This APA firm is big enough to have a wide range of interesting clients, but small enough for everyone to know everyone else – including the partners knowing the trainees. That’s very unusual in firms with large graduate intakes. You can qualify with any firm and end up with the same letters after your name; the difference is the experience, the enjoyment, the people.


Why train with an APA firm?

What’s right for you?

If you’re trying to decide where to apply for a training contract, you've probably discovered already that it's far from easy. There are well over a thousand training firms in the UK. Which one will be right for you?

More and more graduates are realising that training with a medium sized firm is right for them. And for the right people, the quality and scope of training offered by medium sized firms of accountants is hard to beat.

The range of experience you'll get, the variety of clients you'll see, the quality of training you'll receive … they’ll all combine to help you become an accomplished business professional.

Why medium sized works

There are definite advantages to being medium sized. Our members are able to get close enough to our clients to give them both depth and breadth of business advice – as well as being able to provide all the resources and services they need. That's for any size client, from sole trader to plc.

Partners are closely involved with their clients' affairs. Technical expertise can be combined with a more human scale of service. People know who the other members of staff are. Partners and managers are accessible to everyone - especially students.
There isn't a textbook definition of a medium sized firm. It's more a matter of approach and culture.

And although the way we work has been developed to benefit our clients, it creates undoubted advantages for our students too. When we ask trainees what they think the main advantages are, two answers crop up again and again …the variety of experience and the personal treatment they get.

Variety of experience

From an early stage in your career you'll be dealing with a diverse range of clients, and getting exposure to many different types and sizes of business. Assignments tend to be shorter - typically no longer than three to four weeks - so although you may occasionally have to stay away from home, it won't be for months on end.

Of course you’ll do audits, and get experience of some big ones. You need those - but we also give you invaluable experience of book-keeping, accountancy and tax. As you progress, you may be given special assignments to do. We aim to help you see the totality of a business, not just one narrow slice.

Personal treatment

Because of the size of our member firms you'll be seen, known and appreciated as an individual. Partners will take an interest in what you're doing, how your training is progressing and how you're performing.

There will be more room for your aspirations to be taken into account, especially when allocating jobs. Team sizes tend to be smaller. As one of two, three or four in a team, your contribution is far less likely to be overlooked. You won’t be one of a crowd.
And as part of a smaller, select student intake, your training will very well controlled.

Quality of training

Our members make sure that training for exams, in-house formal training and on-the-job training are all carried out to extremely high standards. External tutors will of course take you through your professional exams, and your firm will closely monitor your progress. There's no need to give you simulated work experience, because you'll be getting all the experience you need first hand.

And however your plans develop in the future, the experience you gain training with a medium-sized firm will open doors for you in all directions.

Where will you find us?

Our members are up and down the country, in major financial and industrial centres, and thriving county towns.

Many are based in London. Many have close associations with similar sized firms in other countries.

Who do we want?

You’ll need at least 280 UCAS points at A-level, excluding general studies, and a 2:1 second class honours degree or a distinction for an approved foundation course.
But just as important as academic achievement are personal qualities – such as perseverance. Don’t underestimate the demands of studying for exams and doing a full-time job. You’ll need a great deal of commitment to succeed. And of course modern accountancy is mostly about dealing with and advising people – so an outgoing personality is essential.

The intellectual, academic and professional standards we expect are extremely high. But in return we'll give you the scope, variety and stimulation you need to become a really high calibre business professional.

Download our booklet

Becoming a chartered accountant - training with a medium sized firm

Download our booklet
Becoming a chartered accountant - training with a medium sized firm


The comprehensive support with my studies towards the ICAEW has been very reassuring. Everybody in the office is wiling to help with any problems I may encounter on the way; this goes right to the top, as each person knows the level of commitment that is required to become a Chartered Accountant.



I chose to train with a medium sized firm due to the array of clients ranging from retail stores, to hotels, to schools as well as charities, meaning that I would have variety in my work as well as gaining more experience in accounting within different industries. I was also keen to gain exposure to different size clients including sole trader businesses, LLP’s, Limited Companies and PLC’s.