I am currently working for my father’s business and want to get into accountancy. The problem is that I have poor A-levels (220 UCAS points) although I managed to get a 2:1 from University of Southampton. I really want to get a training contract through the ACA with one of the firms listed on their website, preferably in London. However, most of the firms require 280, 300 points and the very minimum is 260 points.
What do you think the best option available is? Do you think that I should just apply anyway and see what happens or do you think it would be better to do the foundational course (AAT-ACA Fast Track) and get fast tracked (where A-level results, presumably, are less relevant)?
I should add that I am 31 years old.

Many thanks for your help.


Hi there. I’m not going to lie and with your a-levels it may well be a struggle to get a contract BUT if you are determined enough you have a very good chance of getting there. What i would do is probably phone up the grad recruitment department (or experienced hires whatever is appropriate) of some companies and ask what they thought in your situation. Whether it was worth applying or if they have a foundation course available. It also depends a lot on what you have done after uni. What your experience is and how you can use it effectively in accounting to make you stand out. if you have developed some expertise in a different field, your a levels (also being over 10 years old), MIGHT be less of a factor since you have so much more to offer than the usual graduate. I would certainly start by finding out from the recruitment depts themselves and move forward accordingly. I wish you the very best of luck and hope you achieve your goals!


Thanks so much for your reply sniper290. What you say makes a lot of sense. A couple of quick questions if you have any further time.
What do you think about me doing the Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB) before applying to these companies as it might increase my chances of getting a contract?
Also, are all the companies that are listed on the website the only companies that one can go through to get training on the ACA program or are there others as well?

Kindest regards


Hey rob. Sorry i know nothing about CFAB so i’m really not the person to ask. There are many hundreds of companies who offer the ACA!! Check out the top 100 accounting firms to see some of the smaller ones. There are also many local accounting firms so if you do a bit of research near where you live, try applying to those too! good luck!


Thanks again Sniper. Will follow up on your advice. With best wishes.