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Hello everyone!!

My name is Mayank Goel, and I am just like you all, a CA student, who cleared his IPCC in May 14… and by God’s grace I passed in first attempt and unexpectedly secured AIR 16. Though at first, there was no limit of my happiness, later I started feeling that “rank laa ke phass gya yaar...” (I have got myself stuck by getting a rank), because I was not prepared for it. I never dreamed of a rank, so I never thought of working as an article in big four. As I thought that only rank holders get themselves in the Big Four - (999999% a myth).

I just wanted to join a mediocre firm and spend my 2 years there with an Industrial Training for the last one. But it’s quite true, that no one seriously expects a rank, he just gets one. Well, at that time my sister told that I should look for a big four. But what are the pros and cons of big 4.

I am writing this article as I want all of you to clear your doubts, read my interview experiences to prepare yourself, just like the way I wanted to have one before my Articleship.

Before you go further I must inform you all, that I have joined Deloitte as an Article in the audit dept.

PROS AND CONS

Good ones :)

1. First of all, the tag of big four, is just like Xaviers! Working in big four is like being the king of the jungle… The respect and pride is all yours!!

2. The most important and the definite one, once you complete your Articleship from a big four and pass your finals (even if your attempt gets delayed) you need not search for a job as they will themselves hire you at a good package. Real life example is my friend who did Articleship from Deloitte and passed in third attempt. Joined Deloitte at 7 lacs (fairly, a good one for a fresher).

3. And even if u go for an interview in another company your CV will just outweigh any other candidates CV.

4. You get a damn good exposure…u meet big clients and add much more to your skills than you can do so by working in a small firm. You get a real feel of corporate life.

The bad ones :-(

1. You get very very busy….long working hours…. No time to study.

2. They can have lots of outstations.

3. Social life gets disturbed.

4. If you get a factory audit, then near about 1-1.5 months in a rural area busy auditing the factory.

5. Leaves!! Getting one is a tough job. (though you’ll get good one after 2.5yrs to prepare for your exams)

6. Frustration at its best.

But in this case, what I feel is, the good surely seems to outweigh the bad.

Reasons-

1. There are people who work in big four and get through the exams. So why can’t we?

2. No need to worry for a job.

3. When you join a big 4 you need to be mentally prepared for managing social life and family functions. (But it’s not that your social life ends then & there itself)

4. It’s about management. When we can manage college, tuitions, self-studies altogether during IPCC, why can’t we handle tuitions, Articleship and finals?

5. Most classes have an online video backup…prefer them.

My Interviews

I passed on 22nd August, my friend called me up on 23rd morning and forced me to come with him and drop CVs at D.B. Desai (leading tax firm) and E&Y. On the same day I got a call for interview in D.B. Desai which I didn't want to join because it’s more of tax (actually whole of tax, apart some mergers and acquisitions), but yes, I wanted to get an interview experience there.

I must tell you all, from what I have experienced is that, even if you get a rank, u won’t get a call from big 4. If u get one, you are lucky enough. You need a good strong source to get in big four, because for them even my marks (539) weren't sufficient. And now that I am selected, have a friend with me who got 365 and got selected with me. One more friend got selected in E&Y, though he just passed one group. So you can see it’s just the game of sources. From where to get sources? Ask your Mom-Dad if they have one. Any relative/friend working in big four. Any friend/relative who is a client of big 4

D.B. Desai

This was my first call from any CA firm. So as it would have been, I was very afraid and nervous. I reached there 15 minutes earlier. They asked me and 2 others to wait. Almost after 1.5 hr, they gave us a form asking our details. Along with the form was Declaration stating that you won’t give interview in any other firm, neither would you join any other firm. But that’s only if your first preference is D.B. Desai.

Then after 1 hr they called us for interview. They asked some basic questions, such as something about yourself, your native place, any problem in long working hours, outstations, budget, chapter VI-A (tax) etc. Then they asked me what my favourite subject is. I, as stated earlier, was not much interested in D.B. Desai, so I said that my favourite Subject is Accounts and Audit. For one sec, he stood shocked, asked me what about tax…. I said nothing :-D . Then he asked me if D.B. Desai is my first preference, I stated No, as my first preference was Deloitte.

Then after some time, they simply asked me to leave and said if I ever desired to join D.B. Desai, I can call them and they will process my candidature further. Through this article, I am not stating that D.B. Desai is not a good firm. In fact, it’s the best firm if you want tax.

But make it sure, that you are clear of yourself about where you want to join. And remember, if you have any objection or doubts, make sure you raise them in the interview itself.

Ernst & Young (EY)

I got a call from EY which asked me to come for a MCQ test. Just getting a call from EY was a dream come true. But I must tell you all here, that the call I got was because of source and not because of the CV I dropped there. I gave my test.

It contained three sections:

- Quantitative aptitude (Maths, just like CPT)

- Logical and Reasoning (a bit tough)

- English

- Accounts and GK

The test was OK but time constraint is a big problem. Calculators were not allowed. Anyways, I never got a call from EY again.

KPMG

This one was a memorable experience. I was called at 11 am. Gave my online MCQ test.

It consisted of –

1. English (jumbled sentences, meanings, Grammar, unseen passage, all a fairly bit tough)

2. Tax (sections and all)

3. Accounts and Audit (SAs were asked too)

Fortunately I passed my online test and thereafter was sent for HR round.

In HR round, the HR manager interacts with you. No knowledge/Subject based questions. At KPMG, HR asked me-

1. About myself and my family

2. Why big four? (very common)

3. Which tuitions for IPCC did you take?

4. Outstation audits a problem for you?

5. Long working hours?

After HR round I was sent for Technical round. In technical, you are asked about subjects and studies

I was asked-

1. What is AS 6?

2. What do you know about new Companies act 2?

3. Why do u think tuitions are necessary? How they helped you? What are their benefits? (I got bowled in this one as I said good about tuitions and suddenly midway she said that she thinks tuitions are hopeless and spoon feeding….I got blank, somehow I managed to get through it, but later I just stammered in each question she asked )

4. Why do you want to get into big four?

5. Any other course you are pursuing?

6. How will you manage your Tuitions, Articleship and finals? (Got bowled in this one too- Please prepare a good answer for this. Make them believe that Big 4 is your first priority)

Then finally for the partners round. We had to wait for 5 hours for the partner round. It took place at 8 pm!!!!! I reached home that day at 10 pm (after my father :p ). Partner round is nothing but sort of discussion between you and the partner.

What happened-

1. I was taking out my CV, he asked me what are you taking out? I said my CV. He just replied “Did I ask for it?” (over ki pehli ball pe wicket udd gaya)

2. Tell us about yourself

3. Why did you chose CA ? (never let them feel that since you were in commerce, CA was the only option…any other reason)

4. Why KPMG, Why not PWC, Deloitte? (again a bombarding question…coz why big four is ok, but why KPMG in big four means you need to compare KPMG with other big 4 )

5. Ask me anything (I asked the partner about his Articleship)

6. Then he said you can leave, vacancies are less, we will be informed within a week.

Wonderful experience, but the best was yet to come.

DELOITTE!!

Got a call from Deloitte, and though I was already selected by KPMG by that time, I still thought of bumping into Deloitte. The interview, here was a totally unexpected one, and of course, very thought-provoking.

I can never forget the questions they asked…..simply incredible. Though the guy was helpful & understanding, but he just sucked me out. Asked me questions from each subject (ek ek subject ko pakad pakad ke question puch rhe the). He just asked questions which were out of the box !!

Now the real game starts (duration 35 minutes). You may at first think that these are pretty easy questions. Yes they are… but believe me, you forget everything inside the interview cabin.

1. Tell us something about yourself (fairly common)

2. What were your subjects in IPCC? explain everyone a bit

3. Is long working hrs a problem?

4. Outstation audits problem?

5. What do you know about New Companies Act?

6. ** Suppose you are selected in Deloitte, I am your boss, I send you to a client, what are the things you’ll require from me…what will you ask me (“sir, yehi to sikhne aya hu”)

Answer I gave- I will ask you what I am supposed to do there, who will I be reporting to, whether any senior Article is accompanying me or not…..blah blah blah….

Correct answer:- Apart from above, most important…clients business and clients details

7. ** OK. Now you go to client. He gives you two sheets:-

1. Sales

2. Bills receivables.

How will you check them.

Again an unexpected one, but somehow I managed. As and when I tried shifting from sales to Bills receivable, he would say “no no, leave BR, first sales, then we will move to BR”.

8. *Ok now you are given sales managers remuneration, how will you check it (forgot to mention sales manipulation via cut off arrangements, he himself told me)

9. You are given the sheet of provisions how will you check it, what analytical procedures will you apply?

10. What is the difference between Accounts and Advance accounts.

11. Which AS have you studied? i.e. all AS..

12. What is AS 16 ?

- What are qualifying assets?
- What are considered as borrowing cost ?
- Give examples of non-qualifying assets? I said investments. Then he asked why is it not a qualifying asset?

(ek ke baad ek teer maare jar ha tha)

13. Unexpected one. Tell me about AS 29 in details. (Yaar, AS 29 bhi koi dhang se padhta hai..and AS 29 pe koi detailed que puchta hai kya ?)

14. Tell me about AS 2.

I told him what I knew. About cost determination for FG and RM

Next, what is NRV? Give examples with figures

What is inventory?

What is FG?

FG is measured at …?

What is Cost ? What comprises cost ?
I said direct labour, material, variable ohds, fixed ohds ..

What are fixed overheads?

How are they charged? (I said on recovery rate)
How is recovery rate calculated?

***********he gave me three case.

Case 1. Goods produced 100(standard)
Case 2. Goods produced 1000
Case 3. Goods produced 10

What will be the recovery rate ? (yeh kya question puch lia… clean bowled…interview me itna dimaag nai chalta…upar se exam diye hue 2.5 months ho gye the)

You just need to manage their questions, show them confidence. Anyways, overall interview was ok. And finally by God’s grace I got selected in Deloitte itself.

I wrote this after 4 months, and hope to write again after 1-1.5 years to share the work experience.

Hope this article helps you out and answers all your unanswered ques. I tried to be clear and elaborative (but kuch jyada elaborate kar dia !!)

Anyways, feel free to contact me at mayankisgoel@gmail.com

MAYANK GOEL

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Category Career, Other Articles by - Mayank Goel 



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