Huge dilemma...Local firm offers the type of tax work I want to do and sounds like a great firm. They’re offering me 5k less than I make at PWC though because I don’t have the required experience they need from a senior and want me to be in a preparer role for a year. I get that. However their insurance is about $190 more a paycheck on top of lower pay. They offered a signing bonus of 5K to make up for the salary. But I’d still be making about $250-300 less a check there. Worth taking step back?

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Some local firms are great however it is a red flag if they are bringing you in at a lower level & paying you less & it will cost you more for benefits. List out all the pros and cons and really do your research. If this local firm is charging more for benefits are you get better benefits or is it because they are charging employees more and “they pay less”? Do they provide STD/LTD & Life Ins. STD for paternity/or if get sick. Do they have enough employees so you are covered under FMLA? When can you contribute your own $ to a 401k, is there a waiting period, is there a match? Is PTO the same, do they have flexibility/wfh if needed or strict 8 hrs min in office mon-Friday. What will busy seasons look like? Will they provide good CPE/trainings? What about other firm resources for reaching out with questions - like in a big 4 or larger regional firm? Be sure to really do your research on the firm. It’s exciting when you have an offer & but there are always other firms that will have the specialty you are looking for. Have you tried to see if PWC has it and you can pivot from what you are doing now? Best of luck to you on your decision & your career path!

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If PwC won't let you transfer, why not go to that group in another Big4 or national firm? You'd likely get a raise too!

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If you’re going down a level and it’s only a few hundred less a paycheck , you’ll make it up quickly. If it’s truly the practice area you want to learn and practice in, then it seem like you’re making a great step forward. You seem young, I’m sure the “only a few hundred” seems more meaningful to you today but it won’t in a couple years and for the rest of you’re career. Follow your passion, you’ll be more successful in the long run. That may sound cheesey or whatever but I promise you it’s true. The only thing you should be concerned with is whether that firm (or your current firm) offers you the opportunities you really want.

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Personally I wouldn't take a pay decrease to leave Big4. They're giving you a signing bonus, but that doesn't help you in subsequent years

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Not worth taking. Typically with a smaller firm, there’s smaller fringe benefits (cellphone, internet, tax software reimbursement, gym reimbursement, OT meals, student loan repayment, paternity/maternity leave, etc.) that they don’t offer compared to the big 4. Also compare 401k match and pension if PwC offers that.

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Exactly, month to month it may not seem significant. We get $60 per month for phone expenses which ends up being $720 in tax free benefits. I recently made a spreadsheet to factor in every benefit I receive so that I can truly compare total compensation when I receive job offers.

Sounds like you'd be happier at the local firm. I would take it! Is being unhappy really worth a couple hundred a month? And you won't stay at this level forever!

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Don't take it. They should be offering you more money not less.

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Thanks everyone! I’m going to let them know i can’t do it for less. Don’t feel right

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Good! Don’t ever sell yourself short. You have big 4 on your resume.. you should be leaving for more not less.

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Look for a similar job at a different company who is willing to pay you more. Sounds like they are just trying to rip you off

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$300 less a paycheck is very significant. I left to make $900 more a paycheck

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Also friendly reminder that firms will always try and promise you the world to rope you in but sometimes they don’t keep up with their end of the bargain. This is one demotion that’s not worth taking

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Yes I feel like working at smaller firms you work way more year round and less resources

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You are at PwC to do one of two things - make partner or leave for a baller job once you get the experience you want/need. I left for a 30% salary bump as a senior and only work 40 hrs a week year round. Don’t take a pay cut unless you think it will seriously pay off in a few years!!

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I had an experience like this prior to joining PwC. Realistically if you’re questioning, you’re not ready for the trade offs.

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You worked this hard at PwC, why settle for less? Negotiate $10-15k more, but even then you may be stuck.

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Honestly not sure why everyone said no. I understand it’s a pay decrease, when you factor in the benefits cost, but is your happiness really worth it? It’s a red flag if turning it down “hurts your heart”. From a business perspective, why would a firm pay someone more to do a job they have no experience with? Does that even make sense? Just because you worked at a Big4 does not mean you’re qualified to do everything - or should be paid like you are. I would focus more on the potential long term career growth opportunities and earning potential there rather than a short term pay decrease. Caveat to this is if you can afford to take a pay cut. If you can’t afford to, then obviously don’t take it.

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Turned them down officially. Hopefully pwc can help make the transfer happen otherwise maybe I’ll transition to a different big 4

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Yeah, I mean from my experience smaller firms have trouble finding strong tax accountants.

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Look at hourly pay - pwc is probably a lot less

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So everyone saying no, you think that even though I don’t have experience with what they do, they should be willing to pay at least what I get at pwc, if not more?

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They need to pay for talent or hire you in at a higher level where pay matches what you’re looking for. If they can’t do either you’re compromising in a way that will bake in a lot of resentment on your end when things get challenging (they always do).

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I would not take it if it’s lower salary

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Negotiate for more. Maybe try that and if not if you feel your sanity and work balance will be better at this place then yes take it. But with your experience and the big 4 name I don’t think they should be decreasing pay.

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I wouldn’t take it.

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