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Drawbacks/Advantages of Articles from Small Firm? - nabeelanwer - 05-26-2007

Dear Friends
Please let me inform the drawbacks and advantages of Articles from a small firm. Please elaborate your answer while comparing big4s!


- Muhammad Amir - 05-27-2007

A Very Good Thread Raised by Brother Nabeel....

Ambitious Students often want to start their careers with what they consider to be a 'Major Employer'.....A Multinational,Bigname firms and Big4s will offer training,possibly travel, good stipend,and a secure career with unlimited possibilities...Bigger Firms undoubtedly offer more opportunities but the bigger the organisation the smaller the role of individual....Although initiatives and responsibilities are encouraged there may be fewer opportunities to excercise these skills until you get a certin level of seniority.....I see lot of fellow students and other seniors and after moving through 3 or 4 forums i analysed one thing that every one want to go for Big4 and every one has prioritised their careers as PwC,E&Y,KPMG and then Delloite.....working in Big firm no doubt will open lot of opportunities and no doubt will be a value addition point however despite of huge opportunities small firms will certainly give lot of advantages than that of Bigger Firms.........lets discuss them

1)In Small Firms you have an opportunity to learn quickly.

2)In Small Firms there will be quick 'JOB ROTATION' so that individual will have a chance to learn more than routine tasks.

3)In Small Firms if you prove yourself as an Asset for them then you will be having great exposure not only in your firm but also outside the firm.
4)In the context of small firms 'hands-on' training becomes a valuable way to learn.
5)And last but not the least that that the 'ENVIRONMENT'of smaller firm is rather much friendly than that of Big4 i didn't mean that small Firms are informal organisation....

However despite of Smaller Firms Bigger Firms are having lot of advantages and one can't deprive them from Bigger Organisations.......

Also remember one thing that is "Its better to be an Employee of a popular school than a Principal of your own School"......

- Muhammad Amir - 05-27-2007

However Mr Nabeel you don't need to only rely on my post because i even didn't visit any firm neither i am very much aware of their recruitment procedures but what ever i posted above is based on "KITABI KNOWLEDGE" because i read lot of articles in student accountant, Focus, Accountancy news, Accountancy Age, Big4 new based on them i posted above might be having susequent replys from senior members

- nabeelanwer - 05-27-2007

OK..! Thanks for your commentory! Actually everyone runs before the Big4 names. No doubt we can't deprive of BIG4 names. But the issue I want to highlight here is what are the future prospects if one got training from small firm. Further is it better to join small firm if one wants to do practise in future. Wether after articles from BIG4 one is able enough to start his/her own practise.

Please Comment on the issue!


- Schuaeb - 05-28-2007

I used to agree with some points Amir mentioned.

First of all we have to look at what is the aim of the student getting training. Of course who wants to get good oppurtunities when he completes his training. And this is the reason due to which he looks for a big name and better exposure. What I have heard, in this regard, is that many employers, especially of multinationals, prefers students from firms having some foreign association tag with their name. You must have also seen in various job advertisements, employer asks for students from reputed firms. Big firms have got large clientele so there is quite some oppurtunity to get desirable employment with any of the clients. You may have a chance to develop your own references which may prove handy after completion of articles.

Having worked in a comparatively smaller and a better firm I will recomend that one should go for the best possible option. If one is given a chance for articles in a big firms and he prefers a smaller firm, I will call it stupidity and the consequences the student has to bear while starting his professional career.

On the other hand in small firm a student may have the chance for some all round work (not necessarily in all cases) and his role also might be bigger. However, this bigger role might be smaller than the smaller role in a big firm.

One of my teachers was of the opinion that if you want to start your own practice a smaller firm may be a better option.

Every body has got his/her own perception but the general rule goes with a better name.


- Muhammad Amir - 05-28-2007

I agree with points raised by Shoaib......I personally know some people who are not having any association with big4 still they are working on top posts of world's 4th biggest oil refineries...

However being professionals we don't need to forget the event of 2001/2002 when Enron Scandle arouse and world's most famous Firm named as "Arthur Anderson" convicted of obstruction of justice and was ceased to exist as an entity and sold all international practice to other that time they were called BIG5 and after Enron Scandle they only remain Big4.....

so i only want to ellaborate that Big names are having impact on one's professional but they did not do much for those who having nothing in their personal capacity but contrary Small names may produce some very big names and all of us are well known about hundreds of examples....

- nabeelanwer - 05-28-2007

Conclusion I got from all above discussion


But a point still requires further clarifications

"Wether after articles from BIG4 one is able enough to start his/her own practise."

- Schuaeb - 05-28-2007

One point here which goes in the favor of small firms is that when you will start your own practice, it would definitely be a small firm. So, having experience of working in a similar enironment may be helpful.

- Imran - 06-27-2007

Some of other benefits of small (growing)firm are

1. You get greater opportunities to prove yourself. Individual performance is much more worthy.
2. Greater variety of work is available. AT the same time you may get hands over all audit, corporate and tax.
3. Working on different clients greater exposure is expected.
4. More chances to get PR in the market.
5. No late sittings
6. Definitly one has more time for studies as the work load is less.

In case one is willing to start his/her own practice, it is helpfull

- Schuaeb - 06-30-2007

Agreed, however, still a large organization should be a student's first prefrence

- Imran - 07-03-2007

Thats the question why this preference?

- Schuaeb - 07-04-2007

Imran if you are someone who is getting his training from some not so big firm, then its not to worry, because at the end of the day it is going to be your qualification which will make the difference. And, your learning depends more upon your personal abilities and your willingness to work than the place you got training from.

However, if you have come to this question while being in search of firm, then whatI will suggest is you should go for the best possible opportunity. The reasons I have well discussed in my earlier post.

The tag of some big firm on your training will be helpful in searching the job after you complete your training. Generally, the students of big firms are having better package to start with. You may be able to develop your own references at the end of your training that too would be helpful in search for job.

In smaller firms, not necessarily but you may have chances for some all round work (audit, tax, corporate etc). Additionally, you may find more time to study as last sittings are not an as common phenomena there.

However, ever then, if you ask about my personal opinion, out of 100 times 99 times I will go for big firm. Reasons, to a good extent, I have discussed in my earlier posts.

- Imran - 07-09-2007

i am not of the opinion that small firms are better than big firms. But one should not always look for big firms. As mentioned by you at the end of articles qualification is the only thing that matters. Tell me is that better to have articles completed from fergusons or ACA from a small firm.

Dear friend i am from a growing firm and have completed 3 years of my 5 years articles. In these three years i have manage to pass 5 papers and on each attempt i got 40 days leave and even more. Our office timings are 9 to 5 and in real terms it is 5pm. Even before my exam leaves i often use to go home at 3 or 4 pm. Also i have much time even in the firm to study and my partners always support my study. These advantages are not only for me but for all other students. Now tell me is this possible in big four. I have lot of my class fellows in kpmg khalid majeed and yousuf adil but non of them have any of these benefits.

Let me show you an example of my class fellow who has spent 2 and half years of his articles in OGDCL. Now tell me what exposure he can gain.

Though i am not of the opinion that it is good to have articles from a small firm as compare to big firms but it is not as bad as normally students think to have articles from small firms.


- Schuaeb - 07-11-2007

There is no doubt that in smaller firms students get more time to study, however, at the same time the environment in a big firm urges more a student to qualify.

The exposure one has in smaller firms is very restricted as compared to that of a big firm.

The word 'growing firm' I guess only lead to confusions

- Imran - 07-12-2007

No such confusion. Growing firms means newly formed , smaller or not big four firms. As mentioned by you the motivation to qualify is in big firm. I am totally against it. How can it be possible as greater exploitation seems to be in big firms. So greater the timings greater the exploitation lessor the time to study and as per my opinion Ca is more effected with hard work means more time for studies