August 20, 2018

Can I move from tax to financial reporting?

Ed. note: A query from the mailbag.

Hey GC,

After months and months of stressing about my exit opportunities from public accounting tax, I’ve come to the conclusion that tax accounting may not possibly be the ass crack of the accounting world, but it sure as well might be the space between toes of the accounting world or the back of the knee cap of the accounting world. That being said, compensation is pretty good.
I am now starting my second year as a senior associate (3+ years experience at Grant Thornton) and a promotion to manager is staring me right down in the face. I’m worried about what else I can do as a tax manager since most industry tax manager jobs are quite competitive. And all in all, tax accounting is not the accounting i studied back in school or for most of the CPA exam. I have been talking to recruiters about exit opportunities but they are only interested in placing tax professionals into other mid level tax roles (probably so they can get the most commission). My question is…..how tf can I get an experienced accounting/financial reporting role in industry with a tax background? Is it even possible? I’m not looking for a senior accountant position, but maybe an experienced hire position. Or am I pigeon holed into a tax role the rest of my career unless a take a huge pay cut (I’m OK taking less money to do something I’m more interested in, but if we are talking a 20-30% paycut, I’m screwed)?
Any insight into this conundrum would be appreciated.
Sincerely,
The Back of a Sweaty Knee Cap of the Accounting World.

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