Regional Firm vs. “Big 4” Firm

Sue Shin

Tax Senior Manager

May 3, 2016

With over 11 years in international public accounting firms (in short “Big 4”), I became a little skeptical on this business model called “client service”.  In the client service business world, as professionals we are the revenue generator and clients are the main revenue source. Therefore, a lot of situations are driven by clients’ need which makes our life extremely busy. As long as I am in this client service business, I thought it would be hard to have work life balance.  And honestly, I was a little skeptical how PKM, a regional firm, can be different from a “Big 4” firm. After a couple of months, I realized one of the reasons that make PKM different from a “Big 4” is that we do not have a hierarchical reporting system. In a “Big 4”, all kinds of numbers such as revenue and utilization are constantly compared by others. Intensity coming from that is somewhat helpful when you are in the early age of your career, but you get worn out over the time. Does that mean all regional firms work the same way? I doubt it, but I do know PKM has a great culture that cares for each other and there is no need to watch your back all the time.

Another way that PKM ensures a more quality work environment is through work flexibility for hours and ability of working from home. While there will always be a standard for working at our client locations, there are certain instances when work can be done from alternate locations such as home or the Atlanta office. Having a 6-year-old kid, this is definitely a plus when special occasions come up, and I can work early or later to attend such functions. The extra mile that PKM goes to provide a quality work environment are what make me proud to tell my friends and family that I work for Porter Keadle Moore.