Careers in practice: Case studies on where and how can you progress

Josh Rufus 09.05.2018

Having recruited into the audit in practice market for the last six years, I have noticed a number of trends and career paths the individuals wish to go down. Here are two highlights to help you with your career development:

Case 1: Practice qualified accountants moving to commerce, industry and banking

There are a number of accountants who qualify in practice and then wish to leave to work in roles within commerce and industry and banking. This has not changed much over the past couple of years, but what has is the amount of people able to actually make the transition, and the amount of candidates wanting to.

  • If you are looking for a move out of practice, having a Big 4 on your CV will help you infinitely to make that step.
  • If you wish to work for a Big 4 firm, working for a top 20 practice will significantly improve your chances
  • If you are working for a small independent firm your best bet maybe to join a top 20 firm, where you are going to be given a bigger client portfolio and exposure to UK GAAP or IFRS.


[Graphic]: Move from practice jobs to commerce, industry or banking roles


Often I meet auditors working for small practices looking for careers within industry – I understand that, and my advice is always the same: Look for a firm bigger than yours and think about not just your next job, but where you wish to be after that.

Case 2: Staying in practice, with increasingly interesting roles

A number of accountancy firms are currently trying to address retention issues by making roles more desirable and interesting. 

A top 10 firm that I visited recently for example, who recruit auditors to work overseas, are offering secondments to work for their clients after a qualifying period. Big 4 practices are also always looking at internal transfers. Audit to corporate finance is a popular step, with a candidate gaining exposure in fields such as mergers and acquisitions, forensic accounting or insolvency.

Thoughts about your next move in practice, or the steps you’ve taken so far? Let us know your views or get in touch if you’ve any questions.

Josh Rufus's picture
Manager | External Audit Recruitment