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A former colleague of mine summed it up with the following catchphrase: “What we sell is the space between these two ears.” This bit of Yoda-like wisdom was followed by a slowly pointed finger to my forehead.At its simplest form, “professional services” is an industry where firms like Ernst & Young provide clients with the right subject matter experience via resources at the right time and place and, of course, at the right price.Hopefully, the following explanation sheds some light on this early career decision that you’ll need to make.Assurance work is typically very analytical and often time-consuming.The Professional Services Career Path: A Big Four Employee Perspective What is it like to work on the advisory side of a Big 4 firm? Typically, if there’s time to discuss and there’s mutual interest in the exchange, I’m immediately bombarded with a slew of follow-up questions like: What do you do exactly? I respect all of the Big Four firms, especially mine, a great deal but feel that the only way to offer up a truly unbiased perspective on the lifestyle is to provide genuinely candid insight. Click to learn more I’m frequently asked by friends, family, clients, job candidates and random people I encounter on my travels what it’s like to work on the advisory side of a Big 4 firm. Its goal is not to solicit top talent or self-promote services offered or whatever other angles you might have running through your head right now.

I must confess, however, that this outlook reflects how I feel today, which wasn’t always the case.

The first division we’ll take a look at is “Assurance”. Assurance mainly encompasses classic audit services, including financial audits.

Assurance is a very mature service offering with very well structured methodologies and reoccurring annual audit business; it holds the top spot in terms of the most annual revenue generated for the firm.

This event could provide the foundation for a “business case” to create a new practice in order to address this potential need of the future.

Once the business case is formally presented and a firm commits to the investment…Recruit, train, sell and bam! This exemplifies why professional services firms cannot have a flat or rigid hierarchy.

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