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

Kazzi_7
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#41
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#41
Hi,
I just had a 'callback' from PWC and was told that within a few days i'll be given a task whihc basically requires me to write an 'essay' about how to deal with particular clients etc.

I just want to ask if there are any helpful hints you could share to make a better application?

thanks
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ppp
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#42
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#42
(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
Can you become an auditor by going the AAT route and then onto ACCA or another relevant qualification. I have three good A levels and by the time i have completed the ACCA i will have years of accounting experience.

Thanks
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hmjessop
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#43
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Are the exams as difficult as people say? Is it a lot of fact based learning?
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uxa595
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#44
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Is it a lot harder to get into grad jobs for Advisory rather then tax/audit?
I find advisory roles like M&A, recovery and corp fin much more exciting compared to tax and audit.

http://www.pwc.com/uk/en/careers/stu...advisory.jhtml

Would it be easier to just to go into a audit grad job and then transfer to advisory instead of applying directly to the advisroy grad job because of the amount of competition?


How do the career prospects and salary of advisory compare to tax/audit?
Is it easier to get into other finance roles and IB from a advisory big 4 job rather then tax/audit?

I am going to do a Accounting and finance degree at the university of Birmingham, would something like a 2:1 from there put me in a good standing to get a big 4 grad job?
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bingkk32
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(Original post by hmjessop)
Are the exams as difficult as people say? Is it a lot of fact based learning?
the element of shock and having to adjust to the pace is what hit me hardest.

the volume you are expected to cover in the time allocated is something else.
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Knowslian
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#46
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#46
I'm not even in this field, nor studying for the ACA but find this thread really interesting!
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pancho100
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#47
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Hi Samtheman1

I've read your posts - they've been a very informative read and have held strong resonance with my own views.

I was hoping to get your view/thoughts on something, as I'd imagine you're well placed to dispense advice from an informed position, in particular with regards to equity research.

I'm currently in my first year of ACA audit at a big 4 firm. If I'm entirely honest I'm a bit disenchanted with the work, however I'm going to persist with it, as I'll have a very defined skill set upon qualification which I'm hoping to leverage in order to secure a more rewarding career path.

To get to the point, I have a set of specific questions on equity research that I was hoping you could shed light on:

- I don't have straight 'A' at A-Level, I have AAB, is this something that will rule me out of moving into equity research post qualification? I.e. given the competition, does this become a deciding factor, along with University attended?

- What elements of audit work/skills gained from audit work have you found to be relevant and of assistance in equity research? I.e. in what ways has audit helped prepare/provide insight with respect to equity research?

- how common is it for ACA's to be recruited straight from audit into equity research, given the nature of the jobs are quite different? I.e. do most people second to corporate finance post-qual to try and gain more targetted relevant skills, and then make the jump into ER?

- I'm currently specifically auditing Insurance firms - does this mean that I can only ever research the insurance industry? Or can you decide on which industry to specialise in, irrespective of previous audit sector experience?

- What can I do during the three years in order to best position myself to make the move in to equity research post-qual? I.e. internal training courses? Books?

- If you don't mind me asking - how did you go about making the move into equity research after ACA Audit?

Apologies for such a cumbersome post!

Cheers,
Pancho
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username144728
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#48
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Hey,

I'm due to start audit at KPMG in the summer and am currently down for the ACA, but have read from a number of sources (including a Morgan McKinley guy) that ACCA may be better if I want to go in to managemount accountancy at the end. I know you said you don't want to go in to management accountancy, but do you reckon with the ACA you could do that easily if you wanted to?

Thanks!
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Johnny Luk
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#49
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(Original post by Samtheman1)
You are right - it is excruciatingly boring. However, I didn't consider quitting during my 3 years because:

The ACA is such a good qualification to have, and from a big 4 is priceless.

You are in a peer group of so many people your age, which are sharing the same experiences as you...where else can you find that?

You are getting exposure, albeit in a boring way, to a variety of top businesses (as you may consider setting one up - not a bad start)

ACA is being paid for, and you are given time off to do it (a luxury not afforded to those from a smaller firm)

Where else could you go?...there is a danger that you leave, go somewhere else, and hate that too - then you are stuck.

Everyone has to start from the bottom...and the bottom is cr4p wherever you go. Best to ride it out, achieve the credibility by gaining your ACA, and go somewhere else. Always better to leave with something, than turn up somewhere else with nothing.

Accountancy, by nature, is dull...but it is the conerstone of business. Get your ACA from a big four and it will open up opportunities to do more exciting things as you will always have it to fall back on, even if you don't necessarily use it.

That is and was my opinion anyway - it is by no means correct for everyone.

People dropped out from my start group because it wasn't what they wanted to do and seemed happy enough.

If its that bad then look into the possibility of moving departments - but as I mentioned above, the grass might not be greener...
I just took a KPMG internship in Audit over General Management in Lloyds Banking Group, did I just make a mistake if Audit sounds so dull and I know nothing of it? I always view myself more as a leader ><
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Xanaxer
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Hello,

During your time with PwC, how many exams were you required to complete and how many per sitting?
From your experience, how did you find the workload?
Thanks
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Samtheman1
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(Original post by ging.ninj.)
Hey,

I'm due to start audit at KPMG in the summer and am currently down for the ACA, but have read from a number of sources (including a Morgan McKinley guy) that ACCA may be better if I want to go in to managemount accountancy at the end. I know you said you don't want to go in to management accountancy, but do you reckon with the ACA you could do that easily if you wanted to?

Thanks!
I think any of the accountancy qualifications will hold you in good stead to go into management accountancy. The most relevent is the CIMA qualification but I don't think this is offered by the big 4 (to my knowledge). There is no real difference between the ACA and ACCA apart from the ACA being more respected due to its higher entry requirements and more stringent exam format.
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Samtheman1
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(Original post by Johnny Luk)
I just took a KPMG internship in Audit over General Management in Lloyds Banking Group, did I just make a mistake if Audit sounds so dull and I know nothing of it? I always view myself more as a leader ><
I would look at it as a means to an end. The big 4 is like a corporate university rather than a workplace in the first 3 years. You go in with a large intake, you take exams, and then you assess your options at the end.

It is dull, but so will LBG be. When you join any role fresh from uni, you will have to undertake dull tasks until you progress - at least at KPMG ( a great firm) you are getting a qualification as well as a name on your CV that will be viewed favorably.
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Samtheman1
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#53
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(Original post by Xanaxer)
Hello,

During your time with PwC, how many exams were you required to complete and how many per sitting?
From your experience, how did you find the workload?
Thanks
For me:

15 exams in total consisting of:

6 knowledge stage multiple choice exams (pass mark 55%) 1.5 hours each
6 professional stage witten exams (pass mark 55%) 2.5 hours each
2 technical integration wriiten exams (pass mark 50%) 3.5 hours each
1 Case study exam (pass mark 50%) - 4 hours

We did two of the knowledge stage at a time (a week for preparation each exam), I think PwC have made these self study rather than college tuition for these now to save money.

We then took 3 professional stage exams at a time over 2 sittings (June & December) withroughly 5.5 weeks of intensive tuition to prepare.

We then took both TI papers with 4 weeks of intensive tuition.

Finally the case study which was a bit more chilled out but still failable.

Yes it was very tough at times, you never feel on top of the workload and you have the constant fear of losing your job if you fail (coupled with the fact that we are in a recession and finding another job after being sacked would be brutal).

But overall I would say it is worth it - although I definately didnt feel the same when I was going through it!
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Newyork Nagaram...
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#54
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Hey, Can you become CEO with ACA qualification? If so, how long would it take on average to reach there?

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joshthefro'
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Hi - great idea for a thread, thanks to all contributing

I'm thinking of going into chartered accountancy, either into tax or audit, with one of the big 4 in a regional office, and I have a few questions...

Would you say it's hard to have a personal life (e.g. sports clubs, gym, meeting up with friends etc.)when working in audit? It seems like with all the travel, staying away in hotels etc. that you wouldn't get much time to yourself.

Would you feel that working in a regional office is seen as 'worse' than working in London?

Is it true that everyone (i.e. clients) hates auditors?

Do you know what Tax is like? Would you recommend it over audit? (I appreciate you worked in audit, but just a general idea?)

Cheers

Josh
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bingkk32
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working in tax allows you to stay in the office and generally work less hours than auditors. commute obviously more predictable as well since you're office based. But probably harder to secure a place in tax since there are far less vacancies available compared to audit.
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Johnny Luk
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(Original post by mufas)
Hey, Can you become CEO with ACA qualification? If so, how long would it take on average to reach there?

I think its reasonable to say that this is a wide open question because it depends on which firm you are becoming CEO for, being CEO for a tiny firm or one that you founded yourself could happen sooner than lets say CEO of a FTSE 100 firms, if ever.

However it is reasonable to say that a fair amount of ACA's become CFO's, board members, or finance directors, and thats a fairly good place to get to the top position, but it depends on your cut throat political drive, instincts, hard work, networking, patience and a LOT of luck.

But if you look around, there are some young people who are CEO's, look at Karren Brady, she was Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club at the age of 23, so its obviously doable.

If you want to do it sooner rather than later, probably go into industry. This is all just my view ofc. =)
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joshthefro'
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Thanks bingkk32.

Could I ask as well, how does the audit job change as you progress up the ladder?
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uxa595
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(Original post by uxa595)
Is it a lot harder to get into grad jobs for Advisory rather then tax/audit?
I find advisory roles like M&A, recovery and corp fin much more exciting compared to tax and audit.

http://www.pwc.com/uk/en/careers/stu...advisory.jhtml

Would it be easier to just to go into a audit grad job and then transfer to advisory instead of applying directly to the advisroy grad job because of the amount of competition?


How do the career prospects and salary of advisory compare to tax/audit?
Is it easier to get into other finance roles and IB from a advisory big 4 job rather then tax/audit?

I am going to do a Accounting and finance degree at the university of Birmingham, would something like a 2:1 from there put me in a good standing to get a big 4 grad job?
anyone?
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lee11
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#60
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Congrats.

In terms of travelling, were you limited to UK only during the 3 years? Is there scope for international travel now that you are ACA qualified?

Thanks.
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