Third year senior left for specific industry (M&A)

How many years had you been with the firm when you left?

3 years at KPMG & 3 years at BKD – Transaction Services

What job/industry did you leave for? 

Transaction services for a regional firm (BKD) and, ultimately, a Director for a mezzanine fund.

What was the primary reason you left? 

Most of my mentors and favorite co-workers had either already left or were interested in leaving.  I saw the busy season hours some of the professionals that were 5/10 years ahead of me were working and decided that wasn’t what I wanted to be doing long term.  I was also “good at accounting” but it wasn’t a passion.  I treated it more like a job and was looking for something that would really “get me going” each morning.

On a scale from 1-10 (10 being the highest) how do you value the experience you gained at the firm?

8.  I think there is a lot of value and a premium that comes with working a few years in public accounting, particularly in certain markets.  The reason for not selecting a 9/10, KPMG did a good job of teaching me how to be an auditor/accountant, but didn’t teach me much about running a business.  My teams were laser focused on “getting the job/audit” done and not developing me or helping me understand the bigger picture.  This could have been a function of me working on the largest engagements at the firm.  I also felt like KPMG was developing me to be a “big business” accountant and found that I have a lot more fun in the “lower-middle markets” where you can add more value and there is more opportunity.

What do you miss most about the firm?

The people that I worked with at that time (most of whom are no longer there).

Do you regret leaving?

No way.

Had you stayed, would you have been on the “partner track”?  

Yes; likely.  I was voted “most likely to become a partner” in college.  I love the managerial/leading side of business, but struggled to be a debits/credits detail-oriented GAAP accountant.  I feel the further I would have progressed, the more I would have been able to stay high level and focus on client/team relationships.