Can Total Compensation Really Make a Difference in Tax Accountant Jobs and CPA Jobs?

Woman spreading her arms, with a camera around her neck, sitting in a canoe

When it comes to choosing a job, many people focus on the salary offered. But money isn’t everything! While salary is important, it’s not the only factor to consider.

Understanding the total compensation package is crucial in making an informed decision about a job offer. This is especially true for tax accountant jobs and CPA jobs, where benefits and perks can add significant value to your overall compensation.

What is Total Compensation?

Total compensation refers to the complete package of rewards and benefits that an employee receives from their employer in exchange for their work. This includes not only the employee’s salary or wages, but also any additional benefits and perks such as health insurance, retirement plans, bonuses, stock options, paid time off (PTO), flexible work arrangements, and other incentives that may be offered by the employer.

Total compensation is an important consideration for employees when evaluating job opportunities, as it will cover health and lifestyle costs that you would otherwise have to pay out of your wages. Plus, by choosing certain benefits through an employer such as health benefits or retirement plans, you can reduce your taxable income and keep more of your hard-earned money.

What Are Your Must-Have Benefits?

Do you prefer working remotely? Are you accident-prone or do you have a chronic health issue? Will you have day care expenses? Try to think about your future and how the total compensation package can add value to your life in more ways than one. Some jobs cover dependent care, and some give you more PTO than others. If there are certain benefits that, when not offered, are dealbreakers for you, consider those must-have benefits when applying for a job.

When weighing your decision about CPA jobs or tax accountant jobs, some may state in the job description that remote or work-from-home is an option. If you live in an RV or like to work from your own space, these jobs may shift the scales for you. On the other hand, what if other CPA jobs offer more paid time off? If you have many interests outside of work, you may prefer additional time off over more salary. And yet, some tax accountant jobs will offer both great pay and unlimited PTO. Even better!

Here is another thing to consider: professional development. You may like the idea of adding many skills to your resume or you may prefer becoming a specialist in one area. Look at the job description or the firm website for tuition reimbursement, paid and in-house technical training or the freedom to explore more than one area of public accounting. Think about where your next job can take you in the future.

Ok, let’s begin looking for that perfect job!

How Do You Find the Best CPA Jobs?

It’s important to do your own research beyond the job board descriptions. Here are some ways to gather information about potential employers:

  1. Company Websites: As mentioned, review the employer’s website and careers pages for information about benefits and perks as well as company culture and core values.
  2. Industry Associations: Check with industry associations, such as the American Institute of CPAs, for information on competitive salaries, benefits and career development for your desired position.
  3. Online Reviews: Look for online reviews of the company from current and former clients and employees to get a sense of the work culture and levels of satisfaction. You can also creep on their social media to see if they have fun outings, awards and community involvement. While you’re at it, check out individual profiles to get a sense of the firm leadership.

Part of the research process will include asking questions of your potential employer. Depending on the interview process, or where you sent in your resume, you could ask questions through the Indeed message function, through email, LinkedIn or over the phone. In the end, you could ask your interviewer about the following things during the course of the actual interview.

Query Topics
Ask the recruiting manager or HR representative deeper questions about the benefits and perks offered by the company.

  1. Cost of Benefits: While benefits are important, some have varying costs. Be sure to understand the cost of each benefit to you personally and how it may impact your total compensation.
  2. Types of Medical Plans: Understand the types of medical plans offered by the employer, including your deductibles, co-pays and network restrictions. It will help you understand if the health benefits are reasonably priced and robust enough for your needs. Find out if the employer covers some or all of the monthly premiums and for individual or family. That will make a difference.
  3. Retirement Plans: If the employer offers a retirement plan, understand the type of plan, any employer matching contributions, and the vesting schedule.
  4. Professional Development Opportunities: Understand what professional development opportunities are available and how they are offered. Does the employer cover costs for the CPA exam or offer tuition reimbursement for an MBA or other certification? Is study or learning time built into your week?

Figuring out total compensation takes time but this will help you enjoy more job satisfaction. It may also help you discover new skills and new opportunities to travel or volunteer – you don’t want to miss out on that!

Before you make any important decisions and send in that resume, make sure you understand your options, talk to HR or your recruiter and do your own research.

View our open CPA jobs and tax accountant jobs, and let us know if you have questions about our total compensation packages at LvHJ.


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