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Life after Public Accounting: Is the Grass (aka Money) Really Greener?

As summer winds down, those of you that are still living the Big 4, et al. life may be wondering if you’ve squandered the last couple of months getting overserved on patios and roofdecks, spending hours by the pool and vacationing to exotic locales. You might say, “All this time I was having FUN, I could have been looking for my dream job. What was I thinking?”

For those capital market servants whose past season was simply too much to bear, you probably aren’t saying these words and have, at some point, spend a few weeks (or several) trying to find that perfect new job. For those who did finally pull the trigger on their public accounting career, a plea from a reader:

Can you guys do an article on the types of jobs (read: salary increases) former Big 4/public accountants have taken in industry (or somewhere else) after leaving this past busy season? I need a reminder of why I still work in audit.

Typically, auditors are in constant “remind me why I do this” mode but for the purposes of this post, we ask that tax and advisory professionals give the lowdown on their new gigs as well. Possible topics of interest to keep in mind when commenting:

• Did you simply leave for a bigger salary or bonus or were there work-life issues? If so, were your expectations in the marketplace met?

• Did you leave for a private company, nonprofit/government or – GASP – another public accounting firm?

• Is anyone going back to school?

• Anyone just saying fuck it and getting out of the numbers game altogether because they realized that money isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

• Grabbag.