December 9, 2018 at 9:43 pm #2106477
Hello all, just to give you a brief description of my background I graduated in 2016 and have about 2 and a half years of work experience as a staff accountant. Right now I currently work as a staff accountant for a non for profit. But more of a high paced environment. Not your typical 35-40 hour week non for profit, very demanding. But anyways I hope to be done with my CPA exams by the summer when I’ll have 3 years of experience and honestly as a staff you get kind of bored after a while doing normal daily transactions and journal logs. My question for you guys is when do you know or consider yourself for a higher position? And how do you go about it because there’s no room for growth where I’m currently employed so I’d have to apply elsewhere which is what I planned on doing upon passing. All advise is greatly appreciated!December 10, 2018 at 12:49 am #2106588taylor1Participant
I think it all depends on your ability to work at that next level. Some questions that might help shed some light on that are:
-How is the quality of your work currently?
-Is your current role getting easier?
-How have you handled stretch-assignments that have been given to you?
I’ve been a senior accountant for about a year now and the job is pretty different from a staff position. In addition to having to be able to do the work, my job includes managing a team of staff accountants, managing jobs/client relationships, reviewing work before it’s issued, etc. I think if someone is highly comfortable with the requirements of a staff accountant and is already working independently with minimal errors, they’re in the range to take that next step.
Hopefully others will have insight on how to move up by moving to a different employer. I’ve worked with the same firm from the start so I’m not super familiar with how that all works.December 10, 2018 at 8:09 am #2106699
I mean i feel pretty efficient in the work that I'm doing now on top of the fact that I'm constantly jugging between my work & doing someone else's work. But if i did decide to become a senior it'll have to be at another company…December 10, 2018 at 3:01 pm #2107443nocladyParticipant
I have had experience as Sr. Accountant for both large, public companies and small, private companies, and I'd say that the common denominator for both would be that you definitely should be able to work much more independently than a staff level accountant. You're able to dig into problems independently, apply critical thinking, and get going without much guidance/supervision. I think having 3 years under your belt in a fast-paced environment, where you're exposed to full-cycle accounting, and perhaps some exposure to projects and leadership roles, should be a good start. I would suggest going onto job boards, looking at different job descriptions for the open Sr. Acct roles in the market, and see how your background and experience matches up. I think that will at least give you a general idea of if you are/will be in the ballpark for consideration in a Sr. Acct. role.December 10, 2018 at 9:55 pm #2108145MaLoTuParticipant
I agree with @Noclady. Apply for positions and see what happens.
Do you want to stay in non-profit? If you don’t want to be in not for profit forever you should just look for another staff job in an industry you find interesting. Also, if you feel like your job cannot offer you anymore growth you should start looking for another role, regardless of industry.December 10, 2018 at 10:41 pm #2108235CannellParticipant
Let me throw my 2 cents into the mix.
1. First and foremost, “Senior Accountant” will differ from company to company. Have this be at the core of your thinking, for multiple reasons.
A. If you perform well in the position you work in now, that automatically means your are qualified for a better job or position, maybe higher staff accountant, maybe senior accountant.
B. Never think that a job title is above what you are capable of doing, in my opinion, you should have a certain amount of struggle in your work anyways, something to make you think and work hard to learn and get better.
2. It sounds like you are ready for something different in general, if there is no opportunity in your current company, I would STRONGLY advise to start applying to positions. Even if you aren't super motivated to look, I know it is super valuable to start interviewing. I've had opportunities this past year to interview at a lot of different companies, and some of them Senior accountant roles where I was “under-qualified” and others where I was “over-qualified” (See number one).
A. I got great experience talking with folks from other businesses and understanding what they were looking for and what they had to offer me. I also got a better idea of what I wanted.
B. I developed superb interviewing skills purely based on doing it a ton, even for jobs I wasn't super interested in, it was worth interviewing.
3. In my situation, 2 times I had job offers at other places, and my current company offered me more opportunity and compensation to stay. What was my situation? Same as yours. A couple of years experience and just bored with what I was doing because i wasn't being challenged, I found other companies that could offer me a position.
I'll cut this off since it is getting long, but please please please starting applying to other positions and get in and start interviewing. Even if you don't end up leaving or taking another job, there are so many benefits of doing this! Trust me!December 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm #2109618
Thank you for the advice it's greatly appreciated. The only reason why i intended on staying where I'm at now is because:
A. I need a year of experience under a CPA to sign off on my license & I've been here for 8 months (a year in April)
B. I think i would find it more challenging to study if I'm in a new environment and putting in long hours to learn the job & processes which i think a take away from my studying.
@MaLoTu I don't want to stay in non for profit, ideally I'd want to go public and get 1-3 years of experience before going industry.December 11, 2018 at 7:07 pm #2110365
Would you guys still apply to other jobs in the middle of studying? I’m just worried I’ll be too distracted to study daily..December 11, 2018 at 10:50 pm #2110851MaLoTuParticipant
Job searching is very time consuming. The process to find and upload resumes takes time. If you start getting interviews that takes a lot of time.
If you are content for the short term I would say focus on the exam. Start taking on little projects as they become available to use on your resume.
If you are planning to go into public you may have to wait until next year anyway. Having the Exam down before starting in public is a huge luxury! You will likely have to start as a staff in public.
BTW, your 1 year experience doesn’t have to be at one place.
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