What work perks can you expect when choosing a career in public accounting? When evaluating a potential employer (and career path), it helps to know what to expect. This will depend on the size of the firm; however, there are some universal perks that apply to working at most public accounting firms.
What work perks matter most to you?
The work perks described below may vary somewhat from firm to firm; ultimately, their importance is unique to each person’s career goals. In addition to asking about work perks, ask your potential employer what work perks set them apart from other accounting firms. Check out Weinstein Spira’s here.
Own your accounting career
First and foremost, you get to own your career—whatever you want to make of it. While there is generally an established promotion ladder, there are many things you can control as you climb that ladder.
A clearly defined path in public accounting
There is a clearly defined path in terms of promotions, from staff to senior, to supervisor, to manager and to partner/shareholder. If you stay in the public accounting field long term, you can rest assured there is always the next step to aspire to. And to help you get there, training is widely available at all levels and on different topics, provided both internally by your employer and externally by attending conferences, webinars, etc.
A flexible work schedule in public accounting
Another perk is schedule flexibility. While some of the work is client-facing, a lot is done independently behind the scenes, giving you more control of your schedule. In my experience, you never get the sense of punching a clock, as flex hours allow you to accomplish things when you can—a nice tradeoff when having to work lots of overtime.
A chance to get involved
There is also an opportunity to participate in other activities beyond just sitting at a desk working on tax returns, financial statements, etc. For example, in small- to mid-size firms, you can directly assist with college campus recruiting, where students really appreciate talking to an actual accountant. You can work on marketing materials (like this blog post) to help with business communications and development. And most firms these days make it a point to hold happy hours or other types of networking opportunities, even sports teams to promote socializing among colleagues.
A steady job as a public accountant
An obvious perk, and the reason many accountants choose to go into the field, is job security. This applies across the board, whether you target a middle-market public accounting firm, such as Weinstein Spira, or an accounting position in a larger firm or a specific industry. While there is no guarantee at any particular firm, there is always a need for accounting services, and accountants to provide them.
Looking for a new public accounting firm position?
Exposure to clients
A middle-market perk that appeals to certain personalities is exposure to clients. As you work your way up, this exposure increases with less and less supervisory intervention. But along the way, you get to work on tax returns and/or audits for a variety of clients and business scenarios.
Working with partners or shareholders at public accounting firms
Again, depending on the size of the firm, you stand to gain a lot of knowledge from working alongside partners and shareholders. Through conversations with these highly experienced professionals, you learn the language and how they handle certain situations. This exposure is invaluable for your career and personal development.
After deciding what perks mean the most to you, take the top three and find the firm that offers them. This will help identify the best fit for you, now and in the future.
To ensure the perks are the real deal, make it a point to talk to someone who works there, or search online for employee feedback about the firm. Social media is typically a good indicator of job satisfaction.