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Been awhile

December 7th, 2010 at 09:10 am

Still no job in public accounting.... still with my current company, just had my review and for the 4th year... still no raise despite another stellar review. The excuse this time was that although I've taken on a LOT in the past year and improved a lot of processes, I need to get into marketing and account management to get a raise. The company just doesn't value accountants - which is no surprise, I knew that all along.

Out of desperation I emailed the nearest public accounting firm and told him that I'd be willing to volunteer my expertise on a part-time basis to gain experience since everybody seems to want experience.

He wrote back instantly.

DH wasn't thrilled, still isn't. And of course, I would rather have a paid position - but even a $50K salary is a paycut compared to a $33K salary that doesn't have to pay childcare for 4 kids... at least volunteering gives me more control over my hours.

I've been applying to other accountant jobs. Have an interview with an insurance administrator company that is looking for an accountant. I'd be interviewing with the HR Director, CFO, and Director of Ops. It isn't public accounting, but it gets me closer to my goal.

I'm meeting with the nearest CPA firm on Thursday.

and I had also applied to another CPA firm in the next town that I'm following up on.

I'm also taking CPE courses that I can find for free. So far I've taken 20 CPE credits on Quickbooks, Lacerte, and ProSeries. I have 15 more to go and then I need to find 5 more to meet my goal.

Nice thing with my current job is that it is easy... so finding the time to fit in CPEs is not challenging.

The other thing I wonder about it salary... is $50K as a salary requirement low? high? average? for someone with no experience but has a master's in accounting and passed the CPA exam? I see all sorts of salary numbers ranging from $40K to $60K

But anyhow. Things are doing well.... just trying to find a solution to the job front. There is no growth in my current position and will never be... I know where I want to be. Work with a public firm and then in 10 years either be a partner, start my own firm, or get into consulting. The cornerstone of my career would be centered around technology and how accountants & business owners respond to its changing environment.

So we'll see. The strategy for 2011 is to get a paid position, but if I can't... I'll do whatever I can to stay current and gain experience in the meantime.

On a more personal note, I'm excited that my husband takes vacation starting Thursday... we celebrate our 11th anniversary this month.

11 Responses to “Been awhile”

  1. momcents Says:


    Good to hear from you. I do hope that things in your marriage are going well and you are all getting familiar with your new surroundings!

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    That's interesting that a firm would accept a volunteer position. I suppose it is a sign of the times. CPA candidates were in such high demand that "non-paid internships" did not exist when I was in college, etc. But, obviously things have swung the other way and maybe that will become more prevalent.

    Salary is the same way. Starting pay was about $30k (big 5 firm; most expensive zip codes in the U.S., mind you) circa 1999, but I'd say the pay about doubled the last decade due to huge demand. I wouldn't be surprised if starting salaries were starting to contract. OF course, this would be the most anyone would pay since I am talking a high-waged city. I do not know how smaller towns fit, accordingly. I took a 10% pay cut when we moved to Sacramento, but the benefits (overtime/profit sharing) meant I ended up being paid about the same anyway. It's infinitely cheaper to live here.

    This could just be another reason that salaries vary. I think the benefits can make or break a position. By "benefits" I do mean overtime and profit sharing. Traditional benefits like medical have been abysmal (in my experience) no matter how small or big the firm. But my boss has paid me 10% above my salary (profit sharing), plus is very generous with overtime pay. The first firm I worked for was the only one who offered overtime pay in that city, but the salary was a little less, accordingly.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. Yes, it is good to hear from you!

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S.S. My experience is an employer will pay you as little as possible. Wink BUT, good quality accountants are still hard to find. Once you prove yourself, you will get raises, etc. The economy maybe changes the playing field a bit, but I would be more focused on getting a foot in the door (as you seem to be already). The bigger salary will come if you prove to be smart and reliable.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    Nice to hear from you! Best wishes on the job front. You are definitely motivated and I don't doubt you'll get what you are looking for.

  6. Looking Forward Says:

    Happy to hear from you. Smile Good job on pursing your CPA goals. Congrats on 11 years.

  7. Joanne Says:

    Happy Anniversary... It is nice to see that you posted. Hope that things are going well for your family. good luck with your job hunt. Also, hoping that you,and your family like where you are living. I know that is tough to have to move. Take care.....

  8. ambitioussaver Says:

    MonkeyMama, got a call from the 2 CPA firms I said I'd volunteer for. One of them I meet on Thursday but the other called with a proposal. He's doing a free audit for a client that needs their system cleaned up, it'd be 200 hours towards my experience requirement I need... but it is unpaid. I feel like it'd be a good idea to take it and told him I was interested but still interviewing with other companies. They even said they'd work with me if I got a job somewhere else.

    DH is completely against it because there may not be a job offer in the end. And it would cost us about $1500 due to childcare, not to mention I am still doing my current job. Really trying to weigh this cause I know if I do this I will not have his support at all - but both firms are expanding so the prospects are good. The one I meet with on Thursday does a lot with technology which is what I would want the cornerstone of my career to be.

  9. Ima saver Says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary!!

  10. MonkeyMama Says:

    Well, I would take it. I think it sounds like a great opportunity and I am confident you can turn it into a paid position. (I was also wondering if you could keep your current job while you do some volunteering).

    On your interview, ask about what kind of work you will be doing though. For us, during tax season there is no time to train anyone, but we need a lot of administrative help. I would be wary of getting stuck in that kind of capacity (without really getting the experience you need!). The audit offer sounds pretty good though!

  11. Jerry Says:

    I can understand the concern of your DH, although if that is the only way to get experience then it might lead to something for you. It is sick and wrong that they don't value this skill set, though, and they will take free work without offering a wage or insurance or anything, but not hire a person on. I hope it all works out for you!
    Jerry

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