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To ask for your salary (Tax at Big 4)

(49 Posts)
Taxchick Tue 13-Dec-16 21:51:10

Hello everyone ,

I'm a regular that's name changed because I've started this topic with friends in the same position and don't want to be identified by my usual name.

I have reached the final stage of two Big 4 companies (for corporate tax) and I am really curious about salary I can expect. All the information I have access to is old or contradictory and thought I'd ask here. I realise most people here won't be at graduate level but I'm also interested in senior level salaries as that's obviously an important factor.

I'm reluctant to mention the two companies so am open to hearing about all Big 4 companies.

Everyone can share if they wish, but am particularly interested in that field.

Thanks !

TeenAndTween Tue 13-Dec-16 22:03:18

From my contacts, I think you would be much better off enquiring about how good their HR departments are, how fair they are when deciding bonuses, whether there is overt or covert sex discrimination etc.

I would be very surprised if the pay were massively different as they will need to pay competitively.

Whether pay is very good or very very good or excellent is neither here nor there if you are being managed poorly or discriminated against.

sparechange Tue 13-Dec-16 22:07:59

You would be better off looking on Glassdoor because that will have details of your actual role
Presumably the bonus is going to have a pretty big impact on the overall package...

Shirleyucantbeserious Tue 13-Dec-16 22:25:19

Big 4 tend to bench mark so pay fairly similar amounts at certain grades. are you going through the graduate route if so your pay will be fairly set for next few years. You're probably looking at starting low to mid 20s. Nq prob looking low to mid 30s new manager salary plus benefits totalling about 48-50. I would base my decision more on the culture and exam support (if relevant) you get which is different across big 4. Pwc and Kpmg are prob v similar and in my experience more relaxed places to work than deloittes (still a bit influenced by the Anderson culture?) and EY who seem on a constant hire/fire culture

DollyPlastic Tue 13-Dec-16 22:28:20

I think graduate would be mid-twenties. Haven't you asked them?

Taxchick Tue 13-Dec-16 22:29:21

Thankyou for the replies. I've tried glassdoor and similar and found contracting responses or some just way off the mark (based on what I've heard).

I know the culture etc is important , but for the first 4 years,pay is quite important as I'll be saving for a deposit.

Shirley Is £28,000 too high an expectation for tax then ?

Chippednailvarnishing Tue 13-Dec-16 22:30:23

I second what Shirley said. The support to get you through your exams is very important. I would also be looking to see what happens if you don't pass...

DailyFail1 Tue 13-Dec-16 22:33:05

I am studying my degree but am older and work for a bank. Was told by 2 of the big 4 that due to my experience they would be willing to match my existing salary even on the grad scheme. So I don't think the salaries on these grad schemes are set in stone at all. I looked at corporate tax and also economics related schemes.

ClashCityRocker Tue 13-Dec-16 22:33:29

Possibly. Last person I knew personally started at PWC on 27k but that was London based so was higher than standard I think. May be wrong though.

SnowyWhiteChristmas Tue 13-Dec-16 22:34:07

Based in London or regional?

eurochick Tue 13-Dec-16 22:34:15

As others have said there is a lot more to think about. But I know someone in tax at one of the big 4. He earns around 100k, with somewhere in the region of 15-20 years experience.

ThinkPinkStink Tue 13-Dec-16 22:35:04

I am ex Big Four (consultancy rather than tax).

Pp are correct that the BF benchmark so offer very similar salaries (to my knowledge the only discrepancy is in the Assurance stream where KPMG pay above the odds).

You don't mention the role you're going for which has a huge impact on your salary, for instance (based on a bit of guess work)

Associate - maybe £24-£28k
Manager - £36k
Snr manager - £55-75k
Director - £75-£200k
Partner - £250k +

ClashCityRocker Tue 13-Dec-16 22:35:19

But yes, check the exam policy, 30k is no good if you're sacked for failing one exam. The burnout rates on the grad scheme are horrendous - they expect to lose a fair few.

DailyFail1 Tue 13-Dec-16 22:35:44

In london 30k is a reasonable starter. You will likely have an allowance added to it. Pay will increase as your qualifications and experience do. I know a 30 year old accountant who started with a big 4 on the grad scheme on 30k and is now earning over 100k.

thecolonelbumminganugget Tue 13-Dec-16 22:37:31

I've worked in CT for 2 of the big 4, it varies massively by region (and seniority obviously). I started on 27k (9 years ago so would probably be around 30k now in London. Salaries haven't risen much in that time!) DP started as a CT grad in regional office (5 years ago) on 21k

Chippednailvarnishing Tue 13-Dec-16 22:38:07

I know the culture etc is important , but for the first 4 years,pay is quite important as I'll be saving for a deposit
I don't wish to patronise you OP, but it's coming across that you might not see the bigger picture. If you aren't given enough time to attend classes and study, which then means you fail your exams it might have a significant effect on your employment and any subsequent pay rises.

Hateloggingin Tue 13-Dec-16 22:38:39

SM, not technical though and regional - £65k.... If London based would be circa £78k

Batteriesallgone Tue 13-Dec-16 22:40:56

London or regional?

Regional tax scheme you can expect low 20s across all Big 4 I think. London high 20s.

Pay and bonus varies massively once qualified. People who shout the loudest are paid most. One team I knew got drunk at Christmas party and the senior managers revealed their pay to each other. £20k difference between highest and lowest (with little to distinguish between them experience wise).

Also the progression rates are different - fast at Deloitte and EY, slow at KPMG, don't know about PWC so think it's slowish. 5 years post qualified you might be earning the same but be a manager one place and still assistant at another.

LizzieMacQueen Tue 13-Dec-16 22:42:01

This was my field 20 years ago and at manager level the salary was £35k. This was Glasgow.

Hateloggingin Tue 13-Dec-16 22:44:02

Cultures between big 4 v different too...

YelloDraw Tue 13-Dec-16 23:08:11

I know the culture etc is important , but for the first 4 years,pay is quite important as I'll be saving for a deposit

Culture is even more important in the first few years! Who you train with, how you train, how well they treat you with work and exams.

Also you can't really easily move big 4 after qualifying. Only people who haven't progressed well move as a new qual to another big 4 unless there are other reasons like geographic location.

New grad:
In london you can get high twenties. Regions you get low twenties.

New qualified:
London - 40k ish
Regions 32k ish

You'll get more in corporate finance but it isn't the big cash of yesteryear.

ClashCityRocker Tue 13-Dec-16 23:10:04

Yes - go with the one that has the most likelihood of you still being there in four years time. I suspect difference in pay won't amount to much as others have said. The right study support is essential - I'm assuming you will be doing CTA? Or perhaps ACA/CTA combined?

The pass rates for CTA are notoriously low and very inconsistent over papers - in the May 16 sitting, only 28% of those sitting it passed the UK VAT paper and other papers have had similarly low pass rates - ACT has always been one people have tried to avoid if possible. I was one of those who would be gutted about getting 98% on an a level paper - Twas a bloody shock to the system was CTA! So I cannot emphasise enough choosing one that offers the best study support, even if they pay a couple of grand less per annum,

YelloDraw Tue 13-Dec-16 23:11:45

SM, not technical though and regional - £65k.... If London based would be circa £78k

Agree London SM approx 80 + bonus

Hateloggingin Tue 13-Dec-16 23:24:15

Yes think it's regional salary + 20% for London, forgot to mention the bonus, again can vary widely between departments.

HMIT Tue 13-Dec-16 23:28:48

HMRC'S graduate tax programme is pretty good salary wise but you do their in-house training. Post training salary at G7 level is c£48k but with a pay freeze you'd stay pretty static unless you got promotion to G6/SCS.

Some pay to do CTA themselves after training as HMRC tax qualifications provide for some exemptions from CTA papers, which cuts costs. I've never bothered.

If you're good and get a broad experience you can make the transition over to Big 4 in advisory or compliance. I know a fair few who have jumped. The money is very tempting but the CT work in HMRC is varied and interesting. Also scope to move into other areas of tax, try management, do policy work etc. Plus great parental leave policies, flexible working.

It does depend what you want out of your career short and long term.

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