Silhouette of a man stood on a rock at dusk

Freedom and flexibility: contract opportunities within UK accountancy firms

Are you stuck in a rut in your current accounting role? Fancy a change of scenery? Have your circumstances changed, and you need more flexibility? Been made redundant and struggling to find your next accounting opportunity? Or perhaps you’re relocating and need to find an accountancy job asap?

Most accountants tend to search for permanent work when looking for the perfect accounting job. But contract accounting work could be a better solution for you.

Generally, accountancy firms looking for contract staff will offer a fixed term, say three months, six months, a year, etc. They usually prefer contractors with a wide range of experience, who can jump straight in and get on with the job.

Entering the world of accounting contract work may seem daunting and potentially insecure, however it can offer huge benefits to job-seeking accountants.

So why should I do it?

Flexibility and work-life balance

Contracting for an accountancy firm gives you the opportunity to work when it suits you.

So, for example, if climbing Everest is on your bucket list*, you can take a sabbatical and do it. Or you may want to take some time for continual professional development. Or if you have children, you could take off the entire summer to spend with them.

If you’re not tied down to a particular area, contracting gives you the freedom to live in different parts of the country.

At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd, we cover accountancy contract roles across the UK, so we’ll be able to help.

* This challenge is close to our hearts, as Public Practice Recruitment Ltd supported business owner Tony Mills in his Everest climb. Read about his adventure here


Contracting at an accountancy practice usually offers greater earning potential than permanent roles.

(You’ll need to bear in mind sometimes reduced employee benefits when considering whether to find contract work as an accountant.)

“Try before you buy”

Working as a contractor in an accountancy practice gives you and the accountancy practice the opportunity to size each other up before you both commit to a long-term, permanent contract or permanent job. You can get a handle on the workplace culture and environment, and gain insight into working practices, management structures, etc. Plus contracting gives you the chance to prove yourself – and potentially command a higher salary – before the company commit to hiring you on a permanent basis.

Conversely, if you and the company aren’t the right fit for each other, It will be relatively simple to move on.

As a contractor, you’ll be seen by other staff as an objective outsider, so you’ll be able to gauge staff morale before committing yourself!

Contracting within an accountancy practice means you can sample a few different companies in your area, allowing you to cherry-pick the best practice for you.

Networking opportunities

If you’ve been working within the same accountancy practice for a number of years, your contacts may be limited. Contracting at different firms will offer networking opportunities, plus you’ll have more confidence in your chances of finding a job when you’re already working.

Widen your experience and skillset

Contracting in different accountancy firms allows you to try different areas of work within varying size firms which will invariably have distinct cultures. If you’re at a career crossroads it could help you to clarify and define your next accountancy career goal.

As a bonus you will widen your skill set and improve your CV. Your more rounded experience within a variety of different accountancy firms will be attractive to future employers. You’re likely to find it easier to pick up contract work and command a higher rate of pay.

Avoiding office politics

If the organisation you’re joining is going through a period of change, staff insecurity and dissatisfaction may be an issue – but there’s no need for you to get involved!

Also, the permanent team are less likely to see you as a threat to their own career progression within the management structure.

Fall in love again!

If you’ve been stuck in a rut, contracting at an accountancy firm may help you fall back in love with your career, and offer some much-needed variety. We wrote about this in our Valentine’s Day blog post last year.

But aren’t contract opportunities few and far between?

The short answer is no.

Businesses and accountancy practices that have implemented hiring freezes still need experienced people to get the work done.

From our own experience, accountancy contract work is increasing and we’re placing candidates in great roles every week.

Some of our current contract/interim roles can be viewed here. However we don’t list all our opportunities online and we have new roles daily, so if you don’t see the right accounting job here, get in touch and we can start working towards finding you a brilliant contract within an accountancy practice.​

About Us

Public Practice Recruitment Ltd is an established accountancy recruitment agency based in the Midlands, UK. We specialise in finding the perfect fit for accounting staff and accountancy firms across the UK.

For more information, call us on 0333 5777 787 or contact us here


Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Latest Blogs

Blog Archive


Latest Jobs

Load more listings

Quick CV Upload

Sign Up For Job Alerts

Keep up to date with the latest vacancies by signing up for job alerts via email.