Getting into a big company after qualifying with ACA from small company


So I have recently been offered an ACA training contract in Audit from a top 25 accountancy firm. If I’m being totally honest, my first preference would have been to do ACA-Audit with one of the Big 4 as with most people.

After qualifying as an ACA (fingers crossed) I’ll do what everyone does and weigh up their options with regards to careers paths i.e. I may stay in Audit or decide to go into industry or even something like corporate finance.

However, I DEFINITELY want to work for a well-known large multi-national company at some point in my career (the earlier the better).

My main query is that, post-qualification, how likely is it that I can go from working for a ‘small’ accountancy firm to working for one of the big4 or another ‘big name’ in Financial Services/Industry.


No problem whatsoever. It’s quite normal. Most people choose to go into industry after qualifying from their ACA, rather than swap to a ‘big 4’, but the option is definitely there. It’s the ACA that matters.


Thats good to hear!

If I were to go into private equity or corporate finance after qualification, what kind of positions would be on offer? i.e. how junior would they be?


Junior. But everyone starts in the same place. Accounting training is a basic requirement for those types of jobs.


Ok fair enough.

So how can I differentiate myself from others when applying for these jobs in three years time once I qualify? There must be so many people who are looking for a job in corporate finance/private equity once they have qualified as an ACA.

What should I be doing for the next three years to make sure I really have an edge over others? (i.e. first time passes in my ACA exams, networking etc.) I appreciate this is a bit of a tricky question to answer but any advice here would be great.


Personally I think you’d be pushing it a bit to expect to go from top 25 firm (I’m assuming it’s towards the bottom of the 25 or you’d have said) to corporate finance. Corporate finance is competitive even if you are in Big 4 already.

Why are you not getting into Big 4?