Working as an accountant in practice offers a variety of exciting opportunities that can range from supporting large global businesses through to small SME’s. There are excellent career options across a range of service lines where you will be given the chance to both diversify your skill set as well as open up doors to previously unseen areas. Potential service lines include audit and assurance, transaction services, forensics, tax, corporate and consulting amongst a number of others.
In larger firms, you can become a specialist in a particular service area, such as tax or risk. As an expert in your field you will often find yourself highly-sought after and can command an attractive salary and benefits packages. In smaller practices you will have the opportunity to deal with lots of aspects of finance and have a greater variety to your work.
For those individuals that choose to pursue a career within practice, a clear and defined career path awaits. As you build your career, opportunities for advancement will present themselves allowing for progression to director, partner and beyond.
Expanding your career
Working as an accountant in practice offers a variety of exciting opportunities that can range from supporting large global businesses through to small SME’s.
As you climb the ladder, there will be possibilities for secondment and transfer opportunities with clients both domestically and internationally, offering you a unique insight into the running of a business or bank. Some of the most rewarding areas to expand are private equity, commerce and industry, and contractual work.
Private equity firms are an increasingly important part of the economy and offer some of the most sought after careers in finance - particularly for accountants looking to work in advisory services.
Although there are a limited number of jobs as these roles are hugely competitive, excellent opportunities exist for qualified accountants to get into private equity.
Commerce and industry
The commerce and industry sector is extremely diverse, offering a broad choice of organisation type, size and role. Many accountants choose to further their career within industry after building a solid foundation within practice.
If you choose to work in commerce and industry, you’ll potentially have access to an enormous breadth of opportunities across the UK with thousands of companies, from start ups to multinationals. The sheer variety of industries draws many accountants into this area, which will allow you to obtain diverse knowledge and highly transferrable skills. Building a solid career foundation in practice then transferring to a senior position within industry offers increased insight into all areas of managing a company’s financial security and prosperity.
As the market continues to grow, so will the opportunity for accountants in practice to take secondments in contractual positions within industry, financial services and other areas - or to move into contract work permanently. An increasing number of accountants are opting to do this, preferring the greater flexibility it offers and opportunity to gain broad industry experience.
Due to the increased volume of programmes, project managers are able to command a premium - resulting in contractors earning more money than their permanent counterparts on an hourly basic rate comparison. With businesses typically having to meet tight deadline requirements, project managers are sometimes able to command rate increases of up to 25%.
Whether you choose to continue your career within practice - working towards partner and director level - or branch into a different discipline, there are many different routes to building a successful career. As the economy improves, the job market for talented experienced accountancy professionals will only continue to increase.
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