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Leaving big $ accounting firms

 
 
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      08-31-2011, 06:16 PM
Hi, I'm going to start working in audit for one of the big 4 really soon. I don't have any aspirations to stay within the Big 4 throughout my career. I don't plan to eventually reach partner. I plan on eventually jumping ship and I've heard how great life was afterwards in terms of the pay and hours. So here's what I am wondering:

When is the best time to leave big 4?
When people left Big 4 where did you go?
How much did you get paid compared to big 4?
How were your hours compared to big 4?
What was your career track like afterwards?

TLR : I'm going to eventually leave the big 4 and I want to know what happens once you leave.
 
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      09-03-2011, 02:29 PM
Congrats on landing a job with the big 4. Big 4 experience looks great on your resume and a lot of job descriptions actually state that they are seeking big 4 experienced candidates. Therefore you will certainly be able to choose from a wider range of jobs along with a larger salary. As far as when to move on from the big 4 job, I would say whenever you feel like the time is right. Just make sure that you try to last until your benefits are fully vested that way you don't lose anything.

Why are you planning on leaving when you haven't even started yet? I want to know what you know.
 
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      09-03-2011, 02:45 PM
I heard the best time to leave from Public Accounting to Private Accounting is one year after being promoted to manager. That's the perfect amount of experience you get to best allow you to transition out of big4. Any more than that and you would've started specializing too much. Any less than that and you would not have enough experience for the better jobs.

When People leave after their one year working as a manager, they usually have at minimum a manager job somewhere else. Pay goes from about $80k to about $110k. Hours become much better.

And Biggest success story I've heard: Manager leaves after one year. Puts a lot of his money into a start up company. Works for that same start up as its comptroller. 3 years later, the company goes public and he sells all his shares. Walks away with $7.5 Million.
 
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      09-03-2011, 02:51 PM
Awesome story. Thanks for the information. Everything you said makes sense with regards to leaving one year after hitting the manager level.

That would be crazy if you post in this thread in the future after you leave the big 4 and make your millions. I'm waiting for it. Good luck.
 
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      09-04-2011, 01:07 AM
Congrats - But don't start thinking about your next move before you even start. You must be successful at a Big 4 before another company will even look at you. Don't think because someone else made it in 1 year that you will do the same. You'll know when it's time to move on.
 
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      11-29-2011, 12:22 AM
Try taking a look at some of the info on our site. It's doesn't directly answer your question, but you might find some of it useful:

big4gossip - Career insights (particularly the 'staying in' articles)
big4gossip - Is this the right time to leave the Big 4 for a bank?
big4gossip - EY leavers on why they left
 

Last edited by Accountant1; 12-05-2011 at 10:30 PM..
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