Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

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HardHitter
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:41 pm

Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by HardHitter » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:11 pm

Looking to see how many former Big 4 (audit, tax or advisory) employees are on here who left for industry

Focusing on compensation increase (e.g. $100K to $120K) to see if considering the jump is worth it.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:43 pm

Oftentimes compensation will be comparable but working hours will be much better.

buzzbuzzbuzz
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by buzzbuzzbuzz » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:59 pm

It would probably make sense to list which industry you're focused on as that will play a significant role in comp.

HornedToad
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by HornedToad » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:20 pm

The GoingConcern website has a fair amount of information on this as well.

Depending on your current level, it's probably equivalent to the raise you'd get from another year or two worth of raises (10-25% bump) in Big 4 with better WLB. However the long term raises are typically lower over time. At the Sr. Manager+ level industry would probably more just match comp with better hours.

NJ-Irish
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by NJ-Irish » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:58 am

Comparing similar jobs from big 4 to private, the comp is roughly similar. Private might pay 10-20% higher depending on industry. That is when comparing similar jobs (Sr associate vs Sr accountant).

Advantage of big 4 is that your growth within the firm is nearly gauranteed, as long as you do well. Pay raises are commensurate with that growth.

Within private industry the situation becomes murkier and job growth slows down. If you want to see your salary continue to grow at a similar rate which it would in the big 4, you need to find a situation which you can get promoted early/often. Or you need to be willing to hop around for promotions.

Zoe Jane
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by Zoe Jane » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:42 am

Total comp went up about 30% at the Sr. Manager level, mostly driven by bonuses and increased 401k match. MCOL area, tax specialty function.

If you haven’t made manager yet, I would advise you to tough it out until manager if possible. Leaving at a senior level can be career limiting since many companies will recruit management level people from Big 4 and not necessarily promote from within.

TDCumm16
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by TDCumm16 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:52 am

I’d say best data on this question right now is Fishbowl app - a ton of comp related discussion and data.

I do believe all that matters here is your data point. Different LOS at B4 have highly different pay scales as your current point. I’d also encourage you to research the specific types of jobs and companies you’d consider leaving for in industry - there should be enough comp data available that you should have a good sense what your current skill set is likely to pay in industry. In general, I’d say a small bump is possible from the associate - manager levels. Once you hit the upper Sr Mgr and Director levels you are highly comped and valuable to Big 4 - at this point it can be difficult to match your pay in industry depending on your function.

My experience was 13 years in B4 consulting. Was highly paid at end and took a slight pay cut when moved to industry (tech space). With little kids at home has been completely worth it on the work life balance front - spending so many years 125+ nights/year in a hotel just seems foolish now. I’d credit the bogglehead and LBYM lifestyle and lessons as giving me flexibility to make a 10-15% cut in pay inconsequential in the decision. With the years in B4 saving and investing like crazy I had the financial security and foundation when exiting that pay was not going to have a material impact now in my financial position

neoptolemus412
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by neoptolemus412 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:02 am

Some good posts, but here's my take. Leave between year 4 - 8. Preferably during a period where you are of sound mind and not burned out after a busy period. For higher compensation, transfer into a niche group or an advisory group before leaving public. I also tell people move to a VHCOL city, preferably NYC where you can control costs much better. Housing costs go up, but you can live without a car, live with roommates, etc. when young. I did this and got my salary up very quickly as much better opportunities arise in VHCOL areas that need the roles filled with local talent.

MikeG62
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by MikeG62 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:31 am

HardHitter wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:11 pm
Looking to see how many former Big 4 (audit, tax or advisory) employees are on here who left for industry

Focusing on compensation increase (e.g. $100K to $120K) to see if considering the jump is worth it.
My perspective is quite dated, but here it is.

I joined when there were "8" and not "4" large firms. I stayed for a bit over eight years (was a senior audit manager). Left to take a management level position in industry. From there worked my way up to Controller, then Chief Accounting Officer and eventually to SVP of Finance (this was a multi-billion dollar NYSE company, although not a mega-corp).

So my advice would be to focus more on the opportunity and not necessarily the immediate pay increase. Stay long enough that when you leave and launch into a company it is at an appropriately high level. Go to a place where you think there is real opportunity for growth.

I was fortunate, picked the right opportunity. I semi-retired at 44 and full retired at 53. DW was s SAHM all the while.

Good luck!
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

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hornet96
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by hornet96 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:00 am

Left big 4 as an audit senior manager in 2014, to go work at a local fortune 200 company. My total comp nearly doubled the first year after I left. Hours were about half as much as big 4, with little to no travel.

Job growth since has been muted, but given current situation with family, kids, etc it was a no brainer for me (work half as much for twice the pay).

YMMV. :sharebeer

champion_ham
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by champion_ham » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:42 am

I think this all depends on the industry and company you're jumping to, as well as your work ethic. A family member of mine worked at big 4 in audit and jumped to industry after about 1.5 years. The family member started at a comparative salary to the big 4 salary, but work-life balance increased exponentially. It's been ~5 years since the family member left big 4, and they have received 3 promotions at the industry job since leaving. I would say pay now is quite a bit higher at the industry than if they would have stayed in big 4. I'm not sure if this is typical...there are many factors that contribute to this, such as industry, company, work ethic, right place/right time, etc.

Over the years, I've seen internal company candidates beat out external big 4 candidates at all levels more often that not. Mainly because, the internal candidate already knows the company culture, and the company would rather promote from within.

Best of luck.

SQRT
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by SQRT » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:32 am

Really depends. Most industry jobs have a lot more upside than the accounting firms. A senior finance exec at a large company will make multiples of even the most senior accounting partners. But takes a lot of work,ability, not to mention luck to get these type of positions. On average though, I think industry pays more.

The jobs in industry are usually more impactful as well. What I mean is that you are actually making important business decisions rather that consulting or auditing. I found this distinction important.

I left E&Y as a senior audit manager in 1987 by 1999 I was the CFO of a very large bank. Good move? You bet it was.

HardHitter
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by HardHitter » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:20 am

Interesting to hear the feedback. From the sounds of it, it seems I have been very lucky with my career and work/life balance

To give my background

- I'm am a early year Director in the advisory practice of the Big 4.
- Current Salary range in a HCOL area is $160K.
- I've averaged $10-$13K raises each year with $10-13K bonuses. Promotion years have been $20-$25K increases
- Work life balance has been great. We can work remotely, never need to work weekends and on average do 40/hrs a week

From the responses, it sounds as though once you make Director and up, compensation wise, the Big 4 is going to surpass industry and that most people make the jump not always because there is a huge increase in compensation, but they are wanting to have a better work/life balance.

I've recently applied to a few positions to see what my value is in the marketplace and when asked what my expected compensation is, I've told them in the range of $200K+ and it sounds as though it is out of their range (going to a Manager or Senior Manager role).

Maybe I am one of the lucky ones at the Big 4 around comp/work life balance.

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 111
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Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:01 am

HardHitter wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:20 am
Interesting to hear the feedback. From the sounds of it, it seems I have been very lucky with my career and work/life balance

To give my background

- I'm am a early year Director in the advisory practice of the Big 4.
- Current Salary range in a HCOL area is $160K.
- I've averaged $10-$13K raises each year with $10-13K bonuses. Promotion years have been $20-$25K increases
- Work life balance has been great. We can work remotely, never need to work weekends and on average do 40/hrs a week

From the responses, it sounds as though once you make Director and up, compensation wise, the Big 4 is going to surpass industry and that most people make the jump not always because there is a huge increase in compensation, but they are wanting to have a better work/life balance.

I've recently applied to a few positions to see what my value is in the marketplace and when asked what my expected compensation is, I've told them in the range of $200K+ and it sounds as though it is out of their range (going to a Manager or Senior Manager role).

Maybe I am one of the lucky ones at the Big 4 around comp/work life balance.
If you are willing to trade your HCOL for a VHCOL you can achieve your numbers. I live in the Bay Area and my wife makes $170k base as a manager at PwC Advisory. Manager jobs in the pharma and tech companies she has been talking to around here have offered $200k all-in (base+bonus+stock).

HardHitter
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:41 pm

Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by HardHitter » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:33 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:01 am
HardHitter wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:20 am
Interesting to hear the feedback. From the sounds of it, it seems I have been very lucky with my career and work/life balance

To give my background

- I'm am a early year Director in the advisory practice of the Big 4.
- Current Salary range in a HCOL area is $160K.
- I've averaged $10-$13K raises each year with $10-13K bonuses. Promotion years have been $20-$25K increases
- Work life balance has been great. We can work remotely, never need to work weekends and on average do 40/hrs a week

From the responses, it sounds as though once you make Director and up, compensation wise, the Big 4 is going to surpass industry and that most people make the jump not always because there is a huge increase in compensation, but they are wanting to have a better work/life balance.

I've recently applied to a few positions to see what my value is in the marketplace and when asked what my expected compensation is, I've told them in the range of $200K+ and it sounds as though it is out of their range (going to a Manager or Senior Manager role).

Maybe I am one of the lucky ones at the Big 4 around comp/work life balance.
If you are willing to trade your HCOL for a VHCOL you can achieve your numbers. I live in the Bay Area and my wife makes $170k base as a manager at PwC Advisory. Manager jobs in the pharma and tech companies she has been talking to around here have offered $200k all-in (base+bonus+stock).
I am in the Bay Area as well. Based upon what you just mentioned about your wife, looks like I'm underpaid. How many years experience does she have? Usually one makes manager 4 years out of college. If she's making $170K at only 4 years of experience, then she's got a great gig. 40 hour work weeks as well?

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 pm

Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:02 am

She has 10 years of experience, and on track to make Director next year. Yes 40 hour workeeeks with only local clients.
HardHitter wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:33 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:01 am
HardHitter wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:20 am
Interesting to hear the feedback. From the sounds of it, it seems I have been very lucky with my career and work/life balance

To give my background

- I'm am a early year Director in the advisory practice of the Big 4.
- Current Salary range in a HCOL area is $160K.
- I've averaged $10-$13K raises each year with $10-13K bonuses. Promotion years have been $20-$25K increases
- Work life balance has been great. We can work remotely, never need to work weekends and on average do 40/hrs a week

From the responses, it sounds as though once you make Director and up, compensation wise, the Big 4 is going to surpass industry and that most people make the jump not always because there is a huge increase in compensation, but they are wanting to have a better work/life balance.

I've recently applied to a few positions to see what my value is in the marketplace and when asked what my expected compensation is, I've told them in the range of $200K+ and it sounds as though it is out of their range (going to a Manager or Senior Manager role).

Maybe I am one of the lucky ones at the Big 4 around comp/work life balance.
If you are willing to trade your HCOL for a VHCOL you can achieve your numbers. I live in the Bay Area and my wife makes $170k base as a manager at PwC Advisory. Manager jobs in the pharma and tech companies she has been talking to around here have offered $200k all-in (base+bonus+stock).
I am in the Bay Area as well. Based upon what you just mentioned about your wife, looks like I'm underpaid. How many years experience does she have? Usually one makes manager 4 years out of college. If she's making $170K at only 4 years of experience, then she's got a great gig. 40 hour work weeks as well?

HardHitter
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:41 pm

Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by HardHitter » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:27 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:02 am
She has 10 years of experience, and on track to make Director next year. Yes 40 hour workeeeks with only local clients.
HardHitter wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:33 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:01 am
HardHitter wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:20 am
Interesting to hear the feedback. From the sounds of it, it seems I have been very lucky with my career and work/life balance

To give my background

- I'm am a early year Director in the advisory practice of the Big 4.
- Current Salary range in a HCOL area is $160K.
- I've averaged $10-$13K raises each year with $10-13K bonuses. Promotion years have been $20-$25K increases
- Work life balance has been great. We can work remotely, never need to work weekends and on average do 40/hrs a week

From the responses, it sounds as though once you make Director and up, compensation wise, the Big 4 is going to surpass industry and that most people make the jump not always because there is a huge increase in compensation, but they are wanting to have a better work/life balance.

I've recently applied to a few positions to see what my value is in the marketplace and when asked what my expected compensation is, I've told them in the range of $200K+ and it sounds as though it is out of their range (going to a Manager or Senior Manager role).

Maybe I am one of the lucky ones at the Big 4 around comp/work life balance.
If you are willing to trade your HCOL for a VHCOL you can achieve your numbers. I live in the Bay Area and my wife makes $170k base as a manager at PwC Advisory. Manager jobs in the pharma and tech companies she has been talking to around here have offered $200k all-in (base+bonus+stock).
I am in the Bay Area as well. Based upon what you just mentioned about your wife, looks like I'm underpaid. How many years experience does she have? Usually one makes manager 4 years out of college. If she's making $170K at only 4 years of experience, then she's got a great gig. 40 hour work weeks as well?
Appreciate the details and interesting to see.

One with 10 years of experience but a level below (manager), making same money as one with 8 years of experience but 1 level above (director).

Sounds like going to industry will net you around a $200K package (base/bonus/stock). Ideally, it'd be great to get a bump in base pay + the stock/bonus package but doesn't seem like that will happen. So see that most likely a Big 4 has pay increases greater than industry and there is another promotion path in the Big 4 before partner, it sounds as though its better to stick with the Big 4 from a compensation perspective if you're already getting good work/life balance.

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 pm

Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:16 pm

HardHitter wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:27 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:02 am
She has 10 years of experience, and on track to make Director next year. Yes 40 hour workeeeks with only local clients.
HardHitter wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:33 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:01 am
HardHitter wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:20 am
Interesting to hear the feedback. From the sounds of it, it seems I have been very lucky with my career and work/life balance

To give my background

- I'm am a early year Director in the advisory practice of the Big 4.
- Current Salary range in a HCOL area is $160K.
- I've averaged $10-$13K raises each year with $10-13K bonuses. Promotion years have been $20-$25K increases
- Work life balance has been great. We can work remotely, never need to work weekends and on average do 40/hrs a week

From the responses, it sounds as though once you make Director and up, compensation wise, the Big 4 is going to surpass industry and that most people make the jump not always because there is a huge increase in compensation, but they are wanting to have a better work/life balance.

I've recently applied to a few positions to see what my value is in the marketplace and when asked what my expected compensation is, I've told them in the range of $200K+ and it sounds as though it is out of their range (going to a Manager or Senior Manager role).

Maybe I am one of the lucky ones at the Big 4 around comp/work life balance.
If you are willing to trade your HCOL for a VHCOL you can achieve your numbers. I live in the Bay Area and my wife makes $170k base as a manager at PwC Advisory. Manager jobs in the pharma and tech companies she has been talking to around here have offered $200k all-in (base+bonus+stock).
I am in the Bay Area as well. Based upon what you just mentioned about your wife, looks like I'm underpaid. How many years experience does she have? Usually one makes manager 4 years out of college. If she's making $170K at only 4 years of experience, then she's got a great gig. 40 hour work weeks as well?
Appreciate the details and interesting to see.

One with 10 years of experience but a level below (manager), making same money as one with 8 years of experience but 1 level above (director).

Sounds like going to industry will net you around a $200K package (base/bonus/stock). Ideally, it'd be great to get a bump in base pay + the stock/bonus package but doesn't seem like that will happen. So see that most likely a Big 4 has pay increases greater than industry and there is another promotion path in the Big 4 before partner, it sounds as though its better to stick with the Big 4 from a compensation perspective if you're already getting good work/life balance.
Directors in industry make ~$300k, but you would probably need several years of industry-relevant Big 4 Director experience to qualify

TDCumm16
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:46 pm

Re: Big 4 Who Jumped to Industry - Compensation

Post by TDCumm16 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:18 pm

HardHitter - if you are getting the W/L balance may as well stick with it if you like it. I loved the consulting thing (and comp was nice). At some point the 60-70 hr weeks and constant travel was not worth missing family life as much as the comp and partner carrot were exciting. As a reference, my D comp went something like 185-200-215-230 w 50-60 bonus for top rating in tech consulting.


HedgeFund - I’d agree on the pay targets for D+ in industry and your comment on experience. I found that most of the major F100 I was looking at D or VP level positions that would have matched or increased comp were not feasible with my experiences. I had 13 years in consulting but they were looking for 15-20 year vets with at least a decent portion in industry. After exploring options I felt good with a 10% haircut but great improvement on W/L balance.

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