USA Advice needed: Career change into accounting


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I’m in my late 30’s and wanted to do a career change into accounting and recently graduated with my master’s in accounting (I’m CPA eligible). For the last 13 years I’ve worked for a large well-known insurance company (located in a very large metropolitan city) in various non accounting roles (customer service, operations and currently operational risk management). I have been searching for an accounting/audit role for the last year with no luck (I originally figured my operational risk background could help me transition to an internal audit role).

Recently I started getting interviews, but for Fund accountants, management company accountant and payroll auditor jobs that will be a massive (50%) pay cut from my current salary. While I knew from the start I was going to have to take a pay cut but based on my experience in the working world people lie to you on interviews and don’t want to take a huge pay cut only to find out later the job is just data entry and I won’t learn any actual skills. Ideally, I wanted to xfer to an accounting/audit role in my current company, but they won’t do that because I have no experience. When I talk to people I know the second I tell them it’s a huge paycut they say don’t pursue it, but they are ignoring the fact that this is a career change and I have no experience.

My questions are:

· If I start out inprivate equity Fund account or Management Fund accounting will I be stuck in the field or since Im doing financial statements it is somewhat transferable?

· What “red flags” should I look for in the interview or job description that indicates its really just a data entry job disguised as an accounting role?

· Would it be a good idea to take these types of jobs just to get “Accountant” on my resume so I’m in the field?

· Realistically how long will it take and how hard will it be salary wise to move from an entry level fund accountant job making 50k to a job making 100k ? (e.g., would it be easy to jump to another company offering a higher salary)

· Will I be able to learn accounting skills that will help me move to an accounting role with a large financial company (e.g., Bank of America, JPMorgan etc.)?

· Given my background would it be smarter (in terms of salary) to take the Certified Internal Auditor exam and look for an internal auditor job ?

While I know beggers cant be choosey (late 30’s with no experience), but I’m just scared of getting hit with double whammy of massive pay cut and a job where I wont learn anything that can help me get back to my current salary level

Any advice would be appreciated
 
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kirby

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Let's go "big picture" first.
If you take a $50K job, given the average 3% annual average merit raise rate in the US, it will take you 24 years to get to $100K. And that assumes your new company does NOT have job grade pay ranges, which put min and max limits on what a given job can be paid.

If you are single and have no family who depend on your current higher pay then you are "free" to take the lower pay path. Otherwise, this is going to hurt others.

Consider a lateral pay move to another insurance co doing what you do now. Hopefully, the new company will allow you to move into the type of acct role you seek.

Good Luck.
 
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Concentrate in studying for your CPA, while you are still in your current job. Do not quit your current job till you pass your CPA exam. I got my CPA Licenses at the age of 39 while working in the private sector for hospitality company as an accountant. If you get your CPA you can do Auditing, Taxes and consultations , this will open doors from all directions. The best part is you can open your own Office and serve the public and make way more money that working for a company that can cut you at any time after giving them x amount of years of dedication due to budget cuts. If you are a CPA you will make your six figures without a problem and the sky is the limit.

The exam if very hard and many people get discourage when they do not pass it the first time, you just have to keep a positive attitude and keep studying. Most people do not pass all sections of the CPA the first time, it has about a 37% pass ration but is very doable with dedication.
 

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