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Exit after Big 4 – Advice

I work for a Big 4 accounting firm and have just started a family. I have 4 busy seasons under my belt (2 as a senior) but have missed my 5th busy season (needed for a promotion to manager, where I was out on maternity leave) and so will not be promoted to manager this year. 

I am considering my exit choices. My top choice is a senior accountant role at a small revenue, public company (about $25M). I would be involved in technical accounting areas, month and year end close, etc. The draw is the flexible hours and great commute — with a new family I’m about 10 minutes away from home but I’m concerned that the size of the company will limit my next career move.

I’d like to end up as a Controller years down the road at a private, mid-sized company. The next step after this senior accounting role would hopefully be into a managerial role (through an internal promotion or through a move to a different company). Question one — How likely is this?

Or I could stay in Big 4 for another year and earn that promotion to manager next year, then exit (Question two — would earning the title be useful if I did not do one busy season as a manager?)

Any advice would be appreciated. 

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