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  • FIRST POST
    • Stu6781
    • By Stu6781 19th Sep 19, 7:39 PM
    • 94Posts
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    Stu6781
    Need some opinions from other accountants
    • #1
    • 19th Sep 19, 7:39 PM
    Need some opinions from other accountants 19th Sep 19 at 7:39 PM
    As a trainee in a general accountancy practice would you choose to work in either of these with the pros and cons,

    Small practice - poor salary all the way through training to chartered, more client exposure, laidback easy going environment, likely to become a portfolio holder quicker

    Larger practice - decent salary rises throughout training, less client exposure, likely to feel more of a number, firm will probably look better on the CV, more competition for promotions.

    Any thoughts from fellow accountants would be much appreciated, thanks.
Page 1
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 19th Sep 19, 9:19 PM
    • 4,574 Posts
    • 11,910 Thanks
    LilElvis
    • #2
    • 19th Sep 19, 9:19 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Sep 19, 9:19 PM
    As a trainee in a general accountancy practice would you choose to work in either of these with the pros and cons,

    Small practice - poor salary all the way through training to chartered, more client exposure, laidback easy going environment, likely to become a portfolio holder quicker

    Larger practice - decent salary rises throughout training, less client exposure, likely to feel more of a number, firm will probably look better on the CV, more competition for promotions.

    Any thoughts from fellow accountants would be much appreciated, thanks.
    Originally posted by Stu6781

    But confused as to why you're asking this question as, according to a previous thread, you qualified a year ago.

    Hi everyone,

    Being a freshly qualified ACCA accountant from a regional practice practice, with around 5 years experience.

    What is the minimum salary I should be commanding?

    Also to note - I am in East Anglia

    Many thanks all.
    Originally posted by Stu6781
    • JohnDorian
    • By JohnDorian 20th Sep 19, 10:08 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    JohnDorian
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 19, 10:08 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 19, 10:08 AM
    Depends on what you want to achieve. Working for a listed business is almost impossible if from small practice. However, alot of smaller companies value accountant's trained in small practice.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 20th Sep 19, 10:23 AM
    • 12,057 Posts
    • 23,768 Thanks
    Pennywise
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 19, 10:23 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 19, 10:23 AM
    As someone with 35 years in practice, I think the big difference is that if you start in a small firm, you'll really struggle to break into larger firms, either larger practices or industry/commerce.

    Whereas if you start big, say, a top 10 firm, you can either stay in top 10 practices, or move into big business/industry, or move down to small practice, small business.

    There's definitely a lot of movement down from big to small, but very little movement up from small to big.

    I.e. I must have worked with 50 or so trainee accountants in the small practice environment over those years. Not a single one that I know about moved up to a regional or national practice. Whereas, I worked with probably 10-20 qualified accountants who qualified with the top 10 firms but joined small/family practices at manager/partner level. Some of those were "parachuted" into partner/manager positions ahead of "home grown" trainees who'd trained and qualified in the firm (and who weren't happy to have been passed over, feeling that they loyalty had been thrown back in their face!).

    Not all circumstances are the same, of course. I was a year older than a school leaver we took on at my first place. He shadowed me for 2/3 years before I left. He is now owner/sole practitioner of that same firm, so he basically joined when he left school, trained & qualified there, and then was in the right place at the right time when the partners retired.

    So, a lot is luck, some good, some bad. But the thing with small firms is that's it's always "dead man's shoes" and you never really know when the managers/partners are going to leave/retire, nor their plans. I think if you're in a top 10 firm, you can plan your career better as there are usually more obvious career paths, and more opportunites rather than just waiting for Mr Smith to retire.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 20th Sep 19, 10:44 AM
    • 10,090 Posts
    • 12,672 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 19, 10:44 AM
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 19, 10:44 AM
    There's a big difference between the top 4 (600+ partners) and most of the rest of the top 15 (100-250 partners mostly).

    Somewhere like Haines Watts would probably be be very different from Deloitte or KPMG; you'd (on the upside) have a small office working environment but much of the support and opportunities of a larger organisation.

    I think you're less likely to move from small to top 4 because the big firms like to train staff their own way, but there will be quite a lot of 'small' practices in larger towns which have a large enough pool of partners and associates to offer a career path, and they're more likely to have expansion plans of their own.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • JayRitchie
    • By JayRitchie 20th Sep 19, 7:07 PM
    • 284 Posts
    • 291 Thanks
    JayRitchie
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 19, 7:07 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 19, 7:07 PM
    As a trainee in a general accountancy practice would you choose to work in either of these with the pros and cons,

    Small practice - poor salary all the way through training to chartered, more client exposure, laidback easy going environment, likely to become a portfolio holder quicker

    Larger practice - decent salary rises throughout training, less client exposure, likely to feel more of a number, firm will probably look better on the CV, more competition for promotions.

    Any thoughts from fellow accountants would be much appreciated, thanks.
    Originally posted by Stu6781
    When you say small practice and large practice what size of firms are you referring to?

    I don't see why the size of firm reduces client exposure?
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