Failed ACA exam, lost job, how to get new training contract? Watch

Needadvice99
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I have been doing my ACA training with BDO, but failed one of my professional level exams twice and lost my training contract.
I'm dyslexic and so revising is hard, and I have had to retake a couple of certificate level exams, although I have them all plus one Prof level.
I'm hoping to apply to other firms to carry on with the professional level, but how to explain what has happened??
Also, does anyone know how easy it is to transfer to ACCA and if the ACA Cert level provides exemptions to ACCA exams?
Thanks for any advice at all - this has been a shock!!
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RomainNeedsHelp
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If I could please join this question as well. I would like to know what happens in these situations and what the potential options are to go ahead. I am in a similar place with my own life, except I was in a different career without a structured training contract (there was training nonetheless, just not contracted) and ceased the employment. Thank you for your answers. Especially, how will the new employers take into consideration the previous one?
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ajj2000
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(Original post by RomainNeedsHelp)
If I could please join this question as well. I would like to know what happens in these situations and what the potential options are to go ahead. I am in a similar place with my own life, except I was in a different career without a structured training contract (there was training nonetheless, just not contracted) and ceased the employment. Thank you for your answers. Especially, how will the new employers take into consideration the previous one?
I'm not sure I understand your circumstances? What career were you and and what sort of training were you undergoing? Why did the employment cease?
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Catherine1973
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When I was in practice there were always people moving about, due to exam failure or just having to move. I’d just apply to the next tier down from bdo, see their website for how they like people to apply. Or write direct with cv to smaller local firms.
You only need to complete the os exams and remaining experience so each employer should not care too much (as if they have a vacancy for a 3rd year, they won’t be expecting to fill it with successful exam passing candidates really).
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Needadvice99)
I have been doing my ACA training with BDO, but failed one of my professional level exams twice and lost my training contract.
I'm dyslexic and so revising is hard, and I have had to retake a couple of certificate level exams, although I have them all plus one Prof level.
I'm hoping to apply to other firms to carry on with the professional level, but how to explain what has happened??
Also, does anyone know how easy it is to transfer to ACCA and if the ACA Cert level provides exemptions to ACCA exams?
Thanks for any advice at all - this has been a shock!!
Hi - sorry to hear you've had bad news. Just to check:

- are you sitting ICAEW exams?
- how long have you worked for BDO?

To check on ACCA exemptions go to https://www.accaglobal.com/an/en/hel...alculator.html and type ICAEW (or ICAS) under 'institution'.
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50chaser
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Hi, I was at BDO previously and failed the professional level exams and lost my training contract too.However within a month I found another training contract with a slightly lower tier firm. I just applied a grad role, and was accepted after one interview (joined as an experienced hire). You just need to be honest with your potential employer, and they fully understand how the big firms are brutal. You shouldn't be dishearten, in hindsight, this move was the best decision I have ever made. I am happier at my new firm as they are more understanding with exams, and the work load has made it easier for revision in the evenings. So don’t worry!
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Needadvice99
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Yes I have been sitting ICAEW exams. I have passed all 6 at the Certificate level, and one at Professional level. I have failed one at professional level twice.
(Original post by ajj2000)
Hi - sorry to hear you've had bad news. Just to check:

- are you sitting ICAEW exams?
- how long have you worked for BDO?

To check on ACCA exemptions go to https://www.accaglobal.com/an/en/hel...alculator.html and type ICAEW (or ICAS) under 'institution'.
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Needadvice99
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Hi, thanks for this. How did you explain the situation to the new firm in the covering letter? I'm concerned that they might just think that I 'm lazy, which I'm not!
Do you think it would make a difference if I offer to pay for my own training going forward?
(Original post by ajj2000)
Hi - sorry to hear you've had bad news. Just to check:

- are you sitting ICAEW exams?
- how long have you worked for BDO?

To check on ACCA exemptions go to https://www.accaglobal.com/an/en/hel...alculator.html and type ICAEW (or ICAS) under 'institution'.
(Original post by 50chaser)
Hi, I was at BDO previously and failed the professional level exams and lost my training contract too.However within a month I found another training contract with a slightly lower tier firm. I just applied a grad role, and was accepted after one interview (joined as an experienced hire). You just need to be honest with your potential employer, and they fully understand how the big firms are brutal. You shouldn't be dishearten, in hindsight, this move was the best decision I have ever made. I am happier at my new firm as they are more understanding with exams, and the work load has made it easier for revision in the evenings. So don’t worry!
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Needadvice99
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Thank you Catherine1973. That is very useful advice.
(Original post by Catherine1973)
When I was in practice there were always people moving about, due to exam failure or just having to move. I’d just apply to the next tier down from bdo, see their website for how they like people to apply. Or write direct with cv to smaller local firms.
You only need to complete the os exams and remaining experience so each employer should not care too much (as if they have a vacancy for a 3rd year, they won’t be expecting to fill it with successful exam passing candidates really).
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harry199107
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You can search for exemptions with ACCA on their website, from the top of my head I don't think there are any for completing certificate level, but 4 available for professional level.
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User.1
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You should apply to Mazars - they’re a growing firm (e.g. they just won the Goldman Saachs audit, as well as French Connection) and they’re always keen on taking grads who were fired from Big 4/Big 5. The pay at Mazars is also virtually the same as Big 4.
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Needadvice99
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(Original post by 50chaser)
Hi, I was at BDO previously and failed the professional level exams and lost my training contract too.However within a month I found another training contract with a slightly lower tier firm. I just applied a grad role, and was accepted after one interview (joined as an experienced hire). You just need to be honest with your potential employer, and they fully understand how the big firms are brutal. You shouldn't be dishearten, in hindsight, this move was the best decision I have ever made. I am happier at my new firm as they are more understanding with exams, and the work load has made it easier for revision in the evenings. So don’t worry!
(Original post by Needadvice99)
Hi, thanks for this. How did you explain the situation to the new firm in the covering letter? I'm concerned that they might just think that I 'm lazy, which I'm not!
Do you think it would make a difference if I offer to pay for my own training going forward?
(Original post by User.1)
You should apply to Mazars - they’re a growing firm (e.g. they just won the Goldman Saachs audit, as well as French Connection) and they’re always keen on taking grads who were fired from Big 4/Big 5. The pay at Mazars is also virtually the same as Big 4.
Thanks for this info - I will definitely look at Mazars.
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