Author Topic: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?  (Read 3935 times)

mozar

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Hello, I could use any tips at all because I'm not sure what I'm doing. It's super early, they're not aware of each other yet. I just really don't want to screw up. I was laid off 3 weeks ago and I will file for unemployment insurance soon.

So the first one I contacted this afternoon and I have already talked to the recruiter, who has already passed my resume around and says she wants to set me up with a hiring manager interview ASAP. And the other firm (the more pretentious one) had a hiring manager contact me late tonight. They're pretty similar. Any tips on how to intelligently play them off each other?

webguy

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 10:11:28 PM »
The first step would be to actually be offered a position. You can't really do much until that point.

marty998

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 12:50:37 AM »
Hard to know... I reckon you may squeeze $1 an hour extra out of them but they'd know every trick in the book and will intelligently decline your requests with pages of market salary surveys and the like.

What specialty are you in? Auditing is a pretty standard commodity - perform audit, ask questions, send everything to technical teams for review. Not a lot of scope to say "I'm a wonderful auditor, pay me more".

Tax and other consulting type area allow you to demonstrate any creative solutions and advice you have generated for clients, thereby proving your additional worth....

abby1234519

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 03:49:09 AM »
I never play two companies off each other. I explain to both that I am looking at both opportunities. If they really want me then they make the effort to get me.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2017, 03:56:09 AM »
Try to find out what the whole package is, not just the salary. And ask questions about company culture and diversity of people working there and find out if there are aspects that you like more about one of them. If there is one that you prefer to work at, then first find out if they really, really want YOU in particular. In that case you are in a position that you can negotiate the offer they made and tell them that your market value is higher. Sometimes you notice that you in such a position, but then you need to be way more attractive than any other candidates.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 05:16:45 AM by Linda_Norway »

Papa bear

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 04:54:37 AM »
The first step would be to actually be offered a position. You can't really do much until that point.

+1000

You have no one fighting over you yet until you have at least 1 offer.

Then you can mention you are looking at other Big4 firm as well, and have interview at X time. See if the offer sweetens.


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Lews Therin

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 05:19:33 AM »
I walked my girlfriend through this scenario:

Go to both interviews, if you get offers from both companies, take some time to look at the offers from each, taking into account distance to work, extras one has over the other.

You then want to negociate with the 2nd best option, in order to get them to beat the first offer (what would it take for them to be the new #1). If you lose the offer due to them being unwilling to negociate, well it was number 2 anyways, so you take the #1.

If your negociation goes well, take that new offer from the company and go back to the #1 company (who's offer is now less attractive than the other) and attempt to get them to match and/or beat the offer.

You could keep playing one off the other, but that depends on how easy it is to move from one to another. Make sure to be open during the negociation process that you have two offers, and are trying to figure out which of the two is the best, and that even thought you are very interested in Company 1 or 2, the other offer is just better at this time.

Rinse and repeat, or accept the offer on the table when one of the two refuses to increase their offer.
This way, you are always in the best case scenario.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 06:11:32 AM »
I walked my girlfriend through this scenario:

Go to both interviews, if you get offers from both companies, take some time to look at the offers from each, taking into account distance to work, extras one has over the other.

You then want to negociate with the 2nd best option, in order to get them to beat the first offer (what would it take for them to be the new #1). If you lose the offer due to them being unwilling to negociate, well it was number 2 anyways, so you take the #1.

If your negociation goes well, take that new offer from the company and go back to the #1 company (who's offer is now less attractive than the other) and attempt to get them to match and/or beat the offer.

You could keep playing one off the other, but that depends on how easy it is to move from one to another. Make sure to be open during the negociation process that you have two offers, and are trying to figure out which of the two is the best, and that even thought you are very interested in Company 1 or 2, the other offer is just better at this time.

Rinse and repeat, or accept the offer on the table when one of the two refuses to increase their offer.
This way, you are always in the best case scenario.

Being open about having 2 offers also lets them know that you are not really interested in the company itself, only in the money. Some companies like to hire people who are particularly motivated to work at their place.

Freedomin5

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 06:16:37 AM »
Each of the Big 4 also have their own corporate culture. I would say it's more important to interview at both and see which one fits your personality better. You want to make sure you're relatively happy there.

Laura33

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2017, 06:37:47 AM »
Each of the Big 4 also have their own corporate culture. I would say it's more important to interview at both and see which one fits your personality better. You want to make sure you're relatively happy there.

This.  Do the interviews.  See which one you like best.  Address any specific issues in the offer that you get, but don't try to overtly play one off the other; if you are already laid off, you are not negotiating from a position of strength, and you don't want both offers to evaporate.  The most I would recommend is, when you get the first offer, call up the hiring manager at the second firm and ask them what their timing is on their decision, because you have an offer from Company B, and they need an answer by X date, and you really really like Company A and would hate to lose the opportunity because of the response deadline, etc.

Lews Therin

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2017, 06:43:48 AM »
I walked my girlfriend through this scenario:

Go to both interviews, if you get offers from both companies, take some time to look at the offers from each, taking into account distance to work, extras one has over the other.

You then want to negociate with the 2nd best option, in order to get them to beat the first offer (what would it take for them to be the new #1). If you lose the offer due to them being unwilling to negociate, well it was number 2 anyways, so you take the #1.

If your negociation goes well, take that new offer from the company and go back to the #1 company (who's offer is now less attractive than the other) and attempt to get them to match and/or beat the offer.

You could keep playing one off the other, but that depends on how easy it is to move from one to another. Make sure to be open during the negociation process that you have two offers, and are trying to figure out which of the two is the best, and that even thought you are very interested in Company 1 or 2, the other offer is just better at this time.

Rinse and repeat, or accept the offer on the table when one of the two refuses to increase their offer.
This way, you are always in the best case scenario.

Being open about having 2 offers also lets them know that you are not really interested in the company itself, only in the money. Some companies like to hire people who are particularly motivated to work at their place.

being open about both offers doesn't mean it's all about money, but rather that you have options, and have a much better negotiating hand. That's why you negotiate the 2nd best first, in order to keep the best offer on the table at all times.

Most companies understand that they are not the best and only option, and understand that people looking for a job will look at multiple places. (Especially if they are the ones doing the hunting)

mozar

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2017, 07:37:24 AM »
Thanks for all the responses! I have actually worked at both places as a subcontractor so I know I like A better although B would look better on my resume. I would  like to know how I can mention B to A, which might make them speed up because B is more prestigious then A. More backstory is that A made me an offer years ago which I turned down and I have interviewed at B before and they turned me down. Both email me about once year to see if I am available. So its tricky, but no, I'm not going to be trying to see if I can get a little extra cash from an offer if I get one. They both pay great. B might scoff if I told them A was interested because they are considered number 1.

Case

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2017, 07:38:33 AM »
The first step would be to actually be offered a position. You can't really do much until that point.

+1000

You have no one fighting over you yet until you have at least 1 offer.

Then you can mention you are looking at other Big4 firm as well, and have interview at X time. See if the offer sweetens.


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very much agree; without an offer on the table you have no substance to your argument... no leverage.

So go get the other!  Then play hardball and squeeze as much money out of them as possible.

Lews Therin

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2017, 07:45:39 AM »
Thanks for all the responses! I have actually worked at both places as a subcontractor so I know I like A better although B would look better on my resume. I would  like to know how I can mention B to A, which might make them speed up because B is more prestigious then A. More backstory is that A made me an offer years ago which I turned down and I have interviewed at B before and they turned me down. Both email me about once year to see if I am available. So its tricky, but no, I'm not going to be trying to see if I can get a little extra cash from an offer if I get one. They both pay great. B might scoff if I told them A was interested because they are considered number 1.

I would avoid specifically getting into details, or even mentioning your other options, until you receive an offer from either of the companies. While you might get them to speed up, if you don't get the second company, you've significantly weakened your position and raised the risk of getting company A too.

You can simply tell B that you have an offer on the table from A; and then let the uncomfortable silence continue to see if you can get them to blink. But once again, when negotiating, if you are not prepared to lose the option, I would recommend very soft negotiations, Such as: Company A is willing to offer X, but I much prefer your company, is there any way you could do better than the first offer?

Mgmny

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2017, 08:05:54 AM »
I walked my girlfriend through this scenario:

Go to both interviews, if you get offers from both companies, take some time to look at the offers from each, taking into account distance to work, extras one has over the other.

You then want to negociate with the 2nd best option, in order to get them to beat the first offer (what would it take for them to be the new #1). If you lose the offer due to them being unwilling to negociate, well it was number 2 anyways, so you take the #1.

If your negociation goes well, take that new offer from the company and go back to the #1 company (who's offer is now less attractive than the other) and attempt to get them to match and/or beat the offer.

You could keep playing one off the other, but that depends on how easy it is to move from one to another. Make sure to be open during the negociation process that you have two offers, and are trying to figure out which of the two is the best, and that even thought you are very interested in Company 1 or 2, the other offer is just better at this time.

Rinse and repeat, or accept the offer on the table when one of the two refuses to increase their offer.
This way, you are always in the best case scenario.

Being open about having 2 offers also lets them know that you are not really interested in the company itself, only in the money. Some companies like to hire people who are particularly motivated to work at their place.

That's why you say, "I would rather work at your company - it seems like a better fit for me, but it's hard to turn down $X from other company and leave that on the table. What do you think?"

mozar

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2017, 08:30:16 AM »
Quote
That's why you say, "I would rather work at your company - it seems like a better fit for me, but it's hard to turn down $X from other company and leave that on the table. What do you think?"

Well B probably won't offer more money because they are more prestigious (they might even offer less). If A asks me point blank if I'm interviewing with B I think I will say yes. But otherwise I will cool my jets and just try to get both offers. I have doubts about getting an offer from B, but you guys are right that I should be more optimistic.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2017, 09:16:10 AM »

step 1. Go into both interviews with the confidence of knowing you have other interviews.

step 2. Re check your resume and send it out to some other people/companies. No complacency allowed.

Step 3 Repeat step 2.

Once you have offers you can ask for more money.

mozar

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2017, 09:20:51 AM »
@trollwithamustache: dully noted! I have an interview with a third place today!

trollwithamustache

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2017, 01:10:08 PM »
@trollwithamustache: dully noted! I have an interview with a third place today!

You are great shape then.

Joel

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2017, 01:25:49 PM »
Meh. One big four is no more prestigious than another big four. Don't drink that kill aid and buy into that. Needless to say, coming in as an experienced hire is a big challenge so good luck interviewing. The firms are desperate at the senior level so you may be in a good position.

EngineerYogi

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2017, 03:55:10 PM »
In the journal section AxeCleaver is a wealth of knowledge. He posted tips today on negotiating in general: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/cleaving-to-fi/msg1497201/#msg1497201

I pushed a company into giving me an offer faster because I already had an offer on the table for another company. At the end of my interview I asked them how soon I'd receive an offer from them if they decided to make one. I let them know I was expected to respond back on my other offer the following week but prefered this job over the other. They responded by making me an offer an hour after the interview.

mozar

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2017, 05:12:54 PM »
Thanks. No offers yet but I found out that the hiring manager from company B is an old co-worker of mine.


Linea_Norway

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2017, 12:59:37 AM »
Thanks. No offers yet but I found out that the hiring manager from company B is an old co-worker of mine.

I hope it works out. But don't take any offers for granted. I had a company telling me they had two candidates left and I was one of them and they would hire two. I then thought I had a job. But they ended up hiring only one and that was not me. In etrospect that was very fortunately as the company got big layoffs a year later. Newest hires don't sit very safely.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 01:01:14 AM by Linda_Norway »

chasesfish

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2017, 05:18:28 AM »
Thanks. No offers yet but I found out that the hiring manager from company B is an old co-worker of mine.

I'm assuming you're a CPA with some experience, can't figure out how in the world you can get laid off in that field unless your current firm was 100% Oil and Gas or something.

Have you applied with any of the second tier regional firms? 

I work with a lot of CPA firms in my job, the 2nd tier employees seem happier and usually came out of the big 4.

mozar

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2017, 10:50:51 AM »
I'm not a CPA. I've applied to a couple of second tier. One rejection letter, one no response. I'm not saying I'm giving up, I'm just saying those are the results so far.

BlueHouse

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2017, 04:31:37 PM »
Each of the Big 4 also have their own corporate culture. I would say it's more important to interview at both and see which one fits your personality better. You want to make sure you're relatively happy there.

This.  Do the interviews.  See which one you like best.  Address any specific issues in the offer that you get, but don't try to overtly play one off the other; if you are already laid off, you are not negotiating from a position of strength, and you don't want both offers to evaporate.  The most I would recommend is, when you get the first offer, call up the hiring manager at the second firm and ask them what their timing is on their decision, because you have an offer from Company B, and they need an answer by X date, and you really really like Company A and would hate to lose the opportunity because of the response deadline, etc.
Damn it, Laura!  You always have The.Best.Answers. 

+1 to Laura's response.   Exactly as she says. 


pbkmaine

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2017, 04:51:54 PM »
Each of the Big 4 also have their own corporate culture. I would say it's more important to interview at both and see which one fits your personality better. You want to make sure you're relatively happy there.

This.  Do the interviews.  See which one you like best.  Address any specific issues in the offer that you get, but don't try to overtly play one off the other; if you are already laid off, you are not negotiating from a position of strength, and you don't want both offers to evaporate.  The most I would recommend is, when you get the first offer, call up the hiring manager at the second firm and ask them what their timing is on their decision, because you have an offer from Company B, and they need an answer by X date, and you really really like Company A and would hate to lose the opportunity because of the response deadline, etc.
Damn it, Laura!  You always have The.Best.Answers. 

+1 to Laura's response.   Exactly as she says.

Agreed.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2017, 06:09:47 PM »
So I assume talking to your boss's boss didn't work out so great for you?

Blatant

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2017, 07:33:58 PM »
I still haven't processed how speaking to two recruiters has translated into "two firms fighting for me."

To me, it sounds like a dude with no job trying to get hired.

BlueHouse

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2017, 08:30:47 AM »
Just wanted to add:  Good luck Mozar.  I hope it works out for you. 

Moonwaves

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2017, 08:47:19 AM »
Meh. One big four is no more prestigious than another big four.
This.
Also, you mention one of them being the No. 1. Based on my experience (11 years Big 4, albeit in support rather than accountung), which firm is No. 1 switches around every couple of years. One will be No. 1 in terms of revenue, while another will be No. 1 in terms of profit and then they switch places the following. And of course there are other measurements so that each of the four might conceivably and truthfully be able to call themselves No. 1 in any given year. Don't focus on this, Big 4 is Big 4.

mozar

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Re: Two Big 4 Accounting Firms are fighting for me, how do I win?
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2017, 09:31:29 AM »
Quote
So I assume talking to your boss's boss didn't work out so great for you?
Lol, I never did end up talking to him.

Re: prestige, people at company B act like their "shit don't stank" if you know what I mean. 

@BlueHouse: Thanks!