My CA Articleship Experience of working at Deloitte (Big 4)

ayush jain My CA Articleship Experience of working at Deloitte (Big 4)This article has been authored by Ayush Jain and views expressed here are entirely his own based on his experience of working at Deloitte (Big 4)

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My article here is about Life in the BIG 4’s. Since I was privileged enough to pursue my articleship training both from a mediocre firm as well as a BIG 4, I can easily tell that there is a huge difference and training in BIG4 is better!

I did my final year of articleship training from Deloitte and before that I had worked with a mediocre firm for 2.5 years.

How did I get into Deloitte

I seconded myself with Deloitte for a period of one year which is the maximum possible duration of your secondment. Generally ICAI does not allow transfer of articleship but secondment is allowed so it’s easy to get your final year of articleship as Secondment or Industrial Training.

My First day experience at Deloitte

It was my first day in Deloitte and I was all charged up and somehow I always wanted to go to a place from where you see Huge buildings, lined up cars, and the people all dressed up in formals icon wink My CA Articleship Experience of working at Deloitte (Big 4)

In all the BIG4 I guarantee you, you definitely find such an exhilarating experience that you just do not want to leave it once you are in it. So as I was walking towards my office in DLF cyber City, I realized it is a huge compound. It must be 1 km long from the car parking to the Building10, Tower B of the Infinity Towers in Gurgaon. So when you walk, the rush of the air on the face and the sunlight just gleaming all over makes you feel as if you already are a star or something.

I had never experienced such an intense moment when I was working in a mediocre firm. Since it’s such a big area you certainly get confused the first day where to go, what to do in so many buildings so latakte patakte I managed to reach office just in time. The time I stepped in the office made me realize yes, this is it. This place is just PERFECT! Separate cabins, different departments, neat and tidy…. wowww… icon smile My CA Articleship Experience of working at Deloitte (Big 4)

So I moved on and finally met my senior manager. He introduced me to other team members, I got my laptop and was straight away sent on work. There is separate software named AS2 for working for audit here in Deloitte which I got to know once I started working on it.

There was no previous 10 day training or anything which you are given, so it was all On the Job Training.

Work environment

My first client was a BPO. It was an outsourcing agency which provided many services. So I met my seniors there and they guided me regarding how the work is done and I was allotted expenses checking.

For reference I had previous year working paper and then I started to check the expenses. One thing I noticed that we had a method to select samples for checking. In mediocre firms we had to do 100% checking. But here I was given sampling method named as CMA.

Next after I checked the expenses I realized how the organization works, what are its major areas of working, what are the major sources of Revenue etc, there is so much new to learn that it opens up your thinking cap.

Then after that there were methods of Documentation. Gosh! that was one big task. Not documented means not Done!! This is the BIG 4 policy. So one had to attach all the reference documents, all the synopsis had to be made for rent, loan agreements, all references had to be given to ensure authenticity of your work. This gives you a experience that okay, for everything whatever you do you need to have a source for reference and attach it, in life also it helps you though

Then after operating expenses were done I was given payroll checking. In the payroll you realize what all is the company salary structure, how is the payment done, different deductions done, how is payment disbursed. The authorities responsible for signing, the approvals required for giving any advance to any employee, allowances of all sorts. Then Provident fund, EPF etc.

Everything is just so detailed that it can leave no margin for error. Then after Operating expenses and Payroll checking I was given Fixed Asset checking. Since it was my first year I was only given these areas.

So after working for 2 months at the BPO, I was then allocated a manufacturing concern. There I was given the same work but I was given Revenue Checking as well. In revenue checking you check the major sources of Revenue generation, you check how the revenue is being collected, how the taxes attached with the revenue generation is being paid. So that makes Income tax also linked with it.

Then I was given production checking, so since it was a manufacturing concern, excise was applicable. For the first time I checked Excise registers, and Oh my God! I was spellbound that ohkay, aise bhi hota hai…..

Then after checking Revenue, Operating Expenses, Fixed Assets, Payroll, I was finally able to learn the details as to what all is required to be checked, how do you proceed with other checking.

Then after that I did a Limited Review for an Air Catering company, then year-end audit for a real estate company, Electricity Company, Leasing and Finance company etc. So there are diversifications in terms of clients and there is very much to learn in a Big 4.

Drawbacks of Big 4

There are serious late nights. One has to report at 10 a.m. and there is no time for coming back home. It could be 11 p.m. or even 2 a.m. in times of pressure. On the whole it is an experience worth taking but you seriously miss out on your coaching and then study becomes a difficulty.

I guess you yourself are your best judge as to how you can manage your studies and obviously if you are working in a BIG4, there is job security, so if your attempt is delayed or you don’t get time to study, don’t panic. You gain some, you lose some!

My Personal View

In the BIG 4 you do get understanding of different Businesses, so you get a fair idea about what would you want to do after you are qualify. So, I guess work is same everywhere wherever you go but I am sure the way the work is done in BIG 4 and the way a CA student overall shapes his personality it can never be done anywhere else..

I would request all my juniors to try for their training in a BIG 4, if you don’t get it then don’t get disheartened, become a CA asap and start working with a BIG 4 but do work with a BIG 4 once in your life.

  1. Hiii..I hav just given my IPCC both grups exam…I wanna know dat if I clear my both grups can I apply in Big 4 for articleship without opting for mediocre firm Or I shud complete 2 or 2.5 yrs with mediocre firms n den apply like u did..Plzzz suggest…

    • Hi i would like to tell u that u can right away start as an article once u clear ur IPCC group 1 exams.. all d best for ur results

  2. sorry i disagree with part of article if u don’t have degree in ur hand then how could u be big ca without degree like anyother Ca in that big firm……. Experienced is nt all simultaneously we need to clear our Ca … Without degree no value of Ca both are needed at same time ……..

  3. Hey guys, could anybody tell me when exactly to apply for articleship in BIG 4,
    i mean, how many days prior to the result..
    I gave both groups this nov.

    • Hi, this is siddharth doing articleship in KPMG and as far as the late nights are concerned,KPMG has a linient view in case of female employees.They are sent on time and in case of extreme emergencies seniors make sure that you reach home safely by deploying a male employee to be with you and drop you at your home

      • Hey siddharth
        Can u tell me how to apply in KPMG delhi.Do they take people without reference.
        When are the vacancies going to open up.
        I have passed my group1 n given group 2 exams.
        what’s their mail-id or can you forward my resume.

  4. I have recently qualified my CA in the May 2011 attempt. Can you tell me, How can I apply for the job in Big 4?????
    Is there no chances of getting job without references…. in Big 4 and all other corporates. Since I have not got my job in campus placements, it seems that getting job off campus in corporates is impossible without references.

  5. I have cleared my IPCC both groups and I am getting a Chance to work for a big 4 as an article assistant . I just want to know is it possible to setup our own practice after training in big 4. And if I get Audit department then what about other areas taxation,law etc will i be able to work on that also? please reply

  6. @sweety- Thank you.. I guess it had to be rhetoric enough for the people to connect with it :)
    @malvi- I completely agree wit you that degree is most most important, but buddy let me assure you if you have a big4 experience in your hand, big companies are willing to recruit you easily and even if you become a C.A. at a later stage i.e. not in first attempt it does not matter. What matters is how you handle it
    @arpit- You should apply once your result is out coz no point then giving the interviews and then later on if the result is negative quit the oppurtunity..
    @preeti- Yes, you should definitely apply for big4.
    @rishitha- I am sorry but there is no respite for a girl. The timings are the same, just that girls are made to leave a little early say around 9 or 10 p.m.
    @keshav- Yes its completely possible for you to start your own practice after your training and be a C.A. but your struggle would be way too much if you dont have anybody like your father or uncle who have their own practice. Its better to have a helping hand ;)
    @Sandy- English is very very important.. I guess start reading novels or something to improve your vocabulary, good english is definitely a edge!

  7. Mr Ayush, what if i have a choice of working at more than one Big4. Then, what should be the criteria on which i should base my decision!!! What made you choose Deloitte over the other options? :-)

  8. In addition to this i have to comment that it was a great description of your experience and it will undoubtedly help many young aspirants try for their articleship at the Big 4 with more vigour. :-)

    • Dear Mr.Manan

      I would firstly like to thank you for your appreciation on my write up and i am hopeful that it should help other aspirants.

      In response to your query, i would say that if you have a choice of working at more than one Big4 then your preference would be based on your area that you have to go since all big4 deal in specialized areas, the rankings are Deloitte for Audit, Eny for Tax, Pwc and KPMG are for both audit and tax. So i guess one can decide on this basis as to how to proceed with his preference.
      I sincerely hope that my reply answers your query and i must say that your question was a very,very valid question. :)

      • Additionally Mr. Manan,

        My best friend told me to go with Deloitte since he loved the name and anything that makes him happy, i am always game to do that :)

        • Mr Ayush i must appreciate the fact that you, not just managed to choose the right approach to work, whereon also must have made your best friend really happy:-) Hope you have all the success in life and your friend be there always to give you such suggestions:-)

  9. hi AYUSH,
    I must compliment you for an excellent write up you came up with . It was having so much intrinsic details of your experience in BIG 4 that i enjoyed every line………………
    could you give your email . i would like to converse with you more

  10. hii….i enjoyed reading about ur experience at delloitte….n congratulations to u for getting such an enriching experience!!…my question is that do these big 4 cos. only prefer 1ST attempt pass students?? meaning i gave myipcc 2nd attempt this nov…but i dont think i will clear this time….so i have started with my studies already….i wanna know if i get good marks in my 3rd attempt..( i am actually aiming for a merit this time)…can i still get through firms like kpmg..?? please reply asap….waiting for ur reply….thanku..:-)

    • Hi there

      Yes, loa, “these big4 cos” do prefer any attempt pass only if u have a good result and your interview goes well. So dnt cha worry, just study well and get a good result and you would be selected :)

      P.S.- Thanks for your appreciation

      • hey thnx for ur reply ayush…n also 4 clearing my query…ur answer is actually quite encouraging..:-)..hehe…n i do have lotss more to ask…but for the time being itz studies for me with the goal of getting a merit rank and getting thru the interview well….n workin as an article in a big 4….all i wanna tell u is dat i may not ask u all these ques now…but surely sumtime later….:-) please stay in touch…and i will really enjoy reading further articles from u….have a gr8 life ahead…:-)..god bless!!

  11. I geting a my article training in deloitte bt in audit department..thn wht abt othr dept. Like taxation etc. I wnt gain knwledge abt them as well.thn wht u wnt me to do?

    • Hi atish.

      I did my training in audit only, ad as far as other department like taxation are concerned, i am sorry my friend but u cannot have 2 things at a time. In a big4 you can either join audit or tax. Both the facilities cannot be made available unless you have a partner approach or something like that :)

      Well, if you really wanna gain knowledge in taxation and others, then i guess join a medioker firm where you would do Internal Audit,Tax,stat audit like i did when i was doing my articleship from the medioker firm :)

  12. Hiii….i hav to start my articleship so should i do my training in mediocre firm for 2 or 2.5yrs and then join big4 or it would be more better to join from the very starting in big 4?…plz reply….n it’s really nice to read ur article………thanks….

    • Kanika

      Start it from the very beginning. by the time your 3.5 years would be over, all you would be requiring to do is just clear your exams coz by the end of 3.5 years, you would be so well versed in your work that you would have no problems in being selected anywhere, BUT BUT just make sure that you dont suffer on your studies which generally happens……

      • Thanks a lot……n one thing more is there any preference in big4 as i m mainly interested in taxation………

        • I did not understand your question kanika. Preference in big4 as in are u asking me which big4 should you go for if you are interested in taxation?? If that is the case, then go for Eny as tax is best in ENY :)

  13. Dear Mr. Ayush Jain,

    Very well done I must say..Capturing your experience in such a detailed manner. Cudoes for bringing out the drawbacks as well. Looking forward to ur come back..!!!

    One thing from my side – It kills ur social life specially once you become a CA.


    • Dear Mr. Gupta

      With all heart popping out thank you, i would like to tell you how much i appreciate your comment :)

      About the social life- I think join Audit and social life is back ;)

  14. can anybody guide me regarding when do big four start recruitment of article assistants. I am a bit confused because one of my friend told me that big four firms recruit before exam results are declared.
    Is it true?

    • Nikhil

      Actually it is both true and false. I have seen firms hiring before result and after result. So it all depends on case to case..

  15. Guys would u plz tell me what iis the syllabus of enttrance exam for articleship in big 4,particularly ernstt and young..plz help me guys

  16. Good evening to all of you.
    Can anybody provide me his/her valuable insight regarding interview at big four firms in the area of taxation(more specifically; Indirect Taxation).
    I want to know about aptitude test structure( whether it’s an MCQ type or subjective one) & depth of knowledge tested through them, how much is needed to qualify etc.; desired attire of a candidate(specially during winter) and what else requires special attention in this regard.
    Please reply as soon as possible because most probably I’ll be having my interview in one of those Big Four by the end of the next week(for article assistant)!
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi nikhil

      The big4 people ask you questions on acciunting standards, basically knowledge is tested on the basis of what you have studied….
      There is MCQ only and sometimes a case study is given.

      The attire would be suits in winter and make sure you wear blue shirt and black coat….

      • Thanks a lot Ayush.
        You have really solved my problem.
        I was preparing for my interview by studying Taxation,Accounts and Audit.
        But now,after your reply,it seems like i need to relax a little bit :P

        • True..
          You need to relax and moreover you need to be well equipped with whatever you have studied….. That would do :)

  17. bhai ayush ek baat bta agr hum ek ek krke grp denge tab bhi hum big 4 me training kar sakte hai kya?

  18. hai…! It was a fabulous experience reading your article :)

    i have a deep desire within me to pursue my articleship in deloitte,
    but i couldnt clear in my first attempt and this time i have given my second try.
    This time even if i clear it would be a “just pass” and provided i dont have anyone for “recommendation”.
    Do you think i would be able to pursue my desire given my circumstances? Plz reply!

    • Hi niteesh…..

      If u have a desire, then ho jaega yaar….. ;)
      keep trying, forward your resume to your friends who are working in big4, they would do something :)

  19. Hello Ayush,I am 16 yrs old,and I want to become a CA.I have a question,but it’s kind of silly! I read in your article that you had to work late in the night….during articleship.Is it going to be the same after you qualify as a CA and work in an MNC? By the way,I loved your article ,please write some more because it is very helpful.

    • Hi Aditya

      Yes mate, i am sorry but this is the truth..
      You would be working late nights both during ur articleship as well as after qualifying IF YOU WORK IN A BIG4 :)

      Thanks for your appreciation..
      And more articles you want in terms of what??
      Tell me, i would write it down :)

  20. Dear..m little bit confused in making decision,
    Firstly should i go for Internal Audit or for Financial adviser during my article ship..i mean i dont knw abt the scope in the field of financial adviser in future india as compared to Audit.
    And Second thing is that should i go with BIG4s or any other Mediocre firms like Lodha & Co., SNB etc. for a good exposure.

  21. hey ayush,
    nicely written….i wanna ask smthing???
    i hav given my ipcc 1st group in nvmber2011 and will give 2nd grp in may 2012…i live in chandigarh and as regards to my training i wanna ask wht should i opt big4 or local firms because i want all the knowlegde plus recognition of a big brand name……
    kya sahi rahega???

    • it’s better for you to join a mediocre but well established firm.
      It’s because you want to gain all knowledge which you won’t be able to get in BIG FOUR as they make you specialize in just one area only.
      I hope your query is resolved :)

  22. Hey
    Can u tell me how you got into Deloitte…
    I know they take people only at reference only..
    So how’d u managed to get into big 4
    plzz reply..


  23. HIi..
    I ayush, I like ur article
    i want to know that wht is the procedure of applying in the big 4 firms
    and how should i prepare for the interview.
    i like better than any other subject then which mode should I opt?

  24. Hi Ayush..
    I just wish to ask you, that apart from audit and taxation..Delloites ppl told me about Corporate Finance as a field, and personally I feel that it interests me…SO, I would like to ask you, is a training in corporate finance a good option to go for, and 1 which has bright prospects???

  25. Hey bro..

    First off.. Awesome article, like everyone said. Enjoyed reading it. And, it’s really nice that you’re replying to people’s comments and encouraging us.

    Anyway, I’ve got a question for you which am sure has been bugging many people. Is it possible to do your articleship in a Big 4 firm after completing JUST Group I of IPCC?

    And, also wanted to know… Do Big 4 firms send you on official visits across the country?

    Thanks once again, Ayush!

    Take Care and Have a Great Day! ;)

  26. hi.. cn u plss.. tell me hw 2 contact d big4′s..??…m nt gttin der email id’s f dese companies. cn u plss help…i hv cleared my group1 f ipcc..n wish 2 gt into d big4′ u plss help..:)

  27. Hye Ayush,

    Firstly i would thanks to you for sharing your experince of working in Big 4 (Delloite) then i want to tell you that persently i am doing my articleship from a small level firm where only VAT, Service Tax and income tax return filling works and there is no audit related works so i want to take the option of secondmant after eleven months in his firm and after it i want to join the delloite just like you.
    will you please discuss the procedure of selection in Delloite and about the interview which will be conducted in it?
    And please tell me that secondmant of articleship is possible before completing 2.5yrs of articleship.

  28. hi ayush jain if u dont mind,can i have ur no. or email id..its seriously important,i need to ask some questions about my articleship in delloite…my email id is…plz do contact me bro…i will be very grateful to you

  29. Hi,
    suppose in future mujhe job karna hai to does it matter ki maine articleship kaha ki hai?
    Mumbai r pune which 1 is better 4 artclship as i’ve some health problem to adjust in new environment.
    Plzzz suggest dear!

  30. Hi Ayush,
    Your article describing you work experience is very inspiring. It gives me another push to work hard and reach the Big 4′s as soos as I can.
    I just wanted to confirm something. I rescently heard that the positions for articleship fill up before declaration of Results in the Big 4′s.
    I am giving my attempt in May and our results should be declared in the first week of August. my real sister is pregnant and her baby is due on 27th July bur if the news I heard is true then I can’t make it to New york for her delivery.
    Can you please help me out by letting me know regarding this?
    Thank you so much.