Anyone familiar with CliftonLarsonAllen? Interested in shifting to private client tax. Looking for better work life balance than I get at Deloitte.

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I work with someone who used to work there. From what I have heard: pay is better at earlier levels, but you won’t make as much once you hit manager/SM, and of course, PPMD. You also have to be okay with working on less prestigious clients. This means (likely) less organization, less professionalism, etc. it’s a lot more akin to a private tax shop than public accounting- I’ve heard the work life balance is okay, better than Deloitte. Just depends what you are looking for in the long run!

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Thanks. That’s helpful. Doesn’t sound very appealing!

I just started there in January, came over from another, smaller, mid tier. Midwest, so I’m sure the Bay Area is different. Previous posters are correct, no bonuses. I got a 5% bump switching, but it was a lateral move for me. We’ll see how raises go this year, the pandemic has thrown everything off but they said it will be market based as usual. I know I won’t ever make as much as someone in the big 4 on the back stretch of my career, but I really enjoy the variety of work that I am able to do. Highest ask for charge hours was 55 this year, spring and fall. I didn’t go over 65 once and coming from 75+ almost all spring in previous years it was like taking a vacation. My office is very relaxed and as long as your work is being done and clients aren’t complaining no one bothers you. Career path is different from other firms. Everyone is on the director track and you can stay on that track your whole career if you choose. If you want to go after principal it’s a choice, but they don’t force you out if you like what you’re doing and don’t want to move forward. The client mix is varied. To whomever said the clients aren’t prestigious, you couldn’t be more wrong. About 25% of my office’s clients are well known national names that almost everyone would instantly recognize. The firm has no interest in SEC work, but actively goes after the top tier privately held companies. After those national name recognition clients, probably 25% are well known local companies, and then the rest are smaller. I found the work at CLA to be far more technical and challenging than my old firm. Can’t compare it to Big 4 life, but my work life balance has dramatically improved and I’m much happier. Principals are not nearly as secretive as my old firm’s partners and actively seek out input from staff then apply it. The firm’s “family” thing is a bit annoying, but they held true to no layoffs or furloughs during this pandemic and I’m getting the sense that we’ll be repaid for the 3 month pay cut we had from May to July.

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Hey do you know what the starting salary typically is is for a tax associate in Tampa?

My tax senior friend says CLA doesnt pay bonuses. Low raises. High turnover. Lots of politics to move up. Busy season was 60-70hr weeks.

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It’s really depend on the office. I was with CLA for 3 years before getting to big4

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Know anything about Bay Area offices?

Midwest region here. We don't have a huge presence in the west coast, so offices are small. Pay is meh, but work-life is probably better than big four. PCT will have a few 70 hours weeks then completely dead for a while, they let us borrow their associates during those times. So you get to do more than just PCT. Transferring groups and locations is also encouraged and relatively painless once you proof yourself.

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