Big or Small? 5 Considerations for Choosing Company Size in Accounting and Finance

When searching for a job, is your goal to land a position in a large and notable company because you think that it offers better salaries or opportunities? Even though there’s a wide range of employment opportunities in the field of accounting and finance, it’s still not easy to get a job at a large firm.

However, company size doesn’t matter. All companies – both large and small – have their advantages, and you may have access to a better salary and/or career path at a smaller company.  Or, in a larger company, you may work with larger public or more prestigious clients.  No matter what is most important to you, below are five considerations for company size when it comes to searching for jobs in accounting and finance:

#1—Career path

Since smaller companies tend to have fewer employees, they also have fewer layers of management. As a result, it’s easier get a promotion or the opportunity to show your abilities. A small company would be more suited to your needs if you are interested in quick-moving promotion opportunities. But, if you work in a larger firm, likely, you will have a more structured company ladder to climb.

#2—Job function

If you are working with a small firm, your projects will be staffed leanly.  As a result, you will have a much wider exposure to job functions.  In that capacity, you can also take on a wider range of responsibilities and gain exposure to different parts of the business. Further, you may be able to easily change positions or may be responsible for several jobs at the same time.

At a large company, likely, it will be different.  Because there are more peer colleagues across the firm, you will specialize and become an expert in a particular practice area.  Further, if you want to change positions or practice areas, it may be more difficult, as there may be issues of seniority and crowding.

#3—Work environment

If you work in a large company, it’s likely that you’ll only get to know the people you work on a regular basis. You may not have the chance to talk with your boss whenever you’d like.

Conversely, smaller firms tend to be less formal and have fewer rules, resulting in a more pleasant and relaxed work environment.  Further, at a small company, likely, you will have developed relationships with more of the staff from an assistant to the CEO. You might even feel like you’re “part of the family.”

#4—Job security and benefits

Working for a bigger company means that you have access to more and better benefits, including health insurance. You can also enjoy more job security, since big firms rarely go bankrupt. When you get a job at a smaller company, you could be more susceptible to layoffs due to difficult financial times and periods of economic instability.


There may be hundreds of rules associated with working for a big company, and more than likely, those rules will be impossible for you to change. So if you’re the type of person who likes to run with a great new idea and “swim against the tide,” then you’ll probably prefer to work for a smaller company.

One final word: consider your personality and whether or not it would mesh with a big firm or a small firm. This is one of the most important factors in finding the perfect fit for you.

Jacqueline Hill, Esq.

This post was written by .

Jacqueline Hill is a partner at Lexacount Search, where she places top senior-level and other legal talent with law firms and corporate legal departments across the United States. She has been writing about careers, lawyers, attorney professional development, and the legal industry for more than a decade. She can be reached at or 215-740-0104, extension 101.

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