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September 22, 2023

Big 4 to Local Firm – Tax

Hi GC,

I am here looking for some open ended career advice since I don’t know many older CPAs and would appreciate some insight.

I am currently working for a Big 4 federal tax team in a middle sized market. I am an associate about to hit my 2 year mark and making roughly 60k.

I am looking to venture out of the Big 4, since the lifestyle just really isn’t for me. The issue is, I’m not ready to leave for corporate just yet.

I found a local firm that seems to be a great offer: senior position, 85k plus bonus, yearly raises, and they only require 1,600 chargeable hours (5 weeks pto.) That makes for busy season nights going until 9-10 instead of 11,12,1,2….. A relevant point is that the firm specializes in real estate & international tax.

My question out there for anyone who could shed some insight, is how would staying in public accounting, albeit now working for this local firm, affect my long term career prospects? My goal is to work in industry some day, whether it be another 2 years from now or maybe even 10, who knows.

Would having the local public accounting firm on my resume, with some real estate specialization, still make myself marketable whenever I decide to look for that new position? Are there industry jobs out there that would like that?

Appreciate your time & advice.

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