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Problem with Accounting Firm Job Offer, Please Help!

abc0123

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I am in a sticky situation with two job offers.

December 2012 - I accepted a full-time offer for the 7th accounting firm, since I didn't have any other full-time offers at that moment. At the same time, I accepted a summer internship for the 6th accounting firm.

September 2013 - Now after the summer internship, I have an unsigned full-time offer at the 6th accounting firm and a signed offer at the 7th accounting firm.

I have a very hard decision to make...
  • Stick with 7th and turn down 6th
  • Renege on 7th and sign with 6th

I know if I had both offers at the same time, I would hands down choose 6th over 7th.

There are pros and cons to both offers.

If I choose 6th -- Focuses in the industry that I want to be in, Higher compensation but start later in the year, Have a few months off to study for the CPA but might be too much time, More prestigious firm, More structured career path, International opportunities

If I choose 7th -- Work in various industries and various service lines, Lower compensation but start earlier in the year, No time off to study for the CPA, Less prestigious firm, Seems like people get stuck at a certain title for a long time, A national firm

In the meantime, I have been thinking about sticking with 7th and kindly turning down 6th because of the earlier start date. Hopefully, I would maintain a positive relationship with 6th and in the future if I wanted to join 6th, it would be an easier process. There is a part of me where I feel like I am sabotaging my career if I choose 7th because I am starting at a less renowned firm and wasting years of experience there. Another pro to starting at 7th is that I would receive a midyear minor bonus, and if I choose 6th, I wouldn't have even started working yet.

Please feel free to give your advice.
Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have been extremely stressed about the situation. Let me know if you are confused about anything.
Thank you.
 
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Joffrey

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Take the 6th. The 7th accounting firm will replace you with someone else.
 

jbarwick

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I agree on the 6th as well. But adding some sort of dates to this would help like 7th starts January 2014 and 6th starts August 2014.
 

Fuuma

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You're a number on a list, no one cares, if you take the firm you like (6th) the 7th will go down the list and hire the next guy who will give them the same services as you would have. On the other hand you'll have a job dealing with the industry you want and with the career opportunities you are looking for. There is no choice to make, you already know you which firm you want to go with, you're the only person you have to care about, the other side is a company. Just make sure you're polite and explain you had an unexpected offer that is more in-line blabla or whatever is the usual excuse in your industry. They see this shit all the time.
 

lawyerdad

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What Joffrey and Fuuma said, basically.
If this statement is true:
I know if I had both offers at the same time, I would hands down choose 6th over 7th.
it's a no-brainer. In effect, you do have both offers at the same time now, even if you did not receive them at the same time. Choose the one that offers the better opportunity.
 

abc0123

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I agree on the 6th as well. But adding some sort of dates to this would help like 7th starts January 2014 and 6th starts August 2014.
It's about 9 months apart. So choosing 6th would mean missing out on 9 months of earning potential.

Thank you for all the responses.

How should I explain it to the 7th firm if I decide to choose 6th?
 

Joffrey

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A lot can happen in 9 months. What will you be doing in the mean time? Will studying for the CPA take up all that time? IF I was in your shoes I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be sitting idly for 9 months to start working. I would consider taking the job with the 7th company and then leaving for the 6th ranked when they're ready to take you on (of course you could stay with the 7th firm if you wind up happy there). This is may sound pretty douchey, but if the 6th ranked company came to financial troubles before your start date, don't think they'd think twice about reneging on the offer they handed you.

ps - as Texasmade suggested, see if you can move the start date forward before considering the above.
 
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Texasmade

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It's about 9 months apart. So choosing 6th would mean missing out on 9 months of earning potential.
 
Thank you for all the responses.
 
How should I explain it to the 7th firm if I decide to choose 6th?

Ask to move your start date up. Tell 7th you won't be able to accept their offer anymore. They'll move on.
 

Texasmade

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Just go with Grant Thornton over CBIZ. Also, I'd scratch off the international opportunities part unless you're a manager or above. At least that's how it was when I was at Grant Thornton in audit.
 

abc0123

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A lot can happen in 9 months. What will you be doing in the mean time? Will studying for the CPA take up all that time? IF I was in your shoes I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be sitting idly for 9 months to start working. I would consider taking the job with the 7th company and then leaving for the 6th ranked when they're ready to take you on (of course you could stay with the 7th firm if you wind up happy there). This is may sound pretty douchey, but if the 6th ranked company came to financial troubles before your start date, don't think they'd think twice about reneging on the offer they handed you.

ps - as Texasmade suggested, see if you can move the start date forward before considering the above.
I agree with what you're saying about sitting idly for 9 months and studying for the CPA...It's a lot of time.

The start date cannot be changed.

Also if I told 7th that I cannot take the offer, could 6th find out and take back their offer? Should I disclose to 6th that I am backing out of an offer to accept their offer?
 

Texasmade

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 Also if I told 7th that I cannot take the offer, could 6th find out and take back their offer? Should I disclose to 6th that I am backing out of an offer to accept their offer?

No. Grant Thornton doesn't give 2 shits on what you did to get there as long as you didn't lie on your resume, commit a felony, or commit some kind of financial fraud. No need to disclose any prior offers since they won't care.
 

lawyerdad

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It's about 9 months apart. So choosing 6th would mean missing out on 9 months of earning potential.
 

If your situation is such that you really need the income now, that's obviously a consideration. Otherwise, you have something like 450-500 months of working/earning potential to look forward to. Nine month blocks of unstructured time: not so much. If you can afford to get by until you start working, treat this as an opportunity rather than a cost. Similar opportunities are likely to be few and far between in the coming years.
 
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Fuuma

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If you need the 9 months of $$ take the 7th then dump them for the 6th, problem solved.
 

Certified Pain

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Take the 6th.

That extra time you have? Use that to study your ass off for the CPA.

I work for a bigger firm than you do and the number one career killer is seniors struggling to pass the CPA. No CPA means no promotion. Then you're in limbo because you won't get adequate time to pass while working, and you're not experienced enough to make the jump to a controller/assistant controller job for most employers.

Not to mention, most firms have a fairly sizable compensation arrangement when you pass the CPA prior to starting at the firm.



Quote: This is public accounting we're talking about here, money isn't an issue for any of the top 10 firms in the United States. There's more churn and burn in this industry from a staff perspective than most any other industry out there. They're almost always hiring.
 
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