I am a CPA, licensed in a different state than where I currently live. I moved to this city less than a year ago, and worked from home for my old job for a while. Due to a huge offshoring initiative by the company, the work environment became unbearable, so I knew I needed to leave. I was with the company for over 2.5 years, but only this specific job for 6 months. A friend in the area referred me to her friend, who just started a payroll company and said she needed part time help that would eventually go full time, so after talking with the owner a few times, I took the job.

I've only been there two months but I have SERIOUS concerns. We made tax payments late (I have no background in payroll and was honest about that) because the owner didn't realize they needed to be paid... and the clients still don't know to expect a notice from the IRS over these late payments. Every single day, more mistakes come to light from clients asking questions or getting notices. The owner and the salesperson keep telling everyone I'm a CPA, but I'm not getting paid as a CPA, working as a CPA, OR licensed in the state, which I told the owner in no uncertain terms.

I feel like the mistakes that have been made will have me blacklisted from getting a job with anyone in this city, especially because they are primarily marketing to CPA firms! I have no confidence in what I'm doing, and I don't think training will help. The owner has no idea what she's doing and has no background in payroll - this business is a tax shelter for them... which I didn't know until after I started! I thought she knew everything and would train me, but that has not been the case at all. And I'm the scapegoat "CPA" for everything that goes wrong, and she tells people I'm handling everything... I don't know what I'm doing! At this point, I'm terribly concerned about mistakes that have already been made, and I think they need to hire an experienced payroll person, even if they have to pay them more than what they're paying me.

Is it too soon for me to quit? What concerns are appropriate for me to bring up? And is it going to look bad that I was only at this job for 2 months and my last one for 6 - even though I was at the company for 2.5 years? I don't have much of a network here yet. I obviously don't have a job lined up, but we could get by for a couple of months without me working. I took an hourly rate of less than half what I used to get paid because I was told the job would not be stressful, but it's causing me anxiety attacks... the mistakes that have been made are very serious, and the owner is just oblivious/doesn't care.

  • "her friend, who just started a payroll company" ... "didn't realize [tax payments] needed to be paid" ... "has no idea what she's doing" ... "is just oblivious/doesn't care." - I know about Hanlon's Razor, but sometimes...
    – AakashM
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


It's not too soon to leave - especially if you think it will adversely affect your future. Make sure you are not going to be held accountable (in a legal sense) for mistakes that are being made.

You have been there a short enough time to not even mention it on your resume, if it comes to it. If it's really that bad, it's in your best interest to leave.

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