Making the decision to move from chartered to the commercial world can be daunting and unfamiliar. However, if you have decided that becoming Partner and billing your time every minute is not so appealing anymore, then it might be time to consider your next move and transition into the world of commerce.Now the question is – which role do you choose?
Obviously this is an important decision but don’t worry too much about whether the first role is exactly what you want. Instead, view it as a stepping-stone and think longer term. Below are some options typically available to newly qualified accountants who’ve been working in the external audit division of a Chartered Accounting firm.
Financial Accounting involves external reporting on actual results (and sometimes taxation work), and is the most natural progression for anyone moving out of Chartered. This is because it is most closely aligned with your current skill set – your strong knowledge of accounting standards. Many people view this role as a ‘foot in the door’, as it can open up various opportunities.
Management Accounting involves internal, forward looking reporting for management, as well as budgeting, forecasting and variance analysis. This is often the choice for those ultimately wanting a Commercial Analyst role, as it is less compliance-focused than financial accounting, but doesn’t require the strong excel skills needed for a purely commercial role.
These roles typically have you partnering with an area of the business (such as sales or marketing), providing reporting and analysis to support business decisions, maximise profit and cut costs.
There are a number of key points for you to consider, however don’t overcomplicate or overthink it. The starting point to consider is the type role you are seeking and ensuring it aligns with your current skills and long term career goals.
There are a number of key points for you to consider, however don’t overcomplicate or overthink it. The starting point to consider is the type role you are seeking and ensuring it aligns with your current skills and long term career goals
Salary is also a key point and ensuring your expectations are aligned with the market. The current theme is generally that when you move into commerce your salary increases dramatically. While this can be the case sometimes, you also need to be realistic and consider what the market is offering. Sometimes the opportunity might outweigh the remuneration and a sideways step early on will evidentially add more value later in your career.