Why You Should Work for a Smaller Firm
The accounting profession has always been a dynamic and competitive field. With continued global economic expansion and the rise of multinational corporations, the demand for accountants has never been higher. Strong demand coupled with an
accountant shortage (as recently reported by the Wall Street Journal), makes 2023 an incredible time to pursue a career in accounting.
With so many firms vying for talented accounting grads, it is important to consider the benefits of working for a smaller firm. While many of these benefits are often overlooked, working for a smaller accounting firm can accelerate your career and often leads to earlier entrepreneurial opportunities. Closer Client Relationships: One of the most significant benefits of working for a smaller accounting firm is the opportunity to build closer relationships with clients. Smaller firms typically have fewer clients than larger firms, which allows for more personal interaction and communication. This can result in a deeper understanding of the client's business and their specific needs, leading to more effective and tailored advice. Additionally, exposure to lower-middle market companies teaches young accountants about entrepreneurial businesses which could be viewed as templates for future venture capital or acquisition opportunities. More Opportunities for Professional Growth: In smaller accounting firms, employees have greater opportunities to take on more responsibilities and develop new skills. They are often given more challenging projects and can quickly move up the ladder in terms of responsibilities and salary. The acceleration of such opportunities can lead to a more fulfilling and rewarding career, and faster professional growth. It is easier to take on and master professional skills and responsibilities before life gets in the way.
Flexible Work Arrangements: Smaller accounting firms are often more flexible in terms of work arrangements, such as hours and location. This can provide employees with a better work-life balance and more control over their schedules. This balance is particularly beneficial for employees with families, serious hobbies, or other commitments.
Focus on Personal Development: Smaller accounting firms often place a strong emphasis on personal development, providing their employees with training and mentorship opportunities. In school, most of us recognized the difference between the personalized nature of small classes vs being merely a number in large lecture halls. Personal attention provided to employees by smaller firms often results in a more motivated and confident workforce, as well as a more knowledgeable and capable team.
Strong Team Dynamics: Smaller accounting firms often have a close-knit and supportive team culture. Employees work collaboratively and form strong working relationships, leading to a more positive work environment. This environment can result in improved job satisfaction and higher levels of employee retention. Working for a smaller accounting firm can provide many benefits, including closer client relationships, more opportunities for professional growth, flexible work arrangements, a focus on personal development, and strong team dynamics. While larger firms may offer more resources and a more established reputation, smaller firms offer a more personal and supportive environment that can lead to a more fulfilling and successful career in the accounting profession and beyond.