September 25, 2022

Working at a hotel REIT

I graduated college 2 years ago and did a year in public accounting.  Audit was horrible; my small firm had a super toxic work environment and auditing other people's work instead of creating my own output left me unfulfilled.  So I jumped ship to private industry; my current job, which I enjoy, is in property accounting and I have been there for 1 year and 3 months.  I like the work decently, but salary/benefits seem stagnant and budget cuts are imminent at every corner. 

At the beginning of 2014, I obtained my CPA license.  My company was happy, but they didn't value it enough to provide raise/bonus/AICPA membership reimbursement. Just got a query from a recruiter about a senior accountant position working at a public company hotel REIT.  After emailing the recruiter my resume, she sent me the job description.  Looks good on paper; 70% property accounting, 20% corporate accounting, 10% travel to do SOX procedure reviews at various hotels.  Supposedly, it's a 40-hour workweek and you get experience assisting with SEC filings and other tasks related to public company accounting.

However, when I showed it to my coworker, a senior property accountant, he was vehement that I should avoid it at all costs, even if the salary is a lot higher than what I'm making now (low 60's).  He said he knew of accountants who worked in the hotel industry and everyone hated it.  According to them, the work environment is hectic, people don't last long in the industry, you end up doing "crap" most of the time like fixing people's mistakes instead of real accounting. 

I tried looking up hotel REIT's online at glassdoor.com and there were no ratings.  Googling "accountant working at a hotel REIT" also didn't yield any usable results.

So my question…Does the GC community have any insight on working in the hotel industry, if specifically possible, a REIT?  Is it really as terrible as my coworker says?  If it is bad, but salary is a lot higher, might it still be a good career move to make use of my new CPA license and raise my baseline salary?  Do corporate accountants really get significant "public company" experience or is it really mostly dealing with cash receipt/invoice minutia?

Thanks for your help!

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