but there are 7 to 8 different CA Firms in different cities in India that go by this same name of PriceWaterHouse! So PwC in Delhi may be pretty different than that in Bangalore!
Moreover such firms may even be Proprietorship! One of the firms that go by name of LoveLock & Lewis is Proprietorship! – but then these are Big!
Another thing to remember, that while in a Big4 firm, at a place there may be 10 to 15 partners, but there may be 70 to 80 CA employee working under them – so its big hierarchy! And CA students may not even be able to meet the Principal (if the Principal is a partner)
Avenues to articleship in Big 4
Apart from doing the ‘normal’ articleship in one of the CA firms attached to Big4, there are other ways also:
1) As per ICAI, one can take training under a CA who is employee in a CA firm. So, if the Big4 firms allows such a thing, then one can do articleship under any of the CA employee of such Big4 firm
2) One can do industrial training in the Big 4 during last year of articleship, as the Big4 (the private limited consultancy company) is eligible for providing such industrial training by ICAI
Induction Process in Firms
The usual way of inducting an Article is interview. In Big firms there may be two levels of interview – HR interview & Partner level interview. In other firms it may be the partner directly taking interview. If you have worked previously with any CA firm, and the CA knows you well, he would not need to take your interview.
Key aspects for entry are as under (requirement)
1. Communication skill –
English (verbal & written) is very critical for entry into Big4. If your English is OK then try to further improve it with correct pronunciation & accent while speaking English.
At the time of Group discussion, decide your position to speak & respond depending upon knowledge of topic. Starting the discussion is not necessary, you need to listen others, respond in logical manner, if you don’t agree to something raise your views with caution and defend with very strong logic. Give chance to others to speak.
2. Technical knowledge –
Depending upon your current exam status, you need to be very strong in Accounting Standards, Income Tax Act, Companies Act, Auditing Standards, etc.
Please mark my word, even if you are not excellent in English & you have strong technical knowledge & capability to showcase that knowledge during written test / Group Discussion & interview then you will definitely get entry into Big4.
3. Computer Skills –
You should have good knowledge of Ms-Word, Excel & PowerPoint.
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