Working in accounting is a great career choice. The job market is strong, and there is ample opportunity for candidates. The industry is expected to grow and there is an increased demand within the industry for skilled professionals.

The question remains – should you choose a public accounting or corporate accounting career path?

Choosing a career path is challenging, even within a particular industry. There are pros and cons to every career decision you make. Here is a comparison of the potential advantages and drawbacks of each career path.

Pros and Cons of Public Accounting Jobs

public accounting

Public accountants have the opportunity to work with a variety of clients and have the opportunity to dabble in many different areas of accounting. Here are some pros and cons:


Here are some of the advantages of choosing this career path:

  • Quicker job advancement opportunities
  • Variety of work
  • The ability to work for a large corporation adds to your resume
  • The opportunity to become a partner with a firm
  • Good networking opportunities
  • Good opportunity to specialize


Here are some of the potential drawbacks of choosing this career path:

  • It’s competitive right out of school
  • A pressure-filled environment
  • More hours and travel
  • Certification is required for career advancement

Pros and Cons of Private Accounting Jobs

private accounting

Private accounting jobs are focused on working with financial information for your employer. You will prepare reports and analyze data. Here are the pros and cons:


Here are some of the advantages of choosing this career path:

  • Better overall work-life balance
  • You will have a chance to make an impact at your company
  • Better overall job satisfaction
  • You don’t need a CPA to reach management status


Here are some of the potential drawbacks of choosing this career path:

  • The job is very predictable
  • A rigid career progression path – few opportunities to move around
  • Slower career progression
  • Fewer options for specialization

Regardless of the career path you choose, you can make the switch. Many professionals switch between public and private accounting jobs. Sometimes, it takes working in both paths in order to figure out which you like most and where your best talents lie.

More Information to Compare Public and Corporate Accounting Careers

Get more information about accounting career paths by checking out these blog posts from our accounting and finance recruiters:

5 Reasons Why You Should Work in Public Accounting

Public vs. Corporate Accounting: What’s the Best Choice for You?

Finance and Accounting Industry Employment Trends to Watch


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Technology (IT), Accounting and Finance, Consumer Goods, eCommerce and Retail, Financial Services and Insurance, Startup, B2B and Industrial, Operations and HR, Professional Services and Legal, Media, Digital and Marketing, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Emerging Technology and Telecom, and  Sales. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Ross Campbell Toronto Recruiter

Ross Campbell

Ross Campbell is a Partner and Practice Lead, Financial Services & Insurance with IQ PARTNERS. Celebrating over 10 years of management consulting experience in executive search, recruitment, and training in Canadian financial services and insurance companies, Ross thrives on the belief that business can be done significantly better by investing in the right people.

Hire Better,
Hire Smarter
73.3% of our clients are repeat customers. They trust us to help them hire better.
Hire Better
The Smarter Way to Find Your Next Job
Because smart people make great companies.
Get Hired