The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

February 02, 2018

Despite Concerns About Work-life Balance, Big Four Still Fairs Well


On January 31st, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants released a report based on the findings of surveyed ACCA members: students aged between 16 and 36 years old. This sector-specific report, which was a deeper look at a 2016 ACCA study of 19,000 participants, focused on 1,300 respondents globally working for small or medium-sized accounting firms.

The findings of the report concluded that large accountancy firms, specifically Big Four, provided higher rates of job satisfaction. According to Maggie McGhee, director of professional insights at ACCA, “At large accountancy firms, job satisfaction scored higher, particularly those in Big Four where almost 60 percent of our respondents said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their job. They appreciate the value of experiences they can gain, and they see clear potential for progression, recognizing the learning and development opportunities available to them.”

Warner Johnston, head of ACCA USA, “We’ve also found that more than those in other sectors, young professionals in large accountancy firms see clear potential for progression and great access to learning and development opportunities within their firm.”

Although the larger firms, including Big Four, indicated that they enjoyed greater satisfaction in their role, respondents also expressed concern with work-life balance. Forty-eight percent of respondents at Big Four firms found that their work-life balance was “worse or much worse” than expected since beginning their careers there. Another 48 percent of Big Four respondents considered their workloads to be “too great”. Thirty-nine percent of mid-tier respondents also found their work-life balance to be worse than expected. Thirty-five percent considered their workloads to be too much.

The report can be found here.

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