Overview

Introduction

BDO is a global accounting and advisory firm and one of the most prestigious CPA firms in the U.S. Its internship program gives students hands-on experience while they work alongside senior managers. Its full-time staff have access to informal coaching, formal mentoring, and extensive training. BDO does a lot to promote philanthropic activities and diversity, and has a diverse staff, with partners who identify as LGBTQ+ and are of various races and ethnicities.

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Featured Rankings

Vault Accounting 50...


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Major Office Locations

Anchorage, AK...


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CEO

Firsthand Findings

BDO USA is looking for intelligent, hardworking, personable candidates with strong leadership, technical, and communication skills. For students, BDO runs a valuable internship program during which interns get hands-on experience while working alongside senior staff and managers. Interns get to work on a variety of assignments and clients. For its full-time staff, BDO offers numerous career development opportunities, including informal coaching, formal mentoring, and various training programs.

Although hours are typically long during busy season, BDO works hard to promote work/life balance the rest of the year. Staff appreciate the generous amount of PTO they get and rave about the flexible schedules. In general, salaries, benefits, and perks are competitive and ...

About the Company

BDO USA, LLP is the U.S. member firm of BDO International Ltd., one of the world’s largest accounting and advisory organizations serving the middle market, with more than 91,000 people working out of over 1,600 offices in 167 countries. BDO USA has more than 65 offices and approximately 8,063 employees, including 670 partners. In 2020, BDO USA’s revenues were $1.8 billion. BDO provides assurance, tax, advisory, and digital services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies.

The firm's industry expertise includes asset management; financial institutions and specialty finance; government contracting; healthcare; hospitality and leisure; insurance; life sciences; manufacturing and distribution; natural resources; nonprofit and education; private equity; professional services; public sector; real estate and co...

Employee Reviews


  • “The thing I appreciate most about working at BDO is the ability it’s given me to quickly progress in my career while also having a very good work/life balance. BDO’s Core Purpose is helping people thrive, every day, and I think we all do a wonderful job of applying it both professionally and personally.”
  • “It can be hard to schedule PTO during the accounting busy season, but that has more so to do with the industry rather than the firm. When not in the busy season, it is very easy to book PTO. As long as you communicate your needs during the busy season (let’s say, for example, you just need one day to recharge because of the stress from work), then your manager would most definitely be accommodating to that. I think that says a lot about a firm that cares to understand and help individuals like that during the accounting busy season.”
  • “The best aspect of the firm’s overall quality of life is the flexibility. It is easy to take appointments and have flex time in order to balance work and life. People are very understanding of life events, and everyone is treated like a professional. I do not have anyone micromanaging me. The travel is also great. Whether it is in town or out of town, there are opportunities to explore new areas and clients. Vacation time is respected, depending on the time of year it is requested, and usually honored. The worst aspect can be the travel. There are months where travel out of town can be back-to-back. While it is nice, it also can greatly take away from life balance. The hours demanded of the job are a lot. We do not work 40 hours a week, and it will never happen with the business model. It can be very challenging meeting the stress of the workload.”
  • “BDO seems to work very hard to help promote our work/life balance. Of course, this balance is much easier during non-busy seasons. But even during busy season when we’re all working 12-hour days, six days a week, the firm encourages us, through firmwide events, to get outside once a day for exercise, to take a weekend off to relax, and to take regular breaks each day. Their promotion of work/life balance makes me feel like I am valued as a whole person and not just a means to an end.”
  • “I’m happy with how much I’m paid at BDO. My favorite benefits are the number of vacation days given. In conjunction with PTO, taking into account vacation and holidays, I think I get 25 days off, which is nice. The downside is travel reimbursement/parking. Travel costs to the office aren’t 100 percent covered, but they do offer a tax deducted transportation program. Travel costs to clients outside of the city we service are 100 percent reimbursed.”
  • “Best aspects are flexible hours and casual dress. It is also a perk not to pay for parking. The vacation/PTO/holiday schedule is generous. Summer Fridays are not time off. You still have to get in your 40 hours to leave early on Friday. Mandatory Saturdays and a minimum of 50 to 55 hours a week during tax season.”
  • “The salary we receive is not a reflection of the stress level and hours we spend working. We were not able to have a Christmas party in my local office this year this year, and instead of offering some sort of virtual celebration or even a small gift card/present, none of us were given any sort of recognition/compensation. We also have been working from home since March, and during the busy times they usually buy us dinners/snack and coffee. But since the office is closed, they haven't been doing that, either. It just seems as though they could be doing more for their employees, especially given how hard we’ve worked.”
  • “I feel like compensation and benefits are in line with the industry and peer/similar firms. To me, culture is the biggest benefit.”
  • “I think that BDO does a great job of implementing a structured career advising and mentorship program. I really feel like I have a clear path to achieve all of my career goals.”
  • “BDO’s culture, informal coaching, formal mentoring, large client base, and various training programs allow for endless opportunities and career development, even for those on formal flex schedules.”
  • “BDO pairs you with a career advisor from day one, and from there you can continue to work with that advisor, or select someone else at the manager level you’re more comfortable with. The idea is that this is a person who can help you develop as a professional, not just at BDO but in the industry in general. That’s probably the best aspect in my opinion. I can’t really think of any bad aspects.”
  • “Each person within the firm has the same opportunity and access to firm leadership. Opportunities for special assignments and postings are easily accessible to all employees and the application/submission process is thorough but not obstructive. Each of us work proactively with our career advisors to ensure we are on track to reach our next career milestone/area of interest. Like any public accounting firm, advancement at higher levels is a balance of skills/ability and economic feasibility, the latter of which is not always within one's control, which can be frustrating.”
  • “I loved the fact the when I started working at BDO, the company took time to first explain the community engagement activities available to participate in. As a black professional, I also loved the fact I was given equal opportunities and learned about the BDO policies, which are very inclusive of individuals with diverse backgrounds.”
  • “BDO is a very diverse workplace, from bottom to top. We have partners who identify as LGBTQ, are different races, and are different genders. BDO does do a lot of philanthropic practices throughout the year. The only area of improvement I could think about is more efforts to address climate change/being green. It would be good to focus on that topic more as a firm and explore the things we could do. I think going forward, the firm will think of providing more work-from-home days to reduce the carbon footprint that comes from the daily office commute.”
  • “The firm seems to have made steps towards addressing diversity through public statements, hiring, and conversations with minorities in the company. I am hoping that these efforts will see an increase in diversity of our current workforce.”
  • “The firm as a whole seems to be promoting diversity and philanthropic practices. We try to cut down on sending paper and electronically deliver anything possible. There is still a noticeable absence of women in partner roles, and I think if we want to encourage staff/seniors to stay in public accounting, we need more devotion to this. Many new hires are female, and it is disheartening to see that they are not making it to more senior level roles. However, if you look at the board, etc., there has been progress—it just needs to translate to the office level as well.”
  • “I strongly believe the company will continue to grow. Its policies under the leadership of the partners is excellent. In my local office, my managing partner takes time to talk to us about our forecasts and our past results, and I am confident that given these, the outlook will be very strong.”
  • “Locally, we’re pushing to double in size in the next two years, just after doubling in size from the last three years. Firm leadership may not understand the toll that this takes on managers and staff. The growth of the firm is outpacing hiring of key positions to ensure a healthy work/life balance.”
  • “BDO just acquired a top 40 accounting firm and continues to grow through acquisitions and organically. Though, some at the top at BDO national are disconnected from the employees and the difficulties we face.
  • “BDO focuses on middle market clients, and in the midst of the pandemic our business has been able to remain resilient to its adverse effects. We’ve even grown in some places, gaining clients during these times, so that’s a good thing.”
  • “The best aspects certainly included the amount of hands-on experience gained. Creating workpapers, testing, and being able to touch many parts of the audit process truly provided invaluable knowledge.”
  • “The best aspect was getting to work with many different groups within the tax practice as an intern. I interned with many individuals who got to try both audit and tax, and some that switched from core tax to a specialty tax internship during the program. BDO was very flexible with their program, making sure we got the most out of our time and ended up where we wanted to work.”
  • “My internship experience was great. I was able to see a wide variety of return types (partnerships, individuals, corporations, etc.) and for various industries. It helped give me a feel of what I liked and didn’t like. One thing I would have liked to do during my internship was sit in on client calls. Obviously, the internship was difficult since you go in not knowing much about tax. But with the willingness to learn (and learn quickly), by the end of the internship, you feel way more confident in what you’re doing.”
  • “The best experience as an intern was being able to really get to know the employees through being on multiple engagements as well as office outings. The most challenging aspect was during the summer I had to prepare a presentation of a mock audit proposal to the whole office. It was intimidating presenting to the whole office, especially to the partners.”

Wellness Efforts

  • “The firm offers discounts on health premiums for participation in health assessments and monitoring, including meditation programs, mental acuity exercises, nutritional education, etc. Periodically, the firm—at a local office level—will hold initiatives such as periodic stretching/exercise to break up sitting at our desks. The firm provides standing desks and membership in the building’s gym. Each office provides healthy snacks and a ‘rec room’ where you can take a mental break with a game of ping pong, Jenga, etc.”
  • “Each local office has a wellness champion who keeps the local professionals abreast of national incentives and initiatives, and who also coordinates local events (walks, 5Ks, fitness challenges, etc.). Additionally, the firm provides access to a number of programs (a meditation app, counseling), subject to limitations. Additionally, we have a ‘quiet room’ in our local office where employees can take a moment to decompress and regroup.”
  • “Our firm actually sponsors quite a few wellness/exercise events like yoga classes and sports leagues. BDO also partners with Rally via our healthcare provider United Healthcare, to have wellness assessments. If you complete the assessment once a year, you save on healthcare insurance costs by 5 percent. And it’s another way for you to learn more about being healthy.”
  • “The firm offers many contests and other items to help with wellness. The firm offers discounted counseling sessions and meditation programs for employees. They offer a vast number of items for whatever people may be interested in. These are more promoted through the national HR team. They are not really highlighted by individual offices. People, at least in my respective office, do not seem very motivated by these, myself included. It can be hard to feel like you work all the time but then want to join a work fitness thing.”

Why Work Here


BDO USA takes pride in hiring and developing people with exceptional skills and talent. The nature of our market makes it imperative that we hire and recruit individuals with impact, the kind of people who will make a difference the moment they arrive—and who flourish under our core values of competence, honesty and integrity, professionalism, dedication, responsibility and accountability. 

Getting Hired Here


  • “The interview process allows applicants to sufficiently elaborate their skills and how they will fit into BDO vision and mission. It’s usually a panel of interviewers that include partners, who ask questions focused on making sure the applicants fit into the overall BDO objective. The panel also includes managers, who will drill down to detailed work questions. I loved this fact when I got in because in my interviews I explained what I expected, and the partners and managers aligned this to the tasks I am doing now. They also allow applicants to explain developmental needs.”
  • “It depends on each region and how much the employees within the office take steps forward. In our office, the employees are involved in fast-tracking the interview and callback process. Our ideal candidate is an intelligent individual who shows interest in learning and has strong communication skills. We are not looking for the 4.0 GPA candidate but one who is sociable and somewhat laid-back. Our family-type culture and community fit is most important in the candidate.”
  • “The ideal candidate the firm is seeking is hardworking, has a desire to learn and grow, and believes they have something to offer the firm as an employee. The firm wants to know they have a committed employee—someone who will stick it out. The firm conducted two interviews, and HR called back immediately before and after the interview process to continue communication.”
  • “We participate in various on-campus events to early identify candidates, preferring to interview candidates that we’ve established a connection with. We require all candidates to apply for positions on our website, including those candidates we meet at our target schools’ career fair/meet-the-firms events. Initial interviews are primarily held in a virtual format, but we do some initial interviews on campus. Pre-Covid, those candidates who are successful in the initial interview were asked into the office for follow-up interviews and introductions to more personnel. Offers for summer programs, internships, or full-time positions follow a successful office visit. We are seeking candidates with strong technical skills (accounting GPA, etc.), with proven leadership attributes, a strong work ethic, and an excitement about the firm and their chosen career. We also focus on professionalism, communication, and intellectual curiosity.”
  • “1. Describe a time you identified an error made by your manager or a senior. How did you address it with them? 2. How do you manage daily tasks at work? Name the organizing tools and technologies you use. 3. Why should BDO hire you? 4. Tell me about yourself. 5. Tell us how your educational and work experience are a perfect fit to the position.”
  • “What single project or task would you consider your most significant career accomplishment to date? Walk me through the plan you had for it, how you managed it, how you measured success, and what the biggest mistakes you made were. Give an example of a challenging team assignment where there was a discord or disagreement within the team. How was it handled? What happened? A team member you’re working with isn’t pulling their fair share. How do you handle such a situation as a team member and/or a team leader?”
  • “What are the three most important factors in making your employment decision? Provide an example from your life where you were unsuccessful in meeting or reaching a goal and how you reacted, responded, and learned from that failure. What accomplishment or action from your experience are you most proud of and why?”
  • “Can you provide an example of a time where you had multiple projects to deal with—how did you prioritize what was important? Describe a situation where you had to demonstrate qualities of leadership. Tell us about what drives you and motivates you to accomplish a goal or task.”