Worth pursuing a Big 4 offer that I don't especially want, just for the ACA? Watch

jht123
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I have made it to the first interview stage for Deloitte in Transaction Services, but I am unsure if it's worth me going for it now. To be honest I don't particularly want to go into accountancy, literally the only reason I considered it as a possible career was because I opened the Times Top 100 book one day, saw that PwC was at the very top and had been for the past 9 years or so, and therefore must be a good career to aim for. It was therefore mainly because of the prestige that the job has, and I feel that if I took the job it would be more to please those around me than because it's a job I especially want. I mean, I wouldn't even consider going for a role with a firm like Grant Thornton or Baker Tilly, simply because they're not the "elite". Also, having read up on the programmes offered by the Big 4, lots of the information I could find underlined how amazing the ACA is and how many doors it opens. But then again, the only doors it opens would be in accountancy, surely? I have read on forums from many people about how it's common to "fall into accountancy" and then realise too late that they hate their job. I fear that, having these doubts now at this stage, I'll just end up being another one of those people? Is it worth pursuing a Big 4 place and seeing whether I like it, for the eventual benefits of the name on the CV and the ACA?

Ideally I'd like to bag a job related to either technology, general business or marketing, whether it's the grad scheme from Accenture, Barclays or British Airways. Would the benefits of getting a place on these really be so much less, as I wouldn't gain the ACA through it? And just why are Big 4 offers seen as the holy grail of grad jobs, as opposed to those offered by other large companies (apart from banks)?
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jht123
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
No, don't do it.
If you aren't really that keen now, you are going to jack it in during the 3 years of your ACA so save yourself the trouble.
Sorry, I just deleted the thread to move it to the general careers section as I felt it was more of a generalist question, thank you for your response though! Would you say it's not possible to "get into it" after a few months though? Are you currently doing the ACA? What would you say are the benefits of having the qualification? Like I said I am quite ambitious, and if there are tangible benefits to having the ACA that I would miss out on by not having it, I might be able to put my head down and study hard for it if it's worth it in the end.
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Quady
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What a dumb ass, you already know the answer to this.

The ACA is great... for accountants.

Do you even really want a Technology or business or marketing career (because those three are quite different...) or did you just open the Times 100 again?

You can't go wrong moneywise with either. As long as it starts over £25k do something you enjoy, otherwise five years in you'll be thinking 'is this it? Why do I get up in the morning? How do I get outta this well paid rut?'
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Sigma44
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(Original post by jht123)
I have made it to the first interview stage for Deloitte in Transaction Services, but I am unsure if it's worth me going for it now. To be honest I don't particularly want to go into accountancy, literally the only reason I considered it as a possible career was because I opened the Times Top 100 book one day, saw that PwC was at the very top and had been for the past 9 years or so, and therefore must be a good career to aim for. It was therefore mainly because of the prestige that the job has, and I feel that if I took the job it would be more to please those around me than because it's a job I especially want. I mean, I wouldn't even consider going for a role with a firm like Grant Thornton or Baker Tilly, simply because they're not the "elite". Also, having read up on the programmes offered by the Big 4, lots of the information I could find underlined how amazing the ACA is and how many doors it opens. But then again, the only doors it opens would be in accountancy, surely? I have read on forums from many people about how it's common to "fall into accountancy" and then realise too late that they hate their job. I fear that, having these doubts now at this stage, I'll just end up being another one of those people? Is it worth pursuing a Big 4 place and seeing whether I like it, for the eventual benefits of the name on the CV and the ACA?

Ideally I'd like to bag a job related to either technology, general business or marketing, whether it's the grad scheme from Accenture, Barclays or British Airways. Would the benefits of getting a place on these really be so much less, as I wouldn't gain the ACA through it? And just why are Big 4 offers seen as the holy grail of grad jobs, as opposed to those offered by other large companies (apart from banks)?
They aren't really the holy grail of grad jobs just yet, but they're getting there since they've been acquiring well known strategy houses and are expanding towards the consulting industry.

Anyways, Big 4 offers a range of grad jobs (audit, assurance, tax, consulting, advisory, actuarial, corporate finance, and legal services - wiki) and aren't just limited to audit, you may want to explore other services more and apply to those in the near future.

Also, it's doesn't hurt to get more interview experience. You should just keep going with the application process and decide if you really get the job.

Best of luck
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russellsteapot
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If I can be honest, not many people make it through to completing the ACA with a Big Four unless they're committed to it, and reading between the lines, you pretty much sound like it's something you'd rather avoid. You'll be working ridiculous hours (sometimes 7 days a week and often until midnight, based on my brother and all his workmates' experience), being sent to different ends of the country/out of the country with little notice ("oh, you're in Germany tomorrow, plane leaves at 6:30am"), the exams require a lot of work and you'll be mentally and physically ****ed if you're not committed to it.

I'd honestly advise avoiding it unless it's something you want to do. It's a great opportunity for those who want to go into it, and indeed it does open doors (generally in accountancy-related careers, but there are sufficient transferrable experiences to go into a few other fields). I wouldn't say it's a qualification worth pursuing (given the time/effort you'll sacrifice) unless you want to work in the field.
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jht123
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(Original post by Quady)
What a dumb ass, you already know the answer to this.

The ACA is great... for accountants.

Do you even really want a Technology or business or marketing career (because those three are quite different...) or did you just open the Times 100 again?

You can't go wrong moneywise with either. As long as it starts over £25k do something you enjoy, otherwise five years in you'll be thinking 'is this it? Why do I get up in the morning? How do I get outta this well paid rut?'
Well no, I don't, hence why I'm asking on here. I mean I keep running it through to myself and thinking the logical thing to do would be to not go ahead with it, but at the same time feel that it would be too good an opprtunity to miss. I know it sounds pretty messed up but there you go.

I would prefer a career in these other areas, as I have an actual interest in them - whether they're in some list or not doesn't really matter to me in this case.


(Original post by Sigma44)
They aren't really the holy grail of grad jobs just yet, but they're getting there since they've been acquiring well known strategy houses and are expanding towards the consulting industry.

Anyways, Big 4 offers a range of grad jobs (audit, assurance, tax, consulting, advisory, actuarial, corporate finance, and legal services - wiki) and aren't just limited to audit, you may want to explore other services more and apply to those in the near future.

Also, it's doesn't hurt to get more interview experience. You should just keep going with the application process and decide if you really get the job.

Best of luck
Yeah I might try applying for some of these other areas instead, and attend this interview in the meantime for the experience. Can't hurt I suppose! Incidentally, would you know if it's be possible to phone up HR and ask to switch my application to another area now seeing as it's all been online tests so far, or is that not possible?
(Original post by russellsteapot)
If I can be honest, not many people make it through to completing the ACA with a Big Four unless they're committed to it, and reading between the lines, you pretty much sound like it's something you'd rather avoid. You'll be working ridiculous hours (sometimes 7 days a week and often until midnight, based on my brother and all his workmates' experience), being sent to different ends of the country/out of the country with little notice ("oh, you're in Germany tomorrow, plane leaves at 6:30am"), the exams require a lot of work and you'll be mentally and physically ****ed if you're not committed to it.

I'd honestly advise avoiding it unless it's something you want to do. It's a great opportunity for those who want to go into it, and indeed it does open doors (generally in accountancy-related careers, but there are sufficient transferrable experiences to go into a few other fields). I wouldn't say it's a qualification worth pursuing (given the time/effort you'll sacrifice) unless you want to work in the field.
Actually the travel isn't something I'd be too wary of, if anything it would be something I would probably look forward to. Hard work isn't something I'm afraid of either, although I guess it would help to actually have an interest in the work itself.

Thanks for all the advice.
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M1011
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(Original post by Sigma44)
They aren't really the holy grail of grad jobs just yet, but they're getting there since they've been acquiring well known strategy houses and are expanding towards the consulting industry.

Anyways, Big 4 offers a range of grad jobs (audit, assurance, tax, consulting, advisory, actuarial, corporate finance, and legal services - wiki) and aren't just limited to audit, you may want to explore other services more and apply to those in the near future.

Also, it's doesn't hurt to get more interview experience. You should just keep going with the application process and decide if you really get the job.

Best of luck

(Original post by jht123)
Yeah I might try applying for some of these other areas instead, and attend this interview in the meantime for the experience. Can't hurt I suppose! Incidentally, would you know if it's be possible to phone up HR and ask to switch my application to another area now seeing as it's all been online tests so far, or is that not possible?

Transaction services falls under corporate finance, not audit. Just for reference.
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