I received two job offers for a semi-senior position. One is for a 2nd tier national firm doing a mix of government & commercial audit without any SEC audits. The 2nd firm is a large regional that does SEC & commercial audits. CLIFFNOTES AT THE BOTTOM.
For name-recognition, training, and resources, I like the 2nd tier firm. I could also get an internal transfer to commercial audit with some SEC clients. There's also the possibility to transfer to another office for SEC audit experience. The culture at this office also appears to be decent with not too much turnover. But, I would be doing a lot of government audits which I think drastically reduces my marketability in the future.
I like the regional firm (200+ employees in 6 offices) because I would get SEC audit experience right off the bat, and they have semi-yearly evals. It also sounds like they work less hours than the other firm (which is expected since they are much smaller). But, the name-recognition is lacking & the reputation of the firm, as of late, is not very good (you are always on the defensive because managers & partners criticize, & the firm has high-turnover). Also, the training and resources appears to be a little worse than the other firm.
I have the intelligence and work ethic to succeed in either firm. I also don't really have a major preference in industries. But I do believe SEC audit experience is more valuable for me when I transition into private down the road (maybe after I become manager) since I would be able to apply to more high-salary positions that are challenging. But then again, commercial non-SEC experience isn't bad either. I also have the option of switching to a larger firm (potentially Big 4) after a few years here.
Which offer should I take to maximize salary & potential later down the road? SEC/commerical audit regional firm, or goverment/commercial audit at a Tier 2 national firm?