Established accountancy practices are often seen as the first step on the ladder for accountancy graduates and for good reason. In 2022, 14% percent of all graduate vacancies in the UK were accountancy roles – the vast majority of them being in the Big Four. Consequently, however, the graduate label tends to stick, and practices can gain a reputation for ultimately being steppingstones for accountants to use, but not necessarily be the ultimate goal. So, here are some things that a large practice can offer which industry often can’t.
For starters, working in a top accountancy practice offers a wide range of clients and industries, exposing you to huge MNCs and household name companies. In addition to valuable experience working on large projects, large practices often do a better job of exposing employees to a wider spectrum of accountancy issues and solutions than industry will.
Large practices also have a proven track record in providing high level and quality training. Employees are ensured to come out a highly trained accountant. Practices are chartered accountant printing machines. While it’s an uneasy image to picture yourself as another accountant on the conveyor belt, if that conveyor belt is leading towards becoming a highly trained and sought after accountant then all of a sudden, it’s a much more attractive prospect.
Diversity of the workforce is another plus that working in a large practice holds. Working in a large and often diverse team allows for professional and personal growth. The job security within a stable multinational company and job sector, also means that large practices should survive the harsh layoffs currently facing the private sector in previously booming and stable industries, such as engineering and tech.
Even if you are still set on viewing the large practices as a steppingstone, then having ‘the name on the CV’ is a still an attractive offer. A common sight is to see high level positions requesting previous experience in a top 10 practice or previous experience dealing with MNCs. While certain areas of industry can offer this, it is not always commonplace. This kind of experience can be invaluable, especially for graduates and those at the beginning of their accounting career.
Lastly but maybe most relevant in today’s current climate is the benefit of not being at the mercy of an unpredictable and rash CEO. Practices thrive on their dependability and stability and so you wont have to worry about your companies CEO pouring billions into a VR world, only for it to fall through and find that the next morning your login doesn’t work and you’re officially laid off. A sad but true reality for many Big Tech employees.