Guide to conducting a SWOT Analysis of your Firm

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03 Mar 2021

Conducting a SWOT analysis of your employer will help you to make informed decisions when it comes to your long-term career plans. 

The accountancy sector has and continues to experience a period of rapid change, therefore it is important for accountancy professionals to consider what this change means to you. 

Why should employees conduct a SWOT analysis of their firm? 

  • Understand your firms position within the market
  • Inform your career decision making - short, medium and long term
  • Identify what you may be looking for in other firms

The current period has highlighted the need to conduct this exercise and presents the ideal opportunity to assess and review your position.

Strengths and Weaknesses

When reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of your current firm, the focus of your thinking should be balanced with where you are the moment with how these strengths or weaknesses have a long term impact on your career.

Is your firm a leader within a particular market place or service line and is this in line with your current position? 

During this exercise you may want to consider the firm's reputation, the quality and make up of the client base which leads to the nature of work you deliver. Ask yourself the question of how your current service line compares to the wider market. 

Reflecting on your colleagues and the broader team will help you to understand if they are right individuals to be around in order to progress your career and building a quality network of contacts. 

It is important to review a firm's culture, vision and values in order for you to measure if the firm is the 'right fit' for you. Do you buy into the culture? Do you feel there is a clear and defined vision? 

With this in mind, take the time to consider your work life balance, internal communication and working environment. Does your employer deliver on all of these elements? If not, why not?

Opportunities and Threats

Turning your attention to the Opportunities and Threats will help to influence your career progression, making the right moves and positioning you to achieve your ultimate goals. 

Consider the opportunities available for you to progress within the firm and how you can achieve promotion. With this in mind, have the firm always delivering on promises when it comes to promotion and remuneration?

It is important think more broadly and open your mind up to what is going on in the wider firm and market. 

Ask yourself the following questions in terms of the firm itself and how this filters down to your current position?

  • Is the firm winning work with the right type and size of clients?
  • Are the firm associated with the right clients and sectors?

How are changes in the wider marketplace going to impact your career? 

  • What does audit rotation and restrictions around conflict of interest mean for the work you will undertake? 
  • How does regulatory change filter down to you and the service line you work in? 
  • What risk does this present and long-term impact for career?

What is the strategic direction of the firm?

  • Does your service line feature in this strategy?
  • Are they prioritising other areas? If so, how does relate to your position?
  • If the firm are investing in other areas of the business, where does this leave your team and your opportunities internally?
  • Firms may look to disposing of businesses or service lines as result of regulatory change or shifting focus. This could present opportunity for you but what if it doesn't?

How will internal and structural change influence your career?

As a result of the current climate firms and teams are being restructured, it important to consider these changes before it is too late.

  • Does it present a greater chance of career progression or are you heading for roadblock?
  • If you are involved in a restructure of a team it may provide greater exposure internally and externally or it could result in a reduction.
  • With the changing working environment and the consolidation of offices, what does this mean for you and is it something that you really want to be part of?
  • How will the firms Home Working strategy impact your long-term career progression?
  • With more agile ways of working, would you consider working for a firm in a different region without the need to commute every day or relocate?

These are just a few areas that are important to consider when reviewing and analysing your employer. This exercise can help to you reflect on your current position, highlight what you enjoy and what you want from your work and career.

If you would like help with understanding your current position in the market and analysing your current firm, contact us for a private and confidential conversation.

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