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On the topic of leaving, what are some of the best offers you've heard colleagues take elsewhere when they left at the Sr. Associate level. (based on salary and work/life- assuming the Sr. was making around 70k) I'm curious what kind of "jumps" are possible?

Good question. most senior associates who leave get a pretty significant raise..between 15-30%, plus bonuses. Most go to senior accountant, manager or assistant controller. Sure, the firms make sure everyone knows that these new salaries will stay the same for atleast 2-3 years. But by the time we get to a 20-30% increase if we stay at our firms, it'll take 2-3 years anyway. The alums could have already moved on by then. Spoke to one friend who recently got a 30% bump, including the yearly bonus.
More importantly, 8 out of 10 people who leave/got laid off have said/will say that it was the best thing that happened to them, because they are significantly happier. I mean, their smiles are plastered to their faces. Some go out of their way to tell you how much they love their job and pay. Jobs with similar pay increases are out there, trust me. As much as the economy's still spluttering, companies do need accountants. If you look, you'll find it. Unless you're real picky, then it might take time.


Anonymous said…
Thanks for answering the question! Your blog is helpful: you speak on a lot of topics that would be uncomfortable discussing amongst colleagues.
Good blog. Please consider being a guest blogger on the AngryAccountants blog:
Anonymous said…
Great post. But I don't really know if I should agree with " But by the time we get to a 20-30% increase if we stay at our firms, it'll take 2-3 years anyway.".

I work at a big 4 firm and we are having pay freeze this year ( and possibly next year) except for those one who got promoted. However, the pay raise for the promotees are just about 5% this year.
The JZA said…
Hell yeah, I've only been big 4 for a year and already i'm going through several drafts of my good-bye email. I think my final version will look something like this:

It's been great,
but I'm leaving too late.
jack james said…
When I was job hunting back in 2005-2006, I used many websites to aid in my search. was one of these sites. Its interface is not very friendly and not very fun to look at. Its very bare bones and finding the jobs you are wanting to find can be tedious. I was able to find lots of jobs there though and got a lot of interviews through the job listings I replied to via this site, but I did not actually find a job through this site. I would recommend it to everyone just the same though, as you can never have too many places to look for a job when you need one. Its a good resource once you get used to it and learn all its secrets.
Anonymous said…
I got laid off in March of 2009. I was Senior (2.5 yrs experience). Found a job making 35% more. Quality of life is great as well.
Anonymous said…
So would you say that it was a blessing in disguise to get laid off? I'm thinking about making the jump very soon even though the economy sucks.

Just trying to think how to tell the partners. They keep telling that I'm not allowed to go.
Anonymous said…
should i leave Big 4 for a job as an individual income tax auditor? i have been working at big 4 for 4 months but i hate it. any advice??
Anonymous said…
Just a question. I am starting at a Big4 firm in October this year. I've done two summer internships with them already and I have already heard many horror stories about the busy season hours + studying for exams. I've had many second thoughts about the designation.. just wondering if you could shed some light on whether it's really worth it to pursue the CA? Does it really open up doors to move into good financial roles in industry?

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