Skip to main content

Compensation season has begun!

That time of year, when the gossiping and speculation begins, when some directly ask how much others' raises were (which I think is ridiculous, what a kind of a question is that? Learn some manners), and some try and get a sense from the demeanor of others to see if the raises are good. Every year there's rumors - raises are going to  be great, raises going to be at market, raises are going to be bad. You usually cover the whole spectrum. When the raises are final, some go on rants about how pathetic the raises are. Some think the raises are really good. To those folks - listen, we are constantly underpaid - that is the model and I don't see that changing - so the raises are not good. Yes, the %s might be good, but the total salary for the amount you work - come on! Keep in mind you don't get equity. Especially the people who started in 2008-2009, when we didn't have raises -to you, any raise is a good raise.

People - don't compare your salary to the outside world's salary. Compare your salary to the outside world's salary + bonus + equity. It's not even close sometimes. The Firms try to spew kool-aid stating that our % raises and base salaries are pretty good. What they don't talk about is the equity you get when working in private. It's all about the equity. Keep that in mind.


Anonymous said…
I'd take more freedom (consistently having 8-9 hour days) over higher compensation--equity or not--any time. Big 4 = modern day slavery / exploitation of the youth. Seriously, life is bigger than your job.
Anonymous said…
Agree. Comparing to the outside is useless.

Now comparing up or down levels in your firm? Everyone does that..

Thank you very much for the info. I have been looking for this info for the last few days. Your efforts are appreciated.

Popular posts from this blog

career progression

"What can you tell me about the different possible tracks a person would take at the Big 4 in regards to tax vs. audit? Is there a difference in career progression among the two specialties? How about career potential? Workload?"

Loaded question. In terms of career potential, they're both pretty potent. Audit leads you to controller/accounting manager/ VP - accounting positions at companies if you choose to quit. Tax can lead to tax manager positions at various companies/ help them minimize taxes and exploit tax loopholes. It's a pretty important position in many companies...I'm not an expert on tax careers though, so you might want to ask somebody in a tax related position.
In terms of career progression, it's the same as audit...start off as a staff associate...move to senior..manager..snr mgr..partner.
In terms of workload, my friends in the tax department seem to work two busy the fall and in the spring. So I think they work more than i…


As a big four employee, lately, I've been hearing a lot about "boomerang" employees. Those who, for some reason or another, decide that leaving work when the sun is still out is not for them and alas, return back to the firm. Yes, the grass is not always greener on the other side, however, is this trending upward or about the same as it always has been? I think, also, that the firms really do a good job in highlighting those that do choose to return to make it appear more common than reality. Can you please speak about how you've seen the trend of "boomerangs" amongst the big 4? 

Good question. A boomerang, as the commenter pointed, is one who quits a big 4 Firm and then decides to return (or boomerang) back to the Firm after getting a taste of work life in the non-public accounting world.
I have seen a few return this past summer, but didn't really notice a trend until you mentioned it. It's definitely been higher than past years, but not enough to s…

auditing vs consulting

I was wondering if you could break down the career opportunities in auditing and consulting (in a big 4). I know that consulting pays more in a big 4 and has more interesting work, but it seems that auditing has extremely good exit opportunities (Financial controller, CFO etc). Any thoughts on which is better in the long run?

Well there's different consulting services offered by public accounting companies - the most popular being IT consulting and risk consulting. There are also other consulting services offered, but these two hire the most. Do they pay more? Yes, but not by much. Not enough for you to say: Shoot, the $$ is a huge reason for me to move over. Is the work more interesting than audit? Yes. You're actually looking over a company's processes and telling them what to do instead of what not to do (audit). Everyone I know who's made the switch likes it waay better than audit.
In the long run though, choosing audit vs consulting really depends on what you want t…