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Next career move – Industry vs. Big 4?

I’m currently a Senior 3 with a larger regional firm. Since I have no desire to become partner, and would like to set myself up for a nice career in industry at some point, I’m heavily considering these two options:

  • 1) Pre-IPO supervisory industry role with a large fast growing company.

Pros would be:

  • Around a 25% pay bump. Not 6 figures but a solid salary.
  • Potential for promotion – company is anticipating creating new positions over the next couple of years and the role holds the potential to transition into other areas outside of accounting once the IPO is finished (or at least that is the plan)
  • Gaining SEC exposure by actively going through an IPO.
  • Mix of duties in the role – exposure to multiple areas
  • Accounting/finance team seem sharp.

Cons would be longer hours for industry (10 hour days or so) , having to clean up clients records (several acquisitions lately so lots of integrations), and anything else that goes along with adapting to a new Company and IPO.

  • 2) Jumping to the Big 4 with an assumed 2 year path to manager.

Pros would be:

  • Making manager and jumping to industry in a better role.
  • SEC exposure and larger/complex clients
  • Big 4 name on resume – figure even leaving with 1-2 busy seasons there as a senior would look better than making manager at a smaller firm.

Cons would be coming in as an experienced senior, thus higher expectations and having to re-build a name for myself. Also the risk of not making manager at the end of my 2 years – politics could come into play around this. Also I don’t expect to receive much of a pay raise.

Really trying to decide what the better option is for my career path. I’ve talked to peers and the opinions seem mixed. Hope to get some different viewpoints on this from anyone that’s been in a similar scenario.