What is the career path for a Chartered Accountant?

What is the career path for a Chartered Accountant?

As a recruiter I speak to many Chartered Accountants on a weekly basis, some are actively seeking a career move while others simply like to keep up to speed with what is currently going on in the market.

Through all these conversations, there are three recurrent themes:

1. CAs currently practising within ‘Big 4’ expressing an interest in moving to smaller practices.

The benefits of such a move are, greater recognition for the work you do which results in an increased chance of career progression to partner. Improved work/life balance is a major factor for many seeking this move whilst the salary drop is considered minor in comparison to the longer term gains.

2. CAs seeking side-step roles from one practice to another.

This is usually to gain valuable exposure to additional clients. Surprisingly often, they are finding the new role is a better personal fit for them. Despite some rumours, not all practices are the same and you will work with new clients thus gaining extra insight.

3. By a long margin, the most common question I get asked by CAs is “what is the best pathway from practice into industry”.

I have weekly meetings with many Finance Directors in Edinburgh and almost without exception; they spend 5-7 years in practice, gain as much varied experience and client exposure as possible and then make the move into an FM/FC position.

What is clear from my conversations with Finance Directors, when they are recruiting CAs with a practice background they would ideally like one who has experience of dealing with a client similar to their own organisation. With that in mind points 1 & 2 would certainly broaden the spectrum of clients a CA has worked with, giving them a diverse portfolio to take into industry.

If you are a CA looking for a career move contact Gregor Cameron 

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