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Private v Practice

Finance and Accountancy Industry Sectors

When you qualify as an accountant one of the most important decisions to make is whether to work in practice or within a company.

Private Practice

The majority of roles in private practise focus around audit, although there are opportunities to specialise in other areas such as Corporate Finance, M&A, Advisory and Tax.

Accountancy practices range from the Big 4 firms (PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young) to smaller practices. Working in practice gives you the opportunity to work with a large portfolio of clients, giving you exposure to different industries and organisations.


Working in industry, an accountant will work for a company. Using their knowledge and expertise they will advise management and other departments in the business to ensure the company is profitable.

Working in industry allows you to make strategic decisions and work towards the growth of the company.

Companies range from the large FTSE 250 companies to SMEs. In a smaller company you may get greater exposure to variety of job roles, whereas in a larger company you may have more opportunity to specialise.

Public Sector

Accountants in this sector would work in local or central government, the NHS, charities and other public organisations. They are responsible for managing the money for these public services.

Accountants in the public sector use their knowledge and expertise to ensure the organisation is receiving value for money, rather than profit. Those training in this sector typically study for the CIPFA qualification (The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. 



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