Help! At What Type of Firm Should I Start My Accounting Career?

5 Tips for Understanding What Role Company Size Should Play in Accounting and Finance Job Search

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. Both large and small firms have their advantages, and you may have access to a better salary and/or career path at a smaller company.

Below are five considerations for company size when it comes to searching for jobs in accounting and finance:

#1 – Job function

Working for a small business can give you much wider exposure to job functions, and you can also take on a wider range of responsibilities and gain exposure to different parts of the business. That’s because you could easily change position or be responsible for several jobs at the same time.

At a large company, you’ll get the chance to specialize and more fully develop a specific expertise or job function. But if you want to change to another position, it might be difficult or you might have to wait for an extended period of time.

#2 – 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. So if your goal is to advance quickly, a small company would be more suited to your needs. But for someone who works in a larger firm, they have a more structured company ladder to climb.

#3 – Rules

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.

#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.

#5 – Working environment

If you work in a large company, it’s likely that you’ll only get to know the people you work with day in and day out. 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.

At a small company, you’ll probably know everyone, from the receptionist all the way up to the boss. In addition, you’ll be able to develop more friendships and personal relationships. You might even feel like you’re “part of the family.”

Given these considerations, and having a greater understanding of company size in accounting and finance, what type of opportunity do you think is best for you?  Do you need help redefining your own professional development strategies in accounting and finance further? Learn more about Lexacount Search’s career consulting services here.


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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