Does it matter where you study the ACA?



I have 2 offers, one from a large bank and the other from a top 10 accountant. Ideally I would take the offer from the accountant for a number of reasons;

–I feel like I will enjoy the culture of a smaller than Big 4 accountant firm more
–its in the same city and it’ll mean I get to live at home, which I enjoy

But the offer from the bank has a higher salary, and is obviously more prestigious.

What I would like to know is, how much will my opportunities differ if I went with the smaller firm after being qualified?

According to the ACA page - seen here the salaries differ between places


Hi there,

The ACA creates many opportunities after qualification and is (still) very prestigious, so it is good to have it regardless of where you obtain it.
I will say that training at a Big4 definitely opens more doors and creates an easier transition in to other firms (especially IBs) after qualification. However, if you enjoy the culture of a smaller firm and you are still obtaining the ACA, those opportunities are definitely open to you post qualification if you work hard and align your experience to where you want to transition to.

Working directly for a large Bank for a graduate scheme is a different experience. I’m not sure exactly what the role is but I assume you won’t be obtaining the ACA. Have a think about what your medium to long term goals are and go from there. Working in the bank (especially in the current market) is much more volatile and less certain than the accountancy/ professional services firm. So if you choose that option I would have a rough plan of action for the medium term.

I hope this helps! Good luck.