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Questions To Consider When Changing Firm

This short piece is aimed at Practice Accountants who might be considering moving to a larger, similar sized or smaller firm. A career in practice can be incredibly rewarding, helping businesses grow/ develop and operate successfully.

You should always look at moving firm in the context of your 3 – 5 career plan.

What are your motivations?

  • Working to Manager/ Director/ Partner
  • Working towards opening your own firm
  • Looking for steady role with a firm that will offer good work/ life balance

What do you feel might be lacking in your current role and will the role/ firm you’re considering be able to offer what you are looking for?

The following questions might assist with the decision-making process and will hopefully help you make solid, well-informed choices.

  • Moving to a Larger Firm – Big 4/ Top 20
  • Working for a larger firm can offer a host of advantages –
  • Having an international brand name on your CV
  • Working with larger clients – PLCs etc
  • Exposure to interesting/ technical work
  • Defined career progression

What might be required –

  • Working on client sites for longer periods (audits)
  • The work you are doing might have a more specific focus
  • Longer hours (TOIL is frequently offered)
  • Working in a larger office environment

Would you be happy to do this?

Questions like the above might help in your decision-making process and finding what might be best for you!

Moving to a Mid-Sized or Smaller Firm?

Working with a Mid-Sized or Small Firm can offer a wide variety of opportunities in a dynamic and fast-moving SME sector. If considering a position with an SME it might be worthwhile considering the following, with your career plan in mind.

Senior Accountants and Managers looking for progression

  • Do you want to progress within a firm to Manager, Director or maybe (in time) Partner level?
  • If so, have you considered what might be involved (business development etc)?
  • Why is there an opportunity with them now?
  • Is there a Partner retiring in the near future?
  • What has their growth been like year on year?
  • Do you want to eventually open your own firm?
  • Have you spoken with others who have done this?
  • Is this role/ firm offering a stepping stone to that goal?

Accountants looking for a steady role or work/life balance?

  • Will this role require off site travel? If so, how often and for how long?
  • Do they offer flexitime?
  • Do they offer an option to work from home?

Part or Recently Qualified

  • Do you want to gain exposure to different/ larger clients?
  • Is there a specific sector you’re interested in?
  • What firms might offer this?
  • When did they promote a member of staff last?

Who will I be working for?

A key insight I always try to give is what a firm’s partners are like as people.

  • What do they value?
  • What are their interests?
  • What do they expect from their staff?
  • What is the working environment like? (Do they promote a social scene)

Your recruiter should be able to give you a thorough brief on most, if not all, of the questions above.

If you would like to have a more detailed conversation about your next career move, please get in touch directly –

E –

P – 0871902963

Posted on 07 March 2022
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