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These Accounting Firms Have the Best Internship Programs, According to Vault

PKF O’Connor Davies not only has the best internship program for prospective accountants but also the No. 1 program in the nation.

Top 30 accounting firm PKF O’Connor Davies not only has the best internship program in the nation for prospective accountants, but it also has the top internship program of any company in the country, according to the 2024 Internship Rankings from career resource website

This past summer, Vault surveyed more than 13,000 current and former interns from 145 internship programs. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, respondents were asked to rate their internship experiences in six core areas: quality of life, compensation and benefits, interview process, career development, full-time employment prospects, and diversity.

To determine an overall score for each program, the ratings were assigned relative weights based on what interns told Vault they value most in an internship. The overall scores are based on the following weighted formula: 30% career development, 20% employment prospects, 20% quality of life, 20% compensation, 5% diversity, and 5% interview process. Vault then compiled rankings of the top internship programs in more than 30 different areas. The 100 best internships reflect the internship programs with the highest overall scores across the survey pool, according to Vault.

With a total score of 9.597, No. 1 in the 100 Best Internship Rankings is Harrison, NY-based CPA firm PKF O’Connor Davies, which came in at No. 70 in Vault’s 2023 ranking.

According to Vault, here is what makes the internship program at PKF O’Connor Davies the best in the nation:

Several accounting firms made their way into the top 10 this year, but PKF O’Connor Davies’ program claims the top spot. Past interns from the program said that the program offers “a nurturing environment; there is no competitive or cutthroat air.” Regarding the firm’s training process, another intern said, “There is an unlimited amount of guidance in this firm. You can go up to anyone in the office and ask questions without feeling like you’re bothering them. The assignments I worked on challenged me but weren’t too challenging to the point where I had no idea what I was doing. The assignments were also all important and meaningful; superiors weren’t just dumping busy work on the intern’s desk.” Interns also reported that the compensation is up to snuff for the work done, with one saying, “I am definitely satisfied with the compensation; I believe the pay is competitive, and the firm does a good job at rewarding hard work.”

For those interested in joining future PKF O’Connor Davies internship classes, one intern had this piece of advice to offer: “My advice is the get to know anyone you can in the office. People love to know you are willing to help them out, even if you do not always necessarily work for that person in particular. Always getting to know people is what makes work. You are with these people every day, and by this, you can understand how certain people work and operate, which is cool to be able to learn and adapt.”

The other public accounting firms that made the top 10 in the 100 Best Internship Rankings are Weaver (No. 4), Frazier Deeter (No. 5), Lumsden McCormick CPA (No. 8), Elliott Davis (No. 9), and Freed Maxick (No. 10).

PKF O’Connor Davies, Weaver, Frazier Deeter, Lumsden McCormick CPA, Elliott Davis, and Freed Maxick are the top six firms in Vault’s 2024 Best Accounting Internships. The full top 25 in accounting are:

1. PKF O’Connor Davies
2. Weaver
3. Frazier Deeter
4. Lumsden McCormick CPA
5. Elliott Davis (ENVISION Program)
6. Freed Maxick (MAX Internship Program)
7. Grant Thornton
8. Frank, Rimerman + Co. (Summer Internship)
9. Boyer & Ritter
10. Baker Tilly
11. Aprio
12. H&CO (Brilliant)
13. HCVT
14. CohnReznick
16. Moss Adams (Summer Internship)
17. Cherry Bekaert
18. Wipfli
19. EisnerAmper (Audit Internship, Tax Internship)
20. Marcum
21. YHB (Summer Internship)
22. Armanino
23. Eide Bailly (Accounting and Technology Internship Programs)
24. Withum

The Big Four firms make an appearance in Vault’s 2024 Most Prestigious Internships. Deloitte is ranked No. 16, followed by PwC at No. 26, KPMG at No. 28, and EY at No. 31.