August 23, 2021 at 11:24 am #3305549
So this goes back a few years. Back in late 2018, early 2019 my career was seemingly going nowhere. I was unable to get interviews in public accounting whilst having little to no experience and having all four parts passed. In early 2019, I got my saving grace and got an hourly position which transitioned into a full time position. Of course we all know what happens in 2020. With all the chaos ensued, I managed to keep my job, receive my experience sign off as other employees got “laid off.” The firm treated the employees like utter sh*t. Our salaries were cut by 15% and we were forced to work 57.5 hours through the majority of the extended busy season. I eventually was let go.. On October 16th 2020. The HR said it was due to sloppy work and slowing work flows. I know the reason was due to a bonus check I and others received which I accidently revealed to another. That, and because I took four half day Fridays using my PTO to deliver for Doordash to make extra cash.
Fast forward to 7 weeks later, I got another job at a very small CPA firm, with 5 partners and four accountants including myself. In this position, I took from earlier on, I took on writeups, larger and more detailed tax returns which I hadn't dealt with at my previous firm because they essentially treated me like an intern. I spent many hours learning how to do things, and moved my way into becoming more efficient, or so I thought. More work and returns came in after busy season, and this was work I wasn't familiar with. With one project, it was a tremendous number of hours, and was not billable. I ackowledged I should've asked for help earlier on instead of spending so many hours trying to figure it out myself.
Without warning, the managing partner called me into his office first thing Thursday, and informed me of the decision to let me go. He explained how they hired a CPA, but that's not what they were getting from me. The CPA title had created more expectation. Despite learning A LOT from this firm, and wanting to move forward, my confidence is completely shaken now, and giving this job only lasted about eight months, the prior only 1 year longer, I may not have a desirable resume.
Can anyone please provide some advice?August 23, 2021 at 11:59 am #3305552
It sounds like they did not perform much due diligence in hiring you, or perhaps you led them on a bit about your skill set. I assume this job came with a higher salary then the one you left as well?
Might need to do your salary expectations to match your current skill set.
It will hurt, but it will end up being more beneficial for both parties moving forward if the hiring firm knows you need more training to get up to speed, and you will benefit for being trained and mentored better.
It's a bitter pill to swallow, buy you really want to avoid mismatches like the one your already experienced.
Once you get a few tax seasons under your belt, you will be better off.
Don't give up, just keep trying.August 23, 2021 at 12:04 pm #3305555
If I were in your shoes, I would look for a sole prop CPA that is looking to be done in about 5 years, and jump on board there to learn the ropes, with the idea to potentially take over the practice.
The real money comes from working for yourself.August 23, 2021 at 12:05 pm #3305558
You know stuff like this happens. Don't sweat it. It couldn't have happened at a better time because the demand for accountants is very high right now in many places. Take your lessons learned though, they are important. When interviewing for your next job don't embellish your experience. Exude confidence in your ability to learn but don't oversell yourself. Be honest and answer the questions they ask. You must also listen, because if they think the CPA designation comes with a silver bullet, they are wrong. The initial license is granted when we meet the minimum requirements for work in public accounting. I think your last firm failed to vet you correctly but again, there are lessons to be learned from your experience there. Make sure your next employer knows you want to work on a team and be able to tap resources on topics you need more training or understanding about. Tell them what you want from an employer is a culture that develops their employees and works with them to support improvement and advancement. Even in tax after doing this for years, there is a lot for me to learn and the changes are endless. I belong to a tax workgroup outside of work and use that as a resource to learn more advanced topics. I take a lot of free CPE on my own time to learn more, too. Also, don't tell people you are taking Friday afternoon off to work for Door Dash.
You have your license, and you have almost 2 years of experience – don't expect the moon but expect to have it in sight and the opportunity to work toward it.
You will find your niche. Good luck!August 23, 2021 at 3:55 pm #3305564just me EA going towards CPAParticipant
I agree with Recked. Solo CPA is the way to go. I have been in public accounting for 20 years – I never worked for any big 4. I worked once for about a year in a CPA firm with 7 partners and hate it. All they do – look that you would sit and not bill client – basically work for free.
Do not get discouraged. You have everything you need to be successful. You just need a better environment. In today's job market you should be able to get a job with no problems.August 23, 2021 at 4:28 pm #3305567fsugirl2005Participant
Yup work for yourself. I've had my own accounting practice for 13 years and over time, I've learned a lot on my own. I didn't have anyone helping me. Now, I have a niche that I've been working on for over 10 years and just need to get this darn license.
Every thing happens for a reason. Use this as a learning experience and take the advice others have said here about your next job. Be very specific as to what you are looking for. Remember, you are interviewing the prospective employer just as they are interviewing you.
Good luck!August 24, 2021 at 12:36 am #3305573TncincyParticipant
This is a very humiliating situation. Being fired will never feel good. As other’s have stated, don’t give up hope. You worked and studied hard to get that license, so crying over spilled milk won’t help you use it. Get out there and keep looking.
I had to laugh at the door dash. Money is tight for everyone, but I agree again. Don’t tell people that’s what you’re doing. It only bring trouble and unnecessary attention to yourself as a professional.
I’ve been an accountant since 2011 (need to pass this stupid test and stop letting life hold me back) but my son needed help with college tuition So I decided to apply at the local Walmart for a night stock position. Walmart called me to tell me they were worried that I would quit if they gave me the job. So they didn’t give me the job. They thought I was playing. Why would a person with so much potential work for the local Walmart? I thought about what was said and left the second job thing alone. And yes I helped my son with his tuition. As a matter of fact I have four adult children with college degrees and working in their chosen careers. I’m broke, but I’ve learned from that situation.
You want people to take you serious in this field, the hard part is done. You have the license, just find a firm that is able and willing to teach you what you need to know to thrive as a CPA.
Personally, I think this is a good thread with a good learning experience attached to it.August 24, 2021 at 2:47 am #3305579
Thank you for the reply everyone.
I do not believe taking over another practice is the best course of action for me.
I do not want to lie, but it is starting to feel like it just might not happen telling the truth. I just applied to two jobs, in which it does make clear my position ended.
Currently I am applying to mid tier and larger firms.August 24, 2021 at 9:29 am #3305582
Parthamis, your job search is just starting so don’t be discouraged. Tax hiring will be cranking up soon. Do some CPE to strengthen your weak areas or build new skills. Everyone knows it has been a hard year so emphasize you are looking for a stable environment. Your joblessness is as much your employer’s fault as it is yours. Look ahead and move forward. Don’t dwell on why. Be positive. You have a great opportunity to find a job that is truly suited to you. That can take time and effort.August 24, 2021 at 11:13 am #3305591CPAGuruParticipant
Rule of thumb, you do not have to tell your supervisor the reason why you're taking the day off. If you have allowable PTO's, you have every right to use them without further explanation. They either approve your leave or they don't. If your supervisor demands that you give them a reason why you're taking time off, it's time to QUIT!
Don't give up hope. A CPA can do so much without proper training. Every organization has different standards and approaches to doing things. They cannot expect a CPA to know everything without proper training and they definitely cannot expect you to apply experience from your previous employment to your current role. While I agree that basic accounting terminology and entries are standard everywhere, however, there isn't much you can relate to. When you apply for your next employment, try to read the job description and see if you are a perfect fit before applying. This way, you know what you're getting yourself into rather than landing a job and be surprised at the end.August 25, 2021 at 1:59 pm #3305627AudarahParticipant
I'm not going to blame this on you. There are firms that actually SHOW you what to do. Then there are firms that throw crap at you and say good luck. I think you had that firm. This was actually one of my fears. I have two friends who are CPAs and I asked them how they learned. Both said they had fantastic mentors at their small CPA firms who showed them what do to. The CPA title to me means that you had alot of dedication and grit to buy a car for example. But it doesn't mean anyone showed you the inner parts of the car and how to tear apart and rebuild the engine in the car. It's a title. You still have to learn the ropes and firms are the stomping ground for that. Im studying regulation right now. After I pass it doesn't mean I know how to prepare a tax return 100 percent. It means I have SOME knowledge.
Interview your next firm. Yup, you interview them. Ask up front if there are mentors. Ask if they show you the ropes. Ask if you are allowed to ask! Ask if there is training, etc. We all know as cpas that yeah we can figure it out ourselves after we spent x amount of time looking it up on Google or Farhat or in the code, but wouldn't it be nice if they wouldn't act like being being CPA means you already have qualudes of experience?August 26, 2021 at 11:06 pm #3305684
I had a first round at a firm yesterday, and had a second round today; for an offer.
I had a first round today at another firm, and confirmed second round tomorrow; Feeling good about it.
I have a first round tomorrow at a a third firm.
Must say, it is a good time to be a CPA. I did ask the firm today abot training and mentoring, and it does seem like a better place. I will ask similar questions tomorrow at the other two.August 27, 2021 at 1:05 pm #3305690
This is incredible, 3 interviews in 3 consecutive days.
Good for you! let us know how it goes.August 31, 2021 at 9:44 am #3305744
@Parthamis what’s the word? Remember don’t jump at the first, go for the one that feels right. Remember, the money will come.September 1, 2021 at 1:09 am #3305759
Thanks for the support guys.
So of the three interviews, two of them gave me an offer. The one I did not get is the firm I wanted most, and I am utterly not interested in one of the firms which provided an offer. I did accept the offer to the other, but with a start date two weeks from now, giving me more time to interview in case something better does come about. I am slated for a few more interviews this week, but feeling quite good right now!
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