Articles outside practice (TOoP) And Charisma of Big-4

-By Lightbringer

As most of you are free nowadays after taking the last exams of CAF and waiting for your inductions, we will discuss some frequently asked questions in this blog concerning inductions.

The article has two halves. The first half will address the questions like opportunities available outside practice. i.e.(Training Organizations outside Practice(TOoP) Or Industry articles ) and later will clear your apprehensions and lust for big-4 (What would be the career opportunities for you, If you do not have the name of any big-4 on your C.V)

Many people are seeking career advice nowadays. They usually have made up their mind and ask others just for the sake of confirmation, or they make an effort that the recommendation favoring their orientation is advanced to them. ​

Articles Outside Practice (industry articles)

Sounds like a buzz word these days due to its increasing demand among ICAP students who want to join training to be eligible for CFAP examinations and finally to become a qualified Chartered Accountant. 

The introduction of industry articles jeopardized the race between the firms. Before embarking into the discussion, I would like to disclaim that, there is no absolute advice in the world. One thing may work for A but may not work for B so B has to assess for himself whether he should go the A’s way or not. 

If you intend to run your firm:

A person who feels he would establish his practice one day (which is esteem of the profession obviously) should not even think of industry because basics of running a firm can’t be learned at industry! However, if you have no such intention you can choose the industry of your choice.

Difference between operations:

You need to understand how the firms and industries operate; there is a vast difference. Firm seniors know they have to leave the firm one day and they make juniors learn things because they will feel relaxed if juniors are equipped. While in industry, people usually don’t want others to discover their job as they fear job safety issues.

Further at a firm you will start as a junior doing trivial things, and your role shall keep on bettering, and ultimately you will become a senior, but in industry, there is no guarantee. You may keep making the payments vouching for entire period Or only learn the basics of a few departments of the company.  Might as well keep working in one department for the rest of your career.

Better learning opportunities:

In the firms, you have better chances to learn because of diversified exposure. You will be rotated from the audit department to advisory and from advisory to tax. But in the industry, It is probable that you will be busy doing the same monotonous work.

Career progress:

Industry articles do not suit people who want to achieve big in the profession. You can become a partner of a firm starting from trainee but hardly will you become a CFO in the company where you started as a trainee (exceptions could be there but very rare). Ending up being a line manager doesn't go with your qualification as well. If you are putting in that much hard work, don't ruin it for temporary benefits.

Well, to whom the industry articles suit then?

1: Too much financially distressed persons because the industries usually pay better stipends.

2: You are not overburdened because of late sittings. And you enjoy two full-fledged holidays every week.

The charisma of Big-4:

Almost every individual who enters this profession has the desire to complete his articles from Big-4. We are told this thing from the very first day when we are not even aware of the firms and what Big 4 even means. But, it is a bitter reality that all of you can’t make it over there.

So what should rest of you do?

If you get a chance in any of the Big-4 firms, it is good, do give it a serious try, but if you can't get it, do not waste your precious time pursuing the Big 4 firms. Professional world doesn’t end at big 4. It's just a tag without which you'd do fine if you are competent.

Further, the Category A, B, or C matters just for the audit function of the firm and revenue of the partners, it is big 4 and others, simply.

Now, if I say to anybody that you will be successful in any field and any studies, he/she wouldn't believe me. I can narrate several examples of failures and successes in any field. MBA from the same university, but one person is a failure (or successful in own way), and the other is a success (again, subjective). Two people qualified CA, out of which one did his articles from one of the BIG-4 and the other completed his articles from a mediocre firm. The latter is earning more respect, name, status, and prestige. And yes, a CA and an MBA both can become finance ministers too.

People are crazy for making their child a doctor; is every doctor enjoying life equally? Aren't there doctors who left the profession for business or any other fields? I know people who are just diploma holders and earning millions a month, and I meet people who are suitably qualified graduates from top universities of the country but still not able to find a job. What does really matter? Should people be that much choosy about career choices? Shouldn't people start doing anything and then try to make the most of it? 

Role of reference ( PAWAS)

Reference, PAWA or anything like that can't decide your future. Allah rewards hard work always. If you work hard, you will be a successful professional no matter which firm you go to. Don’t keep complaining of others that they got more significant firms because of their references or anything; Life has always been like that it’s just that you are experiencing it for the first time. Moreover, more than 50% of inductions in Big-4 are still on merit. So if you can't make it over, there don't be discouraged and stay positive.

Ponder the Pros and Cons

You are new to practical life; I want to tell you that nobody owes you anything here. You have to earn respect, the money, and prestige by your hard work. There are both advantages and disadvantages of big and small firms. The most important thing is that you should be able to pass the exams within articles. The firms having a history of creating hurdles in the professional qualification should be avoided, be it big or small firm. Seniors advising on such issues should make sure that they do not put blames of their inabilities on the firm. Honest advice is also a form of Sadqa.   

Further, ERP, TAX, Business Advisory is no less than the audit department of a firm. Without undermining any other department, I would say people having experience of tax and corporate matters gets better-paid jobs than others at times. 

In the inference, I am summing up all the debate in a nutshell.

You decide that either you want to go for a low ranked firm or a place like Unilever's, Seimens or any other renowned industry.

Moreover, It is utterly up to you that either you will wait for another six months in the hope of induction in Big-4 or you will go for a relatively low ranked firm in which you will be doing all the work by yourself and learning all the dimensions.

I hope this article helps you to take a better decision.

No matter wherever your articles are, whether in firm or industry, remember that you'll need to study smart to qualify exams on time. Look nowhere else to understand how you can study smart when Nearpeer brings you online courses by the best faculty of CA. Whether you'll be in a remote city on a stock-taking task or your boss doesn't allow you to leave for classes in an institute, you do not have to worry. Check out Nearpeer's online courses to take back control of your learning. 

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