Would you turn down a full-time job offer to remain in a contract position? A decade ago, most professional accountants preferred permanent placements at companies with clear growth trajectories. Now, thanks to the changing work landscape, some of the most talented accounting professionals are opting for contract placements over full-time positions.
5 Reasons to Consider Contract and Interim Accounting Work
When I speak with accounting professionals who are considering their next career move, contract placements are an increasingly popular option. In fact, I’ve even had candidates tell me contract work is their preferred option.
Recently, I helped place an experienced accountant in a contract role and the company enjoyed working with her so much that approached her about a full-time position. She surprised the company by turning down the offer – but I wasn’t surprised at all. Contract and interim or project-based positions offer benefits that appeal to talented professionals:
- Immediate placement and no lengthy interview process.
Let’s be honest: neither candidates nor companies enjoy a lengthy interview process, but unfortunately, that’s become the norm for most direct hire roles. Candidates need to gear up for multiple interview rounds, team meetings and personality tests. With an interim placement, the interview process is signficantly streamlined.
At Lucas Group, we’ve already pre-screened all contract candidates so a company can hire with confidence. For a new contract role, our candidates typically have a single phone call or interview with the hiring manager before getting started. They’ll speak to someone Thursday and be in the office Monday – it’s quick, painless and efficient.
- Professional opportunities without extensive certification requirements.
Most direct hire positions for mid-level or senior roles require an MBA from a top-tier school or a CPA and relevant industry experience. If you’re just starting out in your career, looking to pivot roles, or returning from time off, landing a full-time hire offer from your dream company could be challenging. With a contract placement, however, there’s a lot more flexibility. Perhaps you don’t have your CPA yet but you’re adept at a specific skill the company urgently needs. You can hop right in and solve an immediate need, and should you prove to be a good fit, you might even receive a full-time offer.
For example, I placed a recent graduate who majored in accounting and completed several internships. He had the nuts and bolts of accounting down but isn’t experienced yet with month-in, quarter-in, or year-in closing. Thanks to his strong Excel knowledge, the company was still thrilled to bring him on as a contractor. If he continues to excel in these next few months (pun intended), he may receive a full-time offer.
- Projects you’re excited to work on.
One drawback to a full-time position is that this work can be a bit of a grab bag: maybe there are some general outlines for your role, but you’ll likely accumulate a variety of responsibilities over time, some that are more enjoyable than others. With interim project work, you’re joining a company for a very specific role. Over time, you can even become a “specialist” in a type of project, focusing on a specific accounting need or industry type by choosing projects that align with your interests. You’re in control of your career trajectory.
- Flexibility when you need it.
Of course, not every contractor wants to have their role converted to a permanent placement. Contract work offers tremendous flexibility that’s often not possible with full-time positions. Parents, for example, have told me they enjoy choosing projects that end in late spring so they can spend more time with their kids in the summer and then seamlessly transition into a new project come fall. Other professionals have shared that they enjoy the ability to “step away” from work for a few months at a time to care for family members or focus on a personal passion, such as writing or travel.
- Full healthcare benefits and overtime.
At Lucas Group, we cover the full cost of healthcare for our accounting professionals working on a contract or interim basis. Additionally, many contractors receive overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week. You enjoy the freedom of more flexible positions without losing essential benefits.
Curious about how contract or project-based accounting assignments work? I invite you to post your questions in the comments below.