May 4, 2019 at 10:32 am #2375718
Hey everyone! I am currently interviewing for jobs to finally leave my BIG4 firm, and am expecting an offer soon based on my talks from the company I want to work for. Does anyone know if you can put your two weeks in and still take your pre-approved PTO. Ideally, I'd love to put my two weeks in on a Friday, go on vacation for a week and a half, then work only for my last three days. I know every firm has different policies, but I haven't been able to find anything this specific and don't want to ask my managers. I know your last day can't be a holiday, and I would guess you can't use PTO on your very last day, but this seems a little different. Anyone have experience with this?May 4, 2019 at 4:59 pm #2376489
I think it is better to use any PTO before you put in notice not use it during your notice.May 4, 2019 at 6:24 pm #2376642
Nobody on here can answer that question for you. Every company has different policies regarding PTO (dictated by law in some states). For example, one company I worked at had a ‘use it or lose it' policy – that is, any used PTO it would not attempt to recover but any unused PTO was forfeited. Two others (including my incumbent) use prorated schedules. For example, at both companies your total PTO is determined by your position & years of service; at my previous employer, if you quit JAN 1 – MAR 31, you were entitled to 0% of your balance, APR 1 – JUN 30, 25%, JUL 1 – SEP 30, 50%, etc. This meant that if you quit on June 30 and had used 40 of 80 hours PTO, 20 hours overage would be subtracted from your final paycheck (but if you quit one day later, you'd be even). At my current employer, we accrue PTO based on time worked, and whatever balance is left is cashed out upon separation.
THAT SAID… the purpose of the two-week notice is to provide a transition between you and the employer, and clear up any loose/untied ends. Thus, I wouldn't expect any employer to be agreeable to you spending most of those two weeks on vacation, since that defeats the purpose of the notice.May 5, 2019 at 1:33 pm #2378604
I would use the PTO before or just get paid out for it if you can. I would personally use the PTO before I gave my notice if I was not entitled to get 100% of the value of my PTO. After all, you earned it so do what you need to do to realize the full benefit. I would give the standard 2 week notice and even volunteer yourself to stay 3 if you are really needed. Those last weeks will go by extremely fast. Giving a notice and finishing up strong (being on time, working full days, etc) will make you look a little more responsible in my opinion. You never know who might call you for help or recommend you for a job in the future. We've all heard the saying “don't burn your bridges”… I think it's a good idea to use those last couple of weeks as a time to ensure that the bridges you've been building this whole time are strong.May 5, 2019 at 4:39 pm #2378988
Yes, I have heard that been done at my Big4 firm ALL the time! give your 2 weeks notice, and immediately go on PTO.May 5, 2019 at 6:29 pm #2379228
@74phoenix – sounds like an urban legend. The purpose of a two week notice is to tie up loose ends – if you put in your two week notice and are scheduled off some or all of those two weeks, they’d likely end your employment. The two week notice is considered an ethical courtesy, it is not mandated by law.
@mtlgemimi – be careful… many accounting firms don’t assign PTO on an accrual basis (since they want hours disproportionately taken during the slow summer months) yet still prorate it. This means that if you use your annual PTO balance, but only worked half the year, they’ll recover their money from your final check.May 5, 2019 at 8:24 pm #2379429
@pns2clt interesting… i just read your post more thoroughly. I didn't know that some firms did that. I've only worked at a small firm. I would not like working under a policy like that. It's difficult to give a recommendation because of the very different policies that firms use. I know someone in a completely different industry that was able to take PTO for his last 2 weeks except for the very last day, so I guess it could happen depending on what your managers want or require.May 6, 2019 at 11:40 am #2380938
Mtlgemini – I'm certain there are some companies who do allow employees to take PTO during their two week notice, but they're exceptions and likely very rare. As mentioned, no law mandates two week notices, rather it's an ethical courtesy provided to tie up loose ends and help transition. Consider that most, if not all, Big 4 offices, guarantee pay to employees who put in their two weeks + guarantee an additional paycheck. If you're early in your career, they'll likely cut you loose sooner than later (it's incredibly unlikely you'd work the full two weeks), meaning you could walk away with a month's pay for a few day's work.May 6, 2019 at 6:55 pm #2382486
Thanks everyone…that helps. I guess I'm also concerned with finally getting my CPA bonus once I pass my last section. Do firms give bonuses/reimbursements immediately after you pass 4 parts, or do you need the ethics exam done too? I don't think you actually need your license considering first years get the bonuses if they've passed (and they don't have the hours). Again, all firms are different, just asking if anyone has similar experience?May 6, 2019 at 8:37 pm #2382858
I can only speak for my firm, but once you give your notice, you aren't allowed to take PTO. Any time that you have accrued to that point but haven't taken is lost once you give notice – they don't pay out accrued time. I would recommend taking your PTO before you give notice. Its also possible that once you give notice the firm could just ask you to leave so I would be prepared for that as well.
As for the CPA bonus, I had to send a physical copy of my license to HR in order to get my bonus. Since CT took forever to grant me my license, I had to wait almost five months after I passed the exam and submitted all of my paperwork in order to get my bonus. Not sure how other firms operate.May 7, 2019 at 10:55 am #2384658
@willpasseventually – Unfortunately, that's a firm/office specific question. Hopefully you work with somebody you know and trust that you can run this question past. Keep in mind, however, that most B4 offices require you to work at least a year or two AFTER the bonus is paid out to keep it, otherwise they'll request you pay it back.May 7, 2019 at 3:05 pm #2385420
I can speak from my Big4 experience but as others said it depends on the firm and state sometimes.
You get paid out all your PTO in cash, i.e., you basically get the salary equivalent of the PTO weeks accrued.
You may be let go on the spot, unless you're going in-house (best of all, to a client).
I strongly recommend not to pull the “go on PTO for a week and a half and only work 3 days.” It will be considered a major dick move. This time is a courtesy you give to your employer to transfer your projects and not hurt your clients and the soon-to-be-old team too much.
My suggestion is to take PTO (if you already paid for vacation), come back, put notice the day of your return and then work two weeks after. Or, cancel PTO, and take it after you are done with 2 weeks.
P.s. I would strongly urge you to not give out a peep about your interviews, not even a hint until you have an offer in hand and signed. So many things can and do go wrong all the time: the negotiated salary or position don't match what's in the final offer, they suddenly “have to follow internal procedures” and you have 10 days less of PTO, etc.etc.
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