I left Big 4 as an A3 and I have now been in industry for 2 and a half years. I did a year in IA and was promoted to a BU Controller for the past year and a half. I have recently been questioning my upward potential at my current company and have considered going back to Big 4. However, I am wondering how this works for people who have have been out for multiple years. First, I currently make the equivalent of an M2 salary. If I were to go back to my firm without losing time, I would be considered an S3. Woukd they discount my time in industry and force me back to an S2 or possibly even S1 (which is obviously unacceptable)? Second, I don't see how I could avoid a pay cut but how can I minimize?