Advice required on taking a PWC offer


hiya all,

i am kinda new here and would very much value your advice…

i got an offer from pwc for a role in risk assurance services…this is a split scheme of 50% risk and 50% audit…which means i will be studying for ACA qualification…

i am confused as to whether take up this role or not? i come from an engineering background and never had any training in accounting…my main worry is the ACA qualification part…i mean i dont know how difficult it is going to be esp since i am from an engg background…and if i fail then i believe i will be sacked and u will have to pay an enormous amount of money back to them for the tuition fees…
if this happens doesnt it mean that it is kinda end of the road for me…coz first of all i dont end up getting the qualification…2nd the question arises of what do i do next and even if i apply for some other job in any industry…the question of why u left pwc is bound to arise…and tellin someone tht u got sacked is not goin to help u one bit in gettin a job isnt it? so will i be left with a situation where my chances of goin forward with a career has come to a complete halt?..and 3rd by payin the money back…u lose whatever you have already saved…so gr8 chance of ur account goin into the red…

also for the ACA qualification part…i have heard horror stories abt how difficult it is…and that u will have to spend 25hrs a week studyin for it…sacrificing ur social life and everything else…i mean its not that i am too lazy to study…but my study method in uni has always been to cram everything one month before the exams and then do it…and get a 1st…
but is this goin to work for ACA?? i dont think so…

i am expecting long hours…somethin i am not used to…as durin my placement in an engg company…it was really relaxed atmosphere…with very little work pressure…i mean even the graduates there had the same exp…

i wud be very grateful if u guys can give me ur opinions on this…the thing is…i dont have any other offers other than this…so its a case of if i reject the offer…then i have to start searchin again…but if i take the offer…then whts gonna happen in the future…

apologies for this long winded essay…


Never underestimate the amount of time it takes to undertake these qualifications. You cannot expect to have much of a life during this period. Employers do require you to pass them however I haven’t heard of anybody being sacked for not passing - that is, you can retake an exam if you need to. Hopeless cases are often encouraged to go into a different business area instead or become an AAT.

The horror stories are fairly realistic. You need to decide what is important to you - having a life or having the qualification. Many candidates have a very naive approach to this and regret it later.

That said, to have got an offer from PWC for this role they clearly believe you have the ability to succeed and their selection process is rigerous enough for them to have tested you thoroughly.


I think firstly you need to get into the mindset that this is the first step in your career, and not just a continuation of University - you don’t sound like you actually want to go a career in this area, yet got an offer from one of the Big 4?!

Yes, it will be hard work, there should be no illusions about that. But I think what you need to do is actually sit and think ‘is this what I want to do?’ - because if it really is, the hard work shouldn’t matter. And maybe your place at PwC is one which someone else who really does want it should perhaps have…


can i ask why tou qpplied then if you were aware of this. The corporate world and enginiering field is completly different so comparing them is not really wise.

Ive alo heard stories from people working in the big 4 - if the drive and passion is not there it seems one is more likley to fail.



I was/am in a kind of similar situation. I got an offer but really wasn’t sure about exams/the job etc. I think you’ve basically got to decide if it’s really something you really want to do and why. If you need a little more time, you could also ask them for an extension to decide on the offer (you can say you are waiting on the results of another assessment centre!).

If you’ve got through the assessment process you should be capable of passing the exams, so I think it’s definately a case of motivation. I have a friend who has just passed all their ACA exams and although for a few weeks/ month before the exams her social life did suffer, the rest of the time she was out as much as anyone else. She isn’t at the big4 but the exams are the same wherever you go.

I’ve heard the tution fees are about 2000 a year and you get a reasonable salary, so it should be feasable to save this much each year and then if you do leave/ get sacked you should be able to pay them back without getting into major debt.

Somebody also gave me the tip that if you realise the job isn’t for you, work hard and pass your first exams (your talking about motivating yourself for the first 3-6 months so should be doable), you can then hand in your notice and it won’t look bad on your CV. It could even work in your favour as future employers will respect your decision.

Anyway, hope some of this helps with your decision!


i have just passed my online tests for PwC, and i have now been invited to come to one of their assessment centres. this is from 12:45 - 16:30, but it doesn’t say anything about a first interview? will this be included at the assessment centre, or have they made a mistake?

i would appreciate some feedback form anyone else who has done this.



Congratulation on securing your offer. I have seen few others in the last few weeks in your situation.

I assure you out of all the chartered accounting qualification; ACA is the most respected qualification in the City. Once you are qualified with relevant experience; you will be contacted by headhunters on a regular basis; atleast this is the case right now.

However, as I said there were few other forums where others faced same problem as you. One that I feel think may help you is:

Please read through the whole forum and I hope this helps you make a more constructive decision.