Career Advice

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  • #2785266

    I got and accepted an offer from a big 4 firm which will start in 2020 Fall. However, there is a small CPA firm is willing to hire me immediately. Is it ok for me to work at the small firm until Fall of 2020 and switch over to big 4. Both of them are tax related. Help me please.


    Don't see why not. Get some experience and some money, the bigger one is gonna love it.

    Shoot for the stars!

    FAR 88 04/19

    REG 95 07/19

    BEC 91 11/19

    AUD 88 12/19


    Does the small firm know you'll be leaving for the big 4? Or are they hiring with the understanding that you'll be there long term? Regardless, it's your choice, but for me personally, I don't think I could take advantage of a small firm like that. Hopefully they understand it's temporary, if so, then that'd be a great way to get some experience before your Big 4 job starts.

    AUD: 54 (10/31/15); 83 (12/02/17)
    BEC: 70 (01/31/16); 90 (07/02/17)
    FAR: 73 (10/03/15); 88 (02/17/18)
    REG: 83 (06/09/18)
    AICPA Ethics: 91 (06/28/18)
    Licensed: 08/16/18

    Let us not become weary in doing good,


    I don't think there's anything wrong with working for the small firm for 9-10 months before starting Big Four, unless you have something better to do between now and then. It's not really taking advantage of the smaller firm if you give them nearly a year of service. I see new grads doing this all the time, and it doesn't bother me as long as it's not a habit.

    AUD - 79
    BEC - 88
    FAR - 89
    REG - 80
    Manager, Big 4 Corporate Finance, CPA (WA)

    You do know public accounting is more or less a seasonal business right?

    One busy season is almost equivelent to one year experience.

    FAR 85
    REG 87
    AUD 89
    BEC 89

    Opinions will vary but I'd be sure to let the small public firm know of your intentions. This is a small CPA firm, so retention of employees will be more important to them versus a larger firm. They're investing their time to train you in, so if you just walk after a year and they didn't see it coming, they'll definitely be disappointed. Your reputation is everything in my honest opinion. Act accordingly. Again, opinions will vary… But really ask yourself, does it feel right to not inform them, then split after a year? In my own head, I'd say it wouldn't feel right to do that. But if they're cool with it then by all means, get that extra experience.

    BEC - PASS

    FAR - PASS

    AUD - PASS

    REG - PASS



    I don't understand how you would be taking advantage of a small firm. You work 9-10 months for them, and they pay you for 9-10 months of work.

    AUD - 75
    BEC - 77
    FAR - 77
    REG - 76
    Licensed in VA

    Do it. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't even think twice about it. Many people switch jobs after a year or so for bigger pay or whatever the case maybe. This is nothing new.

    AUD - 82
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 81
    REG - 82
    FAR - 74 first attempt

    Just be upfront about your intentions. If you help them grind out a tax season, I doubt they would care and would love to have you.

    If you want to own your own CPA firm someday – the path to doing that is working for a small CPA firm – NOT working for Big 4.

    If you want to work in Industry eventually – then Big 4 is the way to go.

    Jeff Elliott, CPA (KS)
    NINJA CPA Review

    I think there's a benefit to both perspectives, but I think you may run the risk of developing “different”, less formal, habits that you will have to re-learn. I experienced that when I went from small to regional. A lot will depend who you work under in either case.

    AUD - 96
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 89
    REG - 86
    Aaron and always remember, YMMV

    I profit from your CPE frustration. You're welcome.

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