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Accounting & Audit

Which Accounting Firms Have the Best Intern Programs?

Firsthand just released Vault’s ranking of the top 25 internship programs in the accounting profession for 2023.

The career-building website Firsthand released on Wednesday Vault’s latest ranking of the top internship programs in the U.S. for 2023, which included an accounting-only section.

Firsthand surveyed thousands of current and former interns about their experiences, then used their responses to rate company internship programs in several categories, including the 100 best overall internship programs, best internships by industry, most prestigious internships, best internships for compensation and benefits, and the best internships for training and mentoring.

Among the top 100 overall internship programs in the U.S., a public accounting firm has the second-best one (and no it is not a Big Four firm). The summer internship program at Palo Alto, CA-based CPA firm Frank, Rimerman + Co. had a score of 9.495 out of 10, only behind the 9.990 score for the InStep internship program at technology and consulting services firm Infosys.

According to Firsthand, here is what makes the summer internship program at Frank, Rimerman + Co. one of the best in the nation:

Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP offers a unique eight-week rotational internship that allows students majoring in Accounting to try audit, tax, consulting, and more. The program is centered around the firm’s headquarters in Palo Alto, but some interns will have the opportunity to spend time in other offices. The purpose of the summer internship is to present students with an opportunity to gain practical work experience in a professional environment.

Interns will spend the first week in orientation and training, which is led by partners and managers. After training, interns will begin their rotations through various departments. Rotations may include: Accounting and CFO Advisory, Tax, SOX/SOC compliance, technology solutions/systems implementation, Business Valuation, and Assurance and Advisory. Interns are exposed to many different clients and industries, and they work with all levels of employees during the program. Each intern will be assigned a work buddy to assist them during their rotations. The final week is reserved for wrap up and fun.

Because interns will frequently be visiting client sites and traveling between offices, access to a vehicle will be essential.

Summer interns contribute to the business by: working on audit engagements and developing an understanding of audit processes; attending client meetings and engagement planning meetings; assisting with business risk consulting and compliance projects; preparing income tax returns (individual, fiduciary, partnership, not-for-profit and corporate); processing business transactions into accounting records and appropriate financial statements; and learning standardized office and accounting-related software.

Throughout the internship there are a variety of social activities that offer interns a chance to meet more people from all offices and levels. Previous summers’ events included: San Francisco Giants game, bocce ball, visiting our St. Helena office in wine country, sailing the San Francisco Bay, attending the firm’s annual meeting, zip lining, and other social gatherings by office.

Another CPA firm, Atlanta-based Aprio, came in at No. 4 in the overall ranking with a score of 9.332, just ahead of Home Depot.

So it is no surprise that Frank, Rimerman + Co. and Aprio were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the 25 best internship programs in accounting. Here is the full ranking for 2023:

1. Frank, Rimerman + Co. (Summer Internship)
2. Aprio
3. Elliot Davis
4. Weaver
5. EisnerAmper (Audit Internship, Tax Internship)
6. Moss Adams (Summer Internship)
7. Grant Thornton
8. Frazier Deeter
9. Baker Tilly (Accounting Internship)
10. Plante Moran
11. CohnReznick
12. WilkinGuttenplan
13. H&CO (Brilliant)
14. BDO USA
15. Armanino
16. Withum
17. Marcum
18. Wipfli (Accounting Internship)
19. KPMG
20. CBIZ MHM
21. PKF O’Connor Davies
22. Cherry Bekaert
23. Lumsden McCormick
24. Eide Bailly (Accounting and Technology Internship Programs)
25. BPM

You can find all of the Firsthand/Vault internship rankings here.