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Accounting Firms Are Still Most Dreamed Employer



Not many people love to work for accounting firms, even the accountants themselves. “It is boring”, they say (and you may think?). Wrong. At least according to a survey report released by Universum, a Stockholm-based research firm. The report shows that The Big Four (accounting firms)—KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte are still in the top 10 most dreamed employers, voted by not less than 160,000 college students around the globe.

If you are someone who love read tech news just like me, chances are you falsely think that accounting firms are not a kind of favored workplaces—they must be other types of business, such as social media companies like Facebook or even Twitter, as they often hyped around the news buzz.


“Universum skips all the hype and goes straight to college students to ask them where they would like to work”, a report at BusinessWeek Bloomberg  (BW) reads. Among those often-hyped companies, only Google in the top five followed by accounting firms on the 2nd until 5th position. Here are the top ten (among 50 published at BusinessWeek Bloomberg):

Rank-1. Google (Industry: Technology, Employees: 28,768) – Google has been ranked as the most attractive employer since three years ago, according to report at BW. The report reads that among Google’s reasons to work at Google are: “Life is beautiful,” “we love our employees,” and “work and play are not mutually exclusive.”

Rank-2. KPMG (Industry: Professional Services, Employees: 138,000) – It was also in the rank 2nd in 2010. According to the report, “the company encourages young employees with more than 8,000 mentoring relationships among 11,000 employees and partners. The company also pushes such fun stuff as a Super Bowl challenge with iPads and Kindles for prizes, as well as a vacation photo challenge.”

Rank-3. PricewaterhouseCoopers (Industry: Professional Services, Employees: 161,000) – It was in rank 4th in 2010. “The company has been known to give employees surprise gifts or paid days off over holidays, including a week off during recent December holiday seasons and around July 4th,” according to the report.

Rank-4. Ernst & Young (Industry: Professional Services, Employees: 141,000) – Ernst & Young went down from rank 3rd in 2010. Th report at BW reads that “Every year, a few thousand newly promoted managers and directors are brought together for a week-long meeting. Such perks, along with great benefits and pay, help build strong interest in working for Ernst & Young.”

Rank-5. Deloitte (Industry: Professional Services, Employees: 50,000 U.S. only) – It was also rank 5th in 2010. “The company’s main areas of hiring: audit, risk services, consulting, financial advisory, internal services, and tax,” according to BW’s report, and “Paid time off at Deloitte starts at 20 days and eight holidays. The company also offers an unpaid one-month sabbatical or three- to six month sabbaticals at 40 percent pay.”

Rank-6. Microsoft (Industry: Technology, Employees: 90,000) – It steps up from rank 7th in 2010. The company “gives employees such benefits as free health screenings at work, tuition reimbursement, and gym memberships,” BW’s report reads, and “popular employee programs like the the mentor program and the breakfast series that features speakers and free food help keep current employees and attract new ones.”

Rank-7. Procter & Gamble (Industry: Consumer Goods, Employees: 129,000) – It step down from rank 6th in 2010. The company reports that nearly 500,000 people apply each year, with fewer than one percent hired. The reason of why applicants compete for P&G opening? “Procter & Gamble  hires young people and sticks with them through a development philosophy of “build from within,” the report said.

Rank-8. J.P. Morgan (Industry: Banking/Finance, Employees: 250,095) – It was in rank 9 in 2010. Why is it one among many companies that most dreamed employer? “Employees get discounts on car loans, refinancing, gym memberships, and computers made by Apple and Dell, at J.P. Morgan”, the report reads.

Rank-9. Apple (Industry: Technology, Employees: 46,600) – The iPhone and iPad gadget maker jumped high up from rank 18 in 2010. Why is it even business school students dream to work for Apple? “The company’s products are part of the lure for prospective employees, along with the possibility of working at one of four hip “campuses” located in Silicon Valley, Austin, Tex., Singapore, and Cork, Ireland,” the report reads.

Rank-10. Goldman Sachs (Industry: Banking/Finance, Employees: 34,100) – It was also rank  in 2010. The owner of the Goldman Sachs University “encourages continuing education through more than 4,000 programs offered” at its campus, the report reads, and “the company rewards employees with an annual year end bonus, equity awards, and great benefits”.

I am curious, what will be the result if the research involves accountants around the world (includes The Big Four employees), as respondent. What do you think the result will be?

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