Have an offer to leave for industry for a Sr. Accountant role for an F500 that, despite the economy, is growing rapidly. Currently an A3 in the greater Michigan market. CPA. 20% pay bump plus 8% on average bonus thereafter, excluding any future pay increases from promotions. Solid benefits/ retirement match. ESPP. Do I abandon ship?

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I just left PA for an industry. There is work and life balance plus more money, and I am learning new stuff too. Big4 became more like a sweat shop. They didn't teach or train me any more. There was so much pressure on budgeting and saving cost (for partners). I am glad I left. Hope you decide what is best for you.

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Do you want to eventually grow above manager? If so, what’s your timeframe?

Staying at Pdubs until manager is likely your best bet then. You can do it by jumping now, but usually the advantage to public until manager is that the senior->manager jump in industry takes a while because there are limited positions. The manager level promotion is the gateway into the other higher ranks within the profession. You could stay at PwC two more years and clear that hurdle. It could take 5+ in industry after you jump. It’s certainly possible to do it, and a lot of people will tell you it’s not needed, which is true, but landing a manager job in industry either takes waiting for one to open up or jumping around a lot and hustling for yourself. Most of the stories you hear about people beating out their colleagues that stayed in a quicker time frame are people who are willing to do this. That’s not most people and is outside the norm. And before the public haters come: no I’m not a partner or senior manager trying to rope people along. I did a career switch and I’ve seen it from the other side. Public really does accelerate your career and being able to clear the manager gate quickly is one of the main ways it does that.

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I feel like it used to be the case that you should stay until manager before you make the jump to industy (if you're going the controller route). However, more and more companies are looking for a mix of PA and industry experience for mgmt positions. Leaving for a senior role can still set you up very well and in some cases better than trying to go from PA manager to industry manager. All depends on what progression looks like at this company. Personally I would take it just based on what you've said.

Yeah. It’s very much a question of how you prefer to do the work to get there. Public until manager will get you there quicker in most cases, but you’re right that some places like to see a mix, so the jumping out of public might take longer. The working your but off at 3-4 different companies over 10 years route to controller is very much a thing too. Most people just aren’t willing to do it, which is why I think public until manager is still good advice.

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