OK, so you’re a public accountant and you’ve had it. You are ready to audition for whatever reality show you meet the age requirements for. Or better yet, invest in a GoPro and create your own series documenting accountants in their natural habitat, if you’re not one of them. Either way, you’ve hit a brink and it’s one that binging on Netflix and carryout food during off hours can’t remedy. But before you become the next CPA turned Bachelor or Bachelorette, consider the bigger (magnified in hi-definition) picture.
Calculating Mixed Reviews
“There’s no shortage of motivating factors for leaving public accounting, from the poor hours to the hyper-competitiveness to the twisted fact that in an industry where value is measured by chargeable hours, intellect and efficiency are not necessarily positive attributes. Justifiable reasons, all,” as Toni Nitti bluntly asserted in Going Concern. Also pointing out, “changing jobs within public accounting is a proven way to get a little more money or a slightly more impressive title, but it does nothing to ameliorate the big-picture issues that probably have you daydreaming of becoming a racecar driver.”
Illusions of Nascar grandeur aside (extreme sports reality show idea, perhaps?), one must extensively evaluate if switching from public to private accounting – if not abandoning the profession altogether – is truly a prudent, worthwhile career decision.
“You can work in professional sports. You can carry a gun and work for the CIA. So, there’s just so many exciting things that you can do in the accounting profession that you can’t do with other degrees,” CPA Danica Olsen colorfully points out. While being the next Steve Irwin was not included in that breakdown, public accounting surely has its wildly advantageous perks to keep in mind after any busy season, tenuous traveling or long hours.
The Proper Angles Make for a Good Run
You can choose to change the channel on your accounting career, facing possible pay cuts or the realization you made an impulse decision to audition for Top Chef, didn’t make the cut and find yourself begging for your old job back. Conversely, you can look at a myriad of benefits residing in the public accounting profession.
“While every once in a while you may end up in an odd job, most of you career is spent in incredible places. Firms often have deals with the best hotels and airlines. You’ll frequently spend between $300-$500 on a hotel room and $50-100 on food, not to mention the cost of a rental car. It’s no wonder why you need the $50K limit!,” Roger CPA Review highlights about a traveling perk involved with being a CPA. That aspect of the job can be taken as a hassle or benefit based on how you frame your line of work.
It all boils down to how you perceive the layers of your job. You can angle it so that the hard work and long hours put into becoming a CPA aren’t delineated as taking away from your life, rather perceived as admittance to an exclusive, well-respected group. Just like the autonomy inherent of such a job doesn’t have to be stress-inducing, but channeled as having more knowledge and freedom to navigate an industry.
“The CPA exam tests more than financial reporting and U.S. GAAP knowledge. It also tests your knowledge of general business practices and covers subjects including total quality management, economics and contract law. When you pass the CPA exam you’re demonstrating that you have a firm grasp of the business world to everyone that you work with,” The Pinnacle from Becker points out, reminding the public accounting cast just how versatile and applicable their credentials are.
While alluring at times, it’s never very easy to switch career settings. Every vocation has it’s positive and negative seasons. The key is being aware of just how good you have it where you are, and the realization you’re probably too old for anything being cast on MTV.