How to Earn More Money?

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    I'm currently 30 years old; have already passed the CPA and CFE exams (just need the experience aspect to be met), and work at a Not-for-profit organization. Don't currently have any CPA's at the firm.

    My current salary is under 45k/year, which seems extremely low, especially for the NY area as an accountant. I originally ended up taking the job to work under a very experienced executive individual, who's no longer at the organization. Unlike many other organizations, our PTO package is average at best while we typically get the same days off as anyone else, with the exception of 1-2 days/year. To make matters worse, there is an extremely negative vibe at our organization as a few individuals try to get to the top by throwing others “under the bus.”

    Further, our organization is in very, very bad shape, which has definitely influenced me into possibly looking for a new gig. If things continue as is (and if certain things go in our favor – if they don't, it'll be much worse), we might be gone at some point next year (ie. completely unable to pay employees).

    Before taking this job, I was having an extremely difficult time finding work within public accounting or in general. I was only able to obtain a few interviews, despite having a bit of public accounting experience and having passed the CPA/CFE exam. I'm first wondering if this seems like a reasonable salary for the area? Also, how can I transition into a higher paying jobs, like those found in industry (I'm honestly living paycheck to paycheck)? I noticed most accounting manager/controller jobs are very specific, some even requiring public accounting/a CPA.

    Finally, would going back into public accounting make sense for me, despite the high risk of such an industry? As mentioned, most firms wouldn't look at me in the past, since I wasn't a campus recruit, so I wouldn't know how to go about getting a job within the field. Maybe going back to get my MBA might be an option, but I'd have to pay for it myself (current employer wouldn't pay anything).


    I would become an expert on taxes – maybe even take the Enrolled Agent exam for the educational aspect as much as anything else.

    In the fall, you can go into smaller firms and tangibly show them how you can make their collective lives easier come tax season (I can handle your (fill in the blank) returns). Dive into the toughest tax areas – and rank them based on need…ask around – online other otherwise – what the pain points are for smaller firms. Anyone can do a 1040 – but what's the one area that's hard to find good help in and become an expert on that.

    An MBA will not make you more marketable.

    Become an expert at something difficult and marketable is the best way to increase your earning power.

    Plan on jumping ship in October just as firms are gearing up for tax season. You have 3 months to get ready.

    Jimmy Dugan

    If you have a couple of years experience, you will earn more just by going somewhere else. You should be able to get to at least 60K where you are.

    AUD - 95
    BEC - 87
    FAR - 84
    REG - 90
    You're killing me Smalls



    I work in a Small Firm. 6 people. Worked my way up from intern to manager and I don't have my CPA license… yet.. maybe one day.. idk.

    Anyway, I got my first big bump when a top employee left and I was the only person who could fill the position. My next decent bump was my last when a different employee quit and I was the only person who knew her job and could train new employees. I'm in NYC and I make 100k. My point is that Jeff is correct. you need to have skills that are hard to learn. If I were you, I would call Rober Half Accountemps. They are a recruitment firm and can place you in temp work. They probably cant get you into a public accounting firm but they can at least get you work that pays similar or more than what you are currently making and in the mean time look for more permanent work which pays 60k and above. Good luck.



    I really appreciate the feedback. I just wasn't sure if my current pay was market.

    For what i'm getting paid, this job is honestly not really worth it anymore (I Think). This organizations has become a place, where people will do anything to gain power – ANYTHING (including tossing others under the bus). Overall, the vibe there is just different than when I started.

    This whole thing has me feeling a bit down. I might just have to “suck-it-up” and do tax for a few years; I have had a few firms recently approach me from an un-updated resume, which I left up on my state's CPA website (before this new job). I kinda regret turning the jobs down, but at the time, they seemed very high risk. I've heard the firm searching had a crazy high turnover rate. At the time, I thought my job offered stability, but at this point it looks like we we'll be unable to pay any bills, including employees, at some point later this year or within 6 months past that point.

    Will future employers ask my current pay? If so, since my pay is so low, should I avoid giving the figure or will this auto disqualify me for jobs?


    Without reading your post just speculating your title — find the next Apple/Amazon and invest in their stocks 🙂

    Shoot for the stars!

    FAR 88 04/19

    REG 95 07/19

    BEC 91 11/19

    AUD 88 12/19


    Do not waste time on an MBA. The wealthiest businessmen I know don't have a college degree or any sort of certification. I'll echo what Jeff said above, you need to hone your skills and market those skills that are valuable to others. You've got the knowledge, now you just need to put it into tangible use. Look for skills that are unique and could help others save money, make more money, optimize their business, investments, etc. If you do this effectively, starting your own business would be the next step.


    Anyone successfully transition from a Not-for-Profit to a for-profit organization?

    I've only been at this job a few years, so hopefully, it won't look negatively that i'm jumping from an NFP to a for profit organization again. My fear is that “once a not-for-profit, always a not-for-profit” will apply. Will people coming from the for-profit industry have the edge because my recent experience is within the NFP field?

    I really hate doing this search because, at one point, I liked my current employer, but with the change of leadership, it's no longer enjoyable. It sucks even worse because of the low pay and mediocre PTO time (Not all NFP's provide good PTO or a lot of holidays). Our benefits aren't even that great. I guess it's just time to start moving on.

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