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Graduate diploma in Accounting, or Training In Practice with CAI?

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    Good afternoon!

    I'm wondering about the best route into accounting. I have the option to do a graduate diploma, one academic year, which I would have to pay for myself, or else I could apply through Chartered Accountants Ireland for Training in Practice. If you haven't heard of it (as I guess most people on here would be mainland UK? I'm NI) this is a three-and-a-half year contract with a firm, who employ you and also put you through the exams. It sounds perfect though obviously this would be very competitive.

    I'm wondering if I should go for the graduate diploma, even though it's not a necessity. Would it give me an edge over other applicants when applying for the Training programme?

    I'm also thinking, the diploma may give me a taste of accounting as I've had no experience with it before, and it would let me see if I like it or not. Or is that a waste of money? I think with the Training in Practice, I will be contract-bound for 3.5 years.

    Anyone else been on the same boat? I appreciate any thoughts/advice!
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    Im currently working with KPMG in Belfast, I came from a non-acc background. The CAI route is the best way to go as you will need to have 3.5 years of experience to become chartered. The graduate diploma in accounting will give you CAP1 exemptions, but if you are studying ACA you get over a month off paid leave to prepare.
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    (Original post by GR3YFOXXX)
    Im currently working with KPMG in Belfast, I came from a non-acc background. The CAI route is the best way to go as you will need to have 3.5 years of experience to become chartered. The graduate diploma in accounting will give you CAP1 exemptions, but if you are studying ACA you get over a month off paid leave to prepare.
    Hello! thanks for your reply. I'm going to bombard you with questions (sorry!)

    Are you with KPMG through the Training in Practice with CAI? If so, was it competitive to get on? Do you enjoy it? Are you like an employee, working Mon-Fri for a wage? What's the money like? (sorry if that's a bit nosey to ask - but it may be more attractive to go that route if I'd be in employment, rather than forking out £2905 for the diploma beforehand and potentially wasting a year.)

    I would like to do the diploma but it maybe is a bit silly, as like you say, I'd be put through the same things, and for free. It's more to see if I'd enjoy it/if I'm capable of it.

    Also, does UCAS points matter? I've seen with PwC anyway, that I would need 300, but I only have 280. This may be where the diploma would be useful, to make up for that?
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    Hi

    Training in practice is also known as a training contract, you need to have 3.5 years experience to become chartered. It is quite competitive to a get a TC with a big four firm.
    I think KPMG have the same UCAS points requirement as PWC (and all other big four), but smaller and mid level firms are less restrictive.
    I work Monday to Friday and get paid a salary, all my exams are paid for and I get fully paid study leave.
    The money is crap in Belfast, but its pretty good in Dublin, London, Manchester, Cork etc. The money gets better as you pass exams and ultimately qualify.

    Do you have a degree? All training contracts require one, except a number of school leaver programmes which take alot longer to qualify. I think the UCAS tariff only applies to your top 3 A levels.

    Anyway, let me know if you have anymore questions.

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