Date: February 27, 2018
Firm: BDO
Website: https://www.bdo.com/

Presenters:

  • Taylor Price - Tax Intern
  • Kaitlin - Audit Senior
  • Alex - Audit Senior

  • Presentation: BDO and tips about public accounting
    • BDO is the 5th largest firm in the world, but it doesn't want to become a "big four"
    • The firm likes being a "mid-tier" but having the international reach and resources equivalent of a big four firm
    • "You learn hard skills like learning a balance sheet, but also you learn soft skills like public speaking… It's one of the biggest takeaways from my eighteen month career in public accounting." - Kaitlin
    • "As I gained more knowledge about tax, I was really pushed towards that and away from audit. Just from the past few weeks of my internship, I have learned so much about tax and have really enjoyed the tax professionals I work with across the company." - Taylor
    • One of the biggest things that changes your public accounting career experience is where you go. If you don't end up at the right firm for you, then you may not enjoy public accounting as much as you wanted to." - Alex
    • "At a big four, your stuck with one section of the financial statements for your entire first year. Meanwhile, at BDO I've done multiple sections of the financial statements so I have a much broader knowledge of the financial statements compared to someone at a big four." - Kaitlin
    • "Kaitlin and I have been with BDO for eighteen months, and we're seniors. The normal roadmap for seniors at a big four is three to four years with the firm." - Alex
    • "In tax, you work on multiple clients at once with a senior on each client. So communication is super important and being able to ask questions and communicate your needs is crucial." - Taylor
    • "For audit, it took me a good seven months for me to really understand the work I was doing. By the time my first busy season ended I felt much more comfortable about my work because things just click and make sense." - Alex
    • "It's like drinking water from a fire hose. There is so much information being thrown at you that you don't know what to do, and you really have to think about how one item on a balance sheet affects another. You have to be really comfortable about your assertions." - Kaitlin
    • "If you're not asking questions then seniors get worried. They expect you to ask questions. You want to try first then ask questions and ask questions with evidence and even possible answers. Ask questions that show you've tried, you looked for the answer, but you still can't figure it out." - Alex
    • "Listening to people as they talk, keep on trying, ask questions, and eventually things will click and you feel like you're on top of the world." - Kaitlin
    • BDO has lots of real estate, healthcare, and manufacturing audit clients at the Irvine office. BDO gives new associates much more opportunities than associates at a big four firm. You get to audit AR, AP, and more in your first year.

    What BDO looks for in recruiting:
    • Someone who asks questions and critically thinks about things
    • BDO has an 80% offer acceptance rate
    • The more face time you've had with professionals the better because you develop relationships with professionals who want you
      • "If only one person met you then you probably won't get an interview. However, if three people have met you, know you, and have opinions about you then you will probably get an interview"

    Two-round Interview:
    1. On campus where it's mostly casual with one or two behavioral questions thrown in
    2. Second interview is at the office with a partner which is like the first round but focuses on the partner trying to get to know you more

    During the interviews:
    • Be yourself, come prepared, and try to have a great conversation with the professional who is interviewing you

    SLPs are a great way to get your foot in the door and your face recognized. You get access to professionals and get more noticed then others recruiting. It's very educational and you get to learn more about BDO. However, "not getting an SLP offer is not the end all be all."