Big 4 starting salary expectation

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Anonymous User
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Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:57 pm

Recent grad, unemployed for now but I have a job waiting for me at a personal injury firm some of my family members own once I get admitted. I'm in the final interview stage of a big-4 consulting job in NYC (I'm from here, so no relocation). The position is in a niche area that I have a useful certification in and about a year of experience in during law school, and they have described the position as something that needs to be filled ASAP.

I was asked what my salary requirements are. Would 90k be too much to ask for? How much can I reasonably expect them to offer me? Would it be reasonable to expect some sort of signing bonus? Basically, because of my other option, I don't NEED this job. I am totally able to walk away, so I'm willing to play a little hardball in a salary negotiation.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:34 pm

Bumping for you. I feel like $90k in NYC is not good.

dabigchina
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby dabigchina » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:36 pm

Are you actually working in the consulting arm of the big4 or in tax/advisory and just being being called a "consultant". This actually makes a difference.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:40 pm

There was another thread about the PwC regulatory consulting program that suggested it was paying around 100k to new grads. Back when I graduated a few years ago, the starting salary for Big 4 for JD grads was around 80k and JD grads were not even hired as a senior associates. So you should aim for at least 100.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:07 pm

OP here. Wow, I did not expect starting salaries to be that high. Just to clarify, I'm going to be working in a practice thats within the tax umbrella.

mirage1287
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby mirage1287 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Wow, I did not expect starting salaries to be that high. Just to clarify, I'm going to be working in a practice thats within the tax umbrella.


Is salary really the consideration you should be thinking about here? Your career path is going to be extremely different starting off in your family's PI firm than it will be doing tax consulting for a Big4. You should be thinking a lot about what you would like to be doing long-term and what direction you want your career to go in.

TTTooKewl
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby TTTooKewl » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:28 pm

mirage1287 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Wow, I did not expect starting salaries to be that high. Just to clarify, I'm going to be working in a practice thats within the tax umbrella.


Is salary really the consideration you should be thinking about here? Your career path is going to be extremely different starting off in your family's PI firm than it will be doing tax consulting for a Big4. You should be thinking a lot about what you would like to be doing long-term and what direction you want your career to go in.


But OP isn't asking us to weigh in on which job to choose.... OP is only asking what salary to ask for. Maybe what you're saying is OP should consider not playing hardball, depending on the career-path desired. That would be a helpful comment. But in any event, OP would be better off with an idea of what salary to expect.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:30 pm

OP here. I certainly am thinking a lot about what I want my career path to be, and a few grand difference won't be what makes me decide between one or the other. However, I'm faced with a more immediate concern, which is how I should respond re my salary requirements. Also, if I do decide to do big4, an extra few grand because I negotiated well would certainly be nice.

mirage1287
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby mirage1287 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I certainly am thinking a lot about what I want my career path to be, and a few grand difference won't be what makes me decide between one or the other. However, I'm faced with a more immediate concern, which is how I should respond re my salary requirements. Also, if I do decide to do big4, an extra few grand because I negotiated well would certainly be nice.


I have a classmate doing tax consulting with a JD for a Big4. He's in a major market and started at $90 - but he was only able to negotiate that because he has an MBA already/significant prior Big4/business work experience before law school. He makes more than several other classmates of mine who went in to the same position.
Last edited by mirage1287 on Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KM2016
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby KM2016 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I certainly am thinking a lot about what I want my career path to be, and a few grand difference won't be what makes me decide between one or the other. However, I'm faced with a more immediate concern, which is how I should respond re my salary requirements. Also, if I do decide to do big4, an extra few grand because I negotiated well would certainly be nice.


I think the point they are making is that there is a great disparity between the value of starting your career at a Big 4 compared to your family's PI firm (no disrespect to your family's firm). Essentially, it's not worth potentially pissing away the opportunity at a Big 4 by playing hard ball. Come in with an appropriate/reasonable ask, take it, and don't look back.

Losing the job because of an unrealistic salary expectation and having to instead start your career at a PI firm is not worth the risk.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:44 pm

OP here. So I think I'm going to ask for 90-95 and expect around 85. Reasonable?

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fratstar1
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby fratstar1 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:06 pm

I've got a buddy who just got an offer for big4 boston doing tax they start people without experience at around 68k.

mvp99
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby mvp99 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:34 pm

fratstar1 wrote:I've got a buddy who just got an offer for big4 boston doing tax they start people without experience at around 68k.


But salaries go up substantially after the first couple of years, right?

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:53 pm

NYC tax LLMs were starting at $115 at E&Y, $110 PWC, $105 KPMG and Deloitte. Some of them managed to negotiate $5k signing bonuses as well. I would start accordingly and ask for a $5k signing bonus. They will bring you down to the class level you should be at, and then say that's fair and ask for a signing bonus.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby kcdc1 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:58 pm

I'd imagine they're expecting to pay 100-130k to fill this position. They'll know biglaw pays 160k, and I'm sure they want people that are every bit as smart and capable as the people that go to top law firms. I don't know what position you're applying for, but assuming they want someone super smart, asking for less than 100k in NYC may well surprise them and could suggest that others aren't interested in hiring you. You know more about the job than I do, but I'd try to figure out what market rate is for the job before starting to throw numbers around. If you can't find any information, you could say you're looking for market salary and ask what the firm considers reasonable.

JDCA2012
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby JDCA2012 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:17 am

JohannDeMann wrote:NYC tax LLMs were starting at $115 at E&Y, $110 PWC, $105 KPMG and Deloitte. Some of them managed to negotiate $5k signing bonuses as well. I would start accordingly and ask for a $5k signing bonus. They will bring you down to the class level you should be at, and then say that's fair and ask for a signing bonus.


Any idea what SF big 4 M&A tax is paying for JD entry, and with 1 year experience at another accounting firm?

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:20 am

JDCA2012 wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:NYC tax LLMs were starting at $115 at E&Y, $110 PWC, $105 KPMG and Deloitte. Some of them managed to negotiate $5k signing bonuses as well. I would start accordingly and ask for a $5k signing bonus. They will bring you down to the class level you should be at, and then say that's fair and ask for a signing bonus.


Any idea what SF big 4 M&A tax is paying for JD entry, and with 1 year experience at another accounting firm?


I would guess exactly in line with the above. 1 year of experience gets you where the LLM kids are. SF pays about same as NYC Ive heard.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:35 am

If you're not in the legal group, the starting salary at the Big 4 is $90K or thereabouts. It's not a legal position, but still a decent option if you're not Biglaw bound.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:44 pm

I am a 3L, just finished a Big 4 summer internship in Fed Tax in a middle sized market, and I was offered a job at 60k when I graduate. My undergrad major is in accounting. Summer interns with bachelors or masters degrees were offered 48-52k. Take that for what its worth.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:15 pm

OP here. This all seems pretty ridiculously varied. How is it that one poster was offered 60k, another poster said starting salary should be 90k, and another said LLM or 1 year of experience is over 100k.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:27 pm

because 60k in st louis MO is 100+k in nyc. also, fed tax isnt a specialty group. Specialty groups like M&A, Intl pay more. There are such big big 4 classes just post the exact big 4 company and the position and youll get a better answer. Also, KPMG and DeloiTTTe are cheapwads comared to E&Y and sorta PWC. E&Y is above the rest of the big 4 in tax law and they pay accordingly.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:04 pm

Speaking only on large market. Depends on group and if JD/LLM.

JD + LLM: More prestigious groups pay JD/LLM $125 + signing bonus. Less prestigious groups pay JD/LLM $95k. Anywhere in between depends.

JD only: Specialty groups range from $80k - $105k. Keep in mind bonus + 8-10% raise on non-promotion year and 20%+ raise in promotion year. Model out for reference (1.75 years to senior, 2 years to manager, 3 years director, 4 years partner)...

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:53 pm

I'm in a large market (not NYC) at big4 tax specialty group. None of the JD/LLMs started at more than 85k (even with negotiation). JDs start at 75k.

If you are in NYC 90-95k isn't unreasonable.

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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:12 am

JD/LLM tax here having gone through the LLM recruitment process last year.

I can attest that NYC specialty group (think international, M&A or transfer pricing) offers 115 - 120k and gives 1 year experience credit - some big 4 refer to them as "experienced associates", BS title that means you are 1 to 2 years out from senior associate

DC national office specialty groups (same types as NYC) offer 130 - 140k and gives 2-3 year experience credit and starts out as a 1st year senior associate. Both NYC and DC (maybe firmwide) have a performance based bonus structure that seemed pretty good but I didn't bother learning the specifics

One of the Big 4 have a US tax desk in the London office which offered roughly US equivalent 130k plus some housing allowances.

Obviously this is on the very highest end for tax at big 4 as there are plenty of local practice offices that maybe pay 10 to 15k above CPAs and some that give no credit, but those are the offices that are compliance heavy and don't have a very high need for the skill set that JDs bring such as research and writing.

So the unicorns are out there, just need to dig a little.

gaddockteeg
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Re: Big 4 starting salary expectation

Postby gaddockteeg » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:38 pm

Good friend of mine is a K-JD 3L who accepted PWC financial services regualtory in NYC for fall 2016.

Starting is 125k + 5k signing bonus + 10% - 20% year end bonus (depending on performance).


However, another friend of mine is also a K-JD 3L who accepted Deloitte Tax in CA and is getting paid significantly less (I think a little under 100k all in).




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