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?
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.