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Halliday Marx Visions

HM Visions aims to provide you with all the latest accounting recruitment news, jobs and careers advice

Congratulations! You’ve put in the long hours and the hard work and you are now a fully fledged qualified accountant. So, what’s next?

Accountancy and finance can seem confusing with so many career options available that it can be difficult to determine your next move. There is a lot to consider and that’s before thinking about what discipline you want to focus on: Maybe FP&A, Financial Accounting, Management accounts, group accounting, or indeed what type of business you want to work for!

If you have just qualified from practice, often the first decision will be whether you stay in or enter Commerce, Financial Services or Not-for-Profit. After qualifying, most people decide to move on and many newly qualified ACAs then choose which commercial or financial services sector to go into.

The Halliday Marx team has met with thousands of newly qualified accountants in your situation, the best thing to do is;

  • Consider what your ultimate career goal is;
  • Be open-minded;
  • Think about what you enjoy doing; and
  • What type of business or environment best suits your career goals?

John Marx, Director of Halliday Marx says “The truth is that your first move may not be to a role that you initially envisaged. Often, it is a stepping stone – so don’t get fixated on a particular role and lose sight of what’s important to you, and what is best for your career. There’s plenty of time to climb the ladder to finance director.”

If your career goal is to eventually be a finance director, your next role does not have to be the Financial Controller. You need to think long-term and remember that you have plenty of time to accumulate the skills that will enable you to reach your ultimate career goal. For example, almost all finance directors will have held a reporting-focused role at some point, before moving up the ladder to a purely strategic and management position. Consider the bigger picture – the broader your skill set, the easier it is when you get to the top.

Sometimes the best decision is to take a role that isn’t 100% what you want but offers you exposure to a dynamic small to medium-size business with ample opportunity to progress. Generally the smaller the company the broader the role, the larger the company the slimmer the role. Some factors you should also consider are:

  • What is their track record of progressing people in your situation?
  • Have candidates come from a similar background to you?; and
  • Where are they now?  

So whatever your next step is following your accountancy qualification – be open-minded, research the business and not just the role on offer, ask the right questions of your recruiter/the employer and consider all the factors that are important to get you where you ultimately want to be.

Remember, there’s still plenty of time to get to that finance director role.

At Halliday Marx we know the challenges that planning your career can pose especially when you are aiming to reach Financial Director/ CFO level, if you would like any more advice on applying for your next role please contact us on 020 7096 8200 or email us at [email protected]

For the latest financial opportunities, company updates, recruitment information and career advice follow us on LinkedIn @HallidayMarx

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