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Manager in assurance, what are the exit opportunities if you don’t want to do internal audit or be a controller ?

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Extremely easy to go manager to controller /equivalent finance manager reporting directly to CFO at anything but a large public. Also could go after more finance focused FP&A roles. Be creative, decide what you want to do and go after it, don’t wait for someone to tell you you’re qualified or a recruiter to reach out.

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Should have said medium/large public - I would consider anything with a 500k audit fee to be large. From my point of view the middle market (mainly private and ideally PE / venture backed) has some of the best opportunities out there to accelerate your career if you’re a manager or senior manager. You can get the #2 finance job (or the #1- if you go small), you’ll get better equity comp generally, you have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on professionalizing an accounting function and systems (instead of existing in a public co bureaucracy), you’ll likely get to have a meaningful impact on leading acquisitions and getting the company eventually sold (collecting resume points and deal bonuses and rolling your equity along the way). Spend 5 years in that environment and you’ll be a competitive CFO candidate for a lot of things (again maybe not large public, but it’s a lucrative path).

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Source - work in TAS and spend a lot of time interviewing cfos and their teams at company’s with revenue sub 200m. Lots of opportunities for average big 4 people to be extremely strong contributors to growth stage companies

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Not that you are implying this but I don’t think an audit manager would get hired directly to be a controller - unless you are talking about a very small company. As to your question. You could go into financial reporting, technical accounting, might get into FPA group. I mean longer term you could finish yourself in an operational role - but I don’t see that being direct from audit manager.

What’s the difference between FP&A and financial reporting in terms of work, qol, pay etc.....

FP&A is generally more strategic and forward looking. You’ll be working on forecasts and supporting strategic initiatives. Typically pay is better than straight reporting, hours / qol is all situation dependent but usually not significantly different than a reporting role at the same company

Ey2. What do you consider to be large public. If I think of all the public clients in my office with an audit fee above say 500k (as market cap not good metric for this) - none of them would take a manager at controller level. I think some might take a director of financial reporting role - but even then not likely to go straight to cfo. In fact if I think through the last 9-10 senior managers and managers that have left / I can only think of one that is controller reporting to cfo - and that’s at a start up we now audit which is still 2 years from iPo.

SEC Reporting, FP&A, Can also look at specialized groups Transactions, Due diligence, Advisory or other non-controls based consulting work I mean... It's YOUR career. Do some strategic research! 😃

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