Accountancy Jobs - What to do?


Currently having a nightmare trying to get a job lined up for after uni

I don’t have many options left tbh, where else should I try applying to for a ACA qualification, is there anywhere still recruiting?


You still have lots of options, but it’s worth being more creative with your job search. Things have just become much more competitive for graduates! (see - [[Graduate jobs: Job vacancies for graduates fall by a fifth]]).

Have you seen the [[list of accounting firms]]? I’d work though these making applications…


try applying to local accountancy firms too. usually they have trouble finding good grads. Although there are certain perks with joining large firms in that they help pay exam fees etc.


Small firms will help you too - if you find a good one. It’s certainly something you can negotiate on if you get a job offer, even if you negotiate an interest-free loan to pay for you to take the qualifications.


Interesting idea, I’ll need to start looking at small firms then after these exams

I’ve been so pre occupied with these semester A exams and dissertation that I’ve had to shift job hunting to the back of my mind, but it’s starting to hit me that I have no real options.

What should I do if I don’t have something lined up by the time I graduate? because applications don’t open until September again, and if I was to maybe do a masters would that help atall?
Although I would have to make the decision to do a masters soon wouldn’t I? Then applications would open September and I would be stuck doing a Masters?

I’m becoming totally lost


See that looks like what’s probably going to happen^

Did it negatively impact your applications though? ie what did you do for the year you took out? did you get practical experience etc?
Or did you go travelling or something?

Thing I’m worried about is them looking at my application and thinking I took a year out and wasted it


Basically; things are difficult right now. Getting a good graduate job this year is twice as competitive as it was last year - there are 47% less vacancies in investment banking for graduates and about 17% less in accountancy.

The worst thing is that most reasonable people, believe things will get worse this year, rather than better. If I was a final year student right now, I would certainly consider an MA (but only a very good one with vocational elements to give me good skills for work post-uni), travelling (but with an element of study, such as working in a foreign country learning a foreign language - to give you an extra skill on your CV) or an internship (which will be difficult to find this year at big firms, but if you are resourceful enough anyone can find a company to hire you to work for free!)

I also suggest seriously considering the [[public sector & government]]. The public sector are actively recruiting graduates (they’ve realised they have an aging work force and need new younger more dynamic people) and have money to do this. the only sector to have more graduate jobs on offer in 2009 than 2008 is the public sector, and generally, it’s less competitive to get a job here. The only downside is the pay - an accountant for the NHS or a local council earns much less than a counterpart at a private company - but the perks are good. Very good holiday - very short hours (compared to private sector) - very hard to get fired - and low chance of getting made redundant.

Certainly worth considering - check the WikiJob [[Public Sector & Government]] section here.


I’ve been looking at Public Sector actually, while I didn’t particularly enjoy doing the public sector module last year I feel that was maybe more down to the teaching.

I do agree that it has benefits ie the Holidays, Hours etc, and to be brutally honest it has always been my goal or ambition to eventually end up in a senior financial position somewhere like NHS, where I can actually make a difference. That might sound daft but I think I would get a great deal of job satisfaction from knowing my financial management or planning or whatever meant people were getting better care etc.

Although getting CIPFA would mean I can’t become a member of ICAS after 5 years like you used to be able to doesn’t it

Problem is though with everything atm the deadlines seem to be closed, and very little available in Scotland

I’ve tried Audit Scotland and NHS, both closed, am I missing any potential options that I haven’t thought of?


I think I will have to look at internships littlelegs, not sure on who does Jan/April starts?


Also, look at in-house schemes - there are quite a few around and if you can get one with a decent sized company you will get the support and perks of a large firm. There are still ones with roles starting in September who are comfortbaly in the FTSE 250.


What do you mean by In-House schemes?


I think by “in-house schemes” MM is referring to graduate accountancy schemes run by big companies, but not necessarily accountancy firms. E.g. the [[Tesco]] graduate accountancy scheme.


Yeah I’ve been looking through those, unfortunately most if not all closed at this point, my own stupid fault I suppose :frowning:

Really gutted, had my first exam of 4th year today, didn’t feel very good


Redsuperted that’s exactly what I mean!

A quick search on Milkround for jobs in Finance and Accountancy shows that Allianz and Catlin both have Finance programmes not closing until 27/2 and Centrica and E.ON (no obvious closing date) also have vacancies - there are lots more and I was just going down the alphabetical list scanning.

Even though the vacancies are for graduate accounting schemes they are ususally labelled as ‘Finance’ and will typically offer a choice of ACA, ACCA or CIMA with good starting salaries and benefits packages.

Obviously it depends upon the location you want to work in but there are schemes out there in industry that haven’t closed yet.

Don’t give up yet and keep us posted with how you get on!


Go on the ICAEW website and print out all of the local Chartered Accountancy firms, and send your CV out to them all.

I trained in a 5 partner firm (I only got into uni through clearing, so even though I got a 1st in my degree, my A level results were not good enough for the big 4 or the mid-tier firms) and they sent me to do the ACA qualification (I had the choice between ACCA and ACA). The money will not be as good as the big 4, but the experience you get in general practice will make you highly employable once you qualify. I had total freedom over my studying i.e. I could choose when to sit the exams, and also how many to take at each sitting. The large firms are very stringent, often requiring you to sit a number of exams in one sitting.

If you manage to get a training contract with a small firm, so long as you get first time passes you will easily get into the big 4 once you qualify (just see the smaller firm as a stepping stone). I made the move to one of the big 4 about 18 months ago after qualifying.

The most important thing is getting your ACA qualification!


I’ve been trying to apply to small firms too but no joy

I’m going to phone them up after graduation, local firms etc to see if I can get experience

Problem is my highers I think, I got ABBCCCC but unfortunately 2 of the Cs are maths and english 'cause I basicly gave up in 6th year which I regret massively.
Would having worked over the summer in a small firm give me any better chance of getting a job in September?