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Old 02-06-2013, 12:22 PM   #31
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My wife and I are both accountants (in fact, we met in college in Accounting 201). We both passed the CPA exam, although my certification went inactive years ago. I have an MBA exam, which my wife doesn't.

We went completely different routes with our careers, however. As someone else said, there's a wide variety of job paths for accounting majors, especially when you combine the degree with other educational backgrounds.

I was more into IT, so my career has been more in the consulting and analytical areas. My wife was more traditional, going with a (then) Big 6 firm out of college in their auditing department. She's been with them now 19 years, the last 7 as a partner.

My hours have been pretty flexible and all over the map, from working long hours and travelling internationally (as an IT consultant) to being in a traditional 9-5 job as I am right now. My wife's hours, as you can expect, are generally much longer, mostly during the Jan-March time frame, which is the traditional busy season for auditors, with some other peaks during the year for quarterly statements and other projects that pop up.

I'm not sure if a traditional (e.g. Big 4) career path is what you'd want to look for, as they tend to lean toward their new hires being the 20-somethings coming out of school these days, but a smaller, local firm could be a good option as well as a number of analyst-type positions that most companies are often hiring for.

Good luck in whatever endeavor you decide on.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:25 PM   #32
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I am a retired CPA but never worked for an accounting firm.

When I retired from the Federal Government in January 2003 I was one of three people involved in the running of the Central Accounting System of the Federal Courts, and my salary at time of retirement was $108,000.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:41 PM   #33
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My degree is in Accounting and I graduated in 2010, it took me 18 months to get a job in Accounting and that was with a good GPA. I was employed with the state government and loved my job, pay was about 40k. Now we had to move last fall for DH's job and I have been unemployed and looking for 4 months, hoping its not 18 again. I know lots of people that I graduated with struggling to find work in the field. Many never got jobs in accounting and are still working retail or waitressing or whatever they were doing while in school.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:07 PM   #34
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I started off as an auditor at a mid-size National firm (which means Not Big 4), and stayed there for 4 years before not coming back from maternity leave in 2008. The starting salary for new hires when I left was $50K and I think they've stayed at that level ever since. The entire 4 years I was there they were hiring 25-50 new grads in my office every summer and couldn't keep up, and as soon as I left layoffs started. I think the industry is still recovering. Yes I worked 50-65 hours some weeks and could never take off from Jan 2-April 15th, but raises every year were in the 10% range.

2.5 years into staying home with DS and a tax job fell in my lap when I wasn't looking. I'm in a corporate setting now. I have a much better work life balance, only come in the office 4 days a week, and work 10 minutes from home instead of commuting into the city. I also still don't make what I was making when I left my last job in 2008, but I'm much happier at this point in my life. The accounting degree and the experience in public got me this job. I'm glad I'll always be able to have roots in public, because many employers appreciate that.

I finally recently applied to sit in MD, I have my 150, I just don't have the energy to study. I don't need it in my job, or any in this company, but it definitely gives you the edge when you are looking to move up.

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:07 PM   #35
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I have my Accounting degree, and I have my CPA but am inactive. Having my CPA only mattered when I worked for a public accounting firm as an auditor. I worked in private accounting after public accounting for awhile then took off to raise my boys until they were in school. Now I work part-time as an accountant, and I really only have to work a lot of overtime during our year end.

Do I like it? Honestly, not really, but I have a good job with good hours for the most part. I wish I would have become a teacher or something else. But everyone has their own likes and dislikes. You may really enjoy it. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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