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practice jobs

GlynisGlynis Trusted RegularRegistered Posts: 488
I have registered with 3 agencies in an attempt to get a job in practice that will also help with my studies towards ACCA. I am planning to do F8 in june this year. Has anyone had any success in securing a job in practice using agencies.

So far my experience of agencies are that they are diabolically useless. The consultants just don't seem interested and sometimes it feels like they can't wait to get me off the telephone. has anyone any idea on how to get a foot in the door in practice.
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Comments

  • nag17nag17 New Member Registered Posts: 8
    Hi Glynis.. I know exactly what you mean I am in the same boat I started ACCA, I took F5 and F7.. hoping to sit them in June. on the other hand I am looking for a practise job I did every thing can be done like sending letter to practises asking if they have any jobs , always the same answer that will keep my Cv if any thing comes but it never come , And asked for volunteery positions as well..... last week I was over the moon because one of the practises finally asked me to come for one day a week I been only once and then they said they do not have enough desks ....., I feel so stressed and disappointed, with the sitution and do not know what really can be done.
  • Miss_HJMiss_HJ Feels At Home Registered Posts: 91
    I am in the same situation, I want to move from industy to practice, have spoken with an agency that contacted me, however clear i make it that I am looking to CHANGE to practice they hassle me with management accouts jobs as I am "perfect" for them, baically I have experience there and they are holding on to that and not understanding my request to change from this.

    Im in a catch 22 situation as I cannot lower my salary to take anything that comes up, but am looking at volunteering to get experience, its a hard slog through AAT then harder to get where you want with accounts!

    I wont be giving up and wish you luck!
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Out of curiosity but why specifically do you (and seemingly everyone) want to move to what I believe could be a quite limiting career in practice accounts while disregarding or turning other potentially fruitful sectors down? I moved from the manufacturing to the service sector a couple of years ago and know there is more to life than just factory accounting so why anyone would deliberately choose to confine themselves to a limited market in a recession seems rather odd to me.
  • jewels.pjewels.p Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,774
    blobbyh wrote: »
    Out of curiosity but why specifically do you (and seemingly everyone) want to move to what I believe could be a quite limiting career in practice accounts while disregarding or turning other potentially fruitful sectors down? I moved from the manufacturing to the service sector a couple of years ago and know there is more to life than just factory accounting so why anyone would deliberately choose to confine themselves to a limited market in a recession seems rather odd to me.

    I work in Accounts in the Manufacturing Sector and totally agree with what you have said here.
  • GlynisGlynis Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 488
    I want to move to practice for the experiance and the study support as ACCA is expensive. I am also bored of industry jobs which become monatinous after a while.
  • shawn michaelsshawn michaels Feels At Home Registered Posts: 52
    I wish I could get bored with jobs except I have no job to get bored with in the first instance lol
  • Steve CollingsSteve Collings Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 997
    Glynis wrote: »
    I want to move to practice for the experiance and the study support as ACCA is expensive. I am also bored of industry jobs which become monatinous after a while.

    Hi Glynis,

    Study support is becoming more of a 'luxury' these days with many firms cutting back on the support they are giving to students. I was speaking to another accountant who works in a mid-tier firm who said that they are not offering nearly half as many generous packages as they previously did because (a) cost-cutting exercises and (b) many students simply leave as soon as they are qualified. I am not saying all practices are slashing study programmes, but don't be too surprised if firms are offering very much 'watered down' packages.

    I am not saying it is not impossible - indeed it is not because I did this - but many people move from practice to industry rather than the other way around. As I said I did the switch from industry to practice but that was a long time ago so depending on employers requirements, you might be better keeping your options open.

    Good luck in your quest.

    Kind regards
    Steve
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    funny thing is i see it from the other end now i am receiving study support and have the practise experience however am now worried that with it been a small practise (which i fear could also happen to a few) the practise am in isnt big enough for another accountant, so may have to consider moving on.

    Practise jobs are good for expereince but be warry for progression
  • Miss_HJMiss_HJ Feels At Home Registered Posts: 91
    blobbyh wrote: »
    Out of curiosity but why specifically do you (and seemingly everyone) want to move to what I believe could be a quite limiting career in practice accounts while disregarding or turning other potentially fruitful sectors down? I moved from the manufacturing to the service sector a couple of years ago and know there is more to life than just factory accounting so why anyone would deliberately choose to confine themselves to a limited market in a recession seems rather odd to me.

    I work in management accounts for the IT department of a large utility company. I dont mean to sound ungreatful of the offers from the agency, however They contacted me as I was on there books from a few yrs ago when I had no experience, I had clearly told them that IF (and only if) i was to look for work in the near future then it would be in practice as this is where i aim to go and i would need to repay my level 3 and 4 of AAT to my current employer therefore I would only want to do it for a career move in what i consider to be my future direction. I am not activly looking for work so being fussy is optional, if they came up with what seemed an amazing job/opportunity i would however consider changing my goals etc, but at the moment they are the same as what i am doing, same money, less benefits so i cant see the logic for me!

    I cannot see the point in changing organisations and working in management accounts, my current job has no real progression, our company finance is mainly in Reading and i am in Hampshire. but it is decent money and i will stay untill i find a better opportinity or financially i can make the change

    My reason for wanting to work in practice is that this is why I started studying accountancy, i want to eventually work for myself and therefore feel that practice experience will help me reach this, everyone has different reasons for working but my goal has remained and my current job cant offer me that and i feel i am being directed away from what i want in a company that cant offer me progression.

    I think everyone has their reasons for starting in accountancy and we all want different things so one persons ideal job isnt anothers.
  • GlynisGlynis Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 488
    Just when you think things cannot get worse they do. I have rang my agency this morning and I was horrified by the response I got. The girl told me there was nothing they could do for me as I had no experience and they were taking me off their list of candidates. I was shocked that agencies can simply do this! Has anyone else had this happen to them?
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Of course agencies can do this, the same as any private establishment or business can decide whether or not you are allowed to enter, occupy or utilise their resouces. It is no-ones human right to be on the books of an agency and there may have been something in the terms and conditions of your agreement with this agency that mentioned relevant experience was essential as part of being signed up.

    While most agencies cater for the mass market, there are some that operate in very specialised areas (as mines does) and who may see it as a waste of resources to represent candidates who cannot offer any return on their investment, namely the time spent interviewing you, looking for work etc. Tesco caters for everybody whereas Harrods clearly does not but anybody is still free to walk through the doors of both stores.

    This does not make the agency 'rubbish' or 'useless' otherwise they wouldn't be able to stay in business and if they've been around for years, then clearly they must know what they're doing and able to turn profits.

    Regardless of whether you like them or not, agencies exist and many employers are happy to use them for specialist positions - as accountancy certainly is. For example, a manufacturing company looking for a fully qualified accountant may often use the services of an accountancy agency as the company's HR person is unlikely to have the specialist knowledge required to recruit the said accountant.
  • shawn michaelsshawn michaels Feels At Home Registered Posts: 52
    Hays Accountancy refused to find me work because I possessed a large unemployment gap and said I would need a reference to cover it. It figures. Having said that, I was placed for a job interview last week by another agency so there are people who will help. Just try another agency. Not much else you can do.
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    Robert speaking for agencies what advise would you give to improve your chances of been taken on in an agency and been put forward for interviews?
  • GlynisGlynis Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 488
    Well I think it is abhorant that agencies can promise you the earth one minute then say there's nothing they can do for you the next. I have tried to speak to the manager concerned but surprisingly she is unavailable. I wouldn't advise anyone use agencies because they definately don't do what they are paid to do.
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    But glynis you dont pay them the employer does so their priorties is to find the employers the best person available otherwise they wont make their commission.
  • Claire321Claire321 Well-Known Registered Posts: 209
    Glynis,

    If you don't mind me asking what is your current job role?
  • GlynisGlynis Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 488
    I work in a furniture store at the minute but I want to move into practise as there may be redundancies when the accountants have been in next week. I am also doing ACCA so need some financial help with that which my employer is not going to pay for.
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Two things Glynis:

    I would advise you not to use agencies anymore as clearly you have a personal axe to grind which I strongly suspect comes out in your dealings with them. If you dislike them so much then stop using them but bleating unconstructively on here solves nothing.

    As for this...
    Glynis wrote: »
    I wouldn't advise anyone use agencies because they definately don't do what they are paid to do.

    ... clearly the fact that they exist, have done so for many years and will do so for many more, doesn't just simply suggest the opposite of your point but rather damn well proves it. They do exactly what they're paid to do rather than lie to employers by appeasing and putting forward poor quality candidates, all of which would be bad for the agency, bad for the employer and ultimately bad for the employee once they're ejected from the job for being no good.
  • mark057mark057 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 354
    I think you need to gain a little perspective Glynis.

    Firstly, practice work is very specialised and very few employers will give you a start in practice with no experience.

    Secondly, we are still in a recession and even when our economy moves out of recession there will be a few difficult years of recovery ahead.

    For goodness sake our whole ecomomic system nearly ended in a catastrophic meltdown which could have led to a global depression.

    Be thankful you have a job in your chosen profession because there are many people who have nothing.

    I volunteer my time so I can work in the accountancy profession and build up vital experience. I even have to fund my own out of pocket expenses with no money coming in.

    You have lost all perspective Glynis and you will never get anywhere by moaning incessantly about not having this or not having that.

    Until you learn the world is not fair and you have to do something on a personal level to make things happen you will be constantly disappointed in life.
  • GreycowGreycow Feels At Home Registered Posts: 83
    Well said Mark

    Unfortuantely in these economic times you have to really fight and work hard to get what you want not blame everyone else and expect everything to be handed to you on a plate whether it be a job or help with your studies.
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Accountancy is not just a job, it's a profession and you need to be both well trained and suitably experienced to be considerd for most jobs offered by agencies. Accountancy jobs just don't come with that oft-seen "No-experience required" tag you might see for a warehouse operative and remember that we're operating in a highly skilled but limited opportunity field where the rewards can be great for those determined enough to succeed. Not everyone can do it, that's why it often pays so well.

    My gut feeling is that most accounting practices won't recruit through agencies as many may often recruit directly from local colleges and most of the accounting jobs I've seen through agencies are within the manufacturing and service sectors. The opportunities within these sectors is enormous, especially if you can break into a big organisation, with roles ranging from lower level positions such as ledger clerks right up to high flyers such as Financial Directors or CFO's. If you're in practice you may well become a partner but the opportunities still seem more limited, someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 814
    I worked in industry and now I'm working in a practice for almost 3 years. There is good and bad points, in practice you deal with lots of different accounts, a very good experience, however there isn't any career progression and chances to do some management accounts, budgets etc..

    I want to leave (as I'm totally bored) and find a job somewhere else, I'm considering to get back in industry, however so far I didn't have any luck with agencies.
    Example last night I applied for a job requiring a AAT studier with 2 years work experience. This morning I received the typical
    "Unfortunately in this instance your application has not been successful."

    I'm wondering if he read carefully my CV to reject me so quick....and for which reasons since my skills match their requirements?

    Who knows...
  • loraluloralu Feels At Home Registered Posts: 64
    A-Vic wrote: »

    Practise jobs are good for expereince but be warry for progression

    totally agree! i'm at the end of my acca and have no where to progress to in the firm i work at unless someone leaves, which i can't see happening anytime soon. but i can't leave as i can't afford to pay my fees back.

    the agencies i've used have always been helpful and pleasant and i feel they doing what is best for me aswell as the companies with the jobs.

    blobbyh - do you work for an agency? have you had many companies buy a candidate out recently?
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    loralu wrote: »
    totally agree! i'm at the end of my acca and have no where to progress to in the firm i work at unless someone leaves, which i can't see happening anytime soon. but i can't leave as i can't afford to pay my fees back.

    the agencies i've used have always been helpful and pleasant and i feel they doing what is best for me aswell as the companies with the jobs.

    blobbyh - do you work for an agency? have you had many companies buy a candidate out recently?
    I hit the same glass ceiling but in the accounts department of a manufacturing company. As long as noone leaves, I can't move on. I'm at the technician stage of AAT now and hope to find something better after I finished it, but with the current recession it's not easy.

    Besides that we go live with a new system in April and I'm worried that my job comes under stress at that point, so I have been looking around, but so far haven't had much success, but I have only replied to jobs in the paper if it looked interesting enough and a step up, rather than the same level (lower is not possible!).

    Anyways, I'm happy to have a job and even though I'm bored out of my skull with the work I am doing, at least it leaves me enough energy to do some study in the evenings!
  • troytroy Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 275
    Hi,

    I have not read all the reply's to the initial response...but I am sorry, the reason you want to go privete is that studying ACCA is expensive. I am studying ACCA (usually regarded as having no benifit to the public sector, but they are covering my costs if I studing on distance learning and letting me have two hours off for each unit I take...maybe not the all you want to get, but it ain't a bad option. And I think that in a very uncertain time, that the public sector is slightly more certain than private....just maybe not as much money.. eh???
  • CriggersCriggers Feels At Home Registered Posts: 53
    The thought of being stuck in a practice scares the crap out of me. I enjoy costings and working with different people at my company but you just can't have the same laugh with accountants as you can with engineers. My first jobs were in the electrical field (is that a pun?) and then car mechanics so you could say im a bit of a 'bloke' and I do have to stop myself and my sense of humour from getting too carried away. So yeah, I couldn't sit in a practice all day.

    I'm sure they're not that bad but i just have this terrible image of me getting very bored very quickly in practice.

    My job is great, I've said before in previous threads I lucked into my position - I just happened to put my CV on monster the week before somebody else left my post. Now come next month I will hopefully have my AAT level 4 and my boss WANTS me to do CIMA. They will offer some study support cash but it is unclear what, as I haven't got a "plan" in place (and do not know where to start with CIMA either) and you can't cost something without a plan.

    Anyway, the point I am trying to make is, you (Glynis, I'm pointing at you) have made a few threads of whinginess (sp?) but there is no point in being so negative. A more positive outlook would greatly help. I think someone has mentioned the "sharpened axe" you're carrying ready to chop the heads form agencies, but if you went into things a little more positively and purposeful you may see some different results.

    Apologies if this post is a little jumbled and nonsensical but I am at work and rushing to post :)
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenRegistered Posts: 258
    Not sure where in the Public sector you work Troy, but in Local Government ACCA is of great benefit, particularly as we march towards IFRS compliance and environmental reporting. The gap between public sector reporting and accounting and private sector reporting is narrowing by the day, leaving ACCA trained accountants in a strong position. I think you will find that in Local Government for qualified accountants ACCA has the second biggest representaion (behind CIPFA) and for students ACCA dwarfs the other CCAB bodies. In my department I have one ACCA graduate, two ACCA students and one AAT student. I am an ACCA member and my Director is CIPFA qualified. ACCA is very relevant to the public sector, and if my memory serves me well from the last ACCA stats, just under 1/3 of ACCA members work in the public sector, either directly or in consultancy roles.

    I agree that the public sector may be slightly more certain than elsewhere at the moment, but we are in the process of battoning down the hatces in anticipation of budget cuts in the order of 20 to 30% over the next 5 to 7 years. While local government finance departments will need to be strong to control these cut budgets, we can not be immune from such large cuts. There is currently very little staff movement because of the anticipated cuts, so vacancies are fairly rare. But it is still not a bad place to be if you can get in and the work can be vaied and fulfilling (but like everywhere can also be frustrating and tedious at times).
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    funny thing is i work in practise and can say ive never had 2 days the same in 5 years
  • GlynisGlynis Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 488
    Well I am still going to use agencies as they are the only way I can get into practise. I have been speaking to one of the people at our accountants who also said its hard to get to manager level in practice and she told me to look in industry. I think she is slighjtly misguided but is it true.
  • Steve CollingsSteve Collings Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 997
    I'm not sure "misguided" would be an appropriate word - your accountant is right in a lot of respects.

    Working in practice is hard work, can be rewarding, and also varied depending on your specialism. Most people love tax and hate accounts prep and audit and vice versa. It is quite difficult to get up to managerial level in practice and you can only do that by good old-fashioned hard graft (as in any job). Difficult: yes, impossible: no.

    Good luck with the search Glynis.

    Steve
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