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Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 08-24-2006, 05:58 PM   #1
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Question for CPA (Audit Side)

Hi,

Seems like there's a quite a bit of CPAs here so just wanted to get your feedback.

I jumped ship from public acctg (audit) after getting senior title and my CPA.* Now I'm working in private industry.* It's been a month since I started this new job and, so far, it's pretty fun.* However, in about a year, I think I'll be bored at doing this repetitive job.* I look at what my bosses are doing and Iíll be depressed if, after several years of doing this, I get promoted to my bossí position and do what they do.* Then, I think about becoming a consultant after getting some private experience under my belt.* As a consultant, Iíll be doing different projects so itíll be challenging.* I also think about the fact that accounting in generalís pretty boring so thinking about going into management consulting.* From talking to couple of management consultants, it seems like thereís more thinking involved in their job.* I also think about going into investment banking because Iíll be in the analyst position and not the getting-the-numbers-right position.* I saw a manager in public acct'g who left public to go into private and working as a controller and also involved in operatoins of the company.* It was a smaller company but that seemed like an interesting job too so I might go into public acct'g again and see if I can get opportunities like that.

Just wanted to hear from fellow CPAs.
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 08-24-2006, 08:24 PM   #2
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

I have spent my entire 30 year career in the private sector. I have worked from the lowest level possible to where I am now, CFO and board member. I can safely say that accounting is boring. I am 52 and retiring in 7 months. I have one CPA buddy who left Arthur Anderson many years ago, joined a brokerage firm and loves it.

All I can say is try to get into a field you will be happy with. I was too conservative to make a change. My career has given me the opprotunity to retire early, but the process could have been a little more fun.
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 08-25-2006, 08:14 AM   #3
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

I've always worked in private sector, for large companies. After about 6-9 months I would usually get bored. 2.5 yrs ago I got a job with mid size co that was on a verge of going public. Loved it!! Got a chance to do and learn a lot of different things. Now I am switching to doing taxes for the same co.
Since I've never done taxes before, so far I am liking it.

My LT plans do not include corporate world. I just can't imagine doing this for the next 20 yrs.

I never understood what mgt consulting is, but being a CPA I think there are tons of various things you can do

Lena


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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 08-28-2006, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

I've been a CFO for about 20 years, and it is definitely more interesting that what I would call "accounting". Great money when you're working, but the average tenure for a CFO now is supposedly 26 months ... but that is consistent from what I've seen. Companies are bought, sold, move, go bankrupt, go public, etc. ... rapid change means rapid job changes, but upside along the way.

I wouldn't want to simply do accounting or be a Controller all my life.

As noted, with a CPA, you really have lots of choices. A fair number get into commercial banking, though investment banking and working with PEG's / venture capital groups is a better way to go. Some become recruiters, and once you have some solid business experience, you're a good candidate to buy a business.

Best of luck.
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 08-30-2006, 08:20 PM   #5
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

Send me your resume!

You definitely have a lot of options, which makes things more difficult. As everyone else said, make sure you select an option that would make you happy. If you stick it out for another year or so where you're at, you can always move back into public. There's a chance that you would report to someone in your 'class' when you go back, but you should be able to catch up if you really work hard.

If you decide to explore alternative roles in public, you could definitely find something more interesting than the typical public. Here are some examples:

1) Consulting role that specializes in business process: going into a client and assessing their day sales outstanding, for example and implementing process improvement initiatives; financial systems implementation, or even be an interim CFO/Controller if you decide you like that type of work, but get bored with working for just one company

2) Risk Advisory: Audit would go in very handy when dealing with forensic accounting, controlls, and other risk related consulting

3) Industry-specific audit: Our folks may have an interest in real estate, for example, and only work with real estate clients. They become specialists in this area. As a Senior, you can also get exposure to tax and other business advisory skills. With this, you could be a true business advisor to the Real Estate Market, for example (If you go this route, just make sue you give your friends on this site some good 'advice' ok?) ;-)
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 09-01-2006, 09:22 AM   #6
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

Great posts. Iím an accountant with an MBA in MIS, working in the corporate world and man is it boring. Iíve been doing it for about 8 years and have worked in different industriesÖ arena management, real estate/mortgages, office supplies. No matter whatÖ still boring. Iím at the business manager level.

Iím thinking about trying to get into the financial systems consulting.. I like the idea of installing systemsÖ not being a user of them ;-)
Anyone with expierence in that?

Arthur
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 09-01-2006, 11:47 AM   #7
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

I too work in the private sector in training and development. At times it can be boring...* okay, most of the time it can be pretty boring.* : Working with PeopleSoft systems, I train and provide support for the entire management workforce of over 2600 in a company of over 26000 associates.* The good thing is that the company constantly roll out new upgrades and improvements and that's what keep things interesting.* One thing for sure, you've got to love or at least like what you do and have a genuine care for the intangibles relating to your work.* Reputation is key because it precedes you and it is what promotes you in the long run.* I care for the people that I train because then i know what i teach them will make their daily functions that much more effecient.* Unlike a lot of folks here, I don't have a high paying salary but what i do is still valued by the entire company and that to me is quite rewarding!* And best of all, no real stress to speak of so that is a great benefit.*


Duke

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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 09-01-2006, 12:17 PM   #8
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

Thanks for the reply everyone.
At this point, anything related to "accounting" (controller, system improvement/implementation, risk advisory, etc) doesn't seem like something I want to do for rest of my life. I don't know what I'll be interested in doing outside of that. Sometimes, I wish I had a more defined profession because it's a headache having so much options. Investment banking or PEG/venture capital seems to be interesting and I think it has big potential later on. I'm currently working in Real Estate company right now and, from speaking with acquistion and asset management dept, it seems like their job is pretty interesting. Property management, leasing, etc seems pretty repetitive. Just thinking out loud but thanks for the advice everyone. It's really helpful hearing about your work experience and your job satisfaction level.
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 09-01-2006, 09:36 PM   #9
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

I'm actually a Chartered Accountant in Canada (same thing as CPA in US). I am an accounting supervisor at a larger public company (6000 employees). The pay is pretty decent and at this current position I have virtually zero OT which compared to my time in public practice that is heaven (long hours, little pay while articling). Having said all that I am normally bored to tears with my job, so much so that I have thought about ditching it all and becoming a tradesman as there is a huge demand here in Western Canada for that and I would probably make more as an electirician, welder, etc. I just don't feel as though I accomplish much of anything in any given day. Month end is the same damn thing every month. Also sitting at a desk all day dealing with "important issues" that seem so trivial to anything relevent becomes a grind.

I have been with 2 firms in public practice and 2 companies in industry so I've seen both sides of the coin. I am actually going to put up with it because 15 - 20 years of this and I'll be able to call it quits. Also there would be great flexibility in this career to work part time which is apealing to me when I get older.
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 10-26-2006, 06:49 PM   #10
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

I do not if I can speak for everyone but I do agree accounting is extremely boring once you have mastered the concepts. Ten years ago I began working for a start public firm. The firm had $90k in revenue the first year I was there. The second year, instead of paying for advertisement to gain business, we purchased another local cpa practice. Our second year revenue was roughly $160k with the three actively working. You name it, we did it, 1040's, 1120s', 1120, 1065's, processing payroll, assisting in bank financing, audits, etc. As of 12/2005 our income exceeded $900k with three cpa's, one attorney and ten support help.

Today, I can not stand to look at a 1040. The only item that keeps me interested is the day I am able to sell my portion of ownership. Since I am the youngest, I have at least 15 years to go. So I have to do other items to keep me interested. A few year back and with a couple of partners we started producing bull riding events. Try going from an industry where people seek you out and then move to the other industry trying to convince a mother to spend her entertainment dollar at a bull riding event and not the circus. Not easy, but thing it is definitely a challenge. Something to keep your interest and allow you to learn at the same time. So I try to teach the next generation as much as I know so my business will continue to flurish on their eagerness to learn.

First thing first, save every dollar you can because one day the opportunity will come and you will know what to do. Like the guy stated he's retiring at 52. What that sounds like to me, he is financially fit and ready for new challenge.

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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 10-26-2006, 06:56 PM   #11
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

So if I read your post correctly, you are an accountant who...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddie
...A few year back and with a couple of partners we started producing bull riding events. Try going from an industry where people seek you out and then move to the other industry trying to convince a mother to spend her entertainment dollar at a bull riding event and not the circus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
I am speechless with amazement!
What astro said...

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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)
Old 10-27-2006, 09:01 PM   #12
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Re: Question for CPA (Audit Side)

I can't help it, I had to do something to remove myself from behind the desk. So why not do something outdoors where you can enjoy the sun instead looking out the office window wondering.
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