ACA - where to after qualifying?


Hi there,
I’ve been accepted into an ACA training contract in audit in one of the big four. I’m wondering, what will be my career options once I’m qualified, beyond staying at the firm?

Any insights would be great!


After qualifying you may find that a large proportion of your intake will choose to leave the firm in pursuit of opportunities within Industry and Financial Services. Typically they will take up positions as Financial Accountants/Analyst, Group Accountants, Fund Accountants, etc. As a general rule Industry and FS pay more than Practice and have better benefits. In general your CV will be most marketable in relation to what kind of companies you have audited. I.e. if you have audited retail companies all the way through your training contract you will find it a lot easier to get into a retail company once you qualify. But of course lots of people audit FS clients and move to Industry and vice versa.

In a good market, i.e. 2001-2008 there was a constant shortage of candidates and newly qualifieds were pretty much guaranteed to have several opportunities to consider. Now of course, the market is a lot tighter but I imagine (and hope!) the market will have picked up significantly by the time you qualify in 2012.

Outside of Industry and FS, there will be opportunities within the Public Sector and you may also consider roles within a different firm. It may sound odd, but some people leave the Big 4 citing their experience isn’t varied enough and want greater exposure. Internal secondments are also an option in (depending on the economy) Corporate Finance/Transaction Services, Insolvency/Restructuring, Tax, etc. Or even abroad!