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Trainee Accountant

 Dear Sir/Madam 

I currently work for an Accountancy firm as a Trainee Accountant. My employment contract states that I am a trainee accountant, and my salary certainly reflects that, however I have not been provided with, nor has management been forthcoming with my training. I am ACCA registered but I have not been given or even helped towards any study materials, tuition, appraisal etc, basically there is no indication that I am anything other than cheap labour or an accounts assistant.
I feel that I am being taken advantage of and that my contract title of ' trainee accountant ' is merely a token gesture. There is another trainee here who is a trainee ICAS student (I am ACCA) and she has access to external tuition, text books etc 

I have been employed here since August 2009 but I feel that I have not progressed at a sufficient rate and do not expect to without proper academic accountancy training/learning. Where do I stand? Can I be dismissed at a whim due to unsatisfactory performance? Given that I am an ACCA student and not ICAS does that mean I should not expect any level of training or should I expect a like for like training scheme?   

Any advice given would be greatly appreciated. 


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16th Jun 2010 17:57


"Can I be dismissed at a whim due to unsatisfactory performance?"

That's a confusing question. Whim or unsatisfactory performance?

I think you have to work there a year before you have important rights.

At your interview did you discuss training? What was said? What does your contract say?

Do you want your employment contract changed?

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Don't stew over it, do something about it.

In order to make a career for yourself you have to be willing to put yourself forward and make sure your boss knows your worth. It's time for you to request a meeting with your boss to have a frank and open discussion about your future career. You must make it clear, without appearing pushy, that you are keen to begin your ACCA studies and you would like to know what level of support you can expect from your employers. It's a simple case of if you don't ask, you don't get. If your employers are geniunely interested in supporting you in your career development they will appreciate your enthusiasm and drive. If they are not, they will dither and fob you off. If the latter is the case, you will never receive the support you are after in your current environment. The good news is, there are stacks of employers that are very supportive of trainee accountants who show genuine enthusiasm and desire to work hard to achieve an accounting qualification.

I hope that helps.

Sir Digby

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17th Jun 2010 21:33

my salary certainly reflects this

At our practice we have many hopefull applicants who would work for free, although we always pay a reasonable salary. There are many students looking for work.We get students (always doing level 2 ACCA  for some reason), we train them and just as they become useful they leave for another job, really fed up with this. You have to realise the time it takes to train someone and correcting their mistakes is less time spent on preparing  accounts.

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17th Jun 2010 21:52

No training

I have seen so many examples of this and all it means is I would never train anybody.

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By FJM1980
18th Jun 2010 12:20

Never Train Anybody

I can see the point the two of you are making but feel that in my instance I more than show my willingness to learn. I work here on average about 8.5 hours per day (1.5 additionally per day) and regularly come in on holidays and weekends. It is blatantly clear that I am serious about qualifying and that I am also a trustworthy and loyal person.

The flip side to this (as you mentioned) is that there are obviously people abusing the opportunity firms give them i.e. training and experience (during which firms take a hit with lots of resources; time, money etc but then some firms are maybe using the mantle of trainee as a way of getting cheap labour and with no intention of bringing the individual on. I am sure there must be contractual agreement which would ensure the best interests of both firm and employee. 

I think this is a big problem in this country nowadays, there aren't enough firms ' bringing on ' new people and I am not limiting that comment to accountancy per-se in-fact I would go further and say that it is prevalent in most industries.

Lastly I have sat and am studying ACCA off of my own back but the distance learning alone without additional and/or financial help from the firm makes it exceedingly difficult having worked a full days work (and more) to then go home and ' crack on '.

PS I appreciate the time and effort those of you have taken to answer this post


PS The post box should have a built in spell checker.

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18th Jun 2010 12:47

Interviews have uses

The comments weren't directed at your behaviour of course.

You should have discussed the training, etc. at interviews.

Your employer may not be pleased if you now expect a change to the contract.

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