Thank you for subscribing to Big 4 Transparency updates!

And thank you for sticking around as this project develops. To kick things off, this newsletter will include:

  • A brief summary of what’s new on the site
  • A view at the earnings progressions shared so far
  • A shoutout to this newsletter’s very first sponsor
  • A breakdown of earning by experience level in 23 cities

So to make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s what’s new on the site:

1. I’ve added an earnings progression feature for people to share how their earnings have progressed throughout their careers. So far, there aren’t a ton of entries, but I think this will be hugely interesting once we have more data.

2. Began email capture to access the spreadsheet. A little annoying at first I’ve been told, sorry for that, but I’m trying things out to make this financially viable in the long term and will make it up to you with these marvelous deep dives.

3. I’ve incorporated a cleaner design and a cool new logo. I’m looking to keep the website clean without having ads all over, so I will aim to only include email sponsors in the future.

4. A job board! You’re coming to the website to consult earnings data, so why not take a peak at what’s out there while you’re here? Here’s a snippet of 4 recent additions:

  • Senior accounting analyst at Squaredance. Salary: $80k-$90k Location: Toronto Canada. Required experience: 3+ Years at a Big 4
  • Senior accountant at Clio. Salary: $85k-$95k + Stock options Location: Remote, North America. Required experience: 5+ Years
  • Independent CPA / Senior Manager at Dark Horse CPA. They help support you through the journey of being an independent CPA. Location: Remote, USA Required experience: 5+ Years
  • Head of Finance at Science. Salary: Based on market rates Location: SF, Bay Area. Required experience: 5+ Years

Alright, now that we’re done with the updates, here’s the tea on earnings progression. The graph below shows how respondents’ total earnings have progressed over their careers in the accounting field. The colour coding is meant to indicate how respondents’ life and job satisfaction has evolved as they’ve progressed over their career, it seems like overall things do get better with more experience. The brighter green means improving satisfaction, darker green means slightly improving, yellow is neutral, and red means worsening satisfaction.

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Now down to business: here’s what accountants are being paid on average in different cities based on years of experience. There are of course many more cities than this but I looked to balance sufficiently large sample sizes with proper representation of different regions. This is based on reported earnings, so it’s important to know that there may be some odd fluctuations especially in smaller sample sizes, BUT it serves the purpose of giving you a rough idea of what people are making in different places and how their experience is paying off. Click on the image to be taken to the larger table which shows salaries for people with up to 30 years of experience, unfortunately it’d require too much squinting to include that as an image.

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Once again, thank you for being a subscriber and sticking around as we figure out how to make this the best it can be and to help drive real change in the accounting industry. If you liked the content, sharing the word with friends and colleagues is a huge help. If you hated the content, there’s an unsubscribe button below, and I welcome any feedback you’ve got which you can send to