Do large firms pay absurdly more?

  • Creator
  • #3306302

    I’ve been to a few firms. My first firm out of college paid 62k to the freshman class. Few things happen, not going my way and I get let go. This was a national firm, 800 people in 5 locations.

    I’ve been to a couple firms since. 45k starting out as if I was fresh out of college this was a 40 person firm, although it was quite terrible how the partners treated us. The next firm with over a year of experience, paid me 55k with my CPA. The firm I’m at now has me doing basic reviews of 1040s and preparation of larger returns, are paying 58k.

    An I wasting my time on smaller firms? I just stared my job, but I’m thinking next summer taking everything I know to a mid tier firm if I can’t get paid well.

    Parthamis Prime

    AUD - 73, 75... and done.


    BEC - 78

    REG - 81

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #3306305

    I'd focus on expanding your skill set to make yourself more valuable, and consistently ask for feedback, and performance reviews every 3-6 months or whatever is appropriate for your role and job title. Based on your last few threads created, it sounds like there were some expectation gaps at the last couple firms you were with. A bunch of short stints at firms isn't going to build that proper foundation that you really need later on in your career, as each employer likely expects your skill set is ahead of where it really is, so you get gaps.
    I'm not really sure if $58k is unreasonable, I don't know where you live.
    Larger firms do typically pay more, and require more in exchange for the higher salary.
    The larger the firm, the more gross, and more overhead, more employees, but in general there is more money to go around.

    Memento Mori - Kingston NY CPA & EA (SUNY Albany 2002)

    FAR-93 11/9/17 (10wks, 250 hrs, Roger 1800+ MCQs, Gleim TB 600+MCQs, SIMs)
    AUD-88 12/7/17 (3 wks, 85 hrs, Roger 1000 MCQs no SIMs hail mary)
    REG-96 1/18/18 (6 wks, 110 hrs, 1400 MCQs, no SIMs)
    BEC-91 2/16/18 (4wks, 90 hrs, 1240 MCQs)


    I think it depends on a couple of factors. Location, your title at your job, company size. I worked at Deloitte (Chicago) in audit for about 6-7 months and my starting salary was $60K. I know other first-years from Deloitte audit who made a little less, because they were in smaller offices. I believe NY and CA have starting salaries similar to the Chicago office (at least, from what I was told).

    Next job, I was a staff accountant making $62K. Got my CPA and got a raise of $2K, so now I'm at $64K. After 2 years of working there, I wasn't happy with my job, my pay, co-workers, so I left and got a job as a senior accountant at a much smaller company (200 people). Now I make $80K. If I was a staff, I'm sure they would've paid less. If I didn't have my CPA license, I know they would have offered less.

    I'd say focus on applying to more senior roles if you can. They should pay you more. And having the CPA gives you a boost over candidates without one (tho obviously that's not the only thing companies care about). Try using payscale or glassdoor to see what your salary should be. That could help if you're negotiating salary! Best of luck 🙂

    "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Licensed CPA in IL

    FAR-72, 55, 82 (Roger + Wiley TB)
    AUD-66, 92 (Roger)
    REG-71, 81 (Roger + Wiley TB)
    BEC-77 (Roger)
    Ethics- 93


    Yes, I think they can pay you more. It all depends on you.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.