Last night on Wednesday 6th November, Pro-Finance hosted an 'ACA/ACCA What Next' careers event. We welcomed Katherine Stone, Corporate Finance Manager at Moore Kingston Smith and Nigel Walde, Partner at Saffery Champness who shared how they translated their years of hard work into senior positions.
We welcomed a group of young accountants and finance professionals, ranging from those approaching qualification up to 3 years post-qualified, to our office space in St. Paul's for drinks, nibbles, and networking. Pro-Finance was joined by successful finance leaders Katherine Stone and Nigel Walde, both of whom gave advice and shared their experiences in the industry.
Katherine Stone is a Corporate Finance Manager at Moore Kingston Smith - awarded the 2018 Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year in England. She joined the firm in 2013 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant and has worked for a mixed portfolio of clients of all sizes across a number of sectors, providing audit, accounting, taxation and general business advice. Since joining Moore Kingston Smith, Katherine has been involved in a number of assignments including due diligence, listing and fundraising assignments, valuations and financial projections, and she shared her invaluable insights into the world of Corporate Finance post-qualification.
Here at Pro-Finance, we have helped many finance professionals make the jump from Audit to Corporate Finance and our specialist recruiters can offer further insights into working in the sector. A role in Corporate Finance gives you the opportunity to be at the centre of how a business operates, and playing an active role in the commercial success of a business is both exciting and challenging and can be a very rewarding career choice. But what can you expect from a career in Corporate Finance, and how difficult is the jump - read our specialist advice here.
Nigel Walde is a Partner in Saffery Champness' London office and has been at Saffery's for over seven years, providing specialist advice on claiming the creative sector tax reliefs. He has been providing advice, audit and accounting services to the media industry for over twelve years, having previously worked in the film team at RSM Tenon. During his career, Nigel has worked with a wide range of clients from small independent film and television production companies to major US Hollywood film studios, and he also advises video game and theatre companies. We recently spoke to Nigel about working within the TV, Film and Creative industries, and he shared the secrets to good leadership and the challenges of Partnership - read his 60 Seconds interview here.
Once you qualify, you will most likely find yourself at a crossroads in your finance career - there are many options available to you and no-one can tell you with certainty the right step to take; it’s up to you to use your judgement and make the decision that’s best for your future career. Ultimately, your decision will come down to the sector, culture, progression opportunities and professional development and Pro-Finance can provide insights and advice for the next steps in your career. Read our advice article 'ACA - What Next?', regarding firms, specialisms and career development, or consider the options available to you within the audit and accounts market.
Once you become a newly qualified accountant, you will also come up against the decision of whether to build a career in practice or to move into an industry role. Both have their pros and cons, and your decision will ultimately come down to what type of person you are and what is important to you in your career. Making this decision can often feel daunting, but we have put together all the information you will need to help you make an informed decision - Finance Practice vs. Industry: The Big Debate!
If you didn't get the exam results you were looking for, there is also no need to worry! Some of the best candidates, Partners, and Finance Directors we have worked with have had fails on the ACA or ACCA - it's an incredibly tough qualification and a fail on an exam certainly doesn't mean the end of your finance career. You may want to reevaluate where your career will head - you may choose to resit at your current firm, to move into industry, or move to a different firm with further study support. Read our advice on what you should do if you haven't got the ACA results you wanted, or contact us for an informal discussion about what to do next!
Our expert recruitment consultants often get asked the question - “Why should I use an agency?”. This is a fair enough question for people who have historically gone direct to their employers, and aren’t aware of the numerous benefits that working with a recruitment agency can bring. Whatever stage you are at in your career, having the right people helping you in your job search can bring many benefits and make all the difference when it comes to finding the right role for you. There are various benefits of working with a recruitment agency vs. going direct - recruitment consultants can streamline your whole jobseeking process, source new opportunities that suit your career aspirations, and help you with every aspect of job searching, from inside knowledge from years of relationship building to interview preparation tips.