ASV Partners Chartered Accountants partner Jose Alguera-Lara said there has long been a misconception that commercial accountants can’t move into public practice because they don’t have past experience.
Mr Alguera-Lara said in reality, however, having experience as a commercial accountant working for the one company enables accountants to develop a lot of management and business advisory skills.
“Business advisory skills that small businesses actually need and could utilise, so there is a great opportunity for those commercial accountants to actually jump into the public practice space and interrupt that industry with the skill sets that they have,” he said.
“When you work for just the one business, you’re involved in all aspects of running that business, right from the start you’re doing budgets and preparing cash flow so you have your finger on the pulse so to speak. That’s the kind of experience that money can’t buy.”
While small businesses do also need their compliance work done, what they really need, he said, is an entrepreneurial accountant that’s going to hold their hand.
“Most business owners don’t have a business plan or a marketing plan, they wouldn’t even know where to start,” he said.
“That commercial accounting knowledge is a great asset to the public practice accounting space.”