Career Change ?

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  • #2781915
    Maverick
    Participant

    I have two years of experience in public accounting (audit) and I am starting to consider a career switch. The two most common job openings appear to be for internal auditors and staff accountants. Which position would be a better career move over the long-term? Additionally, has anyone left public accounting and then regretted it? I am at a top 100 firm and will most certainly make partner if I stick it out. However, I am not sure that it is worth it.

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    #2783028
    VanquishedVanquished
    Participant

    If you want my advice. I wouldn't leave public accounting unless you're going to a very large company with a large accounting/finance department. I work for one of the largest companies in the world, and our accounting department rocks. So many positions to move around to and move up in. I worked at a smaller company before and there was very little room to grow. They also value furthering education and hard work.

    I have a friend who has worked for one of the big four for 11 years now and he's been able to move around a lot within that company, he's not even doing auditing work anymore, more on the consulting side (which is a lot more fun I think). Granted he's with one of the big four so again, lots of opportunities to move around.

    This isn't a slight at smaller companies but they need to treat their accountants better, make them feel valued instead of an inconvenience they have to deal with.

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    I have no desire to be a public accountant but my company wants me to be a CPA so...
    #2783037
    jenpenjenpen
    Participant

    I guess it depends on what your goals are long-term. I know in my area currently public accounting is hemorrhaging employees so there are a lot of opportunities available.

    I left public and went to a multi-family office and I kind of regret the decision. It's a smaller company, but they seem to be growing faster than they are really planning for, so there's not much work to spread around. I spend a lot of time bored and begging other accountants for work (I'm the newest in this department – 6 months in). I am actually interviewing with a public accounting firm this week and I am almost excited at the prospect of going back. I thought my job would be more fun and diverse, but it's not turning out that way.

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    Licensed in IL & MO
    #2784693
    splash6
    Participant

    There's a big overlap with CPA firms and law firms. As such, public accounting attracts a lot of psychos and villainous cut throats. After two years I bailed out of public after getting my license and got into governmental finance work. I cant tell you how nice it is to work with normal people.

    In public, you exercise “professional skepticism” towards your own firm more than the clients. You always have a target on your back, especially if you dont kiss ass.

    #2790534
    aaronmoaaronmo
    Participant

    These are highly personal questions that only you can answer, especially in terms of whether partner is “worth it”, or whether you should do public/private.

    My only advice would be that internal audit, and audit in general, is increasingly changing with automation…and if you want to stay in that area, I'd recommend taking some IT courses/certs.

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    Aaron and always remember, YMMV

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

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