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Career Switch - practice to industry

Career Switch - practice to industry

I am 23 years old - and been working in a full time practice role for about 6 months. Salary is £15000 and I am doing lots of jobs like VAT Returns, CIS, SA and bookkeeping. I have been briefed that eventually I will be given responsibility of some of the ltd co clients - but I dont feel ready as I have only completed F1, F2 and F3 papers! Also I think the work is too much for too low salary. I do a lot of other things like admin, Excel projects and practice bookkeeping.

I am at the end of of an interview process with an industry role - salary is  £20-24k depending on exp and i get time off for study (Which i dont get currently) .  If i get an offer, I am just wondering what is better in the long run? The work is more transactional and more to what I enjoy doing. The company is amazing also.

What would you do?


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30th Jan 2013 08:02

Forget about salaries!

Industry roles have generally paid more but the two jobs are very different. I left practice because I hated audit work and I wanted to feel that what I was doing was more relevant and valuable. I enjoyed 10 years in industry and pretty much it deliverd on what I wanted. I was, however, expected to work harder, my managers were not remotely interested in my study and your world becomes a cycle of month ends. Ultimately I went back to practice as I realised what I like most is starting each new day with a different job to complete i.e. variety.

After 6 months you really will have no idea what your preferences are and your attitude re. questioning whether your salary is sufficient to do a job ... basically stinks! Do the work, prove yourself .. and then ask for the pay.


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30th Jan 2013 10:05

Get qualified then have a spell in industry

If I was in your position I would stick with the Practice role until you get the accountancy qualification, then look to make the switch to industry.

On the face of it your current employers are providing you with a good variety of work experience with the promise of more to come . 

Salaries for trainees in small accountancy practices have always been poor in comparison with industry roles. Normally the trade off is the better study package and variety of work offered on a practice training contract.  It might be worth asking your current employer for some time off for study leave?



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30th Jan 2013 12:29

i agree with above posts

I spent 13 years in practice,then 12 in industry. The industry role was well paid but ny salary has not kept pace with the expansion of the company. I now regularly spend 60 hours per week at key times of the year and get paid based on a 40 hour week. The work is very mundane and my reward for finishing Decembers figures is to crack on with Janaurys. Once you have got on top of systems it is becomes very repetative in industry unless the company s doing well and making aquisitions etc, your knowledge also becomes very industry specific which can be a problem if you want to change jobs. I am returning back to practice as like Steve I prefer the variety and getting to meet a lot of different people. If money is your driver you need to finish your studies as you will find your salary will double once you have passed your exams until then its hard work and low pay I am afraid, but I would make your decision once qualified.

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