For decades those seeking a career in accounting have been focused on one thing – getting a job at a big firm (preferably one of The Big Four) and working up that corporate ladder. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this method, I started my career at what is now Deloitte, I feel that the pressure to join one of the big firms has cause many prospective accountants to overlook small firms altogether.
According to “The Great American Accounting Opportunity” in the October 2014 issue of Accounting Today, this is largely due to most colleges/universities exclusively promoting the Big Four as the first step down an accounting career path. This has proven to be detrimental in at least two ways – students are insulated from potential career choices and smaller firms do not have as much access to fresh talent.
The same article mentions an AICPA study which cites that as much as 75% of the profession’s leadership will retire over the next 10 years. This is a huge percentage and opens the door for a ton of opportunity at all levels of the industry. Since small firms represent up to 99% of the overall industry, this means there are massive opportunities for growth with small firms.
Progressive smaller firms can offer similar salaries and career trajectories as the large firms, but also are much more focused on the whole person and achieving and effective work/life balance – something almost impossible to achieve when just a cog in a huge machine.
“There truly has never been a better time to be part of a small firm” the article states, and I couldn’t agree more. The days of mountains of paper, long hours, ineffective branding and manual tasks are over. Many of us smaller firms are paperless and offer plenty of digital and cloud-based workflow tools in addition to having a strong identity.
Now is the time to work for a small firm, and I’m glad PFC is here with 30 years of experience under our belt with which to move forward.