Do You Work At A Firm That Has Recently Merged Or Been Acquired?

There’s plenty of firms out there who have recently made the decision to merge with other firms or who have become involved in an acquisition on one side or the other.

But if you’re an accountant working for one of these firms you’ll likely be one of the last to hear the news and it’s likely to stir up a range of emotions in you and push the important question, ‘do I stay or do I go?’ to the forefront of your mind.

At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we’ve been involved with the business development of firms up and down the country of varying sizes and so we’ve had a lot of experience supporting accountants to decide whether to ‘weather’ the change or to find a new, more rewarding and more settled role in practice. And with that in mind we’ve come up with some advice to help you make sense of the concerns around your career that may have sprung up upon hearing the news of a merger or acquisition at your firm.

Here’s some of the questions you’re likely to be asking and our thoughts on the answers.

Will my job be at risk?

This is the moment when a crystal ball would be a handy piece of kit to own! And the short answer is no-one knows, quite possibly even the leaders at your newly formed firm.

In our experience the impact of acquisitions and mergers can take between a month and eighteen months to make themselves known. Usually leadership teams will have their hands very full dealing with the structural and leadership needs of the change, so it takes a little while before they can start to consider the impact it will have on the workforce. And if you find yourself being managed or employed by an unknown firm it’s likely that they’ll want to take some time to get to know the new workforce before employing a strategy to streamline it.

But if this is a genuine concern and you think your firm is definitely going to be making cuts at some point, it’s better to jump the gun and put the feelers out for something new on your own terms, rather then when you’ve been given notice of redundancies and you have the added pressure of a ticking clock and other accountants from your firm searching for the same jobs as you.

I’ve been promised a promotion. Will it be worth waiting for?

We hear this so often and it’s a source of huge frustration for us! Let us give you a little analogy as to why.

Imagine you’re sat waiting in a restaurant for a delicious pizza. You ordered a while ago but the chef has had to pop out. The ingredients aren’t yet in the kitchen and you have absolutely no idea when your pizza will materialise. Perhaps your fellow diners are sat waiting around too with a waiter popping out every few minutes to reassure them that though they can’t say exactly when it will come, it will come at some point!

And then right next door at another (arguably better) restaurant, a fresh pizza with all of the toppings you’ve been craving has literally just come out of the pizza oven and it’s got your name on it!

What do you choose?

Your loyalty to your firm is likely costing you in more ways than one. You are in the driving seat of your career and you’re lucky to be qualified in a sector that is desperate for your skills. So waiting for a payrise, additional benefits or a promotion is never a good idea! Why wait to earn more money when you could be earning more money right now!

So if this is your concern, our answer is always…… move on.

Could there be opportunities for me to develop my career in this new structure?

If it’s study support you’re looking for then the time following a restructure of any kind isn’t likely to be particularly fruitful. Firms are likely to have put a temporary freeze on spending or HR related decision making while they adapt their strategy to pivot their offering to match the new makeup of the firm.

So, the answer to this question is pretty similar to the one above… don’t wait to find support to study – there are literally scores of firms out there who will be delighted to offer it to you, so if it’s not forthcoming at your existing firm put the feelers out to find it elsewhere.

Remember your decisions about your future following a merger or an acquisition doesn’t need to mean that you hand in your notice immediately. And even if you’re not 100% certain that you want to find something new, there is no harm in finding out what alternatives might be on offer.

And if that’s the decision you make, it’s certainly something we can help you with. To work with the very best niche accountancy recruiters that you can trust to maintain your confidentiality every step of the way, reach out today for an initial chat or upload your CV here. 



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