Firstly, we would like to say a big congratulations to all those passed their ACA or ACCA results and can now call you are now fully qualified accountants. This is such an amazing achievement which will have required a lot of hard work and dedication.
You've passed your ACA or ACCA exams - what next for your career?
As part of the Professional Services Finance & Accounting recruitment team at Ambition, we have helped many newly qualified ACAs and ACCAs take the next step in their career in either in a new practice, or, in a larger role.
Option 1: Stay in the same role
Your existing firm will be keen to retain you as a newly qualified accountant and provide you with opportunities to step up and take on more responsibilities.
Accountancy firms are virtually unrivalled for the progression that they can offer, and some things should change now that you have become fully qualified:
1. Salary increase
To begin with, you should see a noticeable pay rise. On average, we have newly qualified candidates experience salary increases of up to 25%.
2. Increased responsibilities
With this pay rise, you’ll be sure to gain added responsibilities as you undertake a more senior role on audits, accounts preparation or tax assignments.
3. Mentor others
You may be asked to provide your words of wisdom as a mentor for those who are now going through their ACA or ACCA.
This is a great opportunity to take up as it helps to develop your mentoring/coaching/managing skills with something that should be very familiar to you and you are likely to have some very good tips and tricks to share.
Option 2: Move internally
This is a fantastic option if you are really enjoying working at your current firm, are not ready to move to a new firm entirely, but want to take on either new responsibilities or explore a new area within the firm.
So many candidates want to move into industry to become an analyst, explore equity research, or, discover the world of Mergers & Acquisitions. Though this is not always an easy move, it can be possible, if your experience lends itself in an obvious fashion.
The best way to go about this would be to move into the relevant team internally given that you would have already proven yourself as a loyal employee and your managers can provide internal references in terms of your work ethics and attitude.
Option 3: Move to a competitor
You may be keen to explore opportunities in a new platform, be it a larger or a smaller practice. In moving to a competitor, you are giving yourself the opportunity to explore a new environment, work with new Partners and Managers, as well as a new portfolio of clients.
Some newly qualified accountants who have been working with smaller practices may have a desire to move into a larger practice to gain exposure to larger clients, experience more collaboration with supporting teams such as the technical accounting team, manage larger teams and be exposed to different processes etc.
Whilst on the other end of the spectrum, NQ accountants who have only worked for a large practice may have a desire to explore opportunities within smaller practices as it may provide them with a more direct route to partnership. With work/life balance becoming amongst the top key drivers in the last 3 years this has become a very popular choice for many.
Our advice for newly qualified ACAs and ACCAs:
1. Keep your options open and speak to as many individuals as you need to before you make a move.
Partners and Managers of your firm are the best people to speak to as they have chosen to pursue a career in practice. They will be able to give you an insight on their decision and speak about what your career may look like if you do decide to stay on.
2. Speak to recruitment consultants who specialise in this field
The majority of practices/companies choose not to post their newly qualified opportunities online, but rather, go through recruitment firms to help them manage and support the process better so it’s worth getting your CV out to us so we can present you with relevant opportunities.
Once again, congratulations to all of you newly qualified ACAs and ACCAs! We wish you all the best in the next step of your career.
If you're looking for any advice, please contact us.
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