Thoughts on a move from practice to industry?

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I'm interested to know others thoughts or experiences on a move from practice to industry. I've been in practice for 18 years now, last 10 at my current employer. I've found that as the years pass my workload grows and grows and it feels like a never ending treadmill of work! I've been approached by a client to work for them, I currently do a couple of days a month with them and it's a great company. In practice I feel I am maybe a few years away from partner if I wanted it but the workload just seems such a grind and each year another 7% expected from you. I'm not sure if it's time for a change of practice or a move to industry.

thanks in advance for any words of wisdom! 

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By tom123
03rd Mar 2024 08:33

If you work in practice, the work you fill every day with is basically a once a year activity for your client.

It's good that you have a bit of exposure.

What type of role are you looking for?

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Replying to tom123:
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By ollieacca
03rd Mar 2024 08:56

That’s a good point, I’m not entirely sure what the rest of the job would entail. It’s a growing business and so offers some variety, maybe accounts will be a small part. I currently manage a team of 13 and so my current job has become less and less accounts focused. I think I’m just currently liking the idea of managing one job rather than juggling hundreds of clients!

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Replying to ollieacca:
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By paul.benny
03rd Mar 2024 15:33

ollieacca wrote:
I think I’m just currently liking the idea of managing one job rather than juggling hundreds of clients!

Hahaha

Not "one job" in most places I've ever worked.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By tom123
03rd Mar 2024 17:39

Indeed, the breadth of non accounting stuff I have done over the years is huge. And not all of it particularly stellar. I'm thinking of things like counting scrap metal in 11 acres of snowy scrapyard, or sweeping out the inside of buses..

These days I can add playground duty at a comprehensive.

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By DJKL
04th Mar 2024 10:03

I once helped heft 500 sheets of plasterboard up two floors of a tight stairwell (At least it was straight). Now I am too old to help with these sorts of things but did still get involved in a fair bit of hefting during our office move last March.

P.S. meetings are often better in industry and more business lunches- this morning having an impromptu meeting that involves honey chocolate cake and coffee.

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By tom123
04th Mar 2024 10:20

Indeed - I have drunk more alcohol in events connected with my employer here, than any previous job.

All outside the school day - I should emphasise.

Schools are prohibited from buying any alcohol - I should further caveat that with.

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By paul.benny
03rd Mar 2024 08:59

It's an easy way to make the move by going to a business you already know and work with - you're unlikely to find a better opportunity. Lots of people move from practice when newly qualified but it's hard after 18 years because the roles and skills are quite different.

Beware of 'grass is greener' syndrome. Just because you're dissatisfied where you are, doesn't mean it's better somewhere else. That said, I think there is much more variety in the sort of roles available in business and having got experience, you could move again in a few years' time.

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
04th Mar 2024 10:14

I took the jump to a client twice, first in 1990 but economic downturn had me back in practice by 1994, second time in 1999 and have been here ever since.

Make sure new employer looks stable (both company sound and its industry strong)
Consider what client was like as a client, did they listen to you or argue the toss, post leap you have them 24/7.

I loved leaping from the hamster wheel of practice but after a few years was doing both , do check employment contract re restrictions, I needed to renegotiate mine to start up a part time practice in addition to the day job.

Industry can make you a little stale with say tax, insist upon a publications/training budget as part of the deal. (I had 500 pa)

In my experience the best feeling in industry is working on some project, maybe for years, and either you see it built or you account for the large profit realised on it. (you also tax plan the large profit)

You are far more hands on and your input at meetings etc has made a difference (planning the transaction, bank presentation to fund etc) the worst bit is say post 2008 being under the cosh from the banks , fending them off and going to sleep night after night worrying what the next day will hold.

Enjoy

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Replying to DJKL:
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By tom123
04th Mar 2024 10:22

First half of my career was generally failing companies in failing industries..
I learned a lot, but not sure I would want to go back to that..

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
04th Mar 2024 10:30

It is not good fun sensing the Grim Reaper at your back every day- yes a buzz if you elude (as we did) but my hair was turning remarkably white in my late forties!!!

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
04th Mar 2024 12:14

I did exactly what you have been offered, went to work for a client as their FD and it was the making of me. I found that accounting practice was quite a sheltered existence and only really gained real commercial experience when working in industry. I gained skills way behind financial, but all round business skills.

If your bored in practice give it a shot what the worst that can happen.

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By bendybod
07th Mar 2024 16:58

I have done it. Beware of jumping and then deciding it was a mistake. It is much harder to get back in to practice once you've jumped.
Personally, I was bored to tears in industry and didn't like the fact that it didn't feel like jobs were ever finished because it was on to the next month and then the next month....
I find that one of the things that practice accounts tend to like is to be able to say something is finished and move on.
Whilst it undoubtedly gives you exposure, it is, as others have said, a different skill set.
That said, if you feel like you're done with practice then going to a company that you know is a good way to do it.

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By ollieacca
07th Mar 2024 17:33

Thanks to all for your thoughts, it’s given an interesting insight!

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