CA students struggle a lot until they pass CAF exams. They understand, to a good extent, how tough life actually is. They are also well aware of the fruits of hard work and know the value of the right approach and attitude to achieve challenging goals. Their eyes are in the sky and they are anxious to get at the top in their profession.
Naturally, big-4 or big-10 is very fascinating for a newly-CAF qualified person. However, it must be understood that any well-reputed and medium-sized firm is not a bad option. A medium-sized firm might be a better option for a person who qualified CAF in 4 or 5 or 6 attempts as compared to a gigantic big-4. This being a personal viewpoint, I would like to share a few pros and cons of working in a medium-sized firm for the guidance of students.


  • Variety of work: There are small as well as big audit clients. Taxation assignments are also in reach. If you are smart enough, you can learn much more than your friend doing articles from any big-4.
  • More independence: Within 6 months of induction, you are doing things wholly independently until it is review time.
  • More time for studies: Usually, there are no hectic late sittings making you panic about your studies. One can easily plan and study for final stage exams besides performing excellently in the firm.
  • Direct interaction with Senior Partner: For a CA student, the senior partners will always be available. In big-4, it is quite possible that you will not interact with the partner for all 3.5 years.
  • Social life: While working in a big-4 or big-10, it is not possible to spare time for your family, friends and essential social engagements or sports, exercise, etc. In a mid-sized firm, one can easily ensure the balance between work and social life.
  • In-depth understanding and learning: Due to frequent discussions, on a range of topics, with senior management of various clients while carrying out audit assignments.
  • CONS:

  • Lesser prospects: After qualification or articles, apparently, there are lesser prospects for a non-big-4 person since the score of big companies specifically seek big-4 experienced persons for jobs. However, a senior CA aspirant knows that you have a range of options after articles. And it is your decision that matters most rather than any company’s preference etc.
  • Uncertain/difficult environment: Mid-sized firms usually have an uncertain environment and there is no defined way to get things done. Where it provides a brilliant mind an opportunity to grow, it may also act as an impediment for talented individuals to reach their potential.
  • Semi-qualified managers: Managers in mid-sized firms are semi-qualified. Whereas, in large firms, there are qualified and sheer professional managers looking after your work and problems.
  • Limited horizon: If you have been brilliant throughout your student life and have passed CAF in 4 attempts, you deserve to audit accounts of a bank and/or multinationals. It will surely broaden your horizons and help you become a better professional. Mid-sized firms don’t give you an opportunity for that.
  • A fact to be kept in mind while choosing a firm is that there is no established ranking of Firms by any Credible Forum. What we hear or see on the internet about the ranking of accountancy/professional firms is based on the revenue of these firms.
    These are arbitrary rankings by various individuals that are totally unreliable. ICAP specifically prohibits organizations to seek CA qualified persons from big-4 etc. in their newspaper advertisements. 
    To ensure equality, ICAP also avoids publication of marks awarded to candidates passing its exams. A qualified person irrespective of his/her articles has matchless prospects around the Globe. 
    Therefore, it is advisable that if you are not doing articles from any big-4 or big-10, relax and focus on studies and learning auditing/taxation skills. There exists a platform providing bright students an opportunity to come on the front beating anyone else from large CA Firms. GOOD LUCK! 
    Meanwhile, where ever you are training, qualifying CA is the ultimate goal and every student's dream. Don't sacrifice your studies while training. 

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