But what then? At the Manager level, expect a small increase in salary — and, perhaps, be willing to accept a lateral for an opportunity with advancement potential. And when they do get interviews, they are passed up for another — more marketable — candidate. Will your qualms be alleviated by climbing the ladder in Big 4 – or can they only be addressed by taking a job somewhere else? In an acceptable world, your job should, at the very least, not impart dread. The reputation is both good and bad. No one has ever gotten into trouble for making the safe hire. Something else entirely. You either get promoted in a reasonable amount of time, or you get pushed out of the firm. You don’t have a ton of experience, but you find that you receive a great deal of authority solely based on the brand of the firm. Based on the details you supplied, your leave payout will be approximately R12,325 (R15,800 / 21.6 X 16,85) which would be taxed at your marginal rate of 26%. Ask her below! It’s been described to me as the equivalent to a CEO for a mid-sized to a large company. The key is in leveraging your assets – be they concrete ‘hard skills’ or more flexible ‘people skills’ – to your advantage. But with Big 4 in your work history, you’ve set the bar high; now it’s time to exceed those expectations. Your life is one airport after another, and you’ve sat in board rooms discussing tough challenges with Fortune 50 senior executives. It’s more than lip service. If you read my previous post, you’d recognize getting promoted at a Big 4 isn’t just about your number of years of experience and your productivity. If you are a manager that has only performed staff augmentation for five years, then don’t expect that big SVP role. But are you ready to graduate? 3. You’ll find that it’s easier, faster, and less painful to make the jump from Big 4 Senior to Senior Accountant elsewhere (where you can then make your way up the ladder) than it is to transition from Manager to Accounting Manager elsewhere. Okay, sure, they didn't leave and "paid their dues". I’ve heard some Big 4’s take different approaches to the up or out mantra. Finance/FP&A. Candidate A – This person is currently a Manager in Big 4 public accounting. Operational Accounting. I’ve been there and come out the other side; it’s a lot brighter here. If you are satisfied with the balance of your existing role and your personal life, you may want to consider moving over to another Big 4 or boutique. Well, almost no reason to leave. Big 4 and CPA are the gold standard – and they’re usually enough to get you noticed by recruiters and into that first interview. Are you an accounting and finance professional looking to explore new career opportunities? I don’t need to give Directors advice on where to go. But internal audit actually has a lot to offer: It boasts a great work-life balance; there are no month-end or quarter-end closes, making for a steady, consistent schedule. I say this for two reasons: Money. The Managers and Senior Managers who tell you otherwise didn’t know any better (perhaps, they still don’t). If you love the life of working at a Big 4, there’s no reason you have to leave. I’ve had friends that have had long careers at both the Manager and Director levels. Associate - Entry Level with 1 to 3 years experience. Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, rtf, txt. Just saying -- there are a lot of Big 4 Managers chiming in here. While initially exciting, reality has set in. I knew the arduous hours and lack of social life were a known part of the job. You’ve been exposed to more challenges than most people see in their entire careers. Associate and Manager level, you are exposed to client SVPs. There are various career paths, types of companies and personal goals to take into consideration. It will open doors that were previously closed in your career. As such, I expect that I will be a Senior in a year when it is promotion time again. Is leaving worth the risk? If you are below the Director level and aren’t moving up based on a typical progress chart, then you will be moved out. Others will be drawn in-house, to play an active role in the success of an individual organization. For me, landing a job in Big 4 seemed like a massive success – until I actually started working. © 2020 Century Group - All Rights Reserved. The below information assumes an individual who has spent their entire career at a Big 4. You need to understand your firm’s culture and prepare for an exit if you don’t plan on going past the manager level. Click here to find your next career move. You just need to gauge it for yourself. As a specialized Finance and Accounting Recruiter, who every day places accountants looking to transition out of Big 4, I can say with confidence that the ideal time to leave is as a Senior, after 2-3 busy seasons. Whereas SEC Reporting requires preparing 10Ks and Qs for public companies, Technical Accounting teams assist in the accounting of complex transactions such as business combinations, M&A, and derivatives. Career Advice, Career Transition, Job Search, job seekers, Recruitment Process, work life balance. They tell you what they tell everyone else: That you’re special. I’ll talk through your options on this post. Not only is it solitary in nature, but the work itself is often met with little appreciation; auditors are notorious for being ‘annoying,’ even when simply doing their jobs. She completed her CPA and has spent the last two years in a hands-on role learning financial reporting, month-end close and all of the other tasks that you are looking for your Manager to supervise. Make sure you stay staffed on projects that focus on your interests. I am currently a second year Associate at a Big 4 in NYC, after starting with the firm in January. All of your audit hours are complete, CPA exams nearly finished and your license number will be in the mail soon. Click here to find your next career move. Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, rtf. The bad is that you still only have a couple of years of experience. Add this to a distinct lack of work-life balance, and it becomes exceedingly clear – at least it did for me – that a major career shift is necessary. One of the most common questions is at what level should someone wait to leave for an industry job. Take a look at our Definitive Guide to Acing Your Interview for more ideas – we’ve got a hefty list of questions to be prepared for, questions to ask, and general interview tips! The earlier you understand that vital piece of information, the earlier you can explore your next career opportunity on your terms.

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