{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Real talk, tho. Would you be willing to make less if you could do interesting accounting work, be on a team of people you respect, and your hours were capped at 50 even during the busiest times? I’ve worked with countless professionals who find their salary has a diminishing return once it hits a certain threshold. It’s like there is an inverse relationship to happiness.", "post_id": "605f48cd2c954100309edb7c", "reply_count": 34, "vote_count": 39, "bowl_id": "564a5cdb94887803001dd07c", "bowl_name": "Accounting" }

Real talk, tho. Would you be willing to make less if you could do interesting accounting work, be on a team of people you respect, and your hours were capped at 50 even during the busiest times? I’ve worked with countless professionals who find their salary has a diminishing return once it hits a certain threshold. It’s like there is an inverse relationship to happiness.

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I think Senior Manager 1 is hitting the nail on the head. The key is hitting whatever that $$$ threshold is for you. I’m a tax director in the suburbs of a HCOL city. I make about $200K, my wife makes about $140K. We’re having a baby and we are nervous about how this works without taking a big step back comp-wise. I think I’d like to clear $300K myself so she could do whatever she wanted. I don’t want to be a partner due to the hours/stress/pressure. I’m currently having conversations with my partners/leader about making a managing director role happen so I can achieve something close to or exceeding that $300K while focusing on work life balance.

likeuplifting

Good luck with that. MD for many years and balance still tough.

What if we had all that but the firm was progressive and did value billing vs hourly and therefore we didn’t have to make less? I keep seeing articles about how we undervalue and under bill our services because we are still stuck in archaic billing practices that correlate to hours spent. But to the question, there is for sure a dimensioning return on salary which I could see grow bigger if WFH policies stay similar and where you live does not matter.

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Agreed. I was making 60k at big 4 I was miserable because of the big 4 model, burnout, etc. The pay was awful but the least of my concerns. In industry, I'm making twice that amount now, but I think the real win was having interesting work and getting my personal life back.

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Ex-Deloitte, currently doing Indirect tax @ MSFT. Tons of opporunities once you exit. Just have to pick the right one and know your value.

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Real talk - no. I like making enough money where I don’t have to think about daily spending at all.

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Once I exceeded $250k in total comp which coincided with having kids, I decided enough was enough. Now the goal is to keep this comp (but not shooting for any growth) while maximizing work life balance.

likehelpful

I think the question hits at the root of the problem: Are you willing to give just an extra 25% of your life away for less money vs the standard 50-100% for a little more? And I’m not just talking about raw hours that we all churn out. Are you willing to skip family meals and events, be inattentive when you are there, and ultimately justify your behavior with your salary and title? Are you willing to put your role as spouse and parent on part-time status during busy seasons that now last all year? Are you willing to put aside 25-50% of each vacation checking your phone, attending “short” calls, and dwelling on the mountain of work you’ll have when you return? B4 tax and accounting in the US is in a constant state of anxiety because we commit to doing work with staff we do not have, skills that are not yet developed, and governmental and regulatory deadlines that are unreasonable at best. Now Covid has proven there are no boundaries. What price do you put on life?

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No. I’d accept my current salary and deem it somewhat reasonable if my hours were capped at 50. For the amount of work we do we should be making 6 figures.

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In United States - no, doesn’t work this way

likesmart

How about we make the same and get capped at 40 hrs like any other job we could get out of public accounting? Is it because the company makes their profit on overworking their employees? Sounds like a flawed business plan to me or do I just not understand?

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Unless you’re paid by the hour or not exempt from OT, your hours are not “capped” outside of public accounting. You may not be required to work 60 hrs, but you still have deadlines and ebbs/flows that require long hours. And companies often squeeze accounting/finance departments because they aren’t revenue generating, being under-staffed is common.

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If they were capped at 50 and my salary was 60k I would be happy. Don't need more or less than 60k. Married and considering kids soon.

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I feel like peoples responses imply we are giving up like 50% of our salary here or something. Maybe because I’m in tax and I am unwilling to work 80 hour weeks, but I would accept slightly less pay to have standard hours or a cap on hours. I think the issue that still exists is that eating hours is still very much a thing in certain practices and I would worry that would just explode as an even bigger problem.

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If hours were capped at 35 hrs yes

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Heck no 😂😂😂😂😂🤣

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I think you’re describing a local firm. I made the move 3 months ago and couldn’t be happier. Also, the pay was the same.

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No. Money means security and stability for me. I grew up on a brink of poverty and I cannot fathom making less money willingly.

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Nope

What about make more doing something more interesting....? I really enjoy the work more now that I transferred into M&A tax.

No, not at all. But i don't make much as it is, so making less for interesting work sounds insane.

Absolutely. I made this exact decision but like a lot of things when you follow your heart and make decisions for the right reasons things tend to fall into place and ended up making more.

No. I’ve learned how to manage the hours and work them into my life. I like my paycheck exactly where it is. Having hours capped would create other stressful situations (like if we had a big client deadline one week I might not be able to deliver). I’d possibly consider a small pay cut for the 50 hr cap + overtime pay.

To me it's a three step process. 1- Find a target income 2- Identify careers that allow you make that target income 3- Grind to get to the target income and then find a better work/life balance opportunity so you can focus on family/hobbies/etc

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