The Three Pillars Model

Taken from our Newly Qualified Career Guide ‘The Three Pillars Model’ is a must for anyone, and in particular new or recently qualified accountants, thinking of a new role.

In Barden we live and breathe by the fact that before you start thinking about what role you want, you first need to take a step back and look at the wider context of the market. The Three Pillars Model enables you to do this and is the first thing to focus on.

It’s pretty simple, but the overall market can be broken down into practice (accounting firms) and non-practice (everything else). Non-practice can be broken down into the two pillars of financial services (companies with a financial product or service) and industry (everything else). Simple, right?

Here are a few rules of thumb:

  • It’s easier to move within a pillar than between pillars;
  • The more post-qualified experience you have, the harder it is to move between pillars;
  • When moving from the practice pillar, it’s easier to move within the pillar that best reflects your clients in practice – the ‘like with like’ principle; and
  • When moving from the practice pillar, it’s easier to move to a role that involves similar activities.

‘Like with like’ is a fundamental truth you should put front and centre from here-on-in. It underpins everything in this guide. You’ll be most likely to make a move to a company or role that shares something in common with your most recent company or role.

Take the example of Bridget Barden, an audit senior in a Big 4 firm and trained primarily through insurance audit. After qualifying, Bridget will be most likely to move to a manager role in practice or to an audit or accounting role in an insurance company. Bridget will be less likely to move to an accounting role in manufacturing (a different pillar) and will be more likely to be able to move to an accounting role in banking (the same pillar).

However, for Bridget, and you, nothing is impossible. Some things are just more likely than others.

Newly Qualified Career Guide

Navigate the early stages of your professional future with expert advice, by accountants for accountants, in our latest “Newly Qualified Career Guide”.

It’s a product of our years of experience working with recently-qualified accountants.This guide is objective. It contains the information you need to know before looking for a new role – internally or externally. The more you use this guide, the more career informed you will be. Take control, get informed and plan your professional future with Barden.

You can download your copy here.

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to hello@barden.ie and we will take it from there!

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At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future.
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