{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Choosing between three firms , role is tax manager all are same pay. What’s the best choice? :\n\n1. Local firm $15mm in revenue, really clicked with the MD. Seems like it would not be hard to make partner \n\n2. Local Firm $7-10mm revenue, 4 partners , 2 retiring soon , MD is a saint \n\n3. Regional firm $67mm revenue , 350 employees. Option to work remote fully, could live anywhere , just have to go to the office 4 weeks a year (could move to LCOL area and invest in real estate)", "post_id": "5f338c0804df1100243327bc", "reply_count": 12, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "564a5cdb94887803001dd07c", "bowl_name": "Accounting" }

Choosing between three firms , role is tax manager all are same pay. What’s the best choice? : 1. Local firm $15mm in revenue, really clicked with the MD. Seems like it would not be hard to make partner 2. Local Firm $7-10mm revenue, 4 partners , 2 retiring soon , MD is a saint 3. Regional firm $67mm revenue , 350 employees. Option to work remote fully, could live anywhere , just have to go to the office 4 weeks a year (could move to LCOL area and invest in real estate)

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Three pretty good options actually. I’d go with Firm 1 or Firm 3 depending on four factors. First, do the client profile and nature of work differ between the two, and if so, do you have a preference; second, what does the path look like at Firm 1; third, how much do you value the remote work opportunity presented by Firm 3; and fourth, how confident are you that you want to be a partner. Exit opps from a 67M regional firm would be pretty good, especially in midsize markets. Firm 2 sounds like a firm that’s a couple years away from being acquired, unless there is succession planning beyond what you described. Maybe you could recruit that saintly MD to your other destination.

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Definitely agree with this, the remote work to me sounds like a good deal, 1) because by living in a LCOL area, I can significantly enhance my wealth at a young age and invest in cheap and up and coming real estate markets 2) save 10x more than I am currently (being underpaid and living in a HCOL area ). The clients at option 3 align exactly with my experience thus far, however I don’t see it being an easy path to being partner by being mostly remote. In the short sided goals, it is a very high salary for now that’s allows me to live anywhere, so taking that salaries present value into consideration it seems it might set me up for life. Another factor is that I do have plans of starting my own firm with my two brother who are also CPA’s Option 1) I really got along well with the Partners and the MD mentioned he would like to mentor me and take me on client meetings and try and teach me how to sell professional services and make me a partner as fast as possible. The MD is quite young at firm 1 and we seem to already get along excellently. My apprehensions are that COVID could still damage their firm enough to lay people off and things may get rough and I would still be living in a HCOL

I couldn’t make a decision on these alone. Several other factors need to be considered especially at the two local firms. Here are a few questions/comment I have for you to consider: 1) how concentrated/dependent are these firms on their largest clients? 2) which firm’s client base and/or industry focus aligns with your interests? 3a) although firm 3 provides you with the opportunity to live anywhere and work from home 100%, how much will this impact your path to partner? 3b) Living in a small town with a much lower cost of living sounds great on paper but how do you plan to bring in business when potential clients are miles and miles away? 3c) Over the last few months, we have become a more connected society, but will the benefit of living in a LCOL area outweigh the hours you will lose to constant travel for client meetings and proposals? Personally, I do not think audit and tax work will be won through Zoom proposal meetings. I think a potential client will select a firm they can meet with in person vs video conferencing (Atleast for another decade while the boomers and gen x’ers are still in-charge).

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Option 1 seems to not be dependent on any one client, they tried to sell me on the fact that they have all middle market size clients and not one client is their “main source of revenue” and I quote “if one leaves tomorrow it’s not going to effect any decisions because we don’t try and win a client that would be our main focus we need to have a good foundation of medium size clients”. 3a) I agree , I don’t think it would be easy at all to be partner and be remote , however it is a title jump, and the highest salary of the three, with the largest size. I think the present value of making more dollars in a LCOL area will jumpstart my retirement and my wealth. One thing in my mind is I have two CPA brothers and we have plans of starting a firm and already have a small pile of clients interested in our services. I am almost thinking of the larger firm as a better learning experience to help service our future clients while being able to build this wealth and savings in a cheap location.

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Based on your responses, sounds like you’ve decided option 3.

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I think I have as well, but I’m worried I might be making a mistake not taking option 1

Depends on if you’re trying to learn more or teach. Regional firm gives you the most diversity given the small partner/md pool at the local firms. Local works well if you see yourself staying in the area and want to take over work from those retiring.

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#3

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3. Having worked at both local and regional, regional is much better especially if you're on the partner track.

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That’s good to hear. I’m lucky enough to work on a big 4 size client but it’s the only one in the firm, and the partners are okay for the most part, but they sort of treat it as a passive income investment LOL. Some very unprofessional situations also definitely occur

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