Deloitte v. KPMG

Deloitte Auditor Wants to Know if Joining KPMG’s IT Advisory Group Is a Good Idea

Editor’s Note: Have a question for the career advice brain trust? Email us at advice@goingconcern.com.

Hello C,

So with the new found (and welcome) love for Advisory on goingconcern.com I feel comfortable posing my question:
I am currently a 2nd year at D&T audit in Dallas, I am contemplating a move to KPMG’s IT advisory, I currently make $54k and KPMG has offered me $60k. I have some IT in my background and enjoy IT related stuff but don’t want to be stuck in Audit support as an IT Advisory Associate. KPMG has promised me the ability to move within Advisory…so here is my list of questions:

1. Would that switch be the right move for my long term career growth?

DWB:I cannot speak clearly on what your long term career growth can or cannot be without knowing what your goals are. Being that you’re two years into your career, I’m not expecting you to fully know either. That said, I suggest that you look at this in two ways: 1) what are you long term career options if you stay at DT, and 2) what are your options if you leave and enter the advisory practice at KPMG? Weigh these options with your roughly outlined career goals and take it from there. In your favor is the fact that Dallas is a larger market for both firms, so options are not as limited as they would be elsewhere.

2. Should I take the opportunity to progress towards specializing in an ERP and get more technical with IT or eventually switch to M&A/Forensics (another interest of mine).

DWB: Listen – playing first base for the Yankees is an interest of mine but it simply isn’t going to happen. I’m not saying you can’t bounce over to M&A or Forensic (drop the “s” from the name and realize they’re two separate groups at KPMG), but I am hinting at the fact that it is going to be difficult. Advisory lines of business are BOOMING right now for the Big 4, which means they have the ability to go to market and hire individuals with relevant talent. Also, should you move out of IT, that’s just one more position KPMG would have to fill as well. I’m not doubting your talents, skillset, and drive, but I don’t plan on batting clean up anytime soon.

3. What do I do after a few years of KPMG IT Advisory experience? would I be considered for Controller type (because of my Acct degree and Audit exp) jobs or only CIO career path (due to the IT tag)?

DWB: If the market dips again, prepare to fight for your current job. Advisory lines at Big 4 are the first to get slashed when the going gets tough (more discretionary lines of business, too dependent on an active client base, etc.), and IT Advisory at KPMG was slaughtered back in 2008/2009. Also, your two years of audit experience hardly prepare you to compete with senior staff and manager public accountants interviewing for the same controller roles.

4. Am I getting paid a competitive salary at $60k?

Honestly, I have no idea. Can someone in the peanut gallery chime in? What are experienced associates in Dallas making in IT advisory these days? If my gut tells me correctly, you’re a steal for KPMG. One more thing I want to harp on, although I touched on it above in #2:
“KPMG has promised me the ability to move within advisory.” This line is out of the Recruiting for Dummies. The different business lines in Big 4 advisory – as close as they may work together – are very specialized in their skill sets. Being an expert on SAS 70 reviews does not automatically make you an expert with regards to historical due diligence analysis and breaking down a company’s EBIDTA numbers.

Deloitte Bankrolls Center for Ethical Leadership at Notre Dame

John Veihmeyer can’t be pleased by this.

The Notre Dame/Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership will focus on advancing ethical leadership in business, including research, thought leadership and the dissemination of ethics-related content to the business community in the United State and around the world, the university announced Monday.

The center is being established with a major gift from Deloitte LLP, a private professional services company, according to the university. The amount of the gift was not disclosed.

Presumably portions of the curriculum will educate students on how to piece together your spouse’s new hobby with insider trading activity.

Notre Dame starts business ethics center [SBT]

Decision Time for One Recruit: Deloitte or KPMG?

Returning again with another edition of accounting career therapy, a recruit has two offers – one from Deloitte, one from KPMG. Rather than speak to their friends, family or flip a coin, they emailed us.

Need help making your next career move? Been taking a beating at work and need inspired? Need help deciding if you’re too hot for accounting? Send us your query (and pictures) to advice@goingconcern.com and we’ll be happy to help/judge.

I have an offer from Deloitte and KPMG. Where I reside, the local Deloitte is almost twice as large than the local KPMG, but is also known to work longer hours. Of course, rankings will say that Deloitte is better than KPMG and seemingly pays more according to my research done on this very site. I don’t want to seem shallow, but I am at the moment. Should I go for the money/prestigious name or the shorter hours?

On a side note, I’m honestly only looking to a 5- to 6-year plan in public accounting (hopefully to make manager). With that in mind, what route would you take between Deloitte and KPMG?


Ahhh, the firm versus firm debate. One of the oldest and stupidest to be had. But it’s fun, so let’s indulge, shall we?

Regardless of the back and forth you might read in the comments, judging the firms collectively is a waste of time. There are “good offices” and “bad offices” at each firm. How you choose to define “good” and “bad” is up to you but it sounds like you’ve painted yourself into a corner, saying “Big prestigious firm = good,” “Money = good” and “Long working hours = bad.” Choosing a firm based on this perception is futile exercise. The difference in money won’t be life changing and “shorter hours” probably won’t feel shorter. Trust us.

And you know who agrees with us? DWB.

Clearly in this situation, the KPMG recruiters did a better job managing (i.e. bullshitting) the “long hours” argument. Long hours are a simple fact of life. Unless you want to work at the Post Office, you’ll be hard pressed to find 9a-6p. Also, remember that regardless of where you start your career you will find yourself at the bottom of the food chain. Welcome to the Big 4, kid.

Try this on for size – forget money, prestige and long hours. What about – gasp – choosing the firm that seems like the best fit for you? Did you like the Deloitte people or were they snooty two-shoes? Did the KPMG people seem like a fun bunch or were they all work and no play, thus a bunch of dull mofos? You’re going to have to work with these people EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And many nights. And weekends. Do you want to be around people that you think you’ll enjoy working with or that you’ll consider suffocating with pillow or poisoning their late-night food?

With that in mind, make your choice. Hell, maybe it won’t be either firm but forget about money, perception and hours. If that’s your measuring stick for choosing a firm, then you may have bigger issues on your hands.