What exactly is a “principal”? Had an SM from my current firm transfer as a Principal to another firm. So just wondering if it’s basically another SM title

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At PwC principals are partner level non CPA holders, not sure if this is standard

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Typically, Partner equivalent but not a cpa - must be a cpa to be a partner at a cpa firm

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Partner and Principal are both equity owners in the firm. Partners can practice before the SEC while Principals can’t.

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Sure if the firm also has a CPA license. It would be more a title change and not a promotion in B4 if they acquire a CPA license. Deloitte & Touché LLP, Deloitte Tax LLP and I believe Deloitte FAS LLP all have CPA licenses and therefore can practice before the SEC. Deloitte Consulting LLP doesn’t have a CPA license so even though tons of Principals of DC do have a CPA, the firm themselves doesn’t so they are all Principals.

Same level as partner but without a cpa. All intents and purposes, they are the same but these firms cannot legally be cpa firms without >50% (I think) of equity owners being cpas. Special entities within the firm itself are created so that a principal gets distributions and are treated as partners, but just without the title “partner”

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A principal is also a non equity partner at other national firms. Many firms have this dual purpose title for market facing optics.

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So some firms like CLA for example use the principal term for non-quite partners and non-cpa partners.

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A non-equity partner. Usually when someone transfers to that position, they were promised a partner position after a certain number of years or performance metrics are met. I see most, not all, principal positions as being a stepping stone.

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@RSM3 Principals may have equity at RSM but for other firms it's a glorified senior manager/director position without equity that as RSM2 said is a stepping stone.

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Depends on the firm. In my firm I’m a principal and basically I’m on a non voting equity partner. I attend all partner meetings and such but I don’t vote on decisions. In a couple years (depends on the person really) they will vote on becoming a voting-equity partner

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So this dude has a CPA and he went to a smaller firm than rsm

Also I thought you couldn’t get promoted to even Manager at a public accounting firm if you don’t have a cpa

Econ PhD...our title is Principal as well. Not everyone at big 4 is an account 😉

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