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Thread: Accounting PhD Admissions - Effect of accounting firm size on admission

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    Accounting PhD Admissions - Effect of accounting firm size on admission

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    Long time reader, first time poster here. Lots of great information on accounting PhD's in this forum, so thanks to all contributors. Thought I'd ask a question I haven't yet seen. I am considering pursuing a PhD in accounting. I currently work as a tax associate at a local but reputable CPA firm with about 60 accountants. I noticed that many current accounting PhD students come from big 4. All things equal, how detrimental is it to my application that my experience is from a smaller firm, rather than big 4 or a national firm?

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    Maybe as the schools include (some) emphasis on teaching it matters? Otherwise, no one really cares.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck View Post
    Long time reader, first time poster here. Lots of great information on accounting PhD's in this forum, so thanks to all contributors. Thought I'd ask a question I haven't yet seen. I am considering pursuing a PhD in accounting. I currently work as a tax associate at a local but reputable CPA firm with about 60 accountants. I noticed that many current accounting PhD students come from big 4. All things equal, how detrimental is it to my application that my experience is from a smaller firm, rather than big 4 or a national firm?
    I think the causal arrow goes the other way. That is, people with good enough GMAT scores and high enough UGGPAs that are good enough for Ph.D. programs are often the same that are good enough for big-4 accounting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Indus
    Till you feel reasonably enthusiastic about the research area. It is entirely possibel to do a bad PhD at a great program. If you are not motivated by the research area, you would have a hard time finishing a PhD.
    You can find a list of accredited programs:here Do NOT choose a "program" or "format" as these features are quite buggy. 24% don't list GMAT

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    There are so many factors that come before firm prestige in accounting PhD admissions that I would not worry about it. I can almost guarantee your admission/rejection will be based on other factors.

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    Thanks for your responses. Very helpful!

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    Just to echo the sentiments of others, I think it will have very little to no bearing on whether you are admitted to a program or not.

    The big 4 firms are by far the largest accounting employers as well, so we would expect that they would make up a larger portion of the work experience for accounting doctoral students.

    However, I worked at a specialty tax firm with 5 people, and I know many other current accounting PhD students who did not work for the Big 4. And I do not think it impacted any of us in terms of admissions.

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    Thanks much taxPhD. That's encouraging.

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