Tax Bowl

I have a “should I stay or should I go” scenario. Currently a tax manager at big4. Have a connection at a local firm in my hometown. Further details in comment.

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Not sure I follow how 2M in top line revenue translates to 800k in partner return. Seems like a pretty high margin.

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Smaller firm not much emphasis on title. but probably partner, I guess. Ownership transfer would start when I get there. long time family connection, and partner is looking to retire. And yeah. I think staff count now is closer to 10. - a few bookkeepers at 60-70, couple cpas at 100+. Smaller town. Lower COL. I’d be starting at comp of 200.

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This is probably more information than you want but I think it was helpful for me to write this down. Details: 10-15 person office Smaller (but desirable) location 2MM+ in annual revenue. Solid history - firm has been running 35+ years Currently one partner, has had two in the past. partner’s pay this year and last couple years is 800k. I’d likely bring in someone else (already identified). That person is ex-PwC and has audit/valuation interests. I think estimate of 3-400k each is reasonable (I do also think we could grow the practice - this firm has never advertised, marketed, networked, sought after a client etc). And if I made that the rest of my life... I’d be happy. More than happy. Not necessarily chasing the million plus paychecks. salary on day 1 would be 200k, which is Deloitte’s SM salary cap (in my office). I.e. I’d make tomorrow what I would max out at in 6-9 years at earliest (that’s best case, assuming 3 years at manager, and performance is high etc etc.) best estimate, compensation would be even if /when (and only if) I made partner at b4. The Current partner would stay on for 5 years as ownership passes (no initial buyin required for me - more of a buy out after year 5). Concerns: worried I would get bored. That’s what everyone says about local. But... I’ve been doing the same thing since I got to Deloitte and I’m bored out of my gourd. Client loves me so don’t see an end in sight (unless I start sucking at my job... which I can feel is starting to happen because not loving what I’m doing. efforts to transition have failed - have been trying for 6 months to get a resource for 2020.) worried about future impact of automation to small firm (and bots and RPA and the cloud 👻💀☠️ so scary 🤣) but this an office that has HNW focus, don’t think the service need will fully go away. worried that I’m being shortsighted and that the thought of doubling my salary tomorrow is blinding me to a (possibly/hopefully) fulfilling career at the large firms. High level work vs in the weeds work of a local firm. But also I kind of want to have a life outside of work and so far the work life balance see saw has been heavily tilted to Work. Thoughts? End of the day I think both are good options. I do appreciate that. That tends to make the decision harder, right? Curious to see other perspectives. Would also hate to turn this down to eventually be jerked around and not make partner. I’m realistic: I can see myself making partner... but also could very well see myself not making it. I think it’s too early to say I’m on partner track but I’m not NOT on track.

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What volumes are you looking at? For example, I switched from B4 to local this year and am in Salt. We have roughly 800 business clients and 2000 individuals. Us 2 SALT folks are too busy taking care of the volume to be bored.

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Not sure of pure number of returns. Workload wise - most people are pulling 40, maybe an occasional weekend during tax season. They file all returns a couple days before the deadline. Just like we are supposed to do per policy at Deloitte 😂 Definitely has a small office feel when you walk around during lunchtime - leave one employee to watch the front and everyone else peaces out for an hour! Employees are paid salary, with over time at rate (not1.5x) or else OT can also convert to PTO. That’s the employees. Partner bills around 2000-2400 hours a year. 2400 is what I’ve been billing at D. (although current partner is efficient - my hours have come from larger engagements. A couple audits are fixed fee, otherwise engagements are based on time incurred. There is plenty of work. Bored would come, I think, more from the type of work, not from a lack of it.

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Make sure to get every last detail you mention above in writing before making the move if you decide to. So, are you a tax manager now? What kind of clients do you work on at Deloitte, and what kind of clients does small firm service? Do you believe your experience at Deloitte qualifies you to be partner of the 10 or so CPAs/employees? There is a lot to think about in a situation like this. The good thing is you can always boomerang at the big 4.

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