Working in Industry vs Practice? What is better?

hey guys so I made a video quite a while

ago saying about my experience at PwC

and it seems to be quite useful for

certain people so I thought I'd make a

video today that talks about my

experience working in practice which is

say a professional firm to now working

in industry and how they differ it was

something that I actually wasn't very

familiar with I didn't know when I

started at PwC what it was like to work

in both and also I didn't know when I

was at PwC if I left what kind of

experience I would have so I'm gonna

give just a broad range of things to

think about and if you're starting to

try and get into finance or accounting

or anything like that it's probably

gonna be very useful for you to

understand these things so let me define

firstly what I mean by practice and

industry okay when I say practice what

I'm talking about is you're working for

a professional firm so something like

PwC Deloitte Ernst & Young KPMG all

those large professional firms that

provide professional advice so they

generally have things like tax services

auditing services deals services so if

there's mergers and acquisitions you

have there's a whole range of different

roles that they provide but generally

it's thought of as you're working in

practice you're providing advisory

services to different companies and when

they talk about working in industry

that's the other side so that's who

you're actually providing professional

advice to so these are large companies

generally for the large professional

firms they deal with large companies 40

to 50 companies and when they talk about

working in industry you're working

within the company as an accountant

preparing sets of accounts or doing

financial planning and analysis or

commercial finance or you can work in

Treasury or you can work in internal

audit but you're working on behalf of

that company so my experience was I came

straight out of university after doing

an accounting finance degree I then move

straight into order Dappy

you see where I study for three years to

get the ACA qualification before then

having one extra year where you're sort

of managing jobs then I decided to move

into industry the natural progression

would be to move into a controller ship

role so what I mean by that is within an

industry within the company as I was

saying there's different segments of

places you could work at but one of the

natural progressions that particularly

if you start in audit within a

professional firm is to move into the

company preparing sets of accounts

because that's where your skills lie

really you've been auditing sets of

accounts you've been reviewing them so

you know a lot more information when you

go into a company I decided I didn't

want to do that so I moved into an fpn a

role where you're doing financial

planning and analysis so this is

generally you're preparing a budget then

you're preparing forecasts and then

after your parent forecast you also like

reviewing a lot of results you're

comparing against forecasts and

generates a lot more forward-looking

role which was appealing to me then I am

I decided that I just wanted to move

even further away from the accounts and

Generals I move from there into a

commercial business partnering role so

from doing sort of forward-looking I

just wanted to move away to really look

at the metrics that are driving the

company sort of reviewing the Commercial

Driver's within the company as opposed

to you getting a lot more experience

from talking to people from a commercial

background so you're working with

commercial teams and strategy teams in

an fpn a role you sort of get an

instruction from the commercial finance

team so but that's sort of my experience

so I went from all this unis audits

qualified accountants FPA role didn't do

the ik controller ship role and then

went into a commercial finance business

partnering role so the reason why you're

watching this video you want to know the

differences between professional firm

and Industry okay I've gone through what

they were in my experience that's all

well and good but that's probably not

why you're watching it right ok let me

go over some of the negative things that

I thought when I was working a


so firstly I'm someone who likes a

routine I want to go to the gym in the

morning I want to know where I'm at I

want to be able to structure my actual

light if I want to be able to you know

arrange things for certain weekends now

what I found with a professional firm is

it's very difficult to do that because

you're moving around and visiting

different companies and you don't really

know where you are from one week to the

next it gets better as you become more

senior but you obviously have to go

through all the monotony of being a

junior member of staff to get to a

senior role so obviously my experiences

from a four-year standpoint but a lot of

people find that interesting people say

oh they like traveling around and

visiting different companies whereas but

from a common perspective I didn't like

you know I got landed with certain jobs

where I had to do a two-hour commute one

way in a two-hour commute back for three

weeks working by myself and some company

you know bromley or something like that

now I just didn't want to do that I'd

like a bit more stability I just like to

know where I'm at basically also you at

the beginning you do things like stock

takes which means you have to give up

certain weekends which always seemed

weird to me it's like they just randomly

pick I don't even know you know you'd

have work a nine-to-five job technically

Monday to Friday and then all of a

sudden you have to work on the weekends

didn't like that at all just to count

stop it just didn't seem worthwhile to

me I think a lot of people and that

leads me on to the second thing if I'm

doing audit you have to really believe

what you're doing is valuable and

unfortunately when I was doing order and

if you read the news I still keep up

with order industry order in particular

gets hounded there's so many fraud cases

the main thing that auditors say is that

they don't look for fraud they look for

miss statements they look for like

errors and stuff like that they they say

that they can't find fraud because if

people are actively trying to break the

system and and go behind the backs of

auditors and they just miss you know

there's certain ways that they can do

that although the audit industry's

getting more sophisticated but also with

these large companies it was all moving

to be a lot more data-driven you know

you think like an auditor coming

straight out of university one year

experience don't know what they're doing

it's like okay he is Goldman Sachs go in

ordered their account it's like what

it's like their accounting their systems

are going to be so complex you really

just need another complicated system to

be give you reassurance that that

systems correct and I just didn't

believe so basically I wasn't believing

in what I was doing as an auditor now

now obviously that's just my opinion and

that's not to say that the job I wasn't

doing was following a certain path and

doing the job properly and obviously

meeting all the compliance and all the

things that needed to be done but it's

just generally a lot of frauds happen in

companies and auditors have been hounded

for a it's just not didn't feel like a

great industry to be a part of another

thing is when you're auditing a company

now this changes as you become all these

things if you become really senior able

to stick it out they probably turn into

positive things but I found you didn't

have enough time really on certain

clients you you go to a company to to do

some work give some professional advice

I didn't ever feel like I had enough

time to properly absorb myself in those

companies not like when you're working

in industry we are there all the time

you can really build an understanding of

how that business works I didn't find

that happened when I was working in it

in practice I found like you sort of in

and out trying to get the job done

quickly and and really it wasn't as

satisfying because of that

another thing is clients and this might

be more audit driven but I found the

people you've dealt with you're going

into a company everyone's got their sort

of day-to-day job that they knit trying

to get done and you're going they're

trying to bug them for answers and they

they really just don't want to deal with

you so you sort of in practice although

it's a client facing role you have to

sound professional all the time really

I am a bit more relaxed I want to just

be able to build a relationship that

isn't just built on the fact that I'm

requesting you for information when you

work in an industry and you're working

within a team everyone sort of has the

same mindset you

can talk about different things you

don't have to you know you're not mainly

dealing with people who are you're

selling them a service

another thing is now this is sort of a

pro and con of working in a professional

firm you start when when you start

working at a professional firm you start

with a group of people your own age

generally they're just coming out of

university as well it's a really good

platform to meet people and network

within your own age group but because

you get put on separate jobs you rarely

see the people that you've started

working with so although it's great from

the fact that you're meeting people your

own age you generally get put on

different teams and you never really see

those people again so it's nice that

going into an industry you sort of see

the same people you can sort of build

relationships with the people that

you're working with and another thing is

from a junior perspective the pay is

less than if you just straight up leave

and go work in industry there's a lot

more demand for people with as a

qualified accountants so you can

basically become do your three years at

these industries and that's why there's

a huge turnover staff as well you do

your three years and a lot of people

just leave straightaway they get paid

more and there's other benefits that

I'll go on to too from working in

industry as compared to working in

practice so those are some of the cons

of working in practice but some of the

benefits is that there are just a lot

yeah I felt like there was just a lot

more structure and it's a lot easier to

see where your career path is when when

you're working in practice so when you

start say for instance you start at PwC

you start as a an associate you work for

a couple of years just before you

qualify as an accountant after three

years you become at like a senior

associate and then after that you become

a manager when you manage the associates

that after that you become a just senior

manager and then a director and then a

partner and it it's so obvious to know

what the path is that you can just

follow and have come for they if you

stay there and work very very hard you

can actually build your way up

that ladder now that doesn't happen in

industry when you work in an industry

you can go straight into a company and

you're the rock particularly if you work

in a smaller company you can go into a

role and that's pretty much it you're

stuck in that role and if you're working

for a smaller company normally you get

paid a lot more but there's less obvious

roots to go up and actually even if

you're working for a larger company you

go in within like a junior member of

like a financial planning and accounting

team next roll up might be a massive pay

rise and mussed might be a very senior

person within practice so if you leave

as a senior associate from PwC into

industry you might be landed with a role

and the person above you is effectively

a director so you're never going to

bridge that experience gap they'll if

that director leaves they'll get a new

director in you're not gonna be able to

move up to that level so when you work

in an industry it's sometimes a lot

harder to see what sort of career path

you have whereas there's a lot more

structure also within a professional

firm you're dealing the people you're

working with are generally a lot because

there's so much demand for those kind of

jobs that means that the quality of work

and the caliber of the staff you work

and where they're a lot more driven and

a lot more prepared to work harder now

that means it's a lot more competitive

but at the same time as loml that being

competitive means it's a you sort of

have to keep up and there's a massive

learning curve and you're working with a

very high calibre of people you can

learn a lot from when you're working in

industry for instance they may not be

depending on which company you're

working for as much demand for certain

roles the sort of caliber of work is

just supply and demand really but the

caliber of work is therefore lower you

might deal with people who particularly

when you've worked in practice aren't

the level of knowledge and the stuff

that you take for granted is everyone

knowing within your professional firm

people aren't going to know within

industry which actually can be seen as a

positive because if people don't know

what they're doing in industry it means

that you have a potential to sort of

move up

find the career path that you want

however the more senior you get in

industry then the knowledge obviously

the knowledge of those people's

increases and I touched on this before

but within practice as well because

you're starting in a peer group I just

found it a lot more sociable there are a

lot more events organized a lot more

people who are in your age category this

does not happen when you work in an

industry like when I moved to industry

and be like me 25 and then the next

person's like 32 with four kids you know

and so on next person's 50 years old and

that's the team you're working in and

whereas when you're working which is a

big difference to when you like have

month-end drinks working in practice you

have a lot more events particularly if

you're working in London a lot more

people are going out obviously when you

work in an industry and you're working

in industry in London it's a lot more

sociable I don't work there anymore so

unfortunately I don't see that side of

it but I know generally within finance

teams even if they're in London finance

seems to go seems to be a different

Department to all the other departments

other departments within a company seem

to have a lot more sociable activity

whereas within finances it seems a lot

more serious or companies I don't know

just I don't know why that is just so

it's just a lot more serious of industry

another factor with practice is that I

talk about salaries being worse so for

instance you know when you start the

general salary is probably around 22 K

has like a training contract maybe

slight warming you know 22 to 27 then

when you qualify sort of goes up to sort

of 35 to 45 and then you know when you

become a manager it might be like 55 to

60 a directors probably on like 80 to a

hundred K and then a partner this is

where it becomes real juicy working in

practice is everybody sees partners as

being like the prize now I know there's

a certain you go to ways when you join


practice you either star and you go I'm

gonna try to make it a partner and

nothing's gonna stop me or you go that's

too hard I need to change my

expectations because that ain't gonna

happen and basically and that's probably

why I left but like if you do make it to

partner that's when you're ruining like

you know some partners make over a

million a year you know particularly

with bonuses and there's a lot of

benefits to being a partner although

there's a lot of responsibility you can

actually go to jail if something goes

wrong but that's the prize at the end

that money is a lot more harder to reach

you basically when you move into

industry you'll have the CEO CFO and

then basically the role below that would

be like you know head of certain

departments head of Treasury head of

head of fpn a head of controller ship

you know you have loads of different

heads of different departments within

finance but they won't you know they'll

all find it very difficult to reach the

partner role within PwC or within any of

professional firms whereas when you move

into industry you can get a lot more

money straight away so if you're a

qualified account and coming out of one

of the top four for instance you could

be on anything from say 45 to 75k with

bonuses and this is a big one for

practice that like Dyneema touch on the

hours are far worse like I was working

11 hour days consistently for months

because the work doesn't stop you I mean

you get a job then you you have two

weeks to finish that job and if you

don't finish that job you move on to

another job whether works just as much

as a previous job but that work from the

previous job is still carrying on and

just snowballs and compounds to the

point where you just working so many

hours particularly in busy season where

is that Sonoma nowhere near as much when

you're working in industry so you go

from working on paid getting paid a lot

less money you can move to industry

where you get paid 15k more straight up

and work a lot less hours but there are

obviously pros and cons to working in

industry I touched on one before which

is the career growth and not really

knowing the

the path it's a lot more difficult to

carve out where you're going to be in

the next 2-3 years you could end up

being in the same place you could have a

lot more knowledge about the company

just the opportunity hasn't arrived

someone hasn't left who's more senior to

you and Grohl's don't generally just get

created for the purpose of of you being

filling that role and you have to be

wary of that as well because if the role

wasn't needed before what's the point of

me having that role if it wasn't needed

yeah so basically the pays more but it's

it might not seem like there's as much

career path what that means is you as

well might need to change to several

companies in order to get that pay rise

so you might have to work a couple of

years somewhere and then use that

experience to work somewhere else but

now that's a good experience anyway

because then you get a lot more used to

even just meeting new people but also

working with different systems gaining

different experience looking at how

management operates within different

companies and for that reason this is

one of the big positives of working in

industry is that you effectively really

get a handle of what that company does

if you work particularly in the

commercial side of working for industry

you really get an understanding of what

the business drivers are what's the

strategy of that company what are the

problems within that company how the

company is looking within the next five

years you know what are their certain

goals how is that tied to what the CEO

or CFO wants you get a lot more

communication with senior staff you know

this you don't get that depth of

understanding when you're working with

in practice or at least I didn't I just

felt like was quite fleeting you sort of

in and out another thing which I touched

on as well was basically the team is not

the same structure as when you're at a

professional firm there's a lot less

younger people another another thing is

that I'm talking with the perspective of

going from a fashion firm into industry

whereas a lot of people just don't go to

a professional firm they just go

straight into industry

now from that perspective if that's what

you're considering doing you can start

as like an apprentice or you can start

as just a very junior member of staff

now in those roles you're not going to

be getting paid probably not going to

get paid as much as when you're working

in a professional firm also there's a

lot less structure when you're doing

things like exams so doing the ACA they

want you to basically do all the exams

within two years they're paying a lot of

money for your tutoring they really push

you and actually incentivize you through

telling you that if you don't pass the

exams you're going to get fired which is

a big incentive for those who want to

stay to actually buckle up and actually

learn all the stuff in a quick period of

time it also means you get your

qualification like that now when you're

working in industry particularly if

you're doing a thing like Seymour the

ACCA it's sort of left on you to book

off time to do those exams

which I know I didn't experience it but

I would much rather have that structure

there for someone telling me this is

what you need to do well this is what

you need to do and this is when you're

going to do it as opposed to telling me

I can do it whenever I want it probably

wouldn't have got done nearly as quickly

and you know the time you get given to

take time off to do the exams it's a lot

less or seemed a lot less to me so

people rely on their holidays in order

to be able to revise when you work in

industry whereas where they're

professional firm they do give you time

off when it's needed so overall from an

exam point of view is a lot better and a

lot more structured and from a career

progression point of view you sort of

know going and what you're doing

whereas within industry is a bit more

sort of having to carve out your own

route for you but like I said before as

well but like but from that perspective

as well within a professional firm it

does feel a lot more fast-paced like

I've worked at companies where you do

sort of feel like within six months

you've know the role and it's just sort

of a rhythm of the same thing every

month which is really something you need

to get out of as soon as you feel like

I've learned wanting to learn you either

need to tell you leave or put on

or responsibility you have to continue

to feel like you're growing whereas

professional firm they force you to do

that at an industry you can just settle

in and go this is it now for the next 20

years and some people do although I

think one of the another good thing is

for working in industry is that you can

pick the company that you want to work

for within practice it's just useless

get plunked on different jobs which is

all well and good because it could be

large clients that you actually want but

it was a lot of like bad clients no one

wanted that you gets landed with whether

in the industry you can pick a cut like

an industry that you actually like and

you can be working although you're

working in finance and I'll reek reap

I'll sort of go over my final thoughts

on working in finance and accounting in

the end but although you're just working

in finance which is more of like a back

office role you still sort of seeing how

the product is coming together and you

see you're putting the budget together

that's actually going to build towards a

goal as opposed to just providing a

report in practice there was a lot of

this feeling which is providing a report

it sort of goes off and then that's

that's that whereas within industry it's

like you're working towards something if

you're as a product industry you're

working towards developing a product you

know the success of that product or if

you work for an airline industry you

know how successful the airline is you

know how the markets doing in general

like and why your company is performing

well or not performing well and you can

really get behind the idea of what

you're actually working for it's a lot

more tangible whereas in practice

doesn't feel like a tangible thing it

just feels like you are just a servicing


so you're just providing a service but

you're just a very much caught a small

cog in a big chain where as an industry

you can pick to work for a small company

and be a defining factor of the success

of that company like finance is really a

pillar on what makes a company

successful you need a strong leader he

needs someone who's like commercially

focused and knows about marketing and if

a product's going to succeed and you

need to know finance because you need to

know if your company is actually going

to make a profit and when it's going to

make a profit

no one's gonna invest in a company well

people do now companies that don't make

any money but really in general

companies need to make money eventually

and Finance is the thing that's going to

control how it makes money it might not

be the most glamorous of roles but it is

a key pillar of that role I think

industry meets that objective more I

think overall what you need to consider

as well is I'm someone who's always

questioning the value of certain roles

I'm always questioning what value am i

bringing is the work that I'm doing

actually relevant is it actually needed

that's the thing that's always pushed me

to go from one role into the next if I

feel like I'm not adding value and

there's not enough purpose to what I'm

doing then I don't want to be in that

role I mean my whole objective is that

value the reason I'm making this video

now is I want to add value I'm not doing

it for any other reason I want to try

and help a certain personnel out I like

working for companies where it feels

like you're working in a team they're

all aware of the work you're doing and

as a result you're adding valued not

only to your team but you're also

informing senior members of staff about

the performance of a company that's

actually educating them to make

decisions particularly then when it

comes to doing the end-of-year feedbacks

and all things like that they know the

sort of value that you've added because

you're working in a smaller condensed

team if you work in a professional firm

you're sort of a small cog as I've said

before in a big chain and sometimes your

work can get lost

so a I feel like if you're going to add

value it feels like you're adding more

value in industry but at the same time

and at the same time you get recognized

for it

whereas on the other side it doesn't

feel like I'm adding much value and then

at the end it sort of gets lost as well

even if you did add value so overall as

an industry

working in finance it's it's always for

me it felt like work I just and I know I

wouldn't be where I was in industry

without going through working in

practice I think it is relevant to work

in practice I think I prefer it and it

lot more suits my sort of lifestyle

working in industry overall overall it

would be great if I was self-employed

because then I can add value I can make

my own decisions it's it always feels a

little bit like you're a mite you're

working at a job effectively you're

working for somebody else you have to

just try and find the value in working

for somebody else and where do I find

the most value probably an industry

that's why I'm working in industry now

but everybody's different everyone's

gonna get value from working where they

want I know some people who are still

working in practice who are doing really

well and they're obviously being seen in

their team as being valued they feel

like they're adding value

they don't mind working long hours they

probably have a good path ahead of them

as long as everybody's working hard you

just have to find something where you

feel like you're adding value and that

you're being valued that's all you can

really wish for a job it's always gonna

feel like a job for me until I become or

after I am self-employed to become

financially independent I have other

videos talking about that kind of stuff

but it's always gonna feel like a job

because you're always going to be

working for someone else and you're

always on somebody else's time whether

you're working for either type of

company I hope you've enjoyed this video

it might be really really long I feel

like I've taught for ages subscribe I'm

making a lot more videos if this video

gets a lot of views as well the last

video currently is on something like

1900 which for me is a lot of views if

this video gets a lot of views I'll make

a lot more videos talking about what

companies were like the certain roles

that are

in companies and why you might go for

one role of the other anyway peace