Quitting Big 4 at the end of the year – Help needed

By | 3 weeks ago

I plan to leave my big 4 firm after completing my second year. I have a new job lined up with a buddy of mine and I can start anytime starting in September, but I want to wait until January. I currently have vacation booked for a few weeks around Christmas and New Year time. I’m going into real estate, and I won’t be doing any accounting. I have passed all my CPA exams and the firm has submitted my work experience to the CPA board. I’m just waiting to hear back from the board. I don’t have any plans to come back to a career in accounting, but I do want to make sure I don’t burn any bridges in case I have to come back out of necessity – I realize that the real estate business is very cyclical.

With that info in mind, here are my questions:
– Is it a complete dick move to wait and quit at the end of December, shortly before busy season starts in mid-January? How do big4 firms view that? I would guess that it is fairly common. I’m not particularly afraid of how pissing people off might affect my future, but I also want to quit without screwing over the people I work with.
– If I put in my resignation notice right before my December vacation, and they decided to let me go right then and there, would I still get paid for vacation that I had accumulated but not used anyway? And would I still keep my insurance until the end of December? It seems to me like terminating my employment right before my vacation would be the same as remaining an employee on vacation for those few weeks. Do I understand that right?
– I would like to call myself a CPA in my new line of work (on linkedin, business cards, etc.) because I think it shows people how competent I am even though it has little to do with the work I’ll be doing. Can I do that if I don’t keep my license active?
– If I have to keep my license active to call myself a CPA, is it worth it? What are the education hours required in CA? the cost?

Thanks in advance!