Finished 3 year ACA with PwC Audit Dept - ask me anything Watch

hsv
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#221
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#221
Did any of the people you work with/worked with enter PWC with the CFAB or have the CFAB before applying? Also is this a good qualification to get on the school leavers program or higher apprenticeship instead of having the required UCAS points or maybe to get into a smaller accounting firm then transfer into PwC as an experienced hire later on?
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amel
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#222
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ive got ok alevels- not good enough for big4 or the other medium sized companies
ive been looking for other local companies/ apprenticeship website/ job websites for nearly a year now, to no avail.
would it be possible to learn aat level 2, 3, & 4 by myself and then look for work after level 2- as i might be more likely to get work after an aat level 2 qualification?
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Tokyoround
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#223
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(Original post by amel)
ive got ok alevels- not good enough for big4 or the other medium sized companies
ive been looking for other local companies/ apprenticeship website/ job websites for nearly a year now, to no avail.
would it be possible to learn aat level 2, 3, & 4 by myself and then look for work after level 2- as i might be more likely to get work after an aat level 2 qualification?
Have you got a degree? If not then eyes, starting AAT by yourself will show motivation and should help you find a junior role.
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hsv
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#224
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Did you do the school leaver or graduate program at PwC? Did any of your colleagues on the program already have AAT or CFAB qualifications before entering on the program? I was just wondering if anyone who didn't ave the required UCAS points, used AAT or CFAB to get on the program as equivalents to level 3 qualifications or UCAS points? I know Higher Apprentices do CFAB these days at PWC in the audit stream, just wondering if anyone used this qualification to get into PwC or had it before they got in?
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amel
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(Original post by Tokyoround)
Have you got a degree? If not then eyes, starting AAT by yourself will show motivation and should help you find a junior role.
no, no degree- just wondering, is your answer from experience? did you do the aat qualification?
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amel
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#226
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someone might have answered this but: how much does an aat qualified get?
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Tokyoround
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(Original post by amel)
no, no degree- just wondering, is your answer from experience? did you do the aat qualification?
Nope I'm not an accountant but I'm surrounded by them on a daily basis.

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amel
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#228
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(Original post by chris_harvey)
Hi all,

I started training for my 3 year ACA in Oct 2007 with PwC London in their Audit Dept and managed to qualify in Oct 2010.

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask me

Why I am doing this? I guess I might as well put my 3 years to some use! hehe (currently self employed and not using my ACA atm)

Chris
i read somewhere that you get 2 chances to take the aca modules - one chance and then a retake. after the retake, you cannot qualify as a chartered accountant- is this true?
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Gromithk
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#229
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(Original post by amel)
i read somewhere that you get 2 chances to take the aca modules - one chance and then a retake. after the retake, you cannot qualify as a chartered accountant- is this true?
No - at least not when I was doing it.

It is just that most firms will fire you if you fail the same exam twice.
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amel
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#230
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(Original post by Gromithk)
No - at least not when I was doing it.

It is just that most firms will fire you if you fail the same exam twice.
Ok thanks!
But what if youre doing it on your own without company support- does it make it harder for future employment? i.e future employers will ask about retakes?
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Tactical Nuclear Penguin
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#231
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(Original post by Tokyoround)
Nope I'm not an accountant but I'm surrounded by them on a daily basis.

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You say that like its a bad thing
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Tokyoround
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(Original post by amel)
Ok thanks!
But what if youre doing it on your own without company support- does it make it harder for future employment? i.e future employers will ask about retakes?
Extremely unlikely they will ask unless it's GS or some other elitist employer. Even then, i'm not sure there's anyway for them to find out once you've qualified.

(Original post by Tactical Nuclear Penguin)
You say that like its a bad thing
All you guys talk about is counting beans :ahee:
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ngd92
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#233
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would it be better to take a jpm grad scheme in finance or a big4 audit offer? please respond
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Ape Gone Insane
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#234
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(Original post by ngd92)
would it be better to take a jpm grad scheme in finance or a big4 audit offer? please respond
They are very different career paths and only you are in the best position to decide what you want. Evaluate the type of work, workload, opportunities, work culture, pay and career paths for both and see which you prefer.

I'd personally opt for JPMorgan but that's me.
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pmymp
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#235
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Hi, I know it's a few years down the line but I had a few questions. I currently work in Industry (property) and I want to do the ACA. But I am unsure as to whether I would be able to do so because of the specific type of work experience required. What exactly is TWE? Must I have audit experience (internal or external)?
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M1011
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#236
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(Original post by pmymp)
Hi, I know it's a few years down the line but I had a few questions. I currently work in Industry (property) and I want to do the ACA. But I am unsure as to whether I would be able to do so because of the specific type of work experience required. What exactly is TWE? Must I have audit experience (internal or external)?
Technical work experience doesn't have to be in audit, it's just the most common way.
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Cookie_m14
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#237
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(Original post by Samtheman1)
Hey,

I started with Chris at PwC, so thought I would answer some of your questions whilst he is off making his millions!

I also left around the same time as him, and 100% agree with his advice and description of the role, exams, people etc.

@novadragon849

A-levels for each stream will be on the pwc careers website, and they vary between streams. I think when I applied back in 2006 it was around 300 UCAS points.

Personally, I did have work experience in a small accounting firm before I applied, as I was aware of the competition for places and wanted to have something to show that I wanted to be an accountant rather than being pushed into a 'sensible' career by parents/lecturers etc.

This is by no means a pre-requisite, many of the people we started with had no relevent work experience and got in ok. Bear in mind though, that we applied in 2006/07 during a strong economy. Now, you will have competition from people who couldn't get in to banking and other financial services companies due to the reduced headcount. As such, I would strongly advise you to get some relevent experience if you can, to set you apart.

At PwC, you don't work and study at the same time - same with most of the top 10 firms. You go to college for tuition by day and study by night and weekends. Then you take the exam. It's tough going, mainly because you put a lot of work in, and if you fail you have to re-sit out of your own time. If you fail badly (i.e 10% below the pass mark) you lose your job. This gets increasingly more pressured the more you go on as if you lose your job, none of the other big 4 will look at you either.

You get a hell of a lot of training before they send you off to meet clients, we arrived in October and didn't do any client facing work until January. It is mainly a mix of technical stuff to know about the job and softer skills when dealing with clients. Audit isn't rocket science so I would say that you do 99% of your learning on the job, so the training is tedious to say the least.

Salary (London - audit):
1st year: 26,500
2nd year: 28,000
3rd year 31,550

You get benefits on top of c10% - dont expect a bonus.

@ CPotter999

1) both Chris and myself were in assurance (audit). In my experience it is unlikely to move in the 3 years. It does happen, I met a few people who moved from tax to audit - never the other way round...infact never audit to any other business line. The reason being that there are always people needed to do audit work, whereas other areas i.e tax, corporate finance, business recovery tend to need specific skills or continuity iin their teams. There is however scope to move around post qualification but this is not as simple as just transferring. After 3 years you have built up relationships with clients, teams etc, coupled with resourcing issues (i.e a lot of people leave after qualification) you really have to persevere if you want to move around - but by no means impossible.

2) See above, when you qualify the salary is 42,900

3) When you join, your position is permanent. If anything, after you qualify it is them who are doing their best to keep you. I left because I wanted to move into banking.

4) I'm currently doing equity research, I think Chris is setting a business up or something. There are a range of roles available to big 4 ACA qualified people (that is not to say you will just walk into them) I think it is fair to say that many of us had a misconception that once we gained our ACA, people would be falling over themselves to give us a job. You do get a lot of calls, but they are usually for (even more boring) jobs like product control or internal audit. There are a large amount of positions that you would be in a strong position for but the competition is fierce. NB: I was looking in a recession - so maybe im not the best to give an impression of post qualified job market.

Any other questions give me a shout!
Hi I was just wondering if it is possible to take your ACA exams (get qualified) but not become a member of ICAEW? I.e. you don't pay admission, subscription fees and don't have letters next to your name. Or do you have to join a parent body if you want a career in accountancy? Thanks!
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Mikesta
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#238
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(Original post by Cookie_m14)
Hi I was just wondering if it is possible to take your ACA exams (get qualified) but not become a member of ICAEW? I.e. you don't pay admission, subscription fees and don't have letters next to your name. Or do you have to join a parent body if you want a career in accountancy? Thanks!
The ACA is issued by the ICAEW. The only way you can take any exams and get the ACA qualification is through them. When qualified I know you can possibly look into transferring to a different institute (if you want to) and you may be exempt from some exams.
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akash11
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#239
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Can you complete the ACA in under 3 years at the big 4, providing you go down the graduate root ?
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alibee
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#240
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(Original post by akash11)
Can you complete the ACA in under 3 years at the big 4, providing you go down the graduate root ?
You cannot be awarded an ACA without 3 years of relevant experience. So even if you pass your exams early, the qualification takes 3 years.
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