There are many career directions accountants can take. I have come across accountants in a variety
of roles and jobs over the years. The most important thing to remember is that the right path for each
individual should be a personal choice. For example if you are a practice trained accountant and a lot of
your colleagues are moving to industry does not mean that necessarily it is the right role for you. Maybe
accountancy itself isn’t for you as I have come across many accountants that have been successful
recruiters! Whatever the desired role is it must come from yourself.
Be Honest with yourself
In order to try and move your career in the right direction you need to be honest with yourself as an
accountant and formulate an idea of the type of job you would like to be doing in 5/10 years time. This
is something that continually needs to be looked at every few years as priorities can change over time.
By taking time to analyse this you will find it much easier to know which jobs to go for and why. This will
help mitigate against the position many accountants find themselves in when they wonder how they got
to where they are and the realisation that it is not where they wanted to get to.
Plot a course
In order to get to where you want to you may have to make a sideways move first. Once you know the
role you are aiming for you can see if you have the experience and skills to move straight into it. If not
you may need to move sideways into a role whereby you can get the exposure that you are lacking in
order to then move up to the desired position. For example, if you are a practice accountant from a
small firm who wants to work in a multinational it might be an idea to move to a large firm in order to
build up your experience to working on multinational clients. If you are a financial accountant and want
to move into corporate finance it might be an idea to take up a corporate finance diploma and try to
gain more commercial experience as this will help to bridge the gap between your current and desired
If you would like to discuss potential accountancy career paths please do not hesitate to contact the
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