{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I left a few months ago as a senior for a management position in industry. I want to come back to PA someday, but as a manager (not a senior). Advice?", "post_id": "5ab539ff90a36f0018f70406", "reply_count": 10, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "564a5cdb94887803001dd07c", "bowl_name": "Accounting" }

I left a few months ago as a senior for a management position in industry. I want to come back to PA someday, but as a manager (not a senior). Advice?

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Project management, relationship management, having a strong network and showing you’ve advanced in role and responsibility in industry might help but it would be a tough case to make. They’ll ask why you didn’t stay to make manager too.

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Depends - are you coming back in audit or tax? Assurance is a whole another ball game. While your accounting knowledge might be strong, assurance knowledge might be lacking - especially needed at Manager level to review

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I think you would need a few more years of PA experience to be ready for mgr. you never want to put yourself in a position where you’re not ready for the responsibilities. we have seniors who are 40+ who never are able to demonstrate that ability to lead others/don’t want the responsibility

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Sometimes if you are a new manager at another firm they will ask you to be a senior at MA first. Any reason you don’t want to come back as a senior? I’m sure you would promote quick (within a year) if you were ready for it.

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It would be a devastating pay cut. If I planned for it, and knew it’d only be a year and I’d be back at my current salary within a year, I could probably deal with it. But it is a difficult prospect, knowing I am the primary financial support for both my children and my parents. Losing $40k for a year is hard to budget for with so many mouths to feed. But, I’m really glad you mentioned that option because I hadn’t considered it before. I’d only thought of my options as a.) return, take a pay cut and be a senior for 2-3 year and work my way back up, b.) stay in my current unfulfilling, but well paid role, c.) move to a different company in industry in the hopes of finding that fulfillment elsewhere, d.) try to leverage my accounting management experience in a couple of years to return at manager level. Option d seemed super unlikely. Taking an objective perspective, I can see that my experience and skill as a manager in industry doesn’t parlay directly to audit management. I don’t think I, as a partner, would choose to hire someone like me, with less than 2 years of audit experience, as an audit manager. My biggest concern would be setting the person up to fail from the start. I am confident in myself and I know I could learn and pick up the role quickly, but it would be much more challenging than someone with a stronger audit foundation. So anyway, you’ve given me another option to consider and I’m going to give that some thought! I appreciate it!

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Even if they hire you as a manager, you will be taking a pay cut. There is not a $40,000 difference between a 2nd or 3rd year senior and 1st year manager.

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I was a new senior when I left. I’m currently accounting manager. I had quite a few years of industry experience prior to joining PA and before I earned my degree. I started PA at entry level, but I was promoted to senior quickly due to my past experience. As a result, i had relatively few years of PA experience before I left. Not sure if that would be a significant issue if I wanted to return as a manager. I’d be a manager with less than 2 years of PA experience. Would my current role be enough leverage if I tried to come back after a couple of years?

It depends on what you’re doing in your industry job.

Ok.. could you give me an example of the sorts of responsibilities that would help me in my goal to come back as manager? I mean, I have my own ideas but I was hoping for outside opinions and advice.

^ That’s is true - may still be a pay cut at new manager. But obviously less than at senior level. If supporting your family is most important right now you may want to stay put or try another industry job first. Less fulfilling as you say, but would have perhaps less financial stress. Public accounting does have good future income potential, but just may take you a few more years to get to the salary you need

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