Graduate Schemes in the Industry v Practice nd Work/Life Balance



I am due to graduate this summer and I am on track for a 1st Class Degree in Accounting & Finance at an average University. I also possess 300 UCAS Points from 3 top A-Levels.

Thing is, I am not sure whether pursuing ACA qualification is something I want to do. 3 years of absolute nightmares of working in for example Audit or Tax seem absolutely crazy. Is there any areas that can be genuily interesting in Accounting & Finance that I can try getting into straight away after graduating? What is it like going into a Graduate Scheme in practice? I know the long-term pay isn’t as good, but does the job itself is less stressful and has better work/life balance from the very start?

Working and travelling for 12 hours a day for 3 years 7 days a week doesn’t simply compare to that 9-5 5 times a week. Am I misunderstanding here something or is this how practice v industry looks like in reality?