okmijn
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
I'm doing ACA with a firm. I'm not going to say where, but suffice to say it's a major employer, highly listed in the Times Top 100. And it absolutely, completely sucks.

Sure, the working hours aren't too bad (they're still pretty crap though- see below!). Yet. But the studying after you've finished a days work is practically impossible. After you've finished a long (and boring) day, you just don't fancy coming home to grind out yet more learning on one of the most dull topics known to mankind. This is just the knowledge stage by the way. The application stage will be even worse.

The job itself is dull. Soul crushingly dull. All you will be doing in the office is working in excel, moving data from one place to another. Or you get to experience the joys of long coach trips, which are scheduled AFTER 5PM, so you can arrive at your accomodation for 9PM, in readiness for an audit the next day. Some work-life balance, eh?

All the crap about how you get to interact with senior business leaders is a load of bull. They don't care one iota about you. Not that you'd want to interact with them anyway mind, since anyone who's stuck at this job for 15 years or more probably has a personality that makes you seriously think you'd have more fun in McDonalds flipping burgers.

And one of the worst things is- while there are plenty who hate it, you always get the 20-30% who suck up to their boss, do all their work, plus extra, and seemingly live for the day when they can do more account reconciliations. They act like we're so lucky for being given this 'opportunity'. Like hell we are lucky! When I was growing up, I sure didn't dream of debiting assets and crediting cash in some account that no one will ever read nor care about! I wanted to be sat in front of my xbox during the day, with some hot big chested brunette girl on my d*ck, then going out drinking and partying at night. Lucky? Anyone who gets stuck in one of these jobs has to qualify as one of the most unlucky guys in Britain.

You don't even get paid that well for it. It's pretty much average salaries during the training contract years, then you get about 45k-50k after you qualify. After you factor in tax, NI, and the fact you'll still be paying your student loan, you'll be left with about 30k. Hardly groundbreaking. Yeah yeah you can earn more when you're in your 40's and with more experience, but who the hell wants to waste their 20's and 30's doing this crap?

Unless your dream was to look at excel spreadsheets all day, or spend all day counting up useless junk for a stock check, I'd seriously recommend you run as far from accountancy as possible. I'll get negged to hell and back for this, but it's the truth, gained from hard experience on the actual job.
47
reply
Advertisement
monk_keys
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#2
Report 6 years ago
#2
oh hey must be exam time
4
reply
okmijn
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#3
Exam time? When is it not exam time? There's very few rest periods really, and out of the little time you will get off from exams, you'll still have to go into work, where they'll probably have you working longer hours on the basis you can do more when you're not having to study.

Can anyone honestly tell me when they were 15, they wanted to be calculating cash flow, adding depreciation charges to income statements, and doing bank reconciliations?

Because I wanted to be sat in a nice hot country drinking cocktails and getting laid. Not having to go do audits at crazy hours of the day and night, then spend the little free time I do have often having to study. Sure, you might be able to man it up if there was serious reward at the end. But get this- there isn't. You'll still do the same boring crap once qualified, just at a higher pay band- and once factoring in tax, NI, and student loans, the pay is nothing special. And on a per hour basis during the training contract, assuming 8 hours study per week, you're little better off than a guy working in McDonalds for minimum wage.
0
reply
Advertisement
Idrink2muchcoffee
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#4
Report 6 years ago
#4
(Original post by okmijn)
I'm doing ACA with a firm. I'm not going to say where, but suffice to say it's a major employer, highly listed in the Times Top 100. And it absolutely, completely sucks.

Sure, the working hours aren't too bad (they're still pretty crap though- see below!). Yet. But the studying after you've finished a days work is practically impossible. After you've finished a long (and boring) day, you just don't fancy coming home to grind out yet more learning on one of the most dull topics known to mankind. This is just the knowledge stage by the way. The application stage will be even worse.

The job itself is dull. Soul crushingly dull. All you will be doing in the office is working in excel, moving data from one place to another. Or you get to experience the joys of long coach trips, which are scheduled AFTER 5PM, so you can arrive at your accomodation for 9PM, in readiness for an audit the next day. Some work-life balance, eh?

All the crap about how you get to interact with senior business leaders is a load of bull. They don't care one iota about you. Not that you'd want to interact with them anyway mind, since anyone who's stuck at this job for 15 years or more probably has a personality that makes you seriously think you'd have more fun in McDonalds flipping burgers.

And one of the worst things is- while there are plenty who hate it, you always get the 20-30% who suck up to their boss, do all their work, plus extra, and seemingly live for the day when they can do more account reconciliations. They act like we're so lucky for being given this 'opportunity'. Like hell we are lucky! When I was growing up, I sure didn't dream of debiting assets and crediting cash in some account that no one will ever read nor care about! I wanted to be sat in front of my xbox during the day, with some hot big chested brunette girl on my d*ck, then going out drinking and partying at night. Lucky? Anyone who gets stuck in one of these jobs has to qualify as one of the most unlucky guys in Britain.

You don't even get paid that well for it. It's pretty much average salaries during the training contract years, then you get about 45k-50k after you qualify. After you factor in tax, NI, and the fact you'll still be paying your student loan, you'll be left with about 30k. Hardly groundbreaking. Yeah yeah you can earn more when you're in your 40's and with more experience, but who the hell wants to waste their 20's and 30's doing this crap?

Unless your dream was to look at excel spreadsheets all day, or spend all day counting up useless junk for a stock check, I'd seriously recommend you run as far from accountancy as possible. I'll get negged to hell and back for this, but it's the truth, gained from hard experience on the actual job.
Dude, I hear you! I'm doing mine in Northern Ireland and training to be an accountant is even worse. I only get paid £12,000 a year (this is normal for NI) and have to go to class EVERY Friday night after work and Saturday.

Completely agree with everything you say. The whole thing sucks!
3
reply
partoftheweekend
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#5
Report 6 years ago
#5
Im really enjoying it.

I'm not finding the exams that hard, I'm getting paid a decent amount, work with some great people, find the work challenging but interesting at the moment, lots of new stuff to learn. Great social life where I am too; we go out a decent amount in our department and I meet up with the other grads a lot too. Feels more like being at uni to me a lot of the time.

Hours are usually around 9 till 530, which tends to be stuck pretty rigidly too. Busy season is obviously a whole other kettle of fish but on the other hand you're working hard in a small team, eat together, stay in a hotel then get up and on with it the next day till its over. As someone who has done a lot of team sports in the past it appeals to me a lot.

Can't wait to be qualified, can walk into a 50k+ job doing something I'm interested in, in basically any industry in the world. With a clear path to senior management and huge paychecks if I can show my value.

Obviously I would prefer to play xbox and have some girl suck my **** but those 2 things don't tend to go together. Having money on other hand...
10
reply
Advertisement
Madmitten
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#6
Report 6 years ago
#6
If you don't like it, quit.

(Original post by okmijn)
.
1
reply
okmijn
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#7
(Original post by Idrink2muchcoffee)
Completely agree with everything you say. The whole thing sucks!
Amen to that.

(Original post by partoftheweekend)
Im really enjoying it.

I'm not finding the exams that hard, I'm getting paid a decent amount, work with some great people, find the work challenging but interesting at the moment, lots of new stuff to learn. Great social life where I am too; we go out a decent amount in our department and I meet up with the other grads a lot too. Feels more like being at uni to me a lot of the time.

Hours are usually around 9 till 530, which tends to be stuck pretty rigidly too. Busy season is obviously a whole other kettle of fish but on the other hand you're working hard in a small team, eat together, stay in a hotel then get up and on with it the next day till its over. As someone who has done a lot of team sports in the past it appeals to me a lot.

Can't wait to be qualified, can walk into a 50k+ job doing something I'm interested in, in basically any industry in the world. With a clear path to senior management and huge paychecks if I can show my value.

Obviously I would prefer to play xbox and have some girl suck my **** but those 2 things don't tend to go together. Having money on other hand...
The exams for knowledge stage are not the hardest you'll ever take, true, but it's the fact you have to study after finishing work or study at the weekends that's the killer. Just imagine, you get home at 6:00pm, after leaving for work at 8:00am. All you want to do at that point is play some games, chill with friends, and relax. Not open some book on tax or accounting and get memorising vast quantities of useless information just so you can jump through hoops on some multiple choice test.

50k really isn't anything amazing considering how monotonous the job is. It's excel in the offices, and to be honest, a lot of excel on audits too. Or checking pointless 'control' items just so you can tick a few boxes.

And let me tell you, it gets no better once you make that big 'jump' to industry either that so many crave! I've seen what the financial controllers do in the big firms- it's excel, excel, excel. It's much the same stuff you'll be doing now, only with less travel.

I earned 7k a year teaching English abroad for a gap year before I decided to go and get a 'proper job' with 'career prospects'. Wish I hadn't bothered now, I was far happier on 7k abroad. I was in nice warm countries, I had loads of free time, I got laid far more than I do now and I didn't struggle for money at all.

(Original post by Madmitten)
If you don't like it, quit.
If only it was that simple. You see, when moving down here to be near work, I had to sign a tenancy agreement which has a fixed term of 6 months. I'm only a couple of months into that and couldn't afford to shell out 4 months rent without a paycheck. So I'm locked in.
0
reply
Advertisement
oohblimey
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#8
Report 6 years ago
#8
Welcome to the real world. Grow up!
22
reply
Tokyoround
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#9
Report 6 years ago
#9
I find it a lot easier to study in the office.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Advertisement
MagicNMedicine
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report 6 years ago
#10
(Original post by okmijn)
When I was growing up, I sure didn't dream of debiting assets and crediting cash in some account that no one will ever read nor care about! I wanted to be sat in front of my xbox during the day, with some hot big chested brunette girl on my d*ck, then going out drinking and partying at night. Lucky? Anyone who gets stuck in one of these jobs has to qualify as one of the most unlucky guys in Britain.
Why did you apply for jobs in accountancy then :eyeball:

Did they have a stand at the uni careers fair where they sent the hottest female graduate on their books to spout some bull about 'the sky's the limit with us', and you interpreted that as being the guys playing x box while she sucked them off?

It doesn't take much research to find out what accountancy is like, especially audit. There are a lot of boring jobs in the world, most of them are minimum wage, audit happens to be a reasonably well paid boring job. However it comes at a price that wants a lot of sacrifice in terms of study and time commitment. You can handle sacrifice in life if the payoff is something you really want but with ACA the sacrifice is to win security to do that for the rest of your life (probably working longer hours). If you really want it you will grit your teeth and get through the training period. If you don't, you will end up leaving some time so its just a case of whether you leave sooner or waste more of your life by putting the decision off before you make it.
6
reply
matthewrgb
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#11
Report 6 years ago
#11
What are people's experience of tax? More or less dull? I've heard hours are more consistent. Cheers.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Advertisement
james303
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#12
Report 6 years ago
#12
(Original post by matthewrgb)
What are people's experience of tax? More or less dull? I've heard hours are more consistent. Cheers.

Posted from TSR Mobile
I've heard it's more dull and once you start tax, it's your career for life.

Hours are less though
0
reply
studient
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#13
Report 6 years ago
#13
Accountant in boring job shocker!

Seriously, interesting post from the OP tbh. It's nice to hear of people's experiences who are employed instead of looking at the marketing spiel of the companies involved
3
reply
Advertisement
matthewrgb
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#14
Report 6 years ago
#14
(Original post by james303)
I've heard it's more dull and once you start tax, it's your career for life.

Hours are less though
I'm doing tax management consultancy though (next yr) - I'd imagine that will be more exciting than standard tax..

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
tupac1111
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#15
Report 6 years ago
#15
Dude I feel your pain. I got a part time accountancy job after I graduated from University whilst studying full time for my masters and I can honestly say that accountancy job was soul destroying and caused me to go into depression mode. I recently left the job and felt so relieved. I did an undergrad degree in accounting & finance and I was planning to go into accountancy but after my experience in the accounting working environment I'm not sure if I want to go into accountancy anymore.
2
reply
S
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#16
Report 6 years ago
#16
(Original post by okmijn)
x
You're not alone. Every year there are trainees that realise they made a big mistake. Usually people join audit because of one of three reasons: (i) The ACA is a highly regarded qualification, which can springboard you to some really interest non-accounting roles in the future, (ii) You actually want to be an accountant *shock horror*, (iii) You couldn't think of anything else to do, and audit sounded like a fairly secure job with decent prospects. It sounds like you fall into category (iii) unfortunately.

I fall into category (ii) but stuck it out for around 2 years. Audit wasn't for me, but I do enjoy accounting.

If you don't like it, don't delay, you really need to work on a plan to get out. I would wait until after Christmas and new year, to give the recruitment market time to pick up again. I'd look to start building personal relationships with consultants recruiting into the industry areas you have an interest in. Be prepared to take an entry-level role, paying much less than what you're on now. At the same, why not start applying to graduate schemes again?


Advice aside, I wanted to comment on a couple of things. Your complaint about Excel is pretty silly. Any accounting and finance job, or any job involving data analysis (!) will require you to be proficient in the use of Excel. What did you expect? To be honest, it sounds like you don't particularly enjoy working with numbers.

Attending stock counts and testing "controls" are boring tasks but to be fair, you've only just started so you're being asked to do the grunt work.

Contact with senior people - I'm guessing you haven't quite reached the stage yet where you have a chance to debate issues with clients, discuss their business, and generally shoot the ****? You're probably still at the stage where you're asking for a long list of invoices and then asking why one is missing. I agree that this is really boring. If you give the job a little bit more time, the conversations with clients do become a lot more interesting.
1
reply
haz8554
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#17
Report 6 years ago
#17
You should have been a footballer or won the lottery. You were living in a dream world when you were 15. Who at the age of 15 wants to be a manager in Aldi or an investment banker? Most jobs are dull compared to sitting on a beach getting sucked off. I also would have loved to spend my life sitting by a beach, rolling in money, but I am realistic and unless you win the lottery or earn £100 000 per week playing for Manchester City, that ain't going to happen. You have to graft. Be pleased you earn £50 000 per year and that you don't make a living sifting through trash in a slum in Mumbai for $1.50 per day. I'd much rather be in a warm office with a cup of coffee than sifting through trash to make a living.



(Original post by okmijn)
Exam time? When is it not exam time? There's very few rest periods really, and out of the little time you will get off from exams, you'll still have to go into work, where they'll probably have you working longer hours on the basis you can do more when you're not having to study.

Can anyone honestly tell me when they were 15, they wanted to be calculating cash flow, adding depreciation charges to income statements, and doing bank reconciliations?

Because I wanted to be sat in a nice hot country drinking cocktails and getting laid. Not having to go do audits at crazy hours of the day and night, then spend the little free time I do have often having to study. Sure, you might be able to man it up if there was serious reward at the end. But get this- there isn't. You'll still do the same boring crap once qualified, just at a higher pay band- and once factoring in tax, NI, and student loans, the pay is nothing special. And on a per hour basis during the training contract, assuming 8 hours study per week, you're little better off than a guy working in McDonalds for minimum wage.
6
reply
Advertisement
Brotherhood
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#18
Report 6 years ago
#18
Thought I'd lend some perspective on this. Sure there are times I hate it but that's as anyone does their job, but I generally enjoy it, love my colleagues and company and know exactly why I'm here and studying for the ACA.

(Original post by okmijn)
I'm doing ACA with a firm. I'm not going to say where, but suffice to say it's a major employer, highly listed in the Times Top 100. And it absolutely, completely sucks.

Sure, the working hours aren't too bad (they're still pretty crap though- see below!). Yet. But the studying after you've finished a days work is practically impossible.
The only time I've studied after work was, well actually never. We get blocks of college and that's the only time I revise. Tbh for the knowledge papers I did the night before and that's it. Do you not get self-study time/college time? Ask your manager to let you leave on time if you have studying to do, they're fine with it.

After you've finished a long (and boring) day, you just don't fancy coming home to grind out yet more learning on one of the most dull topics known to mankind. This is just the knowledge stage by the way. The application stage will be even worse.
Application's actually a lot more interesting. There's more of it to learn but you see how it applies to the job. You're always going to get boring topics with any subject.

The job itself is dull. Soul crushingly dull.
You're a first year, what do you expect? You're an idiot, we all were, we can't do the interesting stuff at that level. It gets better and a lot more interesting.

Depends on so many variables:

Who the client is
How the client is (receptive, slow, idiots e.t.c.)
Who you're working with
How social they are
How stupid they are
How hardworking they are
How stupid/hardworking you are
What time of year it is
When the reporting deadline is
What the staffing is like
Who's available
How good the manager is
How good the plan is
If it's busy season
Where the job is
What industry it is
What sections you are assigned/ask for
And on and on and on

No two jobs are the same. They vary wildly. Saying it's all boring is tosh.

This last month I've looked at football contracts and refinancing of the club's debt with its major creditor, toured a satdium, looked over plans for a major new development in Manchester, done some work on the flotation for a football club, next month I'm working at a cricket club, Wentworth for the Ryder Cup, I've been to Spain and reviewed plans for a new holiday village and its feasibility, I've got a month of top-secret advisory work coming up and I'm off to the Lake District for two weeks to work. I could go on. And that's just the job, the amount of extra-curricular stuff I do with my company, charity work and initiatives I get involved in is ridiculous. You're not taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you, the breadth of varying things you do with the job is second to none.

You're in your first year. Make the brews, do what you're told, and grab the opportunities to shine. If you think you can do a complex piece of work that interests you then ask to do it, take charge of your own career.

All you will be doing in the office is working in excel, moving data from one place to another.
If that's all you're doing get better at your job or ask to do something else. Set objectives before each client and ask the manager, they'd prefer to give something to someone who wants to do it, bearing in mind you need to be able to do it. And that's the same in most office-based jobs. The more interesting work comes. You're not intelligent enough to do it yet, everyone started where you are.

Or you get to experience the joys of long coach trips, which are scheduled AFTER 5PM, so you can arrive at your accomodation for 9PM, in readiness for an audit the next day. Some work-life balance, eh?
Not sure why this is? Never got a coach since I've been working. And I for one am happy to take advantage of five star accom. and all expenses paid once in a while if you're on about away jobs. I've had some great one.

All the crap about how you get to interact with senior business leaders is a load of bull. They don't care one iota about you.
Well I called the FD of a company I've been working on the other day to chat through some adjustments I was proposing, we had a bit of a debate then a laugh about other stuff and chatted through what we'd done at the weekend (I'm a year and a bit in), and my senior manager trusts me to do this. Not my experience at all. Everyone's different, but I chat with FCs and FDs every day. Some are receptive, helpful, friendly even a laugh, some are ignorant or too busy, same with anything it depends on the person. And they still remember me a year on.

Not that you'd want to interact with them anyway mind, since anyone who's stuck at this job for 15 years or more probably has a personality that makes you seriously think you'd have more fun in McDonalds flipping burgers.
Again not my experience. Some are some aren't, some love their job some don't. Some are on the up and will be big-time soon some will be where they are in 15 years. They're part of your network, have you actually made a serious effort to try and get to know them? And again this all comes when you have more interaction with them when doing more complex work. You'll have little exposure as a first year. Get involved in client orientated events your firm runs or audit meals at the end of the job.

And one of the worst things is- while there are plenty who hate it, you always get the 20-30% who suck up to their boss, do all their work, plus extra, and seemingly live for the day when they can do more account reconciliations.
So as with any job? Some people are hard workers, some people think that's how to get ahead. Sometimes it is. The cream always makes it to the top eventually. Do your job, do it well and people will notice.[/QUOTE]


They act like we're so lucky for being given this 'opportunity'. Like hell we are lucky!
We are. The ACA, especially with a Big 4 firm is pretty much a golden ticket. Do you think I want to stay in audit? But while I'm here I'm going to make the most of it and learn the basic skills that are going to do me well in later life, so that I'm the best I can be. Those CEO and CFOs or mega companies started somewhere, and the skills they take for granted they know so much of are the reason we're here to learn. It's the start of your career, not your career, barely anyone stays. It's the business model. If you don't like it quit, you're taking the opportunity away from someone who will make the most of it.

When I was growing up, I sure didn't dream of debiting assets and crediting cash in some account that no one will ever read nor care about! I wanted to be sat in front of my xbox during the day, with some hot big chested brunette girl on my d*ck, then going out drinking and partying at night. Lucky? Anyone who gets stuck in one of these jobs has to qualify as one of the most unlucky guys in Britain.
Who did? Who actually ever gets their dream job (yours isn't even that, it's a fantasy. As the guy above said, do you realise how lucky you are compared to people on the streets?

You don't even get paid that well for it. It's pretty much average salaries during the training contract years,
Because you're in college half the time and they pay for your training...

then you get about 45k-50k after you qualify. After you factor in tax, NI, and the fact you'll still be paying your student loan, you'll be left with about 30k. Hardly groundbreaking. Yeah yeah you can earn more when you're in your 40's and with more experience, but who the hell wants to waste their 20's and 30's doing this crap?
45-50 just in the regions. It's not a career for making money, its experience and knowledge, then you can move on to better things.

Unless your dream was to look at excel spreadsheets all day, or spend all day counting up useless junk for a stock check, I'd seriously recommend you run as far from accountancy as possible. I'll get negged to hell and back for this, but it's the truth, gained from hard experience on the actual job.
Your opinion and your experience. It's not for everyone, nor is any job.
36
reply
matthewrgb
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#19
Report 6 years ago
#19
(Original post by Brotherhood)

Your opinion and your experience. It's not for everyone, nor is any job.
Very impressed by your ability to respond reasonably and rationally to such a provocative post (the original one).

You've somewhat allayed my fears about starting in tax with a big4 next year. One question I have - you insinuate a lot of auditors move into industry, would there be such opportunity for tax ACAs? Or will I only be able to do tax in industry? I appreciate I wouldn't have the level of risk/controls knowledge that auditors do, although there is a risk rotation for my tax grad scheme.

Thanks for your help.
1
reply
M1011
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#20
Report 6 years ago
#20
Just a note to anyone considering audit, ignore he OP. He clearly doesn't like it which is fair enough, but his post is extremely OTT and not a true reflection at all.

A job with a top firm is going to require serious commitment, long hours and frankly some dull work. That's the price you pay for success. If you didn't know that before joining you didn't do your research, your own fault.
5
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you registered to vote?

18-20 years old (yes) (259)
54.18%
18-20 years old (no) (62)
12.97%
20-25 years old (yes) (80)
16.74%
20-25 years old (no) (9)
1.88%
25-30 years old (yes) (25)
5.23%
25-30 years old (no) (0)
0%
30-40 years old (yes) (24)
5.02%
30-40 years old (no) (3)
0.63%
40+ years old (yes) (9)
1.88%
40+ years old (no) (7)
1.46%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed