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Changing to industry

Changing to industry

After yet another January, I am heartily sick of practice in general and self assement specifically so I am going to give it up to try for a high level, financial controller type job in industry.

My lifestyle will not allow for any reduction in salary and I have absolutely no experience that would qualify me for this job in any way however I am sure that my detailed knowledge of shoe box accounting and the VAT flat rate scheme will count for something?

I would appreciate if someone could do all the reading for me and tell me exactly how to do this because I can't be bothered getting my ICAS rule book out. This is really important to me (but not enough that I do the spade work myself) so I would prefer that no-one tries to argue (reason) with me.


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04th Feb 2013 13:38

No, no, no, no, no, no

You'll need one of those working in industry certificates, otherwise you can't do anything other than photocopying.

And don't expect just anyone to take you on.  These industry types are extremely choosy.

Then on top of all that, once you've made the change, there's no going back you know.

You're better off changing careers altoghther.

Be a childminder.  Work in your own home.  If you can average 300 kids a day, your earnings should be broadly similar.

By the way, if you want to know whether you should do any special working in industry qualifications, in order to improve your knowledge on the subject, before you're unleashed on an unwitting employer, then I'd suggest that you should.  It is, after all, only right that you should be competent to perform the tasks that they're paying you to do.

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04th Feb 2013 14:53

Working in Commerce is all about staff, directors and politics

I know because I experienced it over several years and it drove me bonkers. In the multinationals I occasionally came across senior level people in the finance department with very little experience in accountancy who would in effect expect the figures back to front and there was no point in arguing with them.

Your accountancy and tax expertise will be more than enough for the medium sized company - it's all the other irritating things that could drive you wild.

At least running your own business you can take the decision to move sideways - perhaps as an ad hoc financial controller person for the larger clients. Have a think about how you can make that sort of move, think about ditching the irritating clients and thank goodness you are much freer than you would be in a job, where redundancy could come at any time.

It is clear from your answers over the years that you are highly skilled at what you do now. Why not look out for some coaching on how to improve things? I would add that there are very few coaches out there that I would use, but there must be some good ones.

And please don't leave us - I need your help!


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04th Feb 2013 15:04


My apologies, I thought the intended sarcasm was shown.

The question was intended as a pastiche of the every other day "I'm an accountant working in industry, don't like it and am assuming that practice will be better/easier and that the general public should be glad to have the benefit of my experience" threads.

I would not presume to think I could go and do their jobs so why do they think they can do mine?



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04th Feb 2013 15:20

I Thought You were just Fed Up!

I didn't think for one moment you were going anywhere.

As for all those accountants in industry coming over to our side, I haven't noticed too many of them saying it would be a doddle - on the contrary I think they feel embarrassed about asking some quite basic questions in case they get gunned down.

I personally feel lucky I have experience of both sides and don't have to build up a business from scratch.

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04th Feb 2013 16:56

Made me laugh

Roland195 your post made me laugh.

However on a serious note I think that someone with 20 odd years in practice but no industry experience would find it equally difficult to jump the other way as someone working at board level in a mid size company (say) needs additional skills the typical accountant in practice doesnt have.

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04th Feb 2013 20:17

Both sides

Having worked on both sides.

Practice first, 16 years in industry and then back to practice, I can definitely say industry is far, far easier.

I faced a huge learning curve starting my own practice and have never worked as hard as I have during the first 18 months.

You're quite right, plenty in industry tend to ask 'how hard can it be?' in a bleak moment when the monthly inter-company won't balance, office politics have got them down or they think 'I'd like to work for myself, how hard..."

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