After qualifying, new accountants have the option of either working in practice in an accounting firm or taking an industry role out in the business world.
Figures from the latest ‘NIJobs Job Report with Ulster Bank’ 2022 indicate a stabilisation in the local job market, however demand for particular skillsets and roles are remaining at an all-time high. The top five employment categories continuing to record robust levels of hiring include accountancy & finance, IT, hospitality and sales. Companies are offering a wide selection of roles, with career opportunities at every level so it is undoubtedly an employee’s market and the right time to be considering a career move.
Despite changing economic conditions, demand for qualified accountants continues to grow in both practice and industry. Which career path is right for you? With both sectors offering great potential for career development see below some of the benefits to both to help you make an informed decision.
Working in practice offers newly-qualified and qualified accountants the opportunity to work with clients from a range of industries. It allows you to specialise in your technical skills while being exposed to a variety of industry sectors whether that be in the audit, taxation or advisory service lines.
Practice roles are appealing as they offer variety. Growth areas like audit, tax and advisory offer accountants the opportunity to engage with various clients each with unique requirements, business practices and methods of engagement offering real variety in your day-to-day role.
Key take away's:
Practice offers social interaction and the chance to build long-term relationships with clients.
Work in partnership with clients from many different industries
Many firms will provide a very clear career path as they want to retain the best talent, so progression opportunities can be excellent
Accountants working in industry often focus on the economics within a business including cash flow, cost control and budgeting. Specialised areas you may work in include financial accounting, management, cost accounting and treasury management. Industry accountancy roles allow you to focus on a core area of the finance function where you can add real value to a company’s processes while providing key commercial insight into the strategic direction of the business.
Key take away's:
If you’re interested in a particular sector then you can work as an accountant in your chosen field.
Immersed in one business or organisation.
With the focus being more specialised in industry roles, accountants moving in-house will require a strong technical skill set coupled with an interest in the industry they are working in
Are you a recent accountancy or finance graduate looking to kick start your career? Or perhaps you're an experienced accountant looking a career move?