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After just one year and one busy season as an Assurance Associate in FS - Asset Mgmt (my first full time job out of college), I tested the market and subsequently accepted an offer as a fund accountant with a 30% raise and a 20% discretionary bonus ... did I make the right move or should I have stayed longer?

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I can understand why you wanted the raise since PA pay is pretty low. But as far as I can tell, you should stick it out in PA at minimum 2-3 years before jumping. Because in 3ish years you can leave for a job paying 100K+. So maybe a mistake. But maybe you can jump into big 4 right now. People are doing referrals.

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Lol these responses are just out of touch. Get off your “I’m Big4 and you’re not” horses.

You’re all talking like RSM is a top 50 firm that audits small family offices. It’s the 5th largest in the country and our strongest industry is Financial Services, which includes Asset Management. No our associates dont just do ‘cash confirmations’; we have them doing lower-risk valuations as first years and they do first pass over equity allocations, carry calcs, and financial highlights. Our stronger second years are in-charge for our low-risk small jobs as well. The first year cash, second year PPE, etc. is true at big 4 but not here. I’m an FS transplant from KPMG and PwC, I’ve seen it all. All the responses here thus far are from those banging on their chest looking people down because ‘I’m here and you’re there’. People move from Big4 to here and from here to Big4 all the time.

Anyway OP, that’s a good bump. However, as an A1, you would most likely would have gotten 2-digit raises anyway for the first 3 years of your career. Also a 30% one time increase and a 5% thereafter may not be as much difference compared to 10% every year (and % doesn’t mean much early on anyway as your base is low, it matters more later in your career). Also most funds did exceptionally well this year with COVID, so your bonus offer may have been great but know that bonuses are tied to how the funds are performing so next year if they’re not as hot, your bonus (which makes up a good chunk of your total comp) would take a big hit. AM is also one of the top paying industry out there. If you don’t believe me check out the AMA a partner did today where he mentioned he’s seen AM as the highest comp industry.

Funds are also now looking for people who have both PA and Industry experience for their more senior roles so it could benefit you in the future. If you’re not happy, PA will always be here and will happy to rehire you.

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SA1 - like I said, get off your high horse. That’s all.

KPMG2 - I’m sure it’s client dependent, but at the Big4, my clients were large PEs or RE investment firms with multi funds- think 15 funds, each with 15 properties, and each property has 5 cash/escrow accounts and 5 debt accounts. It’s a massive undertaking where you need one associate devoted to just tracking those confirms. We don’t have many of those massive jobs in our firm.

We can’t devote one associate to do cash which only has 15 cash accounts. So we set them up with doing the investment and equity rollforwards, tie out to agreements and basic calcs. I agree with you it’s not reasonable or helpful to dump onto them all areas of the audit at once. However like I said, they do rollforwards the first year and then next year they already know how the work paper flows so we can set them up for actual recalculations, etc. Every year they take additional ownership of the whole work paper.

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Wow at all of these negative comments. Firstly, congrats on getting out of the audit world! It’s the biggest black hole and all of them have miserable lives. I know bc I was at EY.
Fund accounting is nothing like these Big4 extremists are saying. You have a LOT of room for growth and can do internal transfers to another department if you want. Not to mention, the hours are better with better pay, so guess what? You actually have a life!! IF your goal is to be out of audit/tax, it’s great to get out as early as you can. You don’t really learn any transferable skills over time, so it’s a complete waste.

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“All of them have miserable lives”

I quite like my job as an auditor and think I have a great life.

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Also fund accountant is the most pigeon hole job along with IA and GL accountant

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@citi1 what is your current 180k position? Did you transfer to your current position from Citi IA?

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Just gonna throw this out there - the people from Big 4 giving you advice more likely than not have only been at 1 company (their Big 4) since graduating college. Not to say the advice is bad or wrong just take from that what you will.

And yes I’ve worked Big 4 in my past life and at one point thought everything that people said about exit opps from public accounting was gospel

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Eh fund accounting just means more fund accounting. You’re pigeonholed now and definitely capped your career earnings potential a bit but who cares.

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Well funded startup (think series c/d). Team is all ex-bankers so should be pretty high expectations but I’m looking forward to it

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30% might sound nice but 30% increase from your associate salary might not be as meaningful as a 15% increase from your future senior 1 salary. It really depends on what you feel comfortable making for the next few years which you should also factor in the growth opportunities in the new role.

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It's hard to pivot into another industry once you fall into a particular niche

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You had a “wide variety” and you left before a year. Kid give me a break you tested cash and probs did cash confirms the whole time

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This move makes sense if both 1) you know you want to do fund accounting as a career and 2) you can’t stand another busy season.
If 1) isn’t true then this is a pretty bad move. I’ve heard there’s not many/any exit ops from fund accy outside of boomeranging back to public at which point you’re taking similar/less money for way worse hours.
If 2) isn’t true then this move is okay but you could have finished out another busy season, became a senior and looked at positions with higher pay, at a better fund, higher rank, ect

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Not trying to blow up your decision but the advice of “leave quickly and don’t worry about titles” is only if you’re changing fields (going to IB, consulting, in house finance in industry). If you’re going to a common exit op (fund accy is one) then it’s usually best to stay on till senior/manager.

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IMO, 89k is kind of low

After 1 year? Really

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Can everyone let him enjoy his well earned new job please

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