gjustme
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I am 17 and after completing previous AAT Levels at college, I currently started an AAT Level 4 apprenticeship with a small local accounting firm. At first I was really excited, but I now feel like I keep making these silly mistakes and like I am never making enough progress. i have also had quite a few meetings with management where I have been told my work is not enough and I need to work on my attention to detail . I understand that nobody’s work is perfect but I feel stuck and I don’t think I want to continue within this company anymore as I am just not happy.

I am thinking about applying for university to study Accounting and Finance (cos I do like studying it) this year to kinda know what I want to do better (e.g career within finance instead of accounting etc) but idk if this is the best path for me.
Can someone give me some guidance or help as to my situation? Has anyone felt like this?
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K1NE
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(Original post by gjustme)
I am 17 and after completing previous AAT Levels at college, I currently started an AAT Level 4 apprenticeship with a small local accounting firm. At first I was really excited, but I now feel like I keep making these silly mistakes and like I am never making enough progress. i have also had quite a few meetings with management where I have been told my work is not enough and I need to work on my attention to detail . I understand that nobody’s work is perfect but I feel stuck and I don’t think I want to continue within this company anymore as I am just not happy.

I am thinking about applying for university to study Accounting and Finance (cos I do like studying it) this year to kinda know what I want to do better (e.g career within finance instead of accounting etc) but idk if this is the best path for me.
Can someone give me some guidance or help as to my situation? Has anyone felt like this?
Hey.

Sorry to hear you're getting negative feedback from management. I've always believed that a managers role is to get the best out of their employees and not to bring them down and as long as that employee is there to put the effort in, management should do whatever they can to work with them and build them up.

In some ways I would say try not to take the feedback personally, you're still young, you have lots to learn, I think making mistakes is a good thing because it means there is something there you can learn from. Then again, I don't really know your managers and if they are giving constructive feedback to help you, or if they're just not being nice and bringing you down, which is not acceptable.

If it is getting to the point where you feel like you're getting dragged down and the feedback doesn't feel constructive, then I would consider moving if you can, the other option is to see if you can stick it out to finish your AAT Level 4. I'm not really familiar with how long it can take to finish the AAT Level 4 but if it's say at most another year, then is it possible to stick it out 1 more year ? If you've had enough, then of course find another firm.

I think once you get your AAT level 4, then it means there are more opportunities You can then seek companies that can sponsor you for your ACCA/ACA.

I don't think going to university is worth it in my opinion, especially if you complete AAT level 4 and then can move onto doing your ACCA/ACA. Your AAT + Experience is also more valuable than a degree, because you're getting the knowledge but also valuable experience. However, if you feel like you want to go through the university experience and life, then of course university could be the route to go down. I just think from a career perspective AAT+ Experience is more valuable.

I would recommend going to university if you felt accountancy wasn't for you and you wanted to go into another field of finance like investment banking, but that is highly competitive and you need to get into selective universities to help yourself stand out (from what I have heard).

If you feel accounting isn't interesting to you in terms of what a practice accountant does, you can always look for roles in a SME's, Large Corporate companies, Medium size companies etc... You can start off in a finance assistant type role and then can move into loads of different opportunities, like FP&A, Commercial Finance, Management Accounting, Financial reporting etc....

I hope this helps ? Best of luck and hope things get much better at work really quickly.
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ajj2000
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How long have you worked in your current position? How long until you have completed level 4?
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gjustme
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(Original post by ajj2000)
How long have you worked in your current position? How long until you have completed level 4?
I am going into 7 months. I would have to stay until next year to finish my Level 4 as I have just taken 2 of the exams
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gjustme
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(Original post by gjustme)
I am 17 and after completing previous AAT Levels at college, I currently started an AAT Level 4 apprenticeship with a small local accounting firm. At first I was really excited, but I now feel like I keep making these silly mistakes and like I am never making enough progress. i have also had quite a few meetings with management where I have been told my work is not enough and I need to work on my attention to detail . I understand that nobody’s work is perfect but I feel stuck and I don’t think I want to continue within this company anymore as I am just not happy.

I am thinking about applying for university to study Accounting and Finance (cos I do like studying it) this year to kinda know what I want to do better (e.g career within finance instead of accounting etc) but idk if this is the best path for me.
Can someone give me some guidance or help as to my situation? Has anyone felt like this?
Thanks for this. When I started my goal was to go through the vocacional route. But now I am thinking that despite the benefit of having those extra 3 years of experience as a minimum, I may enjoy doing a degree that is accredited so I can gain more skills, knowledge, get to know myself and I am also very much academic so I know I could get through it. After this experience I definitely do not see myself working in practice (although I may change my mind who knows?) but in industry just because I feel like I would enjoy it more if my work is focused on just one company. i defo think that since the comments at that review meeting I feel more discouraged to get the work done which I think also contributes to my slow progress. I am thinking about staying for a year which is when my contract is due to renew (so I have that experience) and then going uni but again idk if I am just way too much in my head where all is negative or if its the right choice for me.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by gjustme)
I am going into 7 months. I would have to stay until next year to finish my Level 4 as I have just taken 2 of the exams
ok - if possible I would try to stretch the job out so it looks like a years experience on your CV.
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gjustme
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(Original post by ajj2000)
ok - if possible I would try to stretch the job out so it looks like a years experience on your CV.
I will defo try this. But I am worried that if I leave early, they will give a bad reference in a future role I may have or just highlight all the bad things? Can they do this?
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ajj2000
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(Original post by gjustme)
I will defo try this. But I am worried that if I leave early, they will give a bad reference in a future role I may have or just highlight all the bad things? Can they do this?
Can they - I guess so in theory. In practice I doubt they will do any more than give the normal reference of dates and position. Few companies write any more than that these days.

Have you applied to universities?
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K1NE
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(Original post by gjustme)
Thanks for this. When I started my goal was to go through the vocacional route. But now I am thinking that despite the benefit of having those extra 3 years of experience as a minimum, I may enjoy doing a degree that is accredited so I can gain more skills, knowledge, get to know myself and I am also very much academic so I know I could get through it. After this experience I definitely do not see myself working in practice (although I may change my mind who knows?) but in industry just because I feel like I would enjoy it more if my work is focused on just one company. i defo think that since the comments at that review meeting I feel more discouraged to get the work done which I think also contributes to my slow progress. I am thinking about staying for a year which is when my contract is due to renew (so I have that experience) and then going uni but again idk if I am just way too much in my head where all is negative or if its the right choice for me.
That's understandable. Of course follow what you enjoy but given tuition fees have gone up to £9k a year, it's important to consider the amount of debt too.

In accounting, the goal really is to qualify as a Chartered Accountant as soon as possible to have the most opportunities open and I guess the AAT + Experience could help you do that sooner than going to uni and doing a degree in Accounting and Finance.

If you did want to explore another field, then my opinion would be todo a broader degree with more transferable skills rather than Accounting and Finance ? if there is something else you might find more interesting ? It will mean you can always go back into Accounting after university (you can get into accounting with pretty much any degree) and your AAT and experience will stand out too if you wanted to get back into the field. I think doing a broader degree also opens options to lots of other different types of roles and different skill sets you can get from the role.

Yep, I think with your AAT Level 4, I'm sure there will be opportunities available in industry for sure. Give it a bit more time with the role and see how things change. You have lots of options and it's good that you have something really strong on your CV going for you now so when you want to make that next step, you've got lots of value added to your CV already from the experience and AAT exams you've been doing.
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