Background & Qualification Checks accountancy firms

Grant Thornton

Hello everyone

Im afraid I may have messed up my chances with my relatively poor A-level grades, but am on course for a 2:1 or even a 1st in my degree. In my A-levels I fell serisouly ill and only managed to obtain 2 A-levels nowhere near the required standard. Based on that I will never get a look in at any of the top firms even with extenuating circumstances. However I put an additional C at A-level just to test the waters and have made it to interview stage at Deloitte and E&Y. But im buggered cause I wont be able to provide evidence of that 1 grade when required. I know the big4 conduct thorough background checks and have 3rd party experien to do it. I am in a situation now where I can do either of the following:

  1. Keep it on the dl, when it comes to it, state that the A-level was meant to be an AS-level, making out its no biggy an honest mistake.
  2. Email HR now and tell them I just looked over my summary submission and noticed a mistake, mentioning that I did not make it this far by merit of my academic achievements, hopefully this can be overlooked and the mishap resolved.

Also, what about firms like Grant Thornton, BDO and smith williamson, Tenon, PKF, Moore stephans? do they do the checks as rigrously there???

Please my intention was not to cheat or ‘pimp’ the system, and find myself now in a weird predicament. I will have to fess up at some point, timing could be crucial? If I get made an offer are they more likely to overlook the problem, or if I state it early on will it look more believable that it was a mistake.

Advice would be much appreciated!!!


The Rock


I’d go with a mixture of the two. If you do have a C in an extra AS-Level then email HR and say you were going over your application in preparation for your interview and noticed you’d accidentally put it down as an A-Level instead. Could they alter this on your application and would it have any affect on your pending interview? If it does, then it’s better to know now rather than later. If it doesn’t, then hurrah!

The background checks will be thorough and any lying will be found out. Sort it out now while you still have the chance and haven’t wasted much time.


Whilst some people on this forum and others claim no checks were done it is extremely likely that they will check you and will be found out.

Unless you can prove/persuade them that it was a genuine mistake - they are unlikely to call you to the next stage or offer a position.

If you wait until after getting an offer and then tell them they might withdraw it.

You really should have thought about ‘being buggered’ before you sent it off.

and tbh it does seem like ‘cheating’ the system - as lying to get an interview = cheating. I fail to understand you saying you didn’t want to cheat tbh


Have to agree with Gradjobhunter. But don’t understand why all these firms cannot listen to extenuating circumstances. The trouble is the usual one…so many applicants they need ANY old reason to cut down the piles of applications.
I do know one guy who accidentally put 2.1 instead of 2.2, but it wasn’t an accident. He got the job offer but when the checks were followed up his little “mistake” came to light.
The offer was about to be withdrawn but somehow he managed to convince them he’d made a mistake.
Some people go through life like that and get away with it.
I have to confess they wouldn’t be my choice of friend.


By saying “However I put an additional C at A-level just to test the waters” you’ve admitted you lied on your application. To be an accountant you have to sign all sorts of ethics statements. In accounting cheating = fraud. If you’re found out for fraud you can get expelled from the accounting association and not be allowed to work as an acountant!

At some point they’re going to ask to see your certificates or check your background so how will you explain it then?


Thanks Ezekiel.

I let them know; Ive got an interview with Deloitte, and E&Y just want proof that I was on course for 300 points at A-level. They were fine about it.


Well unfortunately other people will now read this topic and think it is ok to put down the wrong information to get past the first stage…


Its not ok to lie on your application form and I know a couple of people who have had offers revoked because even minor errors had been made (and they were accidental). They have so many apps they dont need people who have been a.) lazy/sloppy b.) fraudulent or c.) incompetent. They can easily replace you with one of the other 100 graduates wanting the same job.



Agreed LilShorty.


So this guy got a graduate position job, despite having a 2.2? :/…


I suspect, but may be wrong, that it was a case of who you know not what you know.
Old boy etc network is still alive and kicking.


I made an error on my application and notifed PWC before my interview and it made no impact what so ever. However, the error I made did not have an impact on the entry requirement. Would removing the additional grade pull you under the A-level entry tariff?? If it will it is highly likely they will revoke. So i would advise to carry on with the lie. Just a note, they can do complete full checks and my friend in the grad roll got pulled up for a GCSE equilavent exam grade error from high school she attended in China. However, im not too sure if they complete full checks on everyone. good luck what ever the case