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Overview

Introduction

Grant Thornton is one of the world's most prestigious and highly respected accounting firms. An internship or job with the firm will open doors throughout your career. Interns get hands-on experience and a clear idea of what it’s like to work for the firm full time, while staff get extensive mentoring opportunities and the ability to take charge of their own careers—you can progress very quickly if you so desire and perform well.

Company Stats


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Featured Rankings

Vault Accounting 50...


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Major Office Locations

Chicago, IL...


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Employment Contact

Lennie Murphy- Strategic Human Resource Leader...

Firsthand Findings

Widely considered to be the most prestigious accounting firm outside the Big 4, Grant Thornton is looking for enthusiastic, innovative, adaptable, emotionally intelligent individuals with integrity and honesty, strong critical thinking skills, and a desire to grow and learn. Ideally, candidates also enjoy challenging themselves, taking initiative, and learning different perspectives. For students, the firm offers a fulfilling internship experience, providing interns with hands-on experience and giving them a clear idea of what it’s like to work for the firm as full-time associates. With respect to the career development opportunities for full-time staff, insiders laud the mentoring opportunities and ability to take charge of their own careers—staff are able to progress very quickl...

About the Company

Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s largest organizations of independent audit, tax, and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues in excess of $1.9 billion and operates 53 offices, works with a broad range of publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations. The company’s “bring your whole self to work” philosophy stresses diversity and a culture of flexibility and empowerment among its staff. 

Alexander Richardson Grant, the namesake of the firm, began his accounting career at Ernst & Ernst (a predecessor of Ernst & Young), but, at 26, decided it was time to be his own boss and opened Alexander Grant & Co. in 1924. The company eventually beca...

Employee Reviews


  • “The best aspect is the ability to take time off when needed. I believe that everyone is supportive of each other's will to take time off when it suits them best. I believe that the firm is very understanding of this and never propels guilt upon its employees. The firm is very proud to offer flexible time off and is not afraid to let its employees take advantage of it. The worst part of it is finding the will in yourself to take it off when the demands of work are high. This is partially not the firm’s fault. If anything, it is more just the result of the career choice that other professionals in this field and I made.”
  • “This is probably the area in which GT has the biggest advantage over its Big 4 competitors. GT does have a great work/life balance, and while hours can still be long during busy seasons, it is unusual to have a consistent number of 80-hour weeks even as an associate. GT's unlimited PTO policy is also flexible enough, so you don't really have to feel pressured when taking some time off during slower times—as long as you are smart about communicating with your team members on when to take these. However, the PTO policy can definitely be monitored and executed better, since do see a few people take more PTOs than they really should. The travel aspect of the job (for the tax team) isn't so bad either. Also, the relationship with your supervisor is flat, for the most part, which is due in part to both a smaller team and engagement. Sometimes, even as an associate, you will be working directly with a senior manager/director or even a partner, so that can build a flatter relationship with the higher-ups as well as gaining more valuable experience as an associate.”
  • “The unlimited time off is a great policy. It is well utilized in our off busy season time. However, hours can be demanding. I tend to average 65- to 80-hour weeks four months of the year and 45 to 50 hours during the remaining months.”
  • “I love the culture and the quality of life that GT enables me to have. We have a Flex Time Off (FTO) policy rather than a PTO policy, which enables employees to control their career and take off time as needed during non-busy season. I typically work 50 to 60 hours during busy season, but during non-busy season I rarely work more than 40 hours.”
  • “The benefits and telecommuting options are great, and we have a good vacation policy and sometimes get meals provided, which is nice. The salary is low for the amount of work and hours, but it's like that for all public accounting firms.”
  • “Base salary is competitive, but performance bonuses are based on overall performance of firm, which was down in a tax reform year. Therefore, bonuses were not commensurate with high marks on performance reviews.”
  • “The best aspect is the telecommuting opportunities. This has helped me manage both my motherly responsibilities and career aspirations. The worst aspect was the fiscal year-end bonus. There are certain utilization targets that need to be met in order to qualify for larger bonuses. Other contributions to the firm are not considered.”
  • “Overall, the salary, benefits and perks are great. We do not get paid as much as our competitors at larger firms, but we also don't have to work nearly as many hours, which I prefer. I think the amount of benefits the firm gives is very generous. I wish the 401(k) matching began during our first year, but it won't start until year two. We do also have a 100 percent firm sponsored employment retirement plan on top of our 401(k), so that will be very nice to have accruing over the years. While I'm not a mom yet, I know they offer a great work/life balance for moms, with a great maternity leave policy, flexible hours, and telecommuting options. They even sponsor adoption of pets if from a shelter, and some of my friends' pets have vet insurance through the firm. There are a lot of options for everyone's lifestyles.”
  • “GT does a great job of providing targeted training that provides the knowledge I need to provide excellent service to my clients. With tax reform hitting at the end of 2017, GT has done an extraordinary job training everyone on all of the changes and hot topics. From my personal experience, GT has provided me with ample opportunities with different areas of tax to grow and develop my career the way I want to develop it. I have been given opportunities to showcase my abilities, and it has resulted in me being promoted to senior within a year and a half, and I am up for promotion to manager after two-and-a-half years. GT also has given me a great support system that gives me access to talk to local firm leadership, which has helped develop me personally.”
  • “GT does a great job of offering its people a variety of opportunities for career advancement or variety. Within the tax service line, there are various types of tax services that associates and interns are encouraged to work on to give them a well-rounded experience and allow them to decide which area of tax interests them most. The firm is also very supportive of transfers/rotations with other service lines, provided that there is a need for someone in the desired position and that the employee requesting a transfer or rotation is someone the firm values. However, it is easy to become pigeon-holed into a particular area early on, which benefits some employees who would prefer to be specialized but can be restrictive in terms of variety in one's work.”
  • “Our firm has processes in place to facilitate you vocalizing which areas you want to be in. While there does have to be a need, most tax groups are willing to accept people who want work from their group. Your coach meets with you several times over the year to make sure that you’re enjoying what you’re doing and asks if you want exposure to any other areas. When you first start, you do have to be proactive about getting work and take the initiative yourself, especially in slower times, to get work by asking around. If you don't take that initiative, you may have a lot more free time. I like this, though, because it gives you the opportunity to practice initiative and taking steps with your career on your own time in your own way in the groups that you want.”
  • “There are a lot of development opportunities at Grant Thornton, including opportunities to lead groups, councils and events; develop relationships through conferences, firm trainings, and cross-service line collaborations; and learn about new industries, clients, and skills through the diversity of projects.”
  • “GT doesn't just say it is for working mothers but also shows it in its dedication to giving mothers a generous maternity leave, flexible hours, telecommuting arrangements, etc. We also have groups dedicated to giving minorities a voice in the firm and having racial reconciliation conversations where people listen to each other to learn about and understand different perspectives. These conversations aren't exclusive to the minority group represented but open to everyone to participate in. I've really appreciated being a part of these conversations. We do some things with local charities, such as donations and volunteering once per year, but I wish we did more with respect to charities because volunteering is something very important to me.”
  • “The diversity practices with respect to LGBT individuals are world-class. The firm is very accepting and provides many benefits. The firm received a 100 on the HRC corporate equality index (the highest score you can receive). Of the places I have worked, this is by far the most open and accepting. When I considered working for an accounting firm, I was nervous due to the stereotypes of ultra conservative employees. I was pleasantly surprised to be made to feel so welcome at this firm. Other firms I have worked for were not so receptive, even though their policies indicated that they were receptive. Grant Thornton not only has amazing policies in place, they actually follow them. They walk the walk.”
  • “More women are needed at the highest levels of my company. I feel we represent well with minorities compared to other companies. And I feel our programs and outreach to military veterans and the community are great, but I have zero time to participate in them.”
  • “As a CSR leader, the firm gives us a sizeable budget and a lot of leeway in scheduling events and sending out invitations to all to join. It is a grass roots effort initiated and followed through by staff but fully supported by partners. Our Women of GT group has been instrumental in organizing and coordinating the advancement of women into leadership roles.”
  • “Our leadership is incredible. We’re looking to innovate how we do things and how our clients do things. I believe this will lead us into a strong future. The firm could be clearer on what management’s roles will turn into as we continue to automate processes and change the way we do things.”
  • “General vibe is that the firm is growing. The firm is landing more brand name clients and is advertising in major TV stations such as ESPN and ABC. The partners have great attitudes, which helps employee morale. The firm has spent a lot of money on new technologies that could be obsolete by the time they are implemented, which seems like an industry-wide problem.
  • “The best aspect is that the firm is agile and responsive to the market demands. There is an entrepreneurial spirit, and I feel empowered to bring my ideas to the table. GT has room to improve on cross-collaboration among different service lines.”
  • “I feel the firm is full of very intelligent and forward-looking individuals who are guiding the firm in the right direction.”
  • “Overall I had a very fulfilling internship experience. I had the opportunity to work in an area of tax that I had no familiarity with. This challenged me to grow my knowledge base and helped kickoff my career. I worked with a great team that really helped me develop from an early stage.”
  • “During my internship, I was able to perform the same work as a new associate and interact face-to-face with our clients. It was a very representative experience of what full-time work is at Grant Thornton.”
  • “I was exposed to two different areas of tax and was able to spend most of my time in the area I preferred. I made a lot of contacts and appreciated that I was assigned a buddy (senior), coach (manager), and mentor (partner/director). It gave me insight into what the firm's culture was like and gave me confidence that I made the right choice when I accepted a full-time offer.”
  • “GT made me feel very comfortable during the internship process. I bonded with my fellow interns quite a bit due to the plethora of intern activities as well as the collaborative projects that interns were assigned. I did feel as though a lot things were concealed from the interns in an effort not to scare us away from public accounting, but for the most part the people at GT were incredibly transparent with us about their experiences, which made the choice of working for GT full time an easy choice for me. I made many meaningful connections during my internship, and I consider it one of the more memorable and life changing periods of my life.”

Getting Hired Here


  • “The interviewing process was formal and well-structured but also inviting. I believe the ideal candidate is someone who is involved in something else besides work, whether it is community-related, sports, or hobbies. The firm wants to bring in an individual that can contribute to the firm with something more than just their skills to complete the daily tasks of work. I believe this is because the services offered are leaning more towards a consulting forefront, and in order to be successful, one must provide personality, social skills, and adaptability.”
  • “The recruiting process was very streamlined and professional. They called when they said they would call, and they followed up when they said they would follow up. The firm looks for individuals with integrity, a good sense of character, honesty, emotional intelligence, flexibility, and adaptability to new ideas.”
  • “The interview and callback process is pretty efficient, as we interview candidates we've already gotten to know through career showcases, campus recruiting, etc. If you're an experienced hire, we do multiple interviews and office visits so that it is more than just one person's decision. We want strong candidates with great academic backgrounds, a great work ethic, enthusiasm and understanding of the industry (experience can vary), and a willingness to grow and learn.”
  • “Our biggest disadvantage is that some schools push going Big 4, so people may think choosing GT is missing the mark on Big 4. That is a very wrong assumption, though. Grant Thornton is a global firm. We have resources to make big things happen in the marketplace with a leadership team that is willing and ready to execute ideas coming from all levels. The ideal candidate for a job at Grant Thornton is innovative, adaptable, a critical thinker, and a team player that likes a challenge, takes initiative, enjoys learning different perspectives, wants their voice to be heard, and is enjoyable to be around.”
  • “Interview questions usually relate to the cultural values of the firm. They are primarily designed to determine whether a candidate is inclined to demonstrate collaboration, leadership, excellence, agility, respect, and responsibility.’
  • “What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Where do you want to be in five years? What are your dreams? Who is your favorite superhero? Who is your hero? In my experience, interviews have been more of a conversation than formal behavioral questions. I enjoyed my interview process and got to know a lot of people that I still keep in touch with, from managers to recruiting professionals to partners, because the interview was about seeing if there is chemistry with the people in the firm. The GPA/transcript/degree shows you can do the work; what matters is if you can be a team player and bring value to the work you do.”
  • “All behavior-based questions. Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership skills. Tell me about a time when you resolved a conflict. How did you choose accounting as your major? What interests you the most about public accounting?”
  • “Tell me about a time you have struggled with something. What do you think your friends would say your greatest weakness is? Tell me a time where you had to work with a difficult team member and what did you do? Explain a time when someone, or something, got in the way of the results you wanted to achieve. What are you most proud of, professionally? What leader has formed your outlook on life the most, and why?”

Perks & Benefits