ARTICLESHIP: BIG 4 or BIG 20 or Mid-size

Cleared your CA INTERMEDIATE?, but wondering where to get your INTERNSHIP/ARTICLESHIP registered?, Inspiringlifetoday will assist you with the same to get a perfect idea for the same. “Articleship: Big 4 or Big 20 or Mid-size

No doubt, those who have cleared their CA INTERMEDIATE will find studies of CA INTERMEDIATE much easier, than finding the articleship firm for themselves. Most of the aspirants have a common viewpoint, where they say, CA INTERMEDIATE studies have a defined goal of what to do, but seeking a perfect articleship firm doesn’t seem to be.


Talking about the Articleship, the Articleship is the mandatory training as prescribed by the ICAI, that every CA ASPIRANT has to undergo for the fulfillment of this course. Articleship duration has been reduced to 2 years from the 3 years, in the new scheme, which has been implemented from the 1st of July 2023. The Articleship can be started under any Chartered Accountant in practice having a valid membership number.

What can we learn under Articleship?

Articleship is the way out in which, you can implement your theoretical study into the practical world. There are several things, that any aspirant must learn under his/her Articleship journey. Talking about the contents, that can learn under the Articleship journey, are as follows:

  • DIRECT TAXATION: This includes filing of returns, PAN applications, Notice filing, TAN Applications, and other litigation works, etc.
  • INDIRECT TAXATION: This includes return filing, registration, refunds, and other litigations, etc.
  • Maintenance of Legal documents
  • Registration of firms/ companies etc.
  • Audits: Bank Audits/ Stock Audits/ Concurrent Audits/ Statutory Audits etc

There are various other things too, which one must research himself/herself to be learned.


BIG 4s includes the top 4 companies, which are Deloitte/ EY/ KPMG/ PWC. These 4 companies are the most favorite companies for any CA ASPIRANT to get joined in. It’s a harsh reality that, only a few of the aspirants, actually know why they want to join BIG 4. The rest most of the others are there seeking Articleship in BIG 4 due to the peer pressure, and name game. No doubt, the name of the BIG 4 is sky high, and the reputation is fantabulous, but there must be a solid reason for you too to join the BIG 4.

Joining BIG 4 is not an easy task, but should not be the only task for one. You will be getting various reasons in this article, where you will find mid-size firms as a much better option for yourself, but maybe you will stick with the Big 4 selection too. It only depends upon you, and your mindset.

BIG 4 comes under the companies which provide specialization in one domain only. You may select Statutory Audit as your domain or maybe Internal Audit as the domain. Talking, if you have an interest in Taxation, then you can join indirect taxation as your domain, or may also focus on Forensic Audit as your domain. While there are various other domains as well, which you must research yourself, where you have an interest.

The BIG 4 provides you with a complete specialization in the domain you choose for yourself, and you can carry out your future in that domain. It must be noted that BIG 4 doesn’t provide experience in other domains.

The major Advantages of joining BIG 4 are as follows:

  • Name Game: The Articleship from Big 4 provides you a tag that you have completed your Articleship from BIG 4, which is highly beneficial for your future
  • Specialization: One will be specialized in the domain one has chosen for oneself.
  • Job-Security: Most of the Aspirants, who have joined BIG 4 will find an open door for the job after becoming the CA
  • Stiped: The Stipend for Articles in BIG 4 is 15k-20k-25k per month, which is the highest among all
  • Professionalism: One will be able to understand the professional environment of any company

BIG 20s

The firms which are not BIG 4s but provide specialization in one domain only, but have a good client base, come under BIG 20s. The firms such as BDO/ LUTHRA AND LUTHRA/ SS KOTHARI, and various others come under this category. The only jack is that the stipend will not be as high as BIG 4s.


The most under-rated firms are mid-size firms, which are being ignored by many of the aspirants. The mid-size firms now act as backup plans for any aspirant, who doesn’t gets selected for BIG 4s or BIG 20s. Various mid-size firms like BALWINDER ASSOCIATES/ KANSAL SINGLA/ DUTTA SINGLA, and many others are way more under-rated firms.

No doubt, you won’t get the name tag of BIG 4s, which is highly over-rated in the ARTICLESHIP journey, but you will be getting exposure for all the fields available. You know what, for any Chartered Accountant, an experience in all fields is a must. An Articleship from a good mid-size firm is a much better option than any BIG 4s or 20s.

Solid reasons to join MID-SIZE FIRMS:

  • An Article will not be stuck in a single domain only, one will be getting an experience of all the fields, which are necessary for any Chartered Accountant. Any Mid-size firm will be having Audits too, with that Indirect taxation domain and other necessary works.
  • The client interaction in Mid-size is much more than any big 4 clients.
  • The study time for any aspirant in the mid-size is much more than that of getting ng in BIG 4s or 20s. Elaborating the same, one said that, New scheme got fixed 6 months for the preparation, an answer to the same is that, those 6 months are for revision only, and in old scheme too, you get the same 6 months’ leave, where no such leave is available in the new scheme. One must have to complete the whole syllabus in 2 years time gap only, and the syllabus is vast, which is not an easy task to study in 6 months.
  • There is one more piece of advice that one gave is that there is job-security post-CA. So, just an answer to that guy, are you dumb that you will not get any job after becoming CA? Like seriously? You will question that much on your abilities so that you will not get a job if you won’t do an Articleship from a Mid-size
  • It must be noted that you have to clear CA FINALS too, and for that one must have to study, which is very difficult in BIG 4s due to work pressure. It’s better to clear CA FINAL on the first attempt after taking an article in mid-size than clearing CA FINALS in 3-4rth attempt due to no study time, and work pressure.

Both BIG 4s and Mid-size firms are good for you, but overrating anyone is not a good option for you. The advantages of Mid-size and Big 4s have been provided above. You must think of solid reasons, why you want to join BIG 4, and why you want to join a MID-SIZE firm.

Just because my friend is joining BIG 4, or my brother is joining Big 4, doesn’t make an option to you to join the same firm. There are plenty of CAs who are earning crores, even after doing Articleship in MID-SIZE firms. CA is a reputed degree, there is no such excuse that you won’t be getting any job. You are one of the major factors of INDIAN ECONOMY, and your knowledge is your power.


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