IT professional to Chartered Accountancy: To be, or not to be: that is the question!
I am an IT graduate working for the past 10 years in ERP implementations. I had my masters from US, and then started to work on SAP based assignments and have been actively working on several SAP technologies since then. To say about my current job, I wouldn’t complain too much about it, but I don’t think I'm going anywhere with it. The money is great or at the least good enough, but I got to bear the burden of updating myself with various emerging technologies or else I’ll be out of the game in no time. That is a huge task. The next challenge is the scope of moving up which is next to nil in IT world. If you’re an analyst, specialist or Team Lead you tend to be in that position for several years with no promotion whatsoever. This is because the management and leadership positions are scant and lot of people compete for them. These things really freak me out.
I wanted to revive my career with some business experience. I wanted to become a chartered accountant and have been working towards that. I have completed all of my courses required to enrol in CASB. Last year I was called in for an interview during the CA students recruiting season with PWC (1st round and rejected) & KPMG (2nd round and rejected) out of all the 50 something applications I sent out. I have got decent grades all through my continuing education courses to complete the CASB requirements. My GPA for all these courses is 3.44. I had the passion to do all these with my full time employment. Given my current situation I'm really confused, frustrated and kind of tired.
1. I am not sure if I could secure a CA training office employment this year which is crucial for pursuing CA.
2. I'm currently earning 73K and the articling position salary is closer to half of that around $42K. I am not sure if I would be able to keep up my family of 3 with that. For a year or two I could hold my horses but not for a long time in this kind of salary. I have researched and found out that second year seniors make at least 55K and managers/third year seniors make 60 to 65K. Reaching that phase in 2 years would be a big relief for me financially.
3. Also I don’t have to keep learning new technologies that totally sucks out my energy but I learn new practical lessons that constantly keep me intrigued.
4. As long as I stay good and sincere with my job, any big 4 would be willing to keep moving me up until the senior manager level. I know partnership is a different league and a whole new ball game.
5. I’m also 32, is it too late to get into public accounting, can I not transfer any of my ERP experience in leveraging my accounting career?
Unlike IT, I don’t have to learn new things drastically, I will keep moving up with years adding up, a constant source of income and a lot of client/customer interaction which I love to have. On the down side I see, long hours in public accounting and initial penny pinching life style with articling salary.
Some of the days I wake up aspiring to become one of those CAs in big 4 who has a busy day with various client interactions doing varied audit, advisory and assurance jobs. On the other days, I wake up with a down mindset with the obstacles that I'm faced with, saying I should be content with whatever I have been offered and not to look further. I just simply don’t know what to do. Looking back at the past 2 years, I simply can’t throw them away for nothing. I myself was amazed with the josh, spirit and enthusiasm that I had those days. Some part of me says it’s over; the other part says “Go for it whatever it takes”. I just want to let it open anonymously in a place where people will not make a judgement on me and would say me what they think. I’m eager to know.