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Why Practice?

03/07/17

Here are three great reasons why a move into practice is profitable for your career:

1. Progression: Side function vs. being the product 

It's a well known fact that you progress a lot faster in practice than you will in industry. Here's why:

  1. In practice, your time is the firms product; the more you get paid, the more your firm can charge you out at.
  2. You are sat in an office where 95% of your colleagues are accountants, which means opportunity in an environment where a firm wants to keep good staff. When you're doing well, there will always be a space above for you to progress to (in the larger firms).
  3. You are the front office, your work generates the revenue which means you hold the highest value unlike being “back office” in another firm.

2. Exposure to different industries

If your career plan is to move into a specialist industry or sector, such as Financial Services, Oil & Gas or Charities etc, and you don’t have any exposure to them in the first instance, you may struggle to secure yourself an interview. This is where a move in practice can work wonders. If you move to a firm that can give you exposure to the industry you want, then you significantly increase your chances of securing yourself a job in the field you want, after just a year. Often the top jobs in industry go to people who have stayed in practice to a senior level and tailored their own CV.

3. Pragmatic approach to your career: Keeping all the doors open

If you don’t know what you want to do with your career in the long term, a move to a larger or smaller firm (depending on the size you’re in at the moment) will expose you to different types of clients. Once you gain that exposure, you will know if you want to work with larger or smaller clients, giving you more direction in your career.  Making the wrong move in industry can be very costly and leave you pigeon-holed.

Other top reasons are:

  • Being a valued advisor
  • Work-life balance
  • Different service lines to explore

A long term career in practice is a lucrative and rewarding one; did you know a partner at a mid-tier firm can earn £250,000 + bonus, whilst running their own business, portfolio of clients and enjoying a flexible and balanced working career? You are not the back office, you become the front office, that’s a big thing culturally. You start to see this change from back to front office depending on the size of firm, but generally from Manager grade and above. 

Different practices offer vastly different work and cultural experience; some offer the chance to specialise in particular clients, for example moving from a Mid-tier to a Big 4 and getting FTSE100 experience can get your dream FC job at a company like Rolls Royce. If you are in a Top 10 firm, like BDO, who loves client interaction (but aren’t getting enough of it) and wants all the career progression that audit can offer, but aspires for a better work-life balance, then you might try a place like Lubbock Fine. If you want to be able to try different disciplines such as TS or forensics you might look at KPMG. Also, if international travel is something you are keen on, firms like Moore Stephens have a fantastic audit team that can offer you 70% international travel. Most senior professionals in the City have come from a practice environment, progressed to at least a Senior Manager grade and then decided to move out. 

Essentially, what I’m trying to get across in this blog, is that Marks Sattin have been operating within accountancy & finance since 1988 and have seen people forge a very rewarding career within practice. Similarly to industry, you need to make the right moves now to develop your career the way you want it to go. Take a look at the latest opportunities in practice below:

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