Share this content
0
603

Whats the best training?

Where to Train?

i am a third year accountancy student. I would like some advice. I plan on becoming a chartered accountant after i graduate. I think CA or ACA is best because of the training therefore can anyone who has trained with ICAS or ICAEW please advise me. Do you think it is best to train with one of the big 4, a medium size firm or a small firm? Is there any other advice you would give? 

Replies

Please login or register to join the discussion.

By marks
24th Jun 2018 22:50

Doesnt really matter.

What you should be more concerned about is getting a training contract. They are more and more difficult to get these days compared when I was at univ 20 years ago.

I got interviews with 5 (of the big 6 it was in those days). For whatever reason didnt get an contract offer for them and ended up working and qualifying with a 4 partner firm in Glasgow.

Now have my own small practice with over 200 clients and 6 staff.

Key considerations I would say are

1. Dont expect big bucks. You will be paid peanuts when training as you arent worth anything to the firm at that time but knuckle down, learn, show enthusiasm and pass the exams as will be worth it in the long run.

2. Join the firm that closest fits what you are looking for. Big 4 pays more than smaller firm when training (plus looks good on your CV) but they get their pound of flesh from you but be prepared to do lots of audit work. At a smaller firm you will get more hands on experience from an earlier stage with more client interaction and get a good all round experience (we for instance dont do any audit work and have no intention of ever doing any audit work)

Thanks (0)
to marks
25th Jun 2018 11:39

marks wrote:

they get their pound of flesh from you

This is very true. My experience is that big firms don't expect you to have a life outside work. They expect long hours (for no additional pay), especially at busy times. Do no more than your contracted hours even at quiet times, and you'll be seen as a skiver.

Two years of that and I'd had a bellyful, so I jumped ship. I finished my training and qualified with a small friendly practice where they took entirely the opposite view and shooed you out of the door at 5:05.

Don't underestimate how demanding a big corporate can be!

Thanks (0)
By marks
24th Jun 2018 22:52

Doesnt really matter.

What you should be more concerned about is getting a training contract. They are more and more difficult to get these days compared when I was at univ 20 years ago.

I got interviews with 5 (of the big 6 it was in those days). For whatever reason didnt get an contract offer for them and ended up working and qualifying with a 4 partner firm in Glasgow.

Now have my own small practice with over 200 clients and 6 staff.

Key considerations I would say are

1. Dont expect big bucks. You will be paid peanuts when training as you arent worth anything to the firm at that time but knuckle down, learn, show enthusiasm and pass the exams as will be worth it in the long run.

2. Join the firm that closest fits what you are looking for. Big 4 pays more than smaller firm when training (plus looks good on your CV) but they get their pound of flesh from you but be prepared to do lots of audit work. At a smaller firm you will get more hands on experience from an earlier stage with more client interaction and get a good all round experience (we for instance dont do any audit work and have no intention of ever doing any audit work)

Thanks (0)
25th Jun 2018 12:05

I would recommend one of the Big 4. Not because of the experience or the pay though those may or may not be good. Simply because once you have "PwC" or "KPMG" etc on your CV, it will be there forever and employers will automatically rate you highly before they even meet you. It shouldn't be this way but it is.

Thanks (0)
By DJKL
25th Jun 2018 14:50

It was so long ago it is likely very out of date, however I enjoyed training with a provincial office (Glasgow) for a national firm (Hodgson Impey -now part of RSM)

Experience ranged from working on the audits of pension schemes for a FTSE company and auditing subsidiaries (for consolidation in London) of some other quoted beasts down through some decent size non quoteds and on to private companies , partnerships, sole traders- I even did vat returns for a couple of reasonably well known Glasgow actors.

Not sure back then re future paths afterwards to the large firms being stifled, fair number who qualified in Glasgow went away (often abroad) to the then big eight, some stayed in smaller firms, some went into industry.

The medium firm I thought gave the best of both worlds re range of experience not available with the larger firms but decent technical back up (the backroom boys in Hull in our case sending out digests etc) lacking with the really small firms.

The bigger firms appeared to be better pushing their trainees through exams (in house study sessions in run up to the exams) whereas our training was more national courses for say 4-5 days which were more practical re our work and less exam targeted.

I recall bumping into someone I did my post grad with at Aberdeen during a train trip to Glasgow, he was with PW Edinburgh. It was our second year of training yet he had never prepared a set of accounts (I had by then had my first three weeks away (in Stornoway) with no senior with me working on audits/accounts preps for some local companies), he was shuttling to Glasgow to work on the audit of a"water of life" producer, three weeks checking bank accounts on this one audit; I know which I would prefer.

Then again word of caution, I did not complete ICAS, maybe I would have been pushed to study harder with one of the big eight.

Thanks (0)
Share this content