EmptyBracket
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I'm interested in what the starting salaries are for audit at top 10 firms in regional offices. I have done a fair amount of research and believe big four would offer £20-£22k in regional offices or £27-£28k in London. Not much info in mid tier firms. From what I can gather Grant Thornton would offer £20k. I have also received an offer from a slightly smaller mid tier which was only £18500. Any further input from people who have received offers/ know the starting salaries would be great. I think £18500 is poor personally and will likely reject the offer, albeit not just for this reason.
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ACA-Cheer
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Those numbers sound about right for Big4 non-London offices, GT's 18.5k offer is around right for Big10, as for mid tier you'll be looking around the 12-15k mark.

At the end of the day, it's a lot higher than what most graduates get offered, never mind what non-grads get, and it is just a starting salary. If you're on the scheme you usually get an incremental pay rise each year.
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Tactical Nuclear Penguin
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(Original post by EmptyBracket)
I'm interested in what the starting salaries are for audit at top 10 firms in regional offices. I have done a fair amount of research and believe big four would offer £20-£22k in regional offices or £27-£28k in London. Not much info in mid tier firms. From what I can gather Grant Thornton would offer £20k. I have also received an offer from a slightly smaller mid tier which was only £18500. Any further input from people who have received offers/ know the starting salaries would be great. I think £18500 is poor personally and will likely reject the offer, albeit not just for this reason.
It varies between offices - which regional offices are we talking about? The South will be more than the North/Scotland and significantly more than NI. GT is likely to be £18,500 approx. and Big 4 £21,000 approx. as a general rule in regions although the former was for an office in the North. Birmingham, Southampton, Bristol etc may be more.
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EmptyBracket
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Thanks, I thought GT regional offers 20k- maybe that is just my local office though as I live in quite an expensive area.

In retort to your second point however, I disagree. Although this may be the case for some less prestigious Universities/ degrees I studied Economics at a top 15 University where the average graduate starting salary for BSc Economics is £27,000 (official figure 6 months after graduating). Although I do recognise accounting is not going to pay any where near this to begin with (Unless you're in London in which case it will). I hope this does not sound snobbish (it will undoubtedly come across that way, but I do not mean it to do so- I am merely ambitious) but given that I have achieved a high 1st from a top University with two scholarships for achieving the highest mark and degree classification in the department I feel I am too ambitious to study ACA at such a small accounting firm, and I feel doing so may hinder my future ambitions. I feel someone of my background and ambitions should be looking only at Big 4 (and perhaps BDO/GT).

(Original post by ACA-Cheer)
Those numbers sound about right for Big4 non-London offices, GT's 18.5k offer is around right for Big10, as for mid tier you'll be looking around the 12-15k mark.

At the end of the day, it's a lot higher than what most graduates get offered, never mind what non-grads get, and it is just a starting salary. If you're on the scheme you usually get an incremental pay rise each year.
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EmptyBracket
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Thanks Tactical, I actually live in one of those more expensive regions you mention. I know you are quite knowledgeable on this subject as I have read many of your posts; what do you think of the exit opportunities at one of the top 10 (not any of the big 6)?

I'm slightly put of by my offer because the office is relatively small and I would prefer to be part of a big grad intake in a big, vibrant and exciting office. The companies they audit are not particularly exciting or big either, which are the clients I would prefer to work with (hence my interest in big 4). There is also the issue of the salary being too low to allow me to move out from my parents in this expensive area and then again I feel the exit opportunities are not very impressive which all leads me to believe I should not accept the offer and concentrate on securing a big 4 2014 start (I would also definitely accept BDO or Grant Thornton, but feel firms any smaller do not match my needs and aspirations). Do you think this attitude seems snobbish or am I right to reject my offer and follow my ambitions? I have also considered accepting it and then quitting when I find something better, which may work moving into industry to complete the ACA but not to the Big 4 I understand?

(Original post by Tactical Nuclear Penguin)
It varies between offices - which regional offices are we talking about? The South will be more than the North/Scotland and significantly more than NI. GT is likely to be £18,500 approx. and Big 4 £21,000 approx. as a general rule in regions although the former was for an office in the North. Birmingham, Southampton, Bristol etc may be more.
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Pipsico
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Wow I had always imagined big 4 paid big money for their grads - my measly industry out of London grad scheme pays around the same as London big 4.

I guess pay is expected to go up massively over the years after qualifying... But still.. 20k?! That's 5-6k under the average grad scheme salary..


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Hedgeman49
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(Original post by Pipsico)
Wow I had always imagined big 4 paid big money for their grads - my measly industry out of London grad scheme pays around the same as London big 4.

I guess pay is expected to go up massively over the years after qualifying... But still.. 20k?! That's 5-6k under the average grad scheme salary..


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Of course it is, you're not much worth to the company until you qualify. Then your salary gets jacked up.

20k in the north is not bad at all. Also remember most grad schemes are in London which brings up the national average (Big 4 pay 28k in London).
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Hedgeman49
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(Original post by EmptyBracket)
Thanks Tactical, I actually live in one of those more expensive regions you mention. I know you are quite knowledgeable on this subject as I have read many of your posts; what do you think of the exit opportunities at one of the top 10 (not any of the big 6)?

I'm slightly put of by my offer because the office is relatively small and I would prefer to be part of a big grad intake in a big, vibrant and exciting office. The companies they audit are not particularly exciting or big either, which are the clients I would prefer to work with (hence my interest in big 4). There is also the issue of the salary being too low to allow me to move out from my parents in this expensive area and then again I feel the exit opportunities are not very impressive which all leads me to believe I should not accept the offer and concentrate on securing a big 4 2014 start (I would also definitely accept BDO or Grant Thornton, but feel firms any smaller do not match my needs and aspirations). Do you think this attitude seems snobbish or am I right to reject my offer and follow my ambitions? I have also considered accepting it and then quitting when I find something better, which may work moving into industry to complete the ACA but not to the Big 4 I understand?
This attitude is possibly a little entitled but only you know what you'd be happy with. No point taking a job that you're going to hate because you're constantly feeling that you should be doing something bigger.

You have to reconcile what you want with what is achievable - are you likely to get a Big 4 offer or will you be in the same position again next year?
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EmptyBracket
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Thanks Hedgeman, I understand my attitude may come across that way but I am merely a highly ambitous person and feel a mid tier is a little below my goals. I went to a top 15 University and achieved the highest degree mark in the year; people from my class are all working for the big firms in Corporate Finance, Investment Banking etc.. and I feel for the top student to be taking an ACA at a mid tier on half the salary most of my class are earning is pretty poor.

I plan to pursue ACA at Big 4, transfer into Corporate Finance and then go into Investment banking or industry. This plan may require an MSc Finance at Warwick or an MBA along the way, but if that is the case so be it. I believe ACA training at a mid tier would hold me back with this career goal, would you agree or not?

On a side note, what would the salary increases be like per year at a top 10 accountancy starting on 18.5k.. I've heard horror stories of the salary staying at that level for three years until qualification, which I certainly could not justify.

(Original post by Hedgeman49)
This attitude is possibly a little entitled but only you know what you'd be happy with. No point taking a job that you're going to hate because you're constantly feeling that you should be doing something bigger.

You have to reconcile what you want with what is achievable - are you likely to get a Big 4 offer or will you be in the same position again next year?
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EddyP
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(Original post by EmptyBracket)
I'm slightly put of by my offer because the office is relatively small and I would prefer to be part of a big grad intake in a big, vibrant and exciting office. The companies they audit are not particularly exciting or big either, which are the clients I would prefer to work with (hence my interest in big 4).
From what I've gathered about auditing, associating Big 4 and big companies with excitement is wrong, to say the least - there's a reason a crapload of graduates jump ship as soon as they qualify. Auditing big companies, especially banks, is tedious, you personally only see a small segment of it, and often no-one really knows what's going on anyway so you don't necessarily learn much other than how to look the other way when necessary.

Lots of people think that smaller audits are more interesting and better learning experiences, because there's more variety between companies and audits are shorter, you get to see the whole picture, and you get early responsibility; one guy I spoke to at a smaller firm started doing audits on his own in his second trainee year.
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EmptyBracket
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Thank you very much for your input Eddy, I do agree with some of your comments. However, the problem is that the top finance jobs are normally only open to Big 4 trained ACA's, because the hiring companies believe (rightly or wrongly) that they are more experienced and employable because they have been auditing the big financial/FTSE 100 firms. It is for these reputational reasons that I am so keen to pursue Big 4 ACA, mid tier just doesn't carry the same reputational clout. In addition, I feel the social side of the massive grad intake at Big 4 is much more appealing, and there is also the opportunity to leverage your way into the Corporate Finance department and then inturn to IB which is the route I aspire to.

On a side note, does anyone know whether or not it is possible to start ACA at mid tier then successfuly apply an start Big 4 grad scheme 1 year later having already taken ACA exams, or am I right in thinking this is not possible?

(Original post by EddyP)
From what I've gathered about auditing, associating Big 4 and big companies with excitement is wrong, to say the least - there's a reason a crapload of graduates jump ship as soon as they qualify. Auditing big companies, especially banks, is tedious, you personally only see a small segment of it, and often no-one really knows what's going on anyway so you don't necessarily learn much other than how to look the other way when necessary.

Lots of people think that smaller audits are more interesting and better learning experiences, because there's more variety between companies and audits are shorter, you get to see the whole picture, and you get early responsibility; one guy I spoke to at a smaller firm started doing audits on his own in his second trainee year.
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InterviewAdvice
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Can I ask why you think you didn't get a Big 4 offer OP?

I wouldn't have thought you'd be particularly attractive in this market to the Big 4 if you've already started training elsewhere.
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EmptyBracket
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Basically I'm a bit of a strange case, I don't have any A-levels or very good GCSE's (I went to a very rough state school) and I left school and served 6 years in the royal marines. I then got into University and achieved a high 1st class honours degree (from a top 15 Russel group Uni in a proper subject too), the highest in the year and won a couple of scholarships. I like to think this shows my talent, tenacity and determination, but I get rejected from most graduate schemes straight away because of my background and the fact I have no A-levels, even though I have been outperforming peoples with four or 5 straight A's. This means that only 2 of the big 4 have acknowledged my potential and given me a shot at the recruitment process.

I got to the assessment centre stage and past everything apart from the diagrammatic reasoning test! But this was only because I stupidly missed a question out, but on the answer sheet I forgot to leave the space from that missed question and so all of my answers where 1 question out (if that makes sense).. meaning I scored in something silly like the 10th percentile! lol.. I passed everything else though (including 90th percentile on numerical) I'll know better next time

Thanks- that is why I don't think I'll accept the mid tier ACA offer, I need Big 4 to achieve my career aspirations and I'm willing to do what ever it takes to get there. I'll stop at nothing, that is my goal and I will achieve it.

(Original post by InterviewAdvice)
Can I ask why you think you didn't get a Big 4 offer OP?

I wouldn't have thought you'd be particularly attractive in this market to the Big 4 if you've already started training elsewhere.
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Tokyoround
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(Original post by EmptyBracket)
Basically I'm a bit of a strange case, I don't have any A-levels or very good GCSE's (I went to a very rough state school) and I left school and served 6 years in the royal marines. I then got into University and achieved a high 1st class honours degree (from a top 15 Russel group Uni in a proper subject too), the highest in the year and won a couple of scholarships. I like to think this shows my talent, tenacity and determination, but I get rejected from most graduate schemes straight away because of my background and the fact I have no A-levels, even though I have been outperforming peoples with four or 5 straight A's. This means that only 2 of the big 4 have acknowledged my potential and given me a shot at the recruitment process.

I got to the assessment centre stage and past everything apart from the diagrammatic reasoning test! But this was only because I stupidly missed a question out, but on the answer sheet I forgot to leave the space from that missed question and so all of my answers where 1 question out (if that makes sense).. meaning I scored in something silly like the 10th percentile! lol.. I passed everything else though (including 90th percentile on numerical) I'll know better next time

Thanks- that is why I don't think I'll accept the mid tier ACA offer, I need Big 4 to achieve my career aspirations and I'm willing to do what ever it takes to get there. I'll stop at nothing, that is my goal and I will achieve it.
Take a look at the banks, they love ex-military. Big 4 can be a bit robotic in their recruitment. What about that PwC scheme inspired talent or whatever it's called that puts less weight on A-levels on more on degree and ECs?
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CUfan
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I got offered 20k coming straight out of A levels to work and do my ACA with the company over 4 years with the guarantee of a pay raise if I pass the exams for that year... This was a pretty small company too only 20 or so employees... So I would say you should expect at least 20k if not more starting
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InterviewAdvice
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Basically I'm a bit of a strange case, I don't have any A-levels or very good GCSE's (I went to a very rough state school) and I left school and served 6 years in the royal marines. I then got into University and achieved a high 1st class honours degree (from a top 15 Russel group Uni in a proper subject too), the highest in the year and won a couple of scholarships. I like to think this shows my talent, tenacity and determination, but I get rejected from most graduate schemes straight away because of my background and the fact I have no A-levels, even though I have been outperforming peoples with four or 5 straight A's. This means that only 2 of the big 4 have acknowledged my potential and given me a shot at the recruitment process.

I got to the assessment centre stage and past everything apart from the diagrammatic reasoning test! But this was only because I stupidly missed a question out, but on the answer sheet I forgot to leave the space from that missed question and so all of my answers where 1 question out (if that makes sense).. meaning I scored in something silly like the 10th percentile! lol.. I passed everything else though (including 90th percentile on numerical) I'll know better next time

Thanks- that is why I don't think I'll accept the mid tier ACA offer, I need Big 4 to achieve my career aspirations and I'm willing to do what ever it takes to get there. I'll stop at nothing, that is my goal and I will achieve it.
Then apply again - you know you can keep applying after a certain time frame? Maybe focus a little on how you are coming across though - you don't want to ruffle the feathers of clients.
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lrlthn
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(Original post by ACA-Cheer)
Those numbers sound about right for Big4 non-London offices, GT's 18.5k offer is around right for Big10, as for mid tier you'll be looking around the 12-15k mark.

At the end of the day, it's a lot higher than what most graduates get offered, never mind what non-grads get, and it is just a starting salary. If you're on the scheme you usually get an incremental pay rise each year.
How often would they get a pay rise and how much? I currently earn 20k and I’m not on a grad programme
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hanley9
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(Original post by lrlthn)
How often would they get a pay rise and how much? I currently earn 20k and I’m not on a grad programme
It almost doubles within 3 years
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lrlthn
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(Original post by hanley9)
It almost doubles within 3 years
Hmm not sure whether I can afford to take the drop at all as it would be more travel for me
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ajj2000
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(Original post by lrlthn)
Hmm not sure whether I can afford to take the drop at all as it would be more travel for me
Does your current job have decent training and prospects?
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