Transitioning from Public Accounting to Industry Accounting: Questions To Consider Before Making the Switch to Industry


Are you a public accountant considering a change? The world of public accounting offers valuable experiences and expertise, but it may not be the right fit for everyone in the long run. If you find yourself yearning for a change of pace, transitioning to an industry accounting role could be a rewarding move.

Whether you are ready to exit a Big Four Accounting firm or a regional CPA firm, here are seven questions you should consider asking yourself before making the switch:

1. Why do I want to move into an industry accounting role?

Recognize specific reasons behind your desire to transition and identify how these align with your career goals.

2. Have I explored all possible alternatives within public accounting?

Before deciding, make sure you have looked into multiple roles, departments, and functions within public accounting that may suit your skill set and align with your interests.

3. What aspects of public accounting do I like?

Maybe there are parts of your current job that you actually enjoy or find rewarding. Consider what other types of accounting roles these aspects may be offered in.

4. What aspects of public accounting do I not like?

If you have considered leaving public accounting altogether, try to pin down certain qualities of the work that are driving you out such as deadlines, busy season hours, stress, work-life balance, or certain tasks. These are qualities that should change in an industry setting.

5. What skills and experiences have I gained in public accounting that are transferrable to an industry accounting role?

Recognize and list the valuable experiences and new skill sets you developed in public accounting. Recalling these experiences and skills in an interview will help show your recruiter or hiring manager that you are adept at duties to perform the job.

6.  How can I tap into my professional network during the transition?

Reach out to others who are in your professional network who have made a similar transition to gain insights and learn from their experiences. This could include previous colleagues or even a recruiter who walks talent professionals through these types of transitions all the time. Really focus on understanding the challenges and advantages that similar professionals have seen.

7. What are my short-term and long-term career goals in an industry accounting role?

This may be the most important question to ask yourself. Knowing what you want and hope to achieve in your new role and how it fits into the broader arc of your career will really help you align to an industry role that will help you thrive.


Leaving public accounting is a significant decision that will impact your career and your personal life. With determination and preparation, this transition can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding career in industry accounting. Take the time to evaluate your options, do research, and seek guidance from professionals. Partnership and collaboration with a value-driven recruiter can help you explore a world of possibilities. A well-thought-out plan will increase your chances of a successful career move!

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