Can firm partners refuse to sign off my experience?

CPA Exam Forum The Forum Score Release Can firm partners refuse to sign off my experience?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  desperate to pass 5 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #158578

    desperate to pass
    Participant

    I am leaving my current firm for a better opportunity and I want to leave in a good term. I am done with 3 sections of CPA exams and I am taking the last one in October. I am worried that the 2 partners of my current firm would not sign off the time I worked towards the CPA certification because I am quitting. I have been with my current firm for over 3 years now. I keep a good work relationship with the 2 partners and coworkers, but I don’t have any personal relationship with them because of big age gap. (2 partners are 60 and 70 years old. I am 25.) For growth concerns, I started looking for a senior position in greater size firms for over a year now and finally got an offer last Friday. I am going to give a month notice (only 2 weeks required/non-exempt) because I think it is a courtesy to stay until 10/15 (after all the returns are done). My questions are:

    1. Can the partners refuse to sign off my experience?

    2. Can I ask the partners to sign off my experience now even though I am not done with the CPA exam?

    3. What is a better approach to leave in good term? (I am writing a polite resignation letter. Is there anything else I should do?)

    Any advice is appreciated.

    #239625

    Mpofu
    Participant

    they will sign off with no problems at all.just leave in a polite manner.i have never had a personal relationship with partners,other than the professional relationship.

    #239626

    CouldPassAgain
    Participant

    Out of curiousity, what state are you in?

    #239627

    desperate to pass
    Participant

    I am in CA. I am moving 2 hous away from a beach city to the desert area.

    #239628

    limey
    Participant

    1. Can the partners refuse to sign off my experience?

    No. It’s a professional responsibility/obligation to do so. Hang on to your tax returns and year-end pay stubs anyway.

    2. Can I ask the partners to sign off my experience now even though I am not done with the CPA exam?

    You can ask your partners to pre-sign if you think:

    a) you’re going to leave on bad terms (which I don’t think you are)

    b) if the firm is going to go belly up or get sold soon, or

    c) one or both partners is going to croak soon.

    These are fair considerations, especially if you work in a small place, i.e. not a Big4 or mid-tier or regional, if you suspect the firm and HR records are not going to be around forever.

    I had this same conflict/issue – I refused to sign a general release until the sole proprietor I worked for pre-signed my experience form, b/c hey, life happens, i.e. what if he dies from a heartattack tomorrow, or sells off his firm? He’s the only one who signed my paychecks, and could attest to what I actually did. I also knew that my bitter, jealous coworker would only sign for me as a courtesy, not as a professional obligation.

    3. What is a better approach to leave in good term? (I am writing a polite resignation letter. Is there anything else I should do?)

    Tell them as soon as possible. 1 month is nice. Leave as many notes as possible, and be available to answer a few questions after you leave (but not too many). If possible, train your replacement. Don’t be afraid to leave – if they really want you, they might try to counteroffer (which you want to stay away from). If the partners liked you, they’ll be really bummed that you’re leaving.

    #239629

    limey
    Participant

    And btw, you have more leverage than you realize: You’ve seen what your partners have properly done and not done for the last three years. Almost every firm has skeletons in an open closet that their workers see, experience, and even record, every single day. They would most likely prefer to sign off on your experience form than have to deal with losing or angry clients, AICPA or the state board.

    #239630

    desperate to pass
    Participant

    Thank you for your response to my questions. I am staying with my current firm until 10/15 after the mini busy season is over which is more than a month notice. I will ask them to sign off my experience before I leave.

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