Gent2324
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i have an offer from a mid sized firm (about 1bil in revenue) for audit as a school leaver. interestingly this firm allows me to be chartered in 4 years, i will be skipping aat and doing ACA over 4 years.

this appeals to me, but my long term goal is to go to the big 4, i failed 3 of them and have 1 left that i will try. but im curious as to whether it will be difficult to get into the big 4 once i am chartered? obviously im assuming you dont have to worry about that if you join the big 4 from school, but is it worth going to big 4 and taking an extra year to become chartered or should i become chartered at a smaller firm and then apply to the big 4?
thanks
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Gent2324)
i have an offer from a mid sized firm (about 1bil in revenue) for audit as a school leaver. interestingly this firm allows me to be chartered in 4 years, i will be skipping aat and doing ACA over 4 years.

this appeals to me, but my long term goal is to go to the big 4, i failed 3 of them and have 1 left that i will try. but im curious as to whether it will be difficult to get into the big 4 once i am chartered? obviously im assuming you dont have to worry about that if you join the big 4 from school, but is it worth going to big 4 and taking an extra year to become chartered or should i become chartered at a smaller firm and then apply to the big 4?
thanks
Not sure which firm you are talking about. I cant think of any firms at the £1 billion fee level?

Some rough thoughts:

- So long as you are heading to strong A level grades the chance to clear ACA in 4 years instead of 5 is very attractive. This might not mean much to you now but lots of people really do count the days until the qualify.

- Whether you can move to the big 4 or for that case stay in the big 4 if you start there is dependent not just on you but on the state of the economy at the time, so whether or not they are recruiting. If you work with large enough clients and do predominantly audit work you should be in a good place ot apply.
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Gent2324
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Not sure which firm you are talking about. I cant think of any firms at the £1 billion fee level?

Some rough thoughts:

- So long as you are heading to strong A level grades the chance to clear ACA in 4 years instead of 5 is very attractive. This might not mean much to you now but lots of people really do count the days until the qualify.

- Whether you can move to the big 4 or for that case stay in the big 4 if you start there is dependent not just on you but on the state of the economy at the time, so whether or not they are recruiting. If you work with large enough clients and do predominantly audit work you should be in a good place ot apply.
revenue is around the 1.5bil mark. global firm.
Im averaging A/A* at a level so far so i should be ok to do aca in 4 years i hope. i just want to be chartered asap and get to climbing the ranks. Do big 4 firms offer entry level audit jobs after aca? im just snooping around on kpmgs website and they all seem to revolve around managers / directors which i obviously wouldnt be able to do whilst just qualifying as an accountant.
only issue is that my job description actually focuses on entrepreneurial businesses rather than large & listed, will this severely limit my chances at the big 4 or can i kind of work around that?
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Fayzan_Ali
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how come it only takes 4 years?
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Gent2324
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(Original post by Fayzan_Ali)
how come it only takes 4 years?
i would be skipping AAT as they dont have many school leavers and theyve found that school leavers generally perform better than grads so they are kind of merging the schemes together. I think the main reason though is that they arent interested in AAT for whatever reason
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Fayzan_Ali
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(Original post by Gent2324)
i would be skipping AAT as they dont have many school leavers and theyve found that school leavers generally perform better than grads so they are kind of merging the schemes together. I think the main reason though is that they arent interested in AAT for whatever reason
ah is see , so are most firms implementing a method of not having to do the aat or is yours just an exception?
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Gent2324
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(Original post by Fayzan_Ali)
ah is see , so are most firms implementing a method of not having to do the aat or is yours just an exception?
mines an exception which is why this particular firm appeals to me, all the others ive seen do 2 years AAT and 3 years ACA. takes longer, and you will have more stress when you do aca since you do it in 3 years. doing aca in 4 years means less stress, and it doesnt matter if i did aat or not once i become chartered, so overall its alot better imo
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Fayzan_Ali
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(Original post by Gent2324)
mines an exception which is why this particular firm appeals to me, all the others ive seen do 2 years AAT and 3 years ACA. takes longer, and you will have more stress when you do aca since you do it in 3 years. doing aca in 4 years means less stress, and it doesnt matter if i did aat or not once i become chartered, so overall its alot better imo
truee . seems like an exciting opportunity , best of luck bro
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Gent2324)
revenue is around the 1.5bil mark. global firm.
Im averaging A/A* at a level so far so i should be ok to do aca in 4 years i hope. i just want to be chartered asap and get to climbing the ranks. Do big 4 firms offer entry level audit jobs after aca? im just snooping around on kpmgs website and they all seem to revolve around managers / directors which i obviously wouldnt be able to do whilst just qualifying as an accountant.
only issue is that my job description actually focuses on entrepreneurial businesses rather than large & listed, will this severely limit my chances at the big 4 or can i kind of work around that?
The big 4 take on loads of newly qualifieds but it does vary year on year depending on the strength of the economy. In general it helps to have audit experience (as opposed to accounts prep etc) and to have dealt with larger audit clients. If the economy is strong you'll have a great chance of securing a job at the big 4. If not there are plenty of other things to do.
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mattyp502
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(Original post by Gent2324)
mines an exception which is why this particular firm appeals to me, all the others ive seen do 2 years AAT and 3 years ACA. takes longer, and you will have more stress when you do aca since you do it in 3 years. doing aca in 4 years means less stress, and it doesnt matter if i did aat or not once i become chartered, so overall its alot better imo
I know you’ve said you’ve applied to 3 of the big 4, but I know at EY the school leavers in Scotland do the CA (ICAS) over 5 years. I think I’m england it’s similar, maybe they do ACA over 5.

If EY is still available, feel free to ask questions, I’m currently in my second year of the school leavers program.
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Gent2324
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(Original post by mattyp502)
I know you’ve said you’ve applied to 3 of the big 4, but I know at EY the school leavers in Scotland do the CA (ICAS) over 5 years. I think I’m england it’s similar, maybe they do ACA over 5.

If EY is still available, feel free to ask questions, I’m currently in my second year of the school leavers program.
i got rejected by EY but i assume its similar to the other firms. i do have a couple questions though, do you have meetings with clients? do you play an important role or do you do the boring part of the audit? do you do alot of overtime? do you travel with work?
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mattyp502
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(Original post by Gent2324)
i got rejected by EY but i assume its similar to the other firms. i do have a couple questions though, do you have meetings with clients? do you play an important role or do you do the boring part of the audit? do you do alot of overtime? do you travel with work?
I’m not actually in audit, I’m in Restructuring which is when I help distressed companies, including companies subject to insolvency proceedings, turn around and recover assets for the creditors.

I know a number of auditors, and they will have client meeting as a first/second year. In busy season, they will work 50-60 hour weeks. Outside of busy season, it’s about 40 weeks.
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Seba.fr1
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As someone who works for a big 4, they are desperate for qualified people from mid-tier as well as other big 4s. So many grads leave after getting their ACA. Half the reason they recruit so many is because only 30% (bit of a guess) reach the end and stay on more than a year or so afterwards. You won’t have any problem picking up a big 4 job once you’re qualified as long as you have your head screwed on right. Obviously which firm you go for is up to you, but worrying about if you can get into big 4 upon qualifying shouldn’t influence you’re decision at all - you’ll be able to walk in.
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Fayzan_Ali
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(Original post by Seba.fr1)
As someone who works for a big 4, they are desperate for qualified people from mid-tier as well as other big 4s. So many grads leave after getting their ACA. Half the reason they recruit so many is because only 30% (bit of a guess) reach the end and stay on more than a year or so afterwards. You won’t have any problem picking up a big 4 job once you’re qualified as long as you have your head screwed on right. Obviously which firm you go for is up to you, but worrying about if you can get into big 4 upon qualifying shouldn’t influence you’re decision at all - you’ll be able to walk in.
do you know why such a low percentage of people reach the end? and would you consider rsm as a mid tier firm?
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Seba.fr1
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I am really guessing numbers, but I’d guess about 70% reach the end and get their ACA, but half of them leave soon afterwards. Lots of people find audit tedious and boring. At the moment I’m quite enjoying it but maybe after 3 years I won’t. When you qualify A LOT of doors open up to do more ‘interesting’ jobs, as well as working overseas. Also, when you qualify your salary might jump from £35K to £45K (rough London figures for a third year associate and a newly qualified), but you can get a job at somewhere you really love on £40K, so while you might be tempted to stay for the extra money, you can still get a pay rise elsewhere.
As for why people leave half way through - a variety of reasons - but I’d say mainly exam failure and not liking the job. A crazy amount of people hate it but just stick it out for 3 years.
Having said that, I quite enjoy it, it’s not the most interesting, and I wouldn’t want to do it forever, but it pays alright at the moment, and is a good stepping stone. When I qualify I’m only going to stay if I am able to do secondments to other offices - I see it as an opportunity to be able to work around the world for a few years, and then eventually quitting and settling somewhere in a more dynamic/varied job. Once you get your ACA you can get a decent paying job almost anywhere

And yes, by mid tier I mean RSM, BDO, Grant Thornton kind of area, but I’d say working for smaller firms (eg. CooperParry, Hiller Hopkins) would still give you a very good chance of Big4 after qualifying.
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Fayzan_Ali
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(Original post by Seba.fr1)
I am really guessing numbers, but I’d guess about 70% reach the end and get their ACA, but half of them leave soon afterwards. Lots of people find audit tedious and boring. At the moment I’m quite enjoying it but maybe after 3 years I won’t. When you qualify A LOT of doors open up to do more ‘interesting’ jobs, as well as working overseas. Also, when you qualify your salary might jump from £35K to £45K (rough London figures for a third year associate and a newly qualified), but you can get a job at somewhere you really love on £40K, so while you might be tempted to stay for the extra money, you can still get a pay rise elsewhere.
As for why people leave half way through - a variety of reasons - but I’d say mainly exam failure and not liking the job. A crazy amount of people hate it but just stick it out for 3 years.
Having said that, I quite enjoy it, it’s not the most interesting, and I wouldn’t want to do it forever, but it pays alright at the moment, and is a good stepping stone. When I qualify I’m only going to stay if I am able to do secondments to other offices - I see it as an opportunity to be able to work around the world for a few years, and then eventually quitting and settling somewhere in a more dynamic/varied job. Once you get your ACA you can get a decent paying job almost anywhere

And yes, by mid tier I mean RSM, BDO, Grant Thornton kind of area, but I’d say working for smaller firms (eg. CooperParry, Hiller Hopkins) would still give you a very good chance of Big4 after qualifying.
would you say they failed purely because they maybe didnt work hard enough or the fact its really difficult to pass(is it hard to pass)? Also bc im also looking into becoming chartered and may myself find it boring do you have any examples of dynamic/interesting jobs that ACA allows you to undertake? thank you.
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Seba.fr1
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I’ve only done 3 exams so far but passed easily (80%ish) because I did the work they told me to. They are really specific with watch this video, do these practice questions, spend 2 hours on this, 3 hours on this. They give you really good resources - videos, webinars, etc. that if you do what they say I don’t think it’s too hard.
Jobs you could do afterwards - depends what you find interesting but a few are;
Consulting (advising other businesses)
Management accountancy where you work for a specific firm as their accountant so work with a bunch of people across the business - you’re perfectly able to do this with ACA, you don’t need CIMA
Deals - working on mergers
Analyst
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Fayzan_Ali
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(Original post by Seba.fr1)
I’ve only done 3 exams so far but passed easily (80%ish) because I did the work they told me to. They are really specific with watch this video, do these practice questions, spend 2 hours on this, 3 hours on this. They give you really good resources - videos, webinars, etc. that if you do what they say I don’t think it’s too hard.
Jobs you could do afterwards - depends what you find interesting but a few are;
Consulting (advising other businesses)
Management accountancy where you work for a specific firm as their accountant so work with a bunch of people across the business - you’re perfectly able to do this with ACA, you don’t need CIMA
Deals - working on mergers
Analyst
ah i see so if you put the work in you get what you deserve kind of thing. Did you go degree or apprenticeship route? And are there any jobs outside maybe the business field one could enter with an ACA? thank you again
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Seba.fr1
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I’m on the degree route
As an accountant you can really work for any business as they all need accountants - charities, tech firms, retailers, media. You’ll always be looking at numbers and spreadsheets though. But deciding which tech project to fund or what TV show is going to give you enough advertising revenue to meet budget might appeal to you more than checking the work of other accountants (as you do in auditing)
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Fayzan_Ali
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(Original post by Seba.fr1)
I’m on the degree route
As an accountant you can really work for any business as they all need accountants - charities, tech firms, retailers, media. You’ll always be looking at numbers and spreadsheets though. But deciding which tech project to fund or what TV show is going to give you enough advertising revenue to meet budget might appeal to you more than checking the work of other accountants (as you do in auditing)
oh thats cool youre doing it through a degree route im tryna go uni to do it too even though most people generally go for apprenticeship. Can i ask why you chose a degree route over apprenticeship?
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