ACCA - Industry Experience relevant for practising accountancy


Hi everyone,

I have been offered a graduate finance role in a manufacturing company where they have offered to pay for me to study towards an ACCA qualification. Although this is a good offer as it pays very well and is located near where I live, my goal is to become an accountant and practise accountancy services.

How easy will it be for me to transfer from gaining my ACCA in industry to working in a practise?

Please can someone inform me of how easy this will be?

Many Thanks


Go to the ICAEW website and there is quite a bit of information about ACCAs being able to join ICAEW etc.
Working in practice as a Chartered Accountant is quite different to working in industry. In the former you’ll be dealing more with audit and financial services etc advice to clients. In industry you will be working on the management of that company’s finances if you are based in an operating company. If you are working in group head office then you may be more involved with CF, Treasury, Group consolidations, tax planning etc.


Ok, thanks. Do you think I would be better off not taking the offer of undergoing ACCA in industry and going for a role in audit in a purely accounting firm.

I have thought about this but going for the audit job will mean I had to take significantly less pay than the job in industry is offering £10k more…

My end goal is still to work as an accountant serving external clients with tax/accountancy etc? which job offer do you think I should go for?

Please reply soon as I have to inform the industry firm early next week.

Many Thanks


You have answered the question yourself. You should be going the ACA route.
When you compare salaries you need to take into account the fact that in a London Big 4 eg where the salary package is circa £30k, some £28k of that is cash but you are only working for about 8 months in that first year as you are at college for the other 4 months. If you gross up the salary then you are on closer to £42k annualised working time. Rather crude but still it is a valid point. Also you will be on the move wquite a bit with an audit firm and so will be living in hotels etc which saves you quite a bit on living costs.
How much study leave would you get in industry and what is the pay structure over say the first few years? Currently a newly qualified ACA (that’s after 3 years) will be on £45k if they stay with the coy they train with. Moving outside the salaries will be from £50k upwards.


You don’t necessarily have to be ACA qualified to run your own practice

ACCA qualified individuals can also get a practising certificate and hold Registered Auditor status

Here is a list of mostly practice firms who are with ACCA:

“Records 1 to 7 of 2318”

Some of these firms will have more than 1 ACCA member in them so more than 2000 ACCA people working in practice


The industry company is offering me to go to college during work time for half a day each week, 25 days holiday, 3 days exam leave. The company is not London it is in the south west, so pay is obviously less than a London job. For some reason the company is only offering a two year grad finance grad scheme, but the 1st year is 25k, 2nd yr is 26.5 after that I would be part qualified.

Do you think I would be able to find a job in accountancy practise at this point?

I might possible have a job offer for £15.5k with an accountancy firm working in audit?

You see my dilemma about pay?


You have your priorities wrong. It’s which career direction you want to go in at this stage NOT the salary. Salary at these early stages may seem important but in a few years that will change and at the risk of resurrecting the old chestnut, on balance ACA is recognised as being more prestigious and tend on average to earn more. Statistically 84% of ICAEW trainees are graduates. For ACCA it’s less than 40%, I believe.
I think that block release study with ICAEW is far easier to cope with than squeezing half days and study in between daily work. The ICAEW (certainly in the big practices (with" ice" not “ise”)) study approach pretty much keeps client work and study work separate so it’s easier to concentrate on the exams. I hear of too many ACCAs dragging out their exams for years.
Have you applied to ICAEW firms? There is still time but get a move on.