The majority of graduates entering the accountancy profession will go into public practice.

What is public practice?

Public practices provide a variety of accounting and business services to clients. They are accountancy firms that offer fee-paying services, including:

  • Audit
  • Assurance
  • Management Consultancy
  • Tax
  • Forensice Accounting.

A public practice firm’s accountants deal with the accounting and financial needs of a client whilst remaining independent from their client’s staff.

Within public practice there are large international firms, including the ‘Big Four’ global accountancy firms – PwC, EYKPMG and Deloitte – as well as medium and small accountancy firms, known as small and medium practices (SMPs).

Specific roles in public practice include Audit Trainee, Assurance Trainee and Financial Analyst.

Why work in public practice?

Public practice can present trainees with a greater variety of work in comparison to working in industry. Working in public practice can offer the experience of working in multiple industries, providing challenge and flexibility.

Public practice also offers more opportunity to specialise, for example in audit or consultancy. Finally, public practice is often seen as more secure than working in industry, where areas can be hit hard by a recession.

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