Leave tax job early?


Hi guys

I’m in a very big predicament of whether I should carry on my training contract with my top 10 accountancy firm (not one of the big four). I’ve been working for them for almost a year now and I’m currently studying for my tax professional qualifications. I’m worried that if I leave I’ll have to pay them a hefty fee for all the exam support they’ve given me. My exams are in two months time and I don’t feel ready for them at all as I commute two hours to get to work and two hours back so I try to squeeze in all of the revision time I get but I’m still not ready. If I do pass them id still really want to leave and try for a different profession as it’s the field itself that doesn’t really interest me.

Problem is I’d like to start a graduate role where there is no need to study for professional qualifications. Are there any other than the accountancy field? I have an economics degree and graduated two years ago.

Thanks guys


Hey Ben, it’s a really tricky one, but if I were you (and you haven’t already) I’d definitely check out the terms of your contract before making any decision. You don’t want to be stuck paying back a big fee for not completing your exams or leaving before you do, and the terms of your exam support should really be laid out in your contract. I’m not in that field so I don’t know what’s standard or not, but if you did complete the exams is there a fine for leaving the company before a certain amount of time has passed (e.g. if they paid for you to study and take the qualifications and you leave within xx years, do you need to pay them back)? If it’s the same whether you pass the exams or not then that’s one thing, but if it isn’t you can see what the best option is (financially) and maybe that will help you decide. Job satisfaction is really important and you don’t want to waste time (or feel unhappy) in a career you don’t enjoy, but I’d definitely say you should check out the Ts and Cs before making any decision.

On the plus side, there are lots of graduate roles out there where you don’t need additional qualifications (or where you get on-the-job training, as opposed to sitting exams, hurrah :), but I think they are all outside of accountancy. Are there any fields you’d definitely be interested in?