Being pigeonholed in a small CPA firm

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  • #3086871
    Sean
    Participant

    Currently I work at a small healthcare company as an accountant for 2.5 years. The company only has about 120 people and there is only me and a controller as the accounting department. I should note that my goal is to go into audit at a regional/large firm. Eventually I want to move into industry. I don't care about working at a F500 company, but I'd like to work at a generally larger one than my current company.

    I recently got an offer from a tiny CPA firm (13 people total). A lot of what they do is tax, but they do have some small audit clients and do some accounting work for others. One of the partners told me they do slightly more reviews than audits.

    I was considering rejecting it but they offered a massive salary increase (a bit of a higher base than I am currently making plus lots of OT). I would be making basically a bit less than a lower-end manager at a B4.

    My current salary at my job is still pretty decent, but the potential increase is making me seriously consider switching to a small firm.

    The problem is: I still ultimately want to end up at a regional/larger audit firm and I am worried that by taking the small firm offer, I will be pigeonholed there because the experience of working on small audit clients wouldn't translate as well. And since I would be at a new job, I'd like to stay there for a few years, so I'd be foregoing any possible moves to a larger firm during that time.

    But since I work at a small company doing fairly standard accounting work (recs and all that), could the move to a small firm still be a step up?

    #3086898
    Tncincy
    Participant

    @Sean, Small is not always bad. Do a little more homework to make sure the firm is stable and able to keep you for at least 2 years. You'll never know what connections you could make at this firm that will lead you to the niche you're aiming for. You can even check with the larger firms and look at the experience required to work for larger. Again, you'll never know who someone might know that can get you into that larger firm. It's a hard decision but you're a professional, you can decide what's good for your career and your family. Good luck and let us know your decision.

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    #3087405
    monikernc
    Participant

    How do the benefits compare? I think those are so important. If the company is solid as TNCINCY said, the work sounds interesting, the culture seems welcoming and collaborative, I think it is a wise move for a couple of years and could lead to something better. Unless, there is an internal audit opportunity where you are. I would rule that out first based on your goals. Life is an adventure and nothing is guaranteed so don’t postpone your happiness!

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    #3087978
    Anthony
    Participant

    Public accounting is public accounting. A jump from a small to a regional or maybe even a midsize is definitely not out of the picture. Really just boils down to connections once you get your toes dipped into a small CPA firm.

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