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The Definitive ‘I’m Quitting Public Accounting’ Checklist

Busy season is coming to a close. Some of you are already done and are spending this Friday at a ballpark eating junk food and drinking heavily because that's exactly what you should be doing.

And some of you are still grinding it out because, with 10 days left until the most overhyped deadline in a tax professional's year, that's exactly what you should be doing.

Regardless of what bucket you fall into, this will be the last busy season for some of you. You may already know that or you may not, but it's a fact. And if you've never quit a public accounting job before, then there's a number of things you need to do before that last day comes. There are all kind of practical things that you should do of course, but this is NOT that list. Since when do accountants need to be told what's practical? Let's proceed.  

1. Do a little dance — You're leaving public accounting! This is most certainly worthy of a Harlem Shake1 (even if you do it solo watching yourself in the bathroom mirror).

2. Make a little love — That hot co-worker or random person that you're barely acquainted with but you get coffee at the exact time every day and you both know it but no one has made a move yet, you should get on that. And if you're married — go have sex with your spouse, I guess. But probably not your work spouse. Unless that person is really your spouse. Whoa. What if your real spouse works at your firm too? How does that work? Can you have a spouse-spouse and a work-spouse? Is that allowed? That could be awkward. Or awesome. Or awkward awesome. Okay, I'll stop.  

3. Get down tonight — Someone needs to throw you an epic send-off party, so get in touch with the person at the firm that you know well (and likes you enough to throw you a party) who has some clout. Best to get a partner in on it if you can.  

4. Do something nice for your friends2 — It doesn't have to be something huge and it doesn't even have to be co-worker. It could be that nice woman who runs the coffee cart across the street or security guard who compliments your outfits. Just give them a little token of appreciation that says, "You made me less miserable while I had to work at this firm." 

5. Write a farewell email worthy of Going Concern — Actually, given the emails we have published in the past maybe it's just best to bow out gracefully. 

I said "definitive" but that's just a word. If there's something you must absolutely without question do before you leave public accounting for good, then we'll allow you to share it with the group.

1 I know, it's not the real Harlem Shake. It's out of our control now though. Let it go.
2 Or prank a co-worker who is hilarious when he/she is irritated. You know the ones.