Top 6 reasons to move from public to private accounting

  • career advice
  • March 29, 2017
Anyone who has worked in public accounting usually considers making a change at some point in their career. This is particularly true toward the end of Busy Season. (Remember, Tax Day is April 18 this year ... as if you’d forget.)

Here are six reasons accounting professionals should consider moving to a corporate accounting position.

Greater flexibility

Perhaps the biggest benefit of moving from public accounting to the private side is improved work-life balance. Public accountants work extremely long hours every tax season. Corporate accountants rarely travel or work weekends. More and more, companies are open to remote or flexible work arrangements for their in-house accountants.

Unique career-development opportunities

Corporate accountants get to know a business more intimately than their public accounting colleagues. They are able to build strong expertise and make a difference in the company’s bottom line.

Varied career paths

Accountants employed at companies can work beyond the specific disciplines of audit and tax. These accounting professionals can pursue careers in operations, business development or treasury, among other areas.

Financial upsides

Most consider average compensation higher in public accounting than private industry, especially if you work at a Big Four firm. However, landing an accounting job at high-growth, high-potential companies may offer top accounting talent equity incentives, lucrative bonuses and benefits programs that make the longer-term financial benefit appealing.

Impact on bottom-line results

Corporate accountants can help their employer grow and boost profits. It can be incredibly satisfying for finance and accounting professionals to directly see the outcome of their efforts.

Specialization in a company or industry

Accounting professionals who work in private industry can learn a business and industry inside and out instead of having myriad clients to serve. You will be an expert at everything related to your job.

Parting advice

It’s important for public accountants to know their long-term professional goals and objectives. Before accepting a new in-house job, candidates should research the industry to ensure it is stable and growing.

“If you know public accounting isn’t for you long term, don’t wait too long to get out - no more than six to eight years’ tenure. Otherwise, you could be at a disadvantage when competing in the employment market for more senior-level openings, going up against candidates who already have a mix of public and private experience.”
Bob Demac, Randstad managing director
Now may be the perfect time for you to take advantage of your public accounting background and make a change that will benefit your career. Before you make that leap from the Big Four to corporate accounting, be sure to do your homework. Remember, knowledge is power!

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