Making the Move from Practice to Industry: A Guide for Accountants Considering The Transition

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Making the Move from Practice to Industry: A Guide for Accountants Considering The Transition

  • Publish Date: about 1 year ago
  • Author:by Ewan Kingdon

​Transitioning from a career in accountancy practice to the corporate world can be an exciting and rewarding move for accountants seeking new challenges and career growth. However, it's key to navigate this carefully to ensure a smooth transition from the familiar realm of public accounting to the dynamic environment of industry. In this blog post, we will explore key considerations and provide guidance for accountants contemplating their first move to industry.

Understanding the Differences

Understanding the differences between the two options can prepare yourself for the transition. Within an industry role, you may find you're more focused, requiring you to adapt to the culture, reporting structure, and work dynamics of your new industry role. This understanding will help you set realistic expectations and embrace the opportunities that come with the change.

Client Focus vs. Company Focus

In accountancy practice, you typically work with a variety of clients, serving their specific accountancy and financial needs. This exposes you to different industries, business models, and challenges. In contrast, industry roles involve working within a single company, focusing on its financial operations, performance analysis, and strategic decision-making. You'll become familiar with the company's financial health, industry dynamics, and internal processes.

Scope and Responsibilities

In practice, you may have handled a broad range of tasks, such as auditing, tax preparation, and financial consulting. However, industry roles tend to be more specialised. You may focus on financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, or financial analysis. You'll be responsible for the accuracy of the company's financial records, supporting management in making informed decisions, and ensuring compliance with applicable regulations.

Reporting Structures

Accountancy practice often involves reporting to multiple clients, partners, or managers within the firm. In industry, you'll typically report to a supervisor, manager, or director within the company's finance or accountancy department. The reporting hierarchy may include controllers, CFOs, or other executive-level positions. Understanding the reporting structure and navigating internal communication channels is crucial for successful integration into the company framework.

Understanding your Motivation

Transitioning from accountancy practice to industry can be a significant career move, and it's important to clarify your motivations before making the leap. Understanding your reasons for wanting to transition will not only help you make an informed decision but also enable you to set realistic expectations and align your goals with the opportunities that industry roles can offer. Here are some things to consider:

Industry-Specific Experience

Industry roles allow you to specialise in a particular sector, giving you the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge and expertise in a specific industry. If you're interested in a specific field or have a passion for a particular industry, transitioning to industry accountancy can provide you with a chance to apply your skills and contribute to the financial operations and growth of a company within that industry.

Career Progression

If you're looking for long-term career growth and advancement opportunities, industry roles can offer a clear career journey. In industry, you can move up the corporate ladder, taking on roles with increasing responsibilities and broader business impact. Consider whether the potential for career progression and professional development is a motivating factor for your transition.

Learning and Skill Development

Transitioning to industry can expose you to new challenges, allowing you to expand your skill set beyond the space of accountancy practice. Industry roles often involve financial analysis, strategic planning, budgeting, and decision support. If you're eager to broaden your expertise and acquire new skills that can enhance your overall professional profile, a move to industry may be an appealing choice.

Assessing Industry Options

When considering a move from accountancy practice to industry, it's essential to assess the various industry options available to you. Here's how you can evaluate and explore different industries, and how working with a recruitment agency, can assist you in this process:

Research and Explore Industries

Start by researching different industries to identify those that align with your interests, values, and career goals. Consider factors such as industry growth, stability, and future prospects. Explore industries that have a high demand for accountancy professionals. Look into the unique challenges and opportunities within each industry to determine which you might enjoy the most.

Specialist Recruitment Agencies

Like us, some recruitment agencies specialise in finance and accountancy. We can be a valuable resource in your industry research. We have extensive networks and industry knowledge, so we can provide insights and guidance on industry trends, job market dynamics, and opportunities. We can help you identify industries that align with your skills and interests and make you aware of relevant job opportunities. We often have access to a wide range of job opportunities, including those that may not be publicly advertised.


Transitioning from accountancy practice to industry can open new opportunities and career growth for accountants. By considering the differences, evaluating motivations, and researching options, accountants can make a successful move to industry.

Remember, this transition requires planning and adaptability. With the right mindset and preparation, accountants can confidently embark on their journey into the dynamic world of industry accountancy. And if you would like to reach out to us to find out how we can support you with this transition, please contact us: