I was attracted to a medium sized firm because of the opportunity to work within a range of different fields and because I believed that all the skills I had already developed were more likely to be valued and used. Furthermore the opportunity to develop as an individual within a medium sized firm appealed greatly to me. I also chose a medium sized firm as the whole approach to recruitment was personal and genuine and made me feel that I would be valued as an individual.


Becoming a chartered accountant

Start your career with an APA practice and you get the chance to study for the ACA, the premier business and finance qualification from ICAEW.

Becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant means that you are at the top of your chosen profession.  It shows you have industry specific skills and experience, as well as a strong academic and theoretical background.  You get the opportunity to learn while in full-time employment, combining technical work experience, study and exams.

To train for the ACA qualification you need to complete a training agreement with an ICAEW authorised training employer.  Your training agreement, which lasts between three to five years, details your commitment to studying for the ACA and the support your employer provides throughout your training.

If you choose a training agreement with an APA practice you will enjoy some exceptional benefits including individual support in training and practical work experience as well as approachable partners who take a personal interest in your progress.  You will also have many opportunities to see a range of projects from initial brief to final conclusion.

To gain the ACA qualification you need to successfully complete its four elements:

  • 15 ACA modules which consist of the Professional Stage and Advanced Stage.  If you have studied relevant degree modules you may be able to claim credit for prior learning for up to eight of the Professional Stage modules.  APA practices also offer ACA students a structured training programme to support you through your academic training.
  • 450 days of technical work experience to be completed during your training agreement.  One of the benefits of training with an APA practice is the breadth of its client base, meaning that ACA students gain the broadest possible range of practical work experience.
  • Structured training in ethics – this is an essential part of being an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.  As well as inclusion in 11 of the 15 ACA modules, an APA practice will ensure the practical application of ethics as part of your training agreement.
  • Initial professional development – APA practices encourage their ACA students to take early responsibility which develop the five key areas that define an ICAEW Chartered Accountant: ethics and professionalism, personal effectiveness, technical and functional expertise, business awareness and professional judgement.

Once you complete your ACA training, you can become a member of ICAEW and use the letters ACA after your name and be recognised as a chartered accountant.  ICAEW members enjoy access to a variety of groups and networks, world-class library, resources and events to maintain and enhance your professional development throughout your career.

As an ICAEW Chartered Accountant your experience and expertise is recognised and respected all around the world.

Find out more about how you can become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant

I chose to train with a medium sized firm due to the wide range of opportunities available; namely, dealing with a broad spectrum of clients, building a network and working from offices in numerous locations, offering an array of business services. After graduating from Newcastle University I could have joined a large firm in the city however I wanted to be recognised as an individual rather than getting lost in the thousands of employees. At a medium sized firm I felt I could gain the essential industry knowledge, qualifications and experience required, get noticed and make a difference.