Broadly speaking you are likely to end up going down one of two paths as a trainee accountant – the practice path or the industry path.
Think of it like being at a T-Junction. Left is the practice path, right is the industry path. Both paths lead to becoming a qualified accountant, but the journey to qualification will be very different.
The Practice Path – basically means joining an accounting firm. These are broadly broken down into Big 4, Top 10, Top 20 and Small/Medium sized accounting firms (or what they are commonly know as “accounting practices”). They typically offer a structured training contract, considerable time off for exams and cover exam fees. They differ primarily in terms of the size of their clients. They provide audit, advisory, management consulting, tax and other services.
The Industry Path – basically referring to joining any company that is not an accounting firm….and there are a lot of them! They come in all shapes and sizes, offer products or services and can be local or global and offer a real and viable alternative to the more traditional accounting practice.
Deciding which path to go down can be a bit daunting. That is, of course, where Cruncher comes in. Read a little more below on each path and the consequences of taking a left or a right turn.