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5 Big 4 Accounting Resume Examples...

5 Big 4 Accounting Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your big 4 accounting resume must prominently feature your educational background in finance or accounting. Ensure your credentials are aligned with the professional standards expected by these firms. Highlight your experience with financial legislation and complex tax systems. Demonstrate your proficiency with industry-standard accounting software and tools.

All resume examples in this guide

Crafting a resume for Big 4 accounting firms can be daunting, as it requires differentiating yourself in a highly competitive field with precise language and relevant experience. Our guide provides expert tips and industry insights that will help you tailor your resume to stand out, ensuring that your skills and achievements align perfectly with what Big 4 recruiters are looking for.

Here's what you'll read within our professional resume guide:
  • big 4 accounting resumes that are tailored to the role are more likely to catch recruiters' attention.
  • Most sought-out big 4 accounting skills that should make your resume.
  • Styling the layout of your professional resume: take a page from big 4 accounting resume examples.

How to write about your big 4 accounting achievements in various resume sections (e.g. summary, experience, and education).

Best practices for the look and feel of your big 4 accounting resume

Before you even start writing your big 4 accounting resume, first you need to consider its layout and format.

What's important to keep in mind is:

  • The reverse-chronological resume is the most widely used format to present your experience, starting with your latest job.
  • Your big 4 accounting resume header needs to include your correct, professional contact details. If you happen to have a professional portfolio or an updated LinkedIn profile, include a link to it.
  • Ensure your resume is no longer than two pages - you don't have to include irelevant experience on your resume just to make it look longer.
  • Unless specified otherwise, submit your resume in the most popular format, the PDF one, as this will ensure your big 4 accounting resume isn't altered.

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Always remember that your big 4 accounting certifications can be quantified across different resume sections, like your experience, summary, or objective. For example, you could include concise details within the expertise bullets of how the specific certificate has improved your on-the-job performance.

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The key to your big 4 accounting job-winning resume - present your expertise with these sections:

  • A header to make your resume more scannable
  • Snapshot of who you are as a professional with your resume soft skills, achievements, and summary or objective
  • Job advert keywords in the skills section of your resume
  • Resume experience quantifying your past job successes with metrics
  • A relevant education, certification, and technical sills section to provide background to your technological/software capabilities
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Relevant accounting certifications (e.g., CPA, ACCA, CA).
  • Demonstrated understanding of accounting principles and familiarity with GAAP, IFRS.
  • Previous experience with Big 4 accounting firms or reputable audit/tax advisory experience.
  • Strong proficiency with accounting software (e.g., SAP, Oracle, QuickBooks) and data analytics tools.
  • Evidence of soft skills such as attention to detail, critical thinking, and effective communication skills.

Five dos for building your big 4 accounting resume experience section

The best strategic approach to your big 4 accounting resume experience section is to support your particular responsibilities with actions and achievements.

For example, you could list:

  • Up to six responsibilities in your day-to-day work, supported by why they're important for your role, department, or organization;
  • Experience items that have helped you sustain and enhance your technical knowledge within the field, or, perhaps, have helped you grow as a professional;
  • Any metrics that pinpoint your success within your past roles;
  • How you've solved specific problems in your day-to-day work;
  • Strategies and solutions you've implemented for growth - and how that growth was measured.

The big 4 accounting resume experience is your best shot at making a good first impression on recruiters. That's why we've included some real-world professional examples to get you thinking about how you present your experience:

Work Experience
Senior Audit Associate
Ernst & Young (EY)
  • Managed the audit process for a portfolio of clients in the tech sector with an aggregate revenue exceeding $500 million, delivering comprehensive financial reports in line with GAAP.
  • Led a team of 12 accountants to identify $10 million in cost-saving opportunities through strategic tax planning and compliance initiatives.
  • Spearheaded the implementation of new accounting software that increased the team's efficiency by 35%, allowing for the delivery of client reports 20% faster than before.
Work Experience
Audit Manager
  • Oversaw the financial statement review process for mid-sized manufacturing firms, enhancing the accuracy of reported figures and ensuring alignment with industry regulations.
  • Implemented a revised risk assessment framework that reduced financial discrepancies by 25%, bolstering client confidence and trust.
  • Conducted in-depth tax consulting for international clients, facilitating global expansions and streamlining the tax implications associated with such business growth.
Work Experience
Experienced Audit Associate
  • Coordinated cross-functional teams to achieve seamless integration of financial reporting systems post-merger for a client in the pharmaceutical industry, ensuring zero downtime.
  • Conducted international tax compliance reviews for clients with operations in over 15 countries, significantly reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties.
  • Facilitated training sessions for over 50 new hires, emphasizing the importance of regulatory standards and nurturing a culture of continuous industry learning.
Work Experience
Audit Senior
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Executed detailed financial audits for large clients within the retail sector, ensuring inventory valuations were accurate and reflective of current market trends.
  • Directed the adoption of sustainability reporting standards for a key client, enhancing their corporate social responsibility profile and investor appeal.
  • Provided expert guidance in the restructuring of internal controls for a multinational corporation, leading to enhanced operational effectiveness and fraud minimization.
Work Experience
Audit and Assurance Associate
Ernst & Young (EY)
  • Initiated a company-wide audit strategy that streamlined procedures, reducing average audit cycle time by 15 days and increasing client satisfaction.
  • Collaborated with IT specialists to integrate advanced data analytics into audit practices, allowing for more precise risk assessments and data-driven insights.
  • Represented the firm at industry conferences, highlighting our approach to financial due diligence and fostering relationships with potential clients in the energy sector.
Work Experience
Government Audit Leader
  • Oversaw a portfolio of governmental audits, which included ensuring compliance with federal regulations and identifying $5 million in misallocated funds.
  • Played a key role in the negotiation and securing of a lucrative contract for auditing services with a statewide governmental agency, projected to increase the firm's revenues by 10% over three years.
  • Pioneered a professional development program within the firm, enhancing the technical skills and competencies of the audit department.
Work Experience
Financial Services Audit Specialist
  • Leveraged industry-specific knowledge to conduct thorough audits for clients in the financial services sector, providing actionable recommendations that improved their fiscal strategies.
  • Developed and led a specialized training program focusing on new regulatory changes in the financial sector, ensuring that all team members stayed ahead of industry developments.
  • Implemented a client engagement strategy that improved communication and reporting timelines, subsequently increasing repeat business by 30%.
Work Experience
Corporate Audit Specialist
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Actively managed audit engagements for Fortune 500 companies, resulting in consistently high-quality deliverables that contributed to a 20% increase in departmental efficiency.
  • Developed a benchmarking initiative that compared clients' financial performance against industry standards, providing valuable insights for strategic decision-making.
  • Facilitated the transition for clients adapting to new international tax legislation, enabling a smooth transition and minimizing financial exposure due to non-compliance.

Quantifying impact on your resume

  • Highlight the total assets managed or audited, showcasing the scale and the trust placed in your capabilities.
  • Measure and articulate cost savings achieved from efficiency improvements or negotiation skills.
  • Specify the number of clients served to demonstrate customer management and interpersonal skills.
  • Quantify the size of budgets forecasted or controlled, underscoring fiscal responsibility.
  • Report on the revenue growth percentage that your action points or strategy contributed to.
  • Detail the number of compliance issues resolved to emphasize problem-solving and attention to detail.
  • Count the volume of transactions processed to exhibit operational capacity and accuracy.
  • Mention the size of teams led or projects managed to highlight leadership and project management prowess.

Action verbs for your big 4 accounting resume

Action or power verbs add depth to your experience. They also help you prove that you’ve taken charge of things in the past and are great at problem-solving and decision-making. Use them instead of buzzwords to make your big 4 accounting resume the center of attention!
Read The Guide

Writing your big 4 accounting experience section without any real-world experience

Professionals, lacking experience, here's how to kick-start your big 4 accounting career:

  • Substitute experience with relevant knowledge and skills, vital for the big 4 accounting role
  • Highlight any relevant certifications and education - to showcase that you have the relevant technical training for the job
  • Definitely include a professional portfolio of your work so far that could include university projects or ones you've done in your free time
  • Have a big focus on your transferable skills to answer what further value you'd bring about as a candidate for the big 4 accounting job
  • Include an objective to highlight how you see your professional growth, as part of the company
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Listing your relevant degrees or certificates on your big 4 accounting resume is a win-win situation. Not only does it hint at your technical capabilities in the industry, but an array of soft skills, like perseverance, adaptability, and motivation.

Bringing your big 4 accounting hard skills and soft skills to the forefront of recruiters' attention

Hard skills are used to define the technological (and software) capacities you have in the industry. Technical skills are easily defined via your certification and expertise.

Soft skills have more to do with your at-work personality and how you prosper within new environments. People skills can be obtained thanks to your whole life experience and are thus a bit more difficult to define.

Why do recruiters care about both types of skills?

Hard skills have more to do with job alignment and the time your new potential employers would have to invest in training you.

Soft skills hint at how well you'd adapt to your new environment, company culture, and task organization.

Fine-tune your resume to reflect on your skills capacities and talents:

  • Avoid listing basic requirements (e.g. "Excel"), instead substitute with the specifics of the technology (e.g. "Excel Macros").
  • Feature your workplace values and ethics as soft skills to hint at what matters most to you in a new environment.
  • Build a separate skills section for your language capabilities, only if it makes sense to the role you're applying for.
  • The best way to balance big 4 accounting hard and soft skills is by building a strengths or achievements section, where you define your outcomes via both types of skills.

There are plenty of skills that could make the cut on your resume.

That's why we've compiled for you some of the most wanted skills by recruiters, so make sure to include the technologies and soft skills that make the most sense to you (and the company you're applying for):

Top skills for your big 4 accounting resume:

Accounting Principles

Auditing Standards

Financial Reporting

Tax Compliance

Financial Analysis

Regulatory Compliance

Internal Controls

Risk Management

Accounting Software Proficiency

Data Analytics


Analytical Thinking


Attention to Detail

Time Management


Client Relationship Management





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If you happen to have plenty of certificates, select the ones that are most applicable and sought-after across the industry. Organize them by relevance to the role you're applying for.

The big 4 accounting resume sections you may underestimate: certifications and education

Your education and certifications provide insight into both your technical capabilities and personal attributes, such as perseverance. When crafting your big 4 accounting resume, consider how you present these elements:

  • For your higher education degrees, prioritize listing those most relevant to the job or indicative of your academic dedication;
  • Include applicable coursework as a stand-in for relevant experience or if it might impress recruiters;
  • Include incomplete higher education only if it's pertinent to meeting job requirements;
  • If your degree is from a renowned university, mention how often you made the Dean's list to underline academic excellence.

Regarding certifications, it's not necessary to list all of them. Instead, match up to three of your most recent or significant certificates with the technical skills required in the job description.

Below, we've selected some of the top industry certifications that could be vital additions to your big 4 accounting resume.

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The top 5 certifications for your big 4 accounting resume:

  1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  2. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) – CFA Institute
  3. Chartered Accountant (CA) – Varies by country (e.g., Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI))
  4. Certified Management Accountant (CMA) – Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
  5. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) – Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)
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List all your relevant higher education degrees within your resume in reverse chronological order (starting with the latest). There are cases when your PhD in a particular field could help you stand apart from other candidates.

Which one to use: a resume summary or a resume objective?

The big 4 accounting resume summary or objective serves as a good introduction to your experience for recruiters.

Have you ever wondered which one (the summary or objective) will be more appropriate for your big 4 accounting resume?

  • If you are a less experienced professional, write a resume objective statement. The objective is about three sentences long and provides recruiters with information about your career goals, strengths, and achievements . It should basically denote how you see yourself in this particular role, and what is your relevant experience and/or know-how;
  • If you happen to have plenty of relevant experience, select your most impressive achievements for your resume summary. The summary is no longer than five sentences and serves as a storytelling instrument - highlighting your greatest career wins . Don't forget to align your summary with the job requirements to ensure your resume stays relevant to the role.

Read on for more information and examples of resume summaries and objectives from real world professionals.

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Resume summaries for a big 4 accounting job

  • With over 8 years of progressive experience in audit and financial reporting at a regional accounting firm, I possess a comprehensive understanding of GAAP, tax codes, and financial analytics. My proudest achievement was streamlining an audit process that cut down report delivery times by 30%.
  • Distinguished tax consultant with 6 years at a Fortune 500 company, seeking to leverage extensive knowledge of tax legislation and financial strategy. I orchestrated a tax savings plan that resulted in a 20% reduction in liabilities for my previous employer.
  • Eager to transfer 5 years of management experience in the technology sector into a rigorous financial environment, bringing strong analytical skills, leadership in cost-reduction strategies, and a record of enhancing operational efficiency by implementing robust accounting systems.
  • Dynamic professional transitioning from a 7-year career in healthcare management to accounting, armed with a deep understanding of regulatory compliance, fiscal responsibility, and an MBA focus in finance. Facilitated a department turnaround, cutting costs by 25% while maintaining quality metrics.
  • Seeking to launch a career in accounting with a dedication to developing expertise in financial analysis, account reconciliation, and regulatory compliance. With an academic foundation in business administration and hands-on experience in market research, I aim to contribute with keen attention to detail and quantitative skills.
  • Recent graduate poised to enter the accounting field, bringing a fresh perspective, an intense work ethic, and a strong academic background in economics and international finance. Determined to apply my analytical prowess and affinity for numbers to practical financial tasks, while enthusiastically embracing mentorship and continuous learning.

Recruiters' favorite additional big 4 accounting resume sections

When writing your big 4 accounting resume, you may be thinking to yourself, " Is there anything more I can add on to stand out? ".

Include any of the below four sections you deem relevant, to ensure your big 4 accounting resume further builds up your professional and personal profile:

  • Books - your favorite books can showcase that you have an excellent level of reading comprehension, creativity, and outside the box thinking;
  • Languages - make sure you've included your proficiency level alongside a relevant certificate or a form of self-assessment;
  • Website link - ensure you've curated your most relevant and recent projects in your professional portfolio (and that the link is a part of your resume header) to support your application;
  • Passions - showing recruiters how you spend your time outside of work and what activities or causes you're invested in.
  • Key takeaways

    We trust that this Enhancv guide has been informative and useful. To summarize the essential points:

    • Opt for a simple and readable format, focusing more on your big 4 accounting achievements rather than just duties;
    • Emphasize your accomplishments in the big 4 accounting experience section over mere responsibilities;
    • If lacking relevant experience, utilize various resume sections like education and volunteering to demonstrate your suitable skill set;
    • Never overlook the significance of pertinent higher education, training, and certifications;
    • Incorporate diverse sections in your resume to highlight not just your skills expertise but also your personality.
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