Career Change - Public Accounting Tax Manager to Corporate FP&A

aerodan1's picture
Rank: Chimp | 6


I'm currently a tax manager in public accounting, looking to make the move to corporate (likely large public company). I would like to broaden my horizons considerably and be in a business-wide, forward-thinking strategic role - this is where the FP&A function interests me greatly.

I want to consider how best to get into this type of work, taking into account salary and title considerations (ie I could come in as a corporate tax manager at a higher salary and title), establishing myself within a company (very comfortable in my tax skillset vs would be brand new to a lot of the finance skills needed for an FP&A role), and when and how to bring this up during the interview process for tax positions - which I think I would bring up more in generalities, e.g. "does this company support inter-departmental transitions".

So the biggest question is, should I try to come in as an FP&A senior (which is the lowest level I'd want to come in at), or come in as tax manager, get established and look to make a move later? I would think the second path would be better, but possibly more difficult once I'm established in a tax role.

I did about 9 months in audit at the start of my career in public, and work on many tax provisions (accounting for income taxes), and have done a little bookkeeping here and there, and have an MSA degree, so have a little background in accounting, which I think helps. Regarding finance, I've only taken one corporate finance class in college years ago, and although am a quick and eager learner, don't have a very advanced excel skillset currently.

Any thoughts are much appreciated, thanks!

Comments (2)

Dec 18, 2017

If you really want to break out of tax/accounting I'd opt for option 1. You are right its a lot harder to transfer to a different function a. the more senior you are and b. once you are branded as a tax/accounting person.

So I think its really up to whether or not you want to switch into finance as a career. If you do make the switch now and pay your dues by taking a slight step back but in the direction you want. If you are content with tax take option 2 and develop your tax career.

    • 1
Dec 19, 2017