2nd year partner at a top 6 accounting firm. Have offer from big 4 for $200K more annually. Don’t really want to take it, but how can I not.? That’s approx a college education annually after tax. Should I try to negotiate or just take the money and jump ship. Feeling Seriously undervalued for what I’m bringing to the firm in terms of people building, sales, book of business. Hate to not be loyal, but $200K is $200K. Advice please

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Partner comp increases a lot as a partner moves from being a new partner to a 5 year partner and later to a senior partner. The $200k increase doesn’t mean you have been undervalued. It’s like one of your seniors getting a manager offer. You would have gotten them there but someone else offered it to them early to take them to their firm. I would consider the team, support, and career path when making this decision and expect comp to even out. I think it is appropriate to ask for more comp at your current firm and reference colleagues at other firms. I would not share the offer. The fact that you got an offer with another firm will erode trust. However, the fact that you interviewed at all does speak volumes about how you feel about your current role and colleagues and you should consider that.


Don’t take it for the money but for the work you would be doing. Changing between firms is hard and if you don’t produce quickly you will be cut.


You are crazy-you like where you are and have built a great team…200k gets you 100k more in taxes and major lifestyle changes…cash will come where you are… talk with current firm and work it out…all those relationships mean something believe me! (Speak from experience)


You’re a Partner at a Top 6 firm meaning you’re not in Big 4. And you have a Big 4 offer. Take the offer and the money. Unless it’s KPMG. KPMG is trying to pay their way through to continue to be relevant. Not a sustainable firm/ model in my opinion. Any of the other Big 3, no brainer. Take the offer. Good luck!


Keep in mind that there are often times hidden costs, like what you run through vs out of pocket and insurance coverage requirements. Also, you probably have a non-compete that you might need to negotiate out of. I know 200k is a lot, but my annual comp increases have been 200k+ a year. So unless you don’t like your firm, it might not make sense.


I’m at a top 15 firm and perform at a high level. I’m probably a little underpaid for the value I bring, but that is being stair stepped up. I would talk to your MP about your comp process and see what the projections look like. If your comp is low, then firm isn’t doing well, you aren’t doing well and/or you aren’t being paid for your value. Just need to be honest with yourself and see if that would change at Big 4. I’ve heard they are quicker to cut partners that aren’t performing than the rest and have higher goals.


Go on take the money and run…


What are your reasons for saying you don’t really want to take it?


How about we address what CM is on your book and determine how much of that you’re clearing. Can’t spend revenue but you can spend margin. Assume your team won’t follow you to your new gig as your old firm will punish you and them for coming your way. They won’t care if you tell them no one is recruiting them away.

That is a lot of money for a place with a better brand. It’s a no brainer - take the job! Congrats


Thank you.


It depends on what firm you are going to. Also what is your comp now?

So you are at GT or BDO making (or will soon be making once comp adjustments are effective for partners) in the 325-350 range and were offered 525-550. The steps in the first 4-5 years are sizable. Expectations will be higher for sure.

Im not at GT or BDO. Over next 3 years my comp should increase by $150K per the newer partner ramp. However my numbers are in the top 25% of all partners and I don’t want to wait for $ just because I’m a “new partner”. I’m performing and have proven I can sell/build teams and can be paid $200K+ more if I jump tomorrow. Only thing holding me back is the amazing team I’ve built that probably follows me wherever I go. I’d love to give the firm a chance, but we are so far apart it’s almost insulting.

I think you should give credit to the firm that gave you this opportunity to hire, build a team, and build a practice. They took the risk, believed in you and supported you. In addition, your team took a chance in coming to work for you. I think all firms consider revenue growth and sales in their compensation model. If you are selling and growing a practice, your compensation will go up quickly at your current firm. It is fair to discuss with them where you want to be, why you think you deserve it, what you are doing to earn that comp, etc. It isn’t fair to turn your back on people that have supported you and given you opportunities without having this discussion.


There was a reason you interviewed right? Was it more money? If so you got it now so what’s the problem?

I interviewed to find my FMV and confirm what I’ve suspected. Now I’d love to stay if we can get close to FMV.

I love first world problems.

B4 can give you scale I wouldn’t think you’d achieve in Top 15. The $200k gap now could be $1m gap in 20 years? Is it a B4 with a DB pension? Take the B4. Retire early and get cushy board positions with B4 P on your resume.

Have you worked at a B4 before?

Do your clients and experience translate to what B4 expectations are in your practice area?

You like your life right now? (Real question)

What is your warning potential at current firm? (You prolly covered that one)

Are you cool looking for a new gig if this doesn’t work out or you don’t like it?

I’ve been doing comp with new partners for a while now… no one feels they’re getting what their worth early on. Myself included. And those ahead of you never feel like you appreciate the opportunity and platform they provided for you to earn on now. Funny how quickly you can end up on the other side when you appreciate your team and keep building/demonstrating value.

Seems like there’s a lot to consider over money. And I recognize a lot of people will still opt for the money now and be happy. Just saying there’s a lot to think about more than that.

Your current firm may define success or high performance very differently than the firm making the offer. $200k is nice, but you won’t know what they “aren’t” telling you until you’re committed. Stick with the devil you know….it’s a safer path. Comp will catch up with great performance.

So what was the result here? Curious.

Somewhere up there you refer to a 150k annual ramp expectation at firm but you were looking to jump for 200 now (like 50k diff). Would love to see how it goes.

Starting over wo your team and with a firm who doesn’t necessarily have any loyalty to you but high expectations based on how you describe your self heading in to this economic conditions…. You’re obviously confident.

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