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January 27, 2023

Blind Item: California Firms Are Paying California Salaries to Poach Midwestern Public Accountants (UPDATE)

a corgi stealing food off the counter

Are you a public accountant in a LCOL or MCOL Midwestern city? Put down the beer, open your ears, and whip out your wallet for this one.

A source tells us California firms are setting their sights on comparatively lower cost of living Midwest cities to fill their vacancies. And they’re doing it not to save money on salaries but rather to entice public accountants away from lower-paying local firms by paying HCOL salaries, the sort of numbers Midwest firms would struggle to compete with. On top of that, they’re offering generous referral bonuses in the $5-10k range, meaning those who jump ship might take a friend with them. Thanks to remote work, the recently-poached don’t even have to move. Sorry bout it, firms of the frozen tundra.

Anyone in a LCOL market getting these kinds of offers from out of state firms? Anyone taking these offers? Give us a shout with the details.

Update: Going Concern spoke to a managing partner at one of the firms we heard was losing people to this kind of poaching and he confirmed that a little more than a dozen people had been poached by firms on the coast. So consider this item confirmed.

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  1. yes this is happening. They have been emailing our folks. 20% to 70% increase depending on where you live. Just remember you will be the first one cut when the worm turns……

    1. I’d be less worried about worm turning in public acct’g. The supply of labor is so small, a recession isn’t going to result in layoffs unless you stink at your job. I’m ok not feeling as bad about that.

    2. I’m old enough to remember two years ago, where many firms used COVID as an excuse to do mass firings with zero severance. The folks who did survive were rewarded with wage freezes, zero bonuses, and Unlimited PTO. Baby Boomers running these firms seem to feel entitled to employee loyalty, but then look at how they treat us in return. Might as well get paid if you have to work for these shitheads.

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