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How to get a career in practice?

How to get a career in practice?

Hi, im hoping someone can help me and give me some good advice.

I really want a career in practice not industry. I always have since i started out in accountancy. Landing a position in a practice seems to be proving impossible at the moment though.

I have a 2.1 degree in accountancy and finance and have only the 5 professional level papers left to go for the ACCA, coupled with 15 months experience as a management accountant in an sme with around £3m turnover where i construct all the management accounts and year end accounts along with forcasting and overseeing the whole Sage 200 system, and do this for a couple of other smaller companies in the group i work for on the sage 50 system, but none of this seems enough for someone to give me a chance in practice!

I really love the technical side of accounting and would do anything for a chance to get in a practice but im just out of ideas. I am in the Nottinghamshire area and can not find any positions which dont require practice experience. Ive started looking down in London as well but have come up with nothing.

Any tips for what to do to get myself in somewhere? Any advise is welcome.



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25th Jan 2012 18:27

Work for nothing or very little

If you are certain what you want to do I would have thought you could get a position in practice relatively easily if you were willing to reduce your wage requirements. If you live with parents it may be easier!

If you have worked in a practice for a couple of years you would be a lot more marketable. While you are looking for a job at least you can study!

It will all be worth it eventually because even if you spend several years on a low salary as long as you ensure you get a good mix of experience then you can work for yourself and eventually earn what you reasonably want. You'd first have the problem of getting your own clients!

Good luck

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By dreamcatcher
26th Jan 2012 13:11

I was in a similar situation to you a few years ago.  I started off my accountancy career in Industry and after 18 months I decided I wanted a move into professional practice.  After some negative advice from recruitment consultants and a handful of interviews which didn't go well I decided to sit down with the yellow pages and ring every practice in my local area.  I actually got all the way to W before I found someone willing to interview me!  Anyway I got the job and have have never looked back.  Why not give it a try ?

As Peter mentions one of the sticking points could be your salary.  If you are willing and can financially afford to it may be worth taking a drop in salary.  I had to take a 25% cut in salary to make the move.

Also have a look at your CV and try to make it less industry focused but do highlight areas of experience which would be relevant to practice.

Good luck

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26th Jan 2012 16:36

You are moving against the tide ...

in that many accountants move from practice to industry but vice versa is much more rare. Working industry gives little preparation for work in practice and therefore you are very much starting again at the bottom and your salary requirements need to reflect that.You will of course progress quickly given your business experience but to start with you will be the junior again.

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