May 3, 2023

Timing Your Post-Public Accounting Career

Building an accounting career takes a great educational focus, years of experience, networking, and a desire to succeed. It also requires great timing!

At Benchmark Search, we recognize it’s not easy to put your career on hold, and a lot of accounting professionals delayed a career move in 2020 to better see the lay of the land post-pandemic.

We believe that public accounting candidates are better served, and will find better positions, if they look at job seeking through a long-term lens. Where do you want to be after the busy season? How are you going to be ahead of your competitor candidates when an opportunity arises later in the year?

In the accounting industry, we face critical shortages of talent, so as recruiters we have to know when qualified CPAs will be open to a career move, and during the 2020/2021 winter period, we have seen an enormous uptick in public accounting professionals starting their active job search.

Our advice for candidates aiming to jump on the job search is firm – strategize your exit, start interviewing now and, crucially, extend your start date beyond the end of the busy season. This way, you are ahead of your peer competition, while also not letting down your current accounting firm and colleagues. As we’ve said in other articles, good recruitment takes patience, and good employers will wait.

There might be a multitude of reasons to leave your current firm, but encourage you to think twice before leaving during the busiest times of the year.

We genuinely believe in leaving every job on the very best of terms possible. Being able to explain to your current employer and new employer you want to honor your commitments to your teams, clients, or customers during the busy accountancy season will garner respect, trust, and a great reference.

We are looking ahead to this increase in career movement with excitement. If you are looking at making a career move sooner rather than later, we want you to consider the timing: you can get ahead of the recruitment game and still keep all parties happy once you depart!

Wrapping it up:

As I write this article the first week of March, we are currently working with public accounting candidates who are taking these steps and several have already accepted offers with April start dates. We know we can help you navigate an extended onboarding process, encourage communication and make sure all parties are happy.


 Troy Ashby is the founder and president of Benchmark Search, a Dallas-based firm specializing in direct hire recruiting, executive search, and temporary staffing for accounting and finance professionals. With more than 15 years of professional service experience, including more than a decade with one of the nation’s largest recruiting firms, Ashby established Benchmark Search on the bedrock belief that exceptional people, progressive culture, and an unrelenting devotion to serving clients is the formula for developing deep and transformational relationships.