When it comes to launching a career, four accounting firms have made BusinessWeek’s list of best places to start. Only three of the “Big Four” firms, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Ernst & Young and KPMG LLP, are among the top 55 places to launch a career. Grant Thornton LLP is the only non-Big Four firm appearing on the list.
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BusinessWeek’s analysis of top employers for recent college graduates is the most comprehensive of its kind, examining feedback from students, college career counselors, and employers themselves, to reveal which companies offer the biggest advantages for entry-level employees, such as the highest pay, the quickest advancement and the best training programs.
Deloitte & Touche, where one-quarter of all partners have been with the firm for more than 20 years, held the highest ranking among accounting firms at number 3. In addition, one-third of experienced hires are “boomerangs” who have left and returned.
The permanent four-day weekends for Labor Day, July 4th and Memorial Day, instituted in 2005, helped Ernst & Young land in the number 12 spot on the BusinessWeek list. The firm is the only one of the ranked accounting firms not offering a management training program.
KPMG’s allotment of 25 paid days off for entry level professionals is among the most generous offerings on the list and good enough to earn the firm a number 15 ranking.
“I am very proud of the fact that so many students, counselors and employees see our firm as one where they can make a professional home – and make a difference,” Ed Nusbaum, Grant Thornton’s chief executive officer (CEO), said in a prepared statement. “Great people are our brand, so I am pleased that we are a coveted place to work.”
In ranking Grant Thornton as number 34, BusinessWeek highlighted the fact that more than four out of five interns become full-time associates. The firm’s most valuable trait is identified as its leadership skills, and LEADS, the leadership development program, was specifically noted.
With four ranked firms, the accounting industry makes a very respectable showing on this year's list. The industry with the most ranked firms was the financial services industry, having nine ranked firms. In second place, with seven ranked firms, is the consulting industry, followed closely by the the consumer goods and government industries, which both had six ranked firms.