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The quotes that could damage your accountancy practice career, and how to avoid them

by Sellick Partnership | 3 October 2016

A recruiter you have never spoken to before just called you up and told you they have they perfect opportunity for you! It is paying £25,000, offering CIMA study support and within management accounts. What they do not know because they have never spoken to you before is that you are on £27,000 and want to study ACA because you want a financial accountant position within industry in five years’ time.

Fortunately for you, that is probably an inexperienced recruiter, or an overeager hiring manager struggling to fill a role selling that opportunity. You should be more concerned about recruiters/employers selling certain aspects of the role, and leaving out others.Here are the things to be wary of when making that perfect career move, and possible questions to ask in order to dodge a bullet.

“The role is only 10 percent audit”

I have had a few candidates recently who have made moves in to other practices on the promise that they will only be doing a few audits every now and again as they do not enjoy it. However, when they have joined the business, the workload has slowly been cranked up until they are a fully bona fide auditors, or at least audit is a significant part of the role. The ways to avoid this are not always obvious. However, choosing a firm with specific departments that separates business services and audit is one option. Another is to choose a much smaller firm where audit is only a small percentage of fee income.

“There is a definite Partner path here”

One of the main reasons people stay within practice is to pursue the Holy Grail; Partnership.  

Even in small practices there can be a six figure sum pretty much guaranteed for the rest of your days. However, sometimes the promise of progression can be halted by Partners not retiring when they are meant to, or the progression simply not being in place as promised. If you have set your sights on Partner, then look at the age profile of the Partners. Look to see if there is anyone of a similar age to yourself and if the company is inclined to offer a promotion to someone in a similar position to you. Also ask about the existing staff in an interview -if there really genuinely is not anyone looking to progress then there may be an accelerated opportunity up the career ladder.

“You will be earning X amount upon qualification”

You are half way through your studies, and you have been promised a hefty sum in comparison to your current earnings. However upon qualification it is not as expected, or you realise that you have to repay a certain amount of your fees upon qualification.Check the fine print of your training contract and clarify anything that does not make sense to you. If you leave half way through the contract, then it is likely you will be lumbered personally with the fees that have been paid for.
There are just a few examples of things to consider when searching for your next role.

If you are looking to secure a new role within practice please contact me on 01332 542580 or email andy.larkin@sellickpartnership.co.uk. Alternatively, browse our latest practice roles.