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    Hi, would appreciate some advice from people working as a trainee accountant within an accountancy Company. I am 21 years of age, completed AAT around July last year, and have been working at an accountancy company on the South Coast (UK) for around 18 months. I am concerned at the low level of pay offered by my Company and wondered whether all accountancy companies are the same. I started on general book-keeping / final account prep and was then moved on to audit which I have been doing for the past few months. There are around 10 of us trainees and we are all paid around £13,000 per annum. Since completing AAT I have been given far more complicated jobs and also have to support a couple of trainees. Whilst I have an immediate line manager, it is very difficult to get help because the managers are so busy with there own work. I would be interested to know if things are the same at other Companies, AAT qualified, expected to work overtime to complete the workload, support trainees with their jobs and receive next to no support from managers for £13k per annum. The Company seem to think I am doing ok and have suggested that they will sponsor me to start ACCA later in the year. However, other employees already studying for ACCA say that the Company will keep the salary the same throughout the whole study period due to the cost to the company. I am wondering whether it is really worth spending some 3-4 years on such a low salary now. If all accountancy companies are the same then fine, but I am thinking that other companies are probably offering far better salaries. If not then I have to wonder whether it is time to try and move away from practice and explore the management side instead (CIMA rather than ACCA maybe). Thank you for any information and advice.
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    (Original post by StudentZ)
    Hi, would appreciate some advice from people working as a trainee accountant within an accountancy Company. I am 21 years of age, completed AAT around July last year, and have been working at an accountancy company on the South Coast (UK) for around 18 months. I am concerned at the low level of pay offered by my Company and wondered whether all accountancy companies are the same. I started on general book-keeping / final account prep and was then moved on to audit which I have been doing for the past few months. There are around 10 of us trainees and we are all paid around £13,000 per annum. Since completing AAT I have been given far more complicated jobs and also have to support a couple of trainees. Whilst I have an immediate line manager, it is very difficult to get help because the managers are so busy with there own work. I would be interested to know if things are the same at other Companies, AAT qualified, expected to work overtime to complete the workload, support trainees with their jobs and receive next to no support from managers for £13k per annum. The Company seem to think I am doing ok and have suggested that they will sponsor me to start ACCA later in the year. However, other employees already studying for ACCA say that the Company will keep the salary the same throughout the whole study period due to the cost to the company. I am wondering whether it is really worth spending some 3-4 years on such a low salary now. If all accountancy companies are the same then fine, but I am thinking that other companies are probably offering far better salaries. If not then I have to wonder whether it is time to try and move away from practice and explore the management side instead (CIMA rather than ACCA maybe). Thank you for any information and advice.
    ACA trainees tend to be 20-28k (depending on firm and location). Not sure if that helps.

    Can always apply to school leaver schemes and if you land one then resign from your current position. If you don't get an offer, nothing lost!
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    (Original post by StudentZ)
    Hi, would appreciate some advice from people working as a trainee accountant within an accountancy Company. I am 21 years of age, completed AAT around July last year, and have been working at an accountancy company on the South Coast (UK) for around 18 months. I am concerned at the low level of pay offered by my Company and wondered whether all accountancy companies are the same. I started on general book-keeping / final account prep and was then moved on to audit which I have been doing for the past few months. There are around 10 of us trainees and we are all paid around £13,000 per annum. Since completing AAT I have been given far more complicated jobs and also have to support a couple of trainees. Whilst I have an immediate line manager, it is very difficult to get help because the managers are so busy with there own work. I would be interested to know if things are the same at other Companies, AAT qualified, expected to work overtime to complete the workload, support trainees with their jobs and receive next to no support from managers for £13k per annum. The Company seem to think I am doing ok and have suggested that they will sponsor me to start ACCA later in the year. However, other employees already studying for ACCA say that the Company will keep the salary the same throughout the whole study period due to the cost to the company. I am wondering whether it is really worth spending some 3-4 years on such a low salary now. If all accountancy companies are the same then fine, but I am thinking that other companies are probably offering far better salaries. If not then I have to wonder whether it is time to try and move away from practice and explore the management side instead (CIMA rather than ACCA maybe). Thank you for any information and advice.
    Salary varies a lot per firm. What I gather from talking to people at college is that smaller firms pay far less than larger firms sometimes up to 10k less. Do you have a degree or did you join as a school leaver?


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    I think it really depends on the size of company, the location, the clients and the attitude.

    I work in Essex as a trainee accountant and my first job paid 14k but I took it because I was desperate for the experience. I soon found from my colleagues that loyalty doesn't pay more, they hadn't had a pay rise for 4 years.
    So after 10 months I upped and moved (quite literally across the road) and got 5k more.

    You'd be surprised what a little bit of experience will do for you.

    Don't be afraid to look around, it could definitely be worth it. Also, don't forget to mention a pay rise in your annual review.
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    (Original post by StudentZ)
    Hi, would appreciate some advice from people working as a trainee accountant within an accountancy Company. I am 21 years of age, completed AAT around July last year, and have been working at an accountancy company on the South Coast (UK) for around 18 months. I am concerned at the low level of pay offered by my Company and wondered whether all accountancy companies are the same. I started on general book-keeping / final account prep and was then moved on to audit which I have been doing for the past few months. There are around 10 of us trainees and we are all paid around £13,000 per annum. Since completing AAT I have been given far more complicated jobs and also have to support a couple of trainees. Whilst I have an immediate line manager, it is very difficult to get help because the managers are so busy with there own work. I would be interested to know if things are the same at other Companies, AAT qualified, expected to work overtime to complete the workload, support trainees with their jobs and receive next to no support from managers for £13k per annum. The Company seem to think I am doing ok and have suggested that they will sponsor me to start ACCA later in the year. However, other employees already studying for ACCA say that the Company will keep the salary the same throughout the whole study period due to the cost to the company. I am wondering whether it is really worth spending some 3-4 years on such a low salary now. If all accountancy companies are the same then fine, but I am thinking that other companies are probably offering far better salaries. If not then I have to wonder whether it is time to try and move away from practice and explore the management side instead (CIMA rather than ACCA maybe). Thank you for any information and advice.
    (Original post by M1011)
    ACA trainees tend to be 20-28k (depending on firm and location). Not sure if that helps.

    Can always apply to school leaver schemes and if you land one then resign from your current position. If you don't get an offer, nothing lost!
    (Original post by the-scientist)
    Salary varies a lot per firm. What I gather from talking to people at college is that smaller firms pay far less than larger firms sometimes up to 10k less. Do you have a degree or did you join as a school leaver?


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    (Original post by KeysWalker)
    I think it really depends on the size of company, the location, the clients and the attitude.

    I work in Essex as a trainee accountant and my first job paid 14k but I took it because I was desperate for the experience. I soon found from my colleagues that loyalty doesn't pay more, they hadn't had a pay rise for 4 years.
    So after 10 months I upped and moved (quite literally across the road) and got 5k more.

    You'd be surprised what a little bit of experience will do for you.

    Don't be afraid to look around, it could definitely be worth it. Also, don't forget to mention a pay rise in your annual review.
    they say it takes around 2-3 years to be aat qualified, how long did it take you guys? and i thought when you study at college you only do one day a week, and the course is for the whole year. so technically you would be aat qualified after 3 years (level 2, 3 & 4), so how come people qualify faster?- isnt the course content set in particular terms like as-level exams?
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    (Original post by amel)
    they say it takes around 2-3 years to be aat qualified, how long did it take you guys? and i thought when you study at college you only do one day a week, and the course is for the whole year. so technically you would be aat qualified after 3 years (level 2, 3 & 4), so how come people qualify faster?- isnt the course content set in particular terms like as-level exams?
    Does it for the AAT? It takes 3 years to become chartered (ACA, ACCA, CIMA) because of experience requirements.

    As for the nature of a training contract, it depends entirely on the firm and tuition provider.
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    In short, definitely yes!

    I took a job in March 2012, in East Sussex for a firm of Chartered Accountants as an Accounts Trainee. The starting pay was £15,000 and has just been increased to £16,500 pa with my title now being Accounts Junior.

    I would point out that I had no relevant accounting experience or qualifications prior to this job; I was a Uni drop-out (Sports Science) and I was previously working in Estate Agency and Recruitment, a somewhat questionable CV overall!

    I am currently studying AAT Level 2 during working hours, and paid for by the company. I'm about to start studying AAT Level 3 alongside (albeit in my own time), which the company are also funding. They have expressed that they would be willing to pay for ACA/ACCA training on completion of AAT L4, and that my salary will also steadily increase during this time if I continue to perform as expected.

    I do a little bit of overtime off my own initiative sometimes, but to be honest my responsibilities are not that vast. You mentioned you're expected to stay late to meet deadlines, and they also recognise that you are now AAT qualified and senior enough to mentor new recruits. It sounds like you have a lot of plates to juggle alongside your studies!

    On face value I would recommend looking elsewhere, it definitely seems like more financially rewarding opportunities are out there. Having said that, money is not the be-all and end-all for everyone, I don't know what you financial commitments are...if you can live comfortably on your current salary, and enjoy working there while you are still studying, maybe it's not best to rock the boat.

    If you do end up going somewhere else, how do you know if you will get along well with your new superiors/colleagues? Is the potential stress and aggro from unreasonable bosses and idiot co-workers worth an extra few thousand pounds a year?

    I guess the other thing to consider is the experience you are currently getting. At the end of the day, I reckon working in practice is definitely the way forward, you're getting varied yet specific experience in exactly the right areas (I don't know if you want to end up specialising in Audit?). This is very difficult to quantify in GBP, one of the others who replied mentioned they were happy to take a bit of a hit in their initial salary as they were desperate for the experience, I can certainly relate to this, it took me a while to find this job but now I have even a little bit of experience, and have started studying, I feel getting another accounts job would be much easier than before.

    Having said that it sounds like you have a fair bit more experience than me, and have done the AAT by the sounds of it, so I'm sure if you had a chat to some recruiters you could get yourself a few interviews lined up.

    Maybe I was just lucky, maybe my pay reflects my age (I just turned 24).
    I'd be interested to hear from others employed in similar positions, I think you mentioned you also live in the South of UK, where salaries should be slightly higher I would have thought?

    Sorry for writing an essay, but considering the above points, if you were on a higher salary in your current job, would you be happy? Have you (and your several colleagues at a similar level) discussed the salary issues with your employer? If you're profitable for the company and have good relationships with the clients you deal with, they would be silly to lose you, and have to replace you with a potentially unknown quantity.

    The worst they can say is no! Let us know how you get on.

    Cheers,
    Matt
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    (Original post by mwilliams1988)
    In short, definitely yes!

    I took a job in March 2012, in East Sussex for a firm of Chartered Accountants as an Accounts Trainee. The starting pay was £15,000 and has just been increased to £16,500 pa with my title now being Accounts Junior.

    I would point out that I had no relevant accounting experience or qualifications prior to this job; I was a Uni drop-out (Sports Science) and I was previously working in Estate Agency and Recruitment, a somewhat questionable CV overall!

    I am currently studying AAT Level 2 during working hours, and paid for by the company. I'm about to start studying AAT Level 3 alongside (albeit in my own time), which the company are also funding. They have expressed that they would be willing to pay for ACA/ACCA training on completion of AAT L4, and that my salary will also steadily increase during this time if I continue to perform as expected.

    I do a little bit of overtime off my own initiative sometimes, but to be honest my responsibilities are not that vast. You mentioned you're expected to stay late to meet deadlines, and they also recognise that you are now AAT qualified and senior enough to mentor new recruits. It sounds like you have a lot of plates to juggle alongside your studies!

    On face value I would recommend looking elsewhere, it definitely seems like more financially rewarding opportunities are out there. Having said that, money is not the be-all and end-all for everyone, I don't know what you financial commitments are...if you can live comfortably on your current salary, and enjoy working there while you are still studying, maybe it's not best to rock the boat.

    If you do end up going somewhere else, how do you know if you will get along well with your new superiors/colleagues? Is the potential stress and aggro from unreasonable bosses and idiot co-workers worth an extra few thousand pounds a year?

    I guess the other thing to consider is the experience you are currently getting. At the end of the day, I reckon working in practice is definitely the way forward, you're getting varied yet specific experience in exactly the right areas (I don't know if you want to end up specialising in Audit?). This is very difficult to quantify in GBP, one of the others who replied mentioned they were happy to take a bit of a hit in their initial salary as they were desperate for the experience, I can certainly relate to this, it took me a while to find this job but now I have even a little bit of experience, and have started studying, I feel getting another accounts job would be much easier than before.

    Having said that it sounds like you have a fair bit more experience than me, and have done the AAT by the sounds of it, so I'm sure if you had a chat to some recruiters you could get yourself a few interviews lined up.

    Maybe I was just lucky, maybe my pay reflects my age (I just turned 24).
    I'd be interested to hear from others employed in similar positions, I think you mentioned you also live in the South of UK, where salaries should be slightly higher I would have thought?

    Sorry for writing an essay, but considering the above points, if you were on a higher salary in your current job, would you be happy? Have you (and your several colleagues at a similar level) discussed the salary issues with your employer? If you're profitable for the company and have good relationships with the clients you deal with, they would be silly to lose you, and have to replace you with a potentially unknown quantity.

    The worst they can say is no! Let us know how you get on.

    Cheers,
    Matt
    Can I ask how you got your job? The apprenticeships website is a nightmare as the competition is so fierce. sent tons of applications, received one interview... what makes it harder is that 16-18 get funding and im 19+... any advice?
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    Hi,

    I found it advertised online, it was probably the hundredth job I applied for over the course of a few months to be honest! Very demoralising, especially when you apply through a recruitment agency and receive their automatic reply saying they've received applications from candidates who are a closer match to the position, with no further details!

    In regards to the apprenticeship, I don't think it actually is age-dependent, I would have been eligible for it (at 23 at the time), but the reason I wasn't is because I already had a Level 4 qualification from the year that I was at Uni.

    I was interested to read your comment about how long it takes to become AAT qualified, I know that you need a certain number of years work experience to use the MAAT designation (even if you've passed level 4), but as far as the qualifications themselves go, from what I gather it is up to you how fast you study.

    My Level 2 course has been one afternoon per week, started in September and is due to finish in June, frustratingly slow really hence why I'm looking to start Level 3 in a couple of weeks too.

    Would be very interested to hear from those who have already passed AAT to see what route they went down, how long it took etc?

    Cheers
    Matt
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    (Original post by amel)
    they say it takes around 2-3 years to be aat qualified, how long did it take you guys? and i thought when you study at college you only do one day a week, and the course is for the whole year. so technically you would be aat qualified after 3 years (level 2, 3 & 4), so how come people qualify faster?- isnt the course content set in particular terms like as-level exams?
    Most people start the course at level 3. Completing level 3 and 4 takes about two years depending on your training contract. It could very easily take 3 months if you wanted it to. For the whole of level three I've been given a total of 15 days teaching time (9-4:30), so go figure. The advantage of the AAT + ACA route is that you can qualify earlier in your life because you don't need to go to Uni. 3 years of uni + 3 years of ACA = 6 years. 2 years of AAT + 2 years of ACA (Due to exemptions) = 4 years.
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    (Original post by mwilliams1988)
    Hi,

    I found it advertised online, it was probably the hundredth job I applied for over the course of a few months to be honest! Very demoralising, especially when you apply through a recruitment agency and receive their automatic reply saying they've received applications from candidates who are a closer match to the position, with no further details!

    In regards to the apprenticeship, I don't think it actually is age-dependent, I would have been eligible for it (at 23 at the time), but the reason I wasn't is because I already had a Level 4 qualification from the year that I was at Uni.

    I was interested to read your comment about how long it takes to become AAT qualified, I know that you need a certain number of years work experience to use the MAAT designation (even if you've passed level 4), but as far as the qualifications themselves go, from what I gather it is up to you how fast you study.

    My Level 2 course has been one afternoon per week, started in September and is due to finish in June, frustratingly slow really hence why I'm looking to start Level 3 in a couple of weeks too.

    Would be very interested to hear from those who have already passed AAT to see what route they went down, how long it took etc?

    Cheers
    Matt

    (Original post by 7M33R)
    Most people start the course at level 3. Completing level 3 and 4 takes about two years depending on your training contract. It could very easily take 3 months if you wanted it to. For the whole of level three I've been given a total of 15 days teaching time (9-4:30), so go figure. The advantage of the AAT + ACA route is that you can qualify earlier in your life because you don't need to go to Uni. 3 years of uni + 3 years of ACA = 6 years. 2 years of AAT + 2 years of ACA (Due to exemptions) = 4 years.
    thanks for the info guys!
    i agree that with you matt- its veryyy demoralising when theres just so much competition out there. i was thinking of studying the aat 2&3 within the next year off my own back. but after that, technically ill be part qualified aat- could i still apply for apprenticeships to study level 4? or would companies want a school leaver as all the apprenticeships on the national website advertise for people who want to do level 2...

    ZM33R, you said it takes about 4 years to qualify after aat (dependant on study speed)- what i dont understand is why students study accountancy at uni then...some people go for the social life and experience, but surely you could still experience this close to home and it would also take an extra 3 years for grads + debt???
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    (Original post by amel)

    ZM33R, you said it takes about 4 years to qualify after aat (dependant on study speed)- what i dont understand is why students study accountancy at uni then...some people go for the social life and experience, but surely you could still experience this close to home and it would also take an extra 3 years for grads + debt???
    A degree can still be useful, but specifically an accounting degree vs the AAT-ACA route, I'd stick with the AAT-Route. However, the problem might come about if you want to change careers or fields and you find a lack of degree is holding you back, then you might have a problem. I would like to think that an ACA with 4 years experience would be good enough, but I have no idea in truth.

    I personally think I will either leave KPMG after two years and go to study this course http://www.city.ac.uk/courses/underg...nd-accountancy just because I would like to have a degree on my CV from a good Uni. Or I might go and do the ACCA which offers the option of getting a degree from Oxford Brookes if you complete a project. Or I might just continue and do an ACA.
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    sorry its bit off topic but i wana ask can i get some contract in firm (i am int student) i am acca affaliate and doing mba in london
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    This may already be answered but in most cases what level do companies offer AAT at if they are looking for apprentices/school leavers, for a student such as me who is predicted 240 ucas points and what the pay can be. I just wanted to ask this as I very unsure what I can do with the predicted grades I have, as many accounting companies look for school leavers with 280+ ucas points.
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    I am 25 yrs old.

    I have just completed my ACCA (just waiting for my last results).

    I have just been offered a job as a trainee accountant in NHS trust with starting salary of £18000 per annum.

    This will be my first job.
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    (Original post by vrnp)
    I am 25 yrs old.

    I have just completed my ACCA (just waiting for my last results).

    I have just been offered a job as a trainee accountant in NHS trust with starting salary of £18000 per annum.

    This will be my first job.
    I'm not sure if its a typo or something but if you're ACCA qualified (assuming you pass these last exams) you shouldn't be entering the NHS as a trainee accountant and certainly not £18k which most newly starting graduates get and probably even more...is something fishy going on?

    I'm not sure completely but ACCA qualified at the NHS should at least net you £30k to £50k depending on the position and your experience.
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    (Original post by novadragon849)
    I'm not sure if its a typo or something but if you're ACCA qualified (assuming you pass these last exams) you shouldn't be entering the NHS as a trainee accountant and certainly not £18k which most newly starting graduates get and probably even more...is something fishy going on?

    I'm not sure completely but ACCA qualified at the NHS should at least net you £30k to £50k depending on the position and your experience.
    They've said it's their first job, no one would pay anyone with little experience that much, especially in the public sector. Plus I believe there's a work experience requirement to be fully qualified.

    (Original post by vrnp)
    I am 25 yrs old.

    I have just completed my ACCA (just waiting for my last results).

    I have just been offered a job as a trainee accountant in NHS trust with starting salary of £18000 per annum.

    This will be my first job.
    Congrats on the job! Looking forward to starting?
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    (Original post by Tokyoround)
    They've said it's their first job, no one would pay anyone with little experience that much, especially in the public sector. Plus I believe there's a work experience requirement to be fully qualified.


    Congrats on the job! Looking forward to starting?
    I have no work experience at all and yes I will require this to be fully qualified.
    I am looking forward starting my job.
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    (Original post by vrnp)
    I have no work experience at all and yes I will require this to be fully qualified.
    I am looking forward starting my job.

    Just an update from me: its now 4 month down the line since i started my first job as a trainee accountant, and yes gaining my necessary work experience towards becoming chartered. I have been told that my pay will go to £21000 from January 2014.
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    I am currently underpaid but I have regular pay reviews and am guaranteed a rise in each one (assuming I pass at least one exam). In my firm (outside of London) we do accounts prep for the first few years whilst doing AAT then move to audit, by which time the pay will be around £21k. After passing ACA I think they up it to around £28k.
 
 
 
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