Having worked in the sector for many years, I can testify that there is a wealth of developmental and profitable opportunities for individuals who pursue a career in accountancy and finance. In part 1 of my career development series, we take a look at what you should initially consider before you kick-start your career!
But first, the Million-Dollar question: Industry or Practice?
Whilst both areas of accountancy provide a significant level of avenues for career development and growth, research shows that while many accountants may initially begin their careers in practice, they often transition to industry at a later stage.
According to a recent survey published in the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, 48% of 1,701 chartered accountants and auditors revealed that they would prefer to work in-house within a business rather than within an accountancy practice, compared with 33% who said they would rather work in a practice. Of the remaining respondents in the global survey, 9% percent said they would like to set up their own business while 10% percent wanted to change career completely.
Although working in practice can equip newly-qualified and qualified accountants with valuable technical skills and diverse industry knowledge, a career in industry provides the opportunity to focus on the specific needs and requirements of one business. This means you can ultimately take on more of a strategic and leadership role by working your way up through the ranks of one specific industry.
Mapping out a Successful Career as an Industry Accountant
While CIMA and ACCA are both prestigious and internationally recognised qualifications that will turn the heads of most employers, the reality is that you must choose the one that best suits your career path, whether that be in practice or industry.
Where ACCA has a more broad approach to accountancy skills, meaning you can work across a wide range of industry sectors, CIMA is more of a specialist management accounting qualification - which makes it ideal for those who wish to specialise in business and management within one specific industry.
CIMA’s focus on management accounting in a business context makes it perfect for those who aspire to work in the finance or management functions of larger organisations. The qualification equips individuals with the necessary technical skills that will enable them to work across functions with the strategic needs of the business in mind; and that is what industry-specific employers need.
About the Author
Michael Quinn is a highly experienced and professional Associate Director for Accountancy & Finance/ Legal across Search Consultancy’s Northwest offices. Not only is he both quality-focused and results-driven, but his extensive background in recruitment has enabled him to embrace, initiate and facilitate change across a wide range of businesses. His goal is to build long term relationships based on trust, and as such he is a firm believer that integrity, honesty, professionalism and hard work generates long term success.
Looking for a job in Accountancy & Finance?
The world of Accountancy and Finance is changing, and the industry needs candidates who are tech-savvy, insightful and proactive! At Search, our team of specialist consultants recruit for a wide range of accountancy and finance roles throughout the country. You can find our vacancies here.