ICAEW Advisor Helen
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Welcome to the ICAEW Q&A.

Are you interested in a career in accountancy, finance or business? Are you trying to secure a place on a school leaver or graduate training programme? Are you looking for some advice about employability skills and how to demonstrate them throughout the recruitment process? Would you like to know more about ACA training and what it involves?

If so, ICAEW’s Student Recruitment team will be on hand to answer your questions and to give you some helpful hints and tips about employability and securing an ACA training agreement. You’ll also be able to put your questions to those who have been though the process themselves as we’ll be joined on Friday 20 February by some of our current ACA students for a live Q&A. They’ll be sharing their advice and top hints and tips as well as giving their own insights about the recruitment process and what it’s like to train as a chartered accountant.

On Friday 20 February, we will be joined live on the Q&A by Chelsea and Victoria from PwC who are here to answer your questions. Chelsea is currently on the PwC Flying Start degree at Henley Business School and Victoria is a Higher Apprentice based in PwC’s Newcastle office. So, if you have been considering a school leaver programme, one of PwC’s degree programmes, you’re looking for some hints and tips about securing a place on one of these programmes or just want to hear a bit more about what the career is like, make sure you post a question for Chelsea and Victoria!

Click here to post your question now!
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RyanJT12
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Hey, I've recently been accepted to a finance 3/4 year program with a top employer. I have been given the choice to study either of the 3 major accountancy qualifications and I'm pretty set on studying the ACA. Looking further down the line, where can the ACA take me? How hard is it to step out of accountancy but still use the qualification once fully trained?
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chanchan
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Have you got any advice on preparing for the Law certificate level exam? Thanks in advance


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oliviajay
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Can anyone be accepted to train through ACA or can you be rejected and if so, would I have a better chance of being accepted if I got an accounting degree that is backed by the ICAEW for example the flying start degree.
Also, I was thinking of doing an accounting apprenticeship before I start university. Would that be a good idea or is it pointless?
Thank you.
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by RyanJT12)
Hey, I've recently been accepted to a finance 3/4 year program with a top employer. I have been given the choice to study either of the 3 major accountancy qualifications and I'm pretty set on studying the ACA. Looking further down the line, where can the ACA take me? How hard is it to step out of accountancy but still use the qualification once fully trained?
Hi Ryan,

Firstly, congratulations on securing a place with a top employer!

Relating to your question about the ACA, there are a number of benefits that the ACA qualification offers. A key point is that the qualification covers a broad range of module areas meaning that you will develop a broad, in-depth understanding of accountancy, finance and business. The technical knowledge you develop will give you the ability to apply your knowledge in a diverse range of sectors. Also, you will also need to study and pass all of the ACA modules (unless you are eligible for exemptions) in order to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. This means that you won’t have the decide to specialise too early in your career and you also won’t limit yourself later on either.

In terms of later in your career, we have lots of our members who have changed their career path and put their ACA training to good use in other careers. ICAEW Chartered Accountants work across a broad range of businesses and often move between sectors as their career progresses. So, if you choose to step out of an accounting role, you will still be able to make use of the knowledge, sill s and experience that you have gained throughout your ACA training. There are a range of profiles on our website icaew.com/careers if you would like to find out what some of our members have gone on to do.

I hope this helps and thank you for the question!

Jackie
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by chanchan)
Have you got any advice on preparing for the Law certificate level exam? Thanks in advance


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Hi Chanchan,

We have lots of resources for the ACA modules on our website which will give you some additional advice and support in preparing for the exam - you will need to log in using your student details to access the content. Also, don’t forget you can also post a question in the ACA Student Community for help and advice from other ACA students around the world too.

I hope that helps and good luck!

Kind regards

Jackie
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by oliviajay)
oliviajay Online
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Can anyone be accepted to train through ACA or can you be rejected and if so, would I have a better chance of being accepted if I got an accounting degree that is backed by the ICAEW for example the flying start degree.
Also, I was thinking of doing an accounting apprenticeship before I start university. Would that be a good idea or is it pointless?
Thank you.
Hi Oliviajay,

Thanks for the question! There are minimum entry requirements to study for the ACA qualification, however as long as you meet those you will be allowed to register as an ACA student. You will also need to secure a training agreement with an employer and they will generally also have their own entry requirements too. Here are guidelines based on what some of our employers advertise as their academic requirements.
• At least three GCSE A*-C with a B or above in maths and English (or equivalent).
• At least two A-levels totalling 280+ UCAS points (or equivalent).
• Many employers expect a 2:1 or above in any degree discipline, although some will consider a 2:2.

In terms of the degree subject, most employers will recruit students from any degree background so you can study anything from Archaeology to Zoology! Therefore, having studied a related degree subject won’t place you at a significant advantage as they will look at your other employability skills as well as your degree achievements.

However, there are benefits to securing a place on a strategic partnership programme such as the Flying Start programme that you mentioned. These programmes are linked to an employer so it means you also gain practical experience during your degree programme, which you can count towards the ACA. This is in addition to gaining credit towards the ACA modules, so you’ll have less exams to take and experience to gain after you have graduated before you are able to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Also, an increasing number of employers are recruiting students who have worked for them before, so if you make a good impression while on placement in addition to doing well in your exams etc, you have an increased chance of securing a training agreement upon graduation.

Finally, apprenticeships are a great alternative to university. They give you the opportunity to gain a good grounding in accountancy, finance and business and the apprenticeship framework ensures that you develop key employability skills. If you complete our Higher Apprenticeship, you’ll also be eligible to continue onto the ACA qualification in the same way that you would if you were a graduate, so you certainly won’t be at a disadvantage. In fact, you will have already completed the Certificate Level modules of the ACA during the Higher Apprenticeship, so you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant!

I hope this helps to answer some of your questions and there is loads more information on the degree programmes and the Higher apprenticeship on our website www.icaew.com/careers

Kind regards

Jackie
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raheel_39
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Hi I have recently got myself a place on the flying start degree at Nottingham with pwc but I've got a few questions about it.

Firstly the degree shows that we would study 12 modules in the first year n then 6/7 modules in years 2,3, and 4 whilst on being on placement. Does this mean it will be very rigorous and hard to achieve a 2.1 or is it the similar to normal accounting degrees.
Also after graduation when u join pwc and have to take the remaining exams (last 3 Advanced stage exams for flying start degree grads) is the policy that u only get one attempt and if u fail ur out? Or do pwc give u another chance?
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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Hi this is Chelsea speaking,

I am on the flying start programme in Reading and I'm currently in my third year of university and on my second placement.

It sounds like the structure is slightly different in Nottingham University, but I can respond to some of your concerns.

The good thing about this programme is that you study 12 of the ACA exams as part of your degree, so like you said you only have 3 remaining once you graduate!

The lecturers are very experienced, often from PwC themselves, and are very supportive so will make sure you are prepared for the exams!

You also have the ACA study manual and question banks which helps you to structure your revision. The work load is very manageable which is why the programme has been such a success with many students graduating with a 2.1 and joining PwC.

What you will learn on placement will also help you with your studies so they do go hand in hand.

When you join PwC to sit the remaining exams, you will have college time and tutoring so you also get a lot of support to pass the final exams. There is also an opportunity to resit.

I hope that this has answered your question!

If you have any further questions, please ask.
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raheel_39
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(Original post by ICAEW Advisor Jacqueline)
Hi this is Chelsea speaking,

I am on the flying start programme in Reading and I'm currently in my third year of university and on my second placement.

It sounds like the structure is slightly different in Nottingham University, but I can respond to some of your concerns.

The good thing about this programme is that you study 12 of the ACA exams as part of your degree, so like you said you only have 3 remaining once you graduate!

The lecturers are very experienced, often from PwC themselves, and are very supportive so will make sure you are prepared for the exams!

You also have the ACA study manual and question banks which helps you to structure your revision. The work load is very manageable which is why the programme has been such a success with many students graduating with a 2.1 and joining PwC.

What you will learn on placement will also help you with your studies so they do go hand in hand.

When you join PwC to sit the remaining exams, you will have college time and tutoring so you also get a lot of support to pass the final exams. There is also an opportunity to resit.

I hope that this has answered your question!

If you have any further questions, please ask.
Thanks for your help. So how are u finding the placements what exactly do they make u do on them? Also to get the exemptions do u sit ACA exams in between ur degree or is it u do normal modules n if u pass them u get an ACA exemption?
Also my last question is how ur degree balanced out for example how much does each year count towards the final grade ? I kno this might be different to Nottingham but I'm jus comparing because Nottingham have told me that their first year doesnt count towards the final grade but years 2/3 are 30% and years 3/4 are 70% this is abit confusing as they mention year 3 twice. Is this the same for u?
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Yellow2914
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Is there much difference between someone with the qualification from ICAEW and ICAS boards?

I ask because i accepted an offer for the EY Scholarship who use the ICAS qualification board


Many thanks
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by raheel_39)
Thanks for your help. So how are u finding the placements what exactly do they make u do on them? Also to get the exemptions do u sit ACA exams in between ur degree or is it u do normal modules n if u pass them u get an ACA exemption?
Also my last question is how ur degree balanced out for example how much does each year count towards the final grade ? I kno this might be different to Nottingham but I'm jus comparing because Nottingham have told me that their first year doesnt count towards the final grade but years 2/3 are 30% and years 3/4 are 70% this is abit confusing as they mention year 3 twice. Is this the same for u?
Hi it's Chelsea again,

On placement you become part of the audit team. In your first placement you're likely to work on areas such as cash and property, plant and equipment. You'll be doing a range of different tests over those balances to determine if they are appropriate. Your team is very supportive and ranges in level of seniority so you will be coached through these areas.

As part of the course in Reading University, my exams which count towards my degree are the ACA exams. So apart from the first and last year where you also do a number of university module exams, you'll be sitting the ACA exams. Yes the first year does not count towards the degree which is common amongst all university degrees. Its difficult to explain the weighting on the exams to the overall degree - but briefly as you progress through the ACA modules the more it counts towards the degree. So the Professional Level exams such as financial accounting and reporting will count to roughly a third, while the Advanced Level exams such as Business tax planning & business strategy are likely to count towards two thirds.

I think this differs between the universities, and sorry I couldn't help more with this part, I haven't got my ACA books in front of me to remember the level of exams!
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raheel_39
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(Original post by ICAEW Advisor Jacqueline)
Hi it's Chelsea again,

On placement you become part of the audit team. In your first placement you're likely to work on areas such as cash and property, plant and equipment. You'll be doing a range of different tests over those balances to determine if they are appropriate. Your team is very supportive and ranges in level of seniority so you will be coached through these areas.

As part of the course in Reading University, my exams which count towards my degree are the ACA exams. So apart from the first and last year where you also do a number of university module exams, you'll be sitting the ACA exams. Yes the first year does not count towards the degree which is common amongst all university degrees. Its difficult to explain the weighting on the exams to the overall degree - but briefly as you progress through the ACA modules the more it counts towards the degree. So the Professional Level exams such as financial accounting and reporting will count to roughly a third, while the Advanced Level exams such as Business tax planning & business strategy are likely to count towards two thirds.

I think this differs between the universities, and sorry I couldn't help more with this part, I haven't got my ACA books in front of me to remember the level of exams!
It's okay thanks for ur help. just wondering how are u coping with the professional level exams. Everyone on the Internet has always got these horror stories regarding the ACA and the difficulty of it and if u fail then u will have to restart etc. What happens if u fail the ACA exam on ur degree n get a resit n fail again lol I'm not planning on that happening but just wondering the outcome of this situation
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ICAEW Advisor Helen
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(Original post by raheel_39)
It's okay thanks for ur help. just wondering how are u coping with the professional level exams. Everyone on the Internet has always got these horror stories regarding the ACA and the difficulty of it and if u fail then u will have to restart etc. What happens if u fail the ACA exam on ur degree n get a resit n fail again lol I'm not planning on that happening but just wondering the outcome of this situation
Please do not get put off by those horror stories! Obtaining the ACA qualification is definitely achievable! My university course has a very high success rate with only a minority who unfortunately do not pass the exams. If you fail the exam and resit, you have the option to transfer ont the Accounting and Finance Degree which is the standard university degree. This also gives you the option however to apply for a business placement so you still have the opportunity to study and work the same time!

The university lecturers and PwC are very supportive and will provide the help which you need in order to pass the exams.

I hope this helps!
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Archg2k
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Hi, this is regrading the pwc flying start programme. My son is looking for enrolling in this but we are international staying in Philippines. Are there any international/ non EU students on the programme? Do they also get work placements provided they get a 2:1 degree? If yes, is there work visa sponsored by pwc? Sorry for so many questions, but it is important because if there is no work visa, he cannot stay to complete his training and the remaining three exams. I need to know this before enrolling. Thanks for any inputs .
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Its_Shannon_7
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If I meet the gcse and A level requirement then can I directly enter the course or will I need workexperience for the course?If yes,then how long?
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