Received an offer- Realistic opportunites post qualification



I was seeking some perspective on an offer that I received. I have been offered an ACA trainee position for a top 20 firm, based in one of their satelite offices within London. The office is relatively small, and the types of clients i think will pretty much centre around small to medium, owner managed businesses. The role will initially involve me being a generalist at the start, with the opportunity to specialise as I progress.

I was wondering whether anyone could provide some information on the possible exit opportunities once qualified. Why this shouldn’t be the end all of an offer, however, it’s a consideration that any prospective employee should think about. Nevertheless:

  • In light of the information provided above, would I only be limited to working within practice once qualified?

  • If I do stand a chance to move to industry, what are my chances of moving to a blue chip organisation? a FTSE 100 firm? FTSE 250?

  • Would I stand any chance of moving to the big4?

  • Is ACA from top 20 firm, in their smallest office still marketable upon qualification? Does the ACA’s value diminish in this scenario?

Many thanks in advance,


No you could work in industry

Yes you could move to a blue chip firm - however you might be at a slight disadvantage to people from big4 - you might have to start a level or 2 down from where you eventually want to be

You have an excellent chance of getting to big4 - people from much smaller practices have moved to big4 when qualified

Obviously it isn’t comparable to big4 - but it is still an excellent qualification and does not diminish

My advice to you is that the job market is very competitive atm and you have done well to get an offer - take it - get qualified and by that time you will be in an excellent position for career progression - I am sure you will do well

edit: I used excellent a lot!!


Lol you did use excellent a lot.

I would definitely agree, take the position as the main thing you need to do is get qualified and then you’ll have lots more doors open up. While you may be at a slight disadvantage not being in the big 4, its not going to make a major difference as the ACA is the ACA. it’s just future employers will know that you won’t have had the same experiences with larger firms as people working for the big 4 will have.

I also don’t think which office you work in (whether it’s a major London one or just a satellite one) will have all too much of an impact on your future job prospects to be honest.


Thanks for the response guys.

I hope this doesn’t come across as rude, but are your opinions founded from fact? As in do you know of people who have been in similar situations?

Also, I’m of the notion that the ACA is at least a three year commitment- therefore you should be happy with a choice, as it will involve three years of hard slog (as if you leave, you have to pay back fees). For me, from what I currently know, I can’t envisage myself being happy at the office that has been offered.


Sorry, my opinion is based more on what I know of the process and common sense rather than fact, so don’t take my word completely to heart.

You’re right in that it is a three year training contract and so there really is no point in taking a job that you’re not happy in. Given the fact that you pretty much know you wouldn’t be happy, I’d have to say don’t take the offer to be honest. You’re still young, there’s no need to commit yourself to something which is going to make you miserable if you don’t have to.


It is a mix of what I know and what has happened to some people - however just because it has happened to other people doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the same for you!

On the one hand if you aren’t happy with the offer then I sense it will be a problem, but also competition is fierce and their aren’t that many jobs around - think very carefully if you decide to reject it and preferably only if you get another offer

The ACA course is expensive and they are showing they believe in you by offering you a position