Accounting Professional Development

Tax vs. Audit

How do you choose if you want to go into tax accounting or audit?

Choosing Between Tax and Audit

If you are finishing undergrad (or pursuing your Masters), it is completely normal to question the decision of whether to go into tax or audit. Sometimes this decision is not black and white. Each profession has its pros and its cons, and sometimes this choice can either lead to other opportunities or prohibit them. Let’s dive into the pros and the cons of deciding between tax vs. audit:

Audit Pros:

  • Exposure to a wider range of industry financial reporting
  • Diversified industry experience to sell if you’re looking for an industry exit strategy
  • Wider range of client-oriented work

Audit Cons:

  • Often longer and more intense busy seasons than tax
  • A lot more traveling (sometimes “traveling” just means long commutes)

Tax Pros:

  • Often less competitive and easier to land a job
  • Higher starting pay
  • Ability to specialize in a highly demanded practice

Tax Cons:

  • Often menial tasks (but hey, this is accounting after all!)
  • Little to no client facing exposure
  • More of an introverted industry

 

What Should I Decide?

Like I said, this is not an easy answer, and accounting is not exactly glamorous regardless of which avenue you take. It is critical that you ask yourself what it is that you’re really looking for in your career. If you’re looking to pay your dues and transition into more of a financial role, perhaps audit is the better route. However, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, it is important to keep in mind that starting a tax practice can be much easier to start when it comes to building your book of clients. Regardless of your choice, it is paramount that you choose the career that aligns with your skill-set and will make you happy.

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