Small local CPA firms?

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  • #182270 Reply
    mla1169
    Participant

    I have no desire to work big 4 (I'm an old lady after all). But I would like to get some attest experience and upgrade my non-reporting license. Currently I'm the accounting manager at a small company.

    I met a guy who owns his own CPA firm through our kids' sports activity. Emailed him my resume. Yesterday he called and really wants to get me in there doing the front desk (LOL!) I told him I am not looking to take a cut in pay right now and he said he could make this a hybrid front desk/audit/payroll whatever else is needed type job. He said currently he and the other 2 partners answer the phones.

    My question is this. Obviously nobody can tell me what they're going to offer me or if it matches my salary. BUT has anybody worked for a small firm where the “Front desk” person ends up making a salary similar to a senior? I'm thinking not likely but open minded.

    #485067 Reply
    acamp
    Participant

    That doesnt sound like a good direction to take your career. You may not want Big4 (although I have seen a decent amount of older people working in Big4s as entry level–my aunt for example had YEARS of accounting experience but no attest and went to work for DT for a couple years in her late late 40s/early 50s), but considering a position where they see someone with a CPA and currently an accounting manager and want to propose the front desk, doesnt sound like people who are likely to develop their staff.

    I would say you could do Big4, and should not consider anything less than a regional or very large local firm. I mean, is your desire to just get the Attest stamped onto your license, or to actually get some great attest experience? I mean it as a fair question not meant to be jabby, as you could probably get the A-stamp at this little firm, but I think the experience of a larger firm might be more rewarding.

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    California CPA - Big4 Aud Manager Alum - Private Accounting at Startups

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    #485092 Reply
    acamp
    Participant

    That doesnt sound like a good direction to take your career. You may not want Big4 (although I have seen a decent amount of older people working in Big4s as entry level–my aunt for example had YEARS of accounting experience but no attest and went to work for DT for a couple years in her late late 40s/early 50s), but considering a position where they see someone with a CPA and currently an accounting manager and want to propose the front desk, doesnt sound like people who are likely to develop their staff.

    I would say you could do Big4, and should not consider anything less than a regional or very large local firm. I mean, is your desire to just get the Attest stamped onto your license, or to actually get some great attest experience? I mean it as a fair question not meant to be jabby, as you could probably get the A-stamp at this little firm, but I think the experience of a larger firm might be more rewarding.

    Self proclaimed: Highest ratio of Replies to Others v. Posts Created on A71

    California CPA - Big4 Aud Manager Alum - Private Accounting at Startups

    FAR, REG and BEC with Ninja Notes + WTB Only

    #485069 Reply
    mla1169
    Participant

    My desire is seriously just to get the attest stamped on my license. Frankly if I could attest to the flavor of my coffee at this point,I would. I'm not necessarily looking to develop my career. But whatever experience I can add without decreasing my income is fine by me.

    And they don't have staff to develop per se. Its just two CPA's in their office who do everything themselves from scheduling appointments to answering phones. They want an extra set of hands, basically. When I hesitated he was willing to offer me the world (do I want to learn tax part time while I stay at my job? Would I have interest in coming in at a partner level if I could bring in clients, etc?) Obviously I'm in no position to bring in clients OR a partner type arrangement. So he's basically trying to see how the two of them could fit me into their office.

    #485094 Reply
    mla1169
    Participant

    My desire is seriously just to get the attest stamped on my license. Frankly if I could attest to the flavor of my coffee at this point,I would. I'm not necessarily looking to develop my career. But whatever experience I can add without decreasing my income is fine by me.

    And they don't have staff to develop per se. Its just two CPA's in their office who do everything themselves from scheduling appointments to answering phones. They want an extra set of hands, basically. When I hesitated he was willing to offer me the world (do I want to learn tax part time while I stay at my job? Would I have interest in coming in at a partner level if I could bring in clients, etc?) Obviously I'm in no position to bring in clients OR a partner type arrangement. So he's basically trying to see how the two of them could fit me into their office.

    #485071 Reply
    acamp
    Participant

    Gotcha, I would kinda spell that out to them.

    You need x money, and you are interested in attest work, but don't mind playing front desk so long as you can get your hands on real work.

    My fear would be, with a position like this, that you'll being doing 95% answering phones/other non-accounting work and end up sorta stuck. Does this firm have other employees outside of the partner?

    I like the idea of a small (but larger) CPA firm, where you'd be hired as an auditor. You also need to look into the actual attest requirements, I know my firm won't sign the attest until you've done supervising and planning, but that might just be a firm thing and not necessarily an attest requirement.

    Self proclaimed: Highest ratio of Replies to Others v. Posts Created on A71

    California CPA - Big4 Aud Manager Alum - Private Accounting at Startups

    FAR, REG and BEC with Ninja Notes + WTB Only

    #485096 Reply
    acamp
    Participant

    Gotcha, I would kinda spell that out to them.

    You need x money, and you are interested in attest work, but don't mind playing front desk so long as you can get your hands on real work.

    My fear would be, with a position like this, that you'll being doing 95% answering phones/other non-accounting work and end up sorta stuck. Does this firm have other employees outside of the partner?

    I like the idea of a small (but larger) CPA firm, where you'd be hired as an auditor. You also need to look into the actual attest requirements, I know my firm won't sign the attest until you've done supervising and planning, but that might just be a firm thing and not necessarily an attest requirement.

    Self proclaimed: Highest ratio of Replies to Others v. Posts Created on A71

    California CPA - Big4 Aud Manager Alum - Private Accounting at Startups

    FAR, REG and BEC with Ninja Notes + WTB Only

    #485073 Reply
    mla1169
    Participant

    Good point about the specific attest requirements, will have to look into that over the weekend. Just willing to make a few sacrifices because (a) its a 5 minute commute compared to a 70 minute commute, (b) since those two make the football schedule I'm guessing they're sympathetic when I have to get my cheerleader to a game THEY scheduled (lol) and (c) their office is at our practice facility so I can always get my daughter to practice on time then work during her schedule. Its a mommy dream, at least for the next few years.

    No I wouldn't have the opportunity to supervise or manage anybody it literally is just the two dudes 🙂

    #485098 Reply
    mla1169
    Participant

    Good point about the specific attest requirements, will have to look into that over the weekend. Just willing to make a few sacrifices because (a) its a 5 minute commute compared to a 70 minute commute, (b) since those two make the football schedule I'm guessing they're sympathetic when I have to get my cheerleader to a game THEY scheduled (lol) and (c) their office is at our practice facility so I can always get my daughter to practice on time then work during her schedule. Its a mommy dream, at least for the next few years.

    No I wouldn't have the opportunity to supervise or manage anybody it literally is just the two dudes 🙂

    #485075 Reply
    jw_83
    Member

    It doesn't hurt to go in and talk to them. I work at a small firm, 3 partners, 7 employees. They are flexible when it comes to my kids school programs, dr. appts, etc. Let them know what you need income wise and what type of experience you want. If they are as busy as it sounds, they may end up expanding in the next couple of years, and you won't be stuck as a receptionist.

    #485100 Reply
    jw_83
    Member

    It doesn't hurt to go in and talk to them. I work at a small firm, 3 partners, 7 employees. They are flexible when it comes to my kids school programs, dr. appts, etc. Let them know what you need income wise and what type of experience you want. If they are as busy as it sounds, they may end up expanding in the next couple of years, and you won't be stuck as a receptionist.

    #485077 Reply
    runnerup
    Member

    If he means, you'd be an auditor who would also have to answer phones and take on administrative duties and can offer you an acceptable salary, why not?

    I work for a small CPA office (no attestation work), consisting of 1 CPA, 1 non-CPA partner, and 3 employees. Flexibility for taking time off to take my kid to appts, etc is one of the benefits. I also like the relaxed atmosphere.

    #485102 Reply
    runnerup
    Member

    If he means, you'd be an auditor who would also have to answer phones and take on administrative duties and can offer you an acceptable salary, why not?

    I work for a small CPA office (no attestation work), consisting of 1 CPA, 1 non-CPA partner, and 3 employees. Flexibility for taking time off to take my kid to appts, etc is one of the benefits. I also like the relaxed atmosphere.

    #3310750 Reply
    Gus Patel
    Guest
    #3310753 Reply
    Gus Patel
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