Graduate accounting schemes are your first step into the business world and will give you hands-on experience with real-life projects at top accounting firms like Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and many more. If you’re looking to get into the accounting sector, here’s everything you need to know about accounting grad schemes, what they can offer you and how and when to apply.
Why should I explore a career in Accounting, Audit and Tax?
If you want to be in the heart of an industry that is known for integrity, ethics and professionalism, Accounting, Audit & Tax could be the sector for you. Being in the Accountancy industry can help you build many important and often highly regarded skills, such as technical ability as well as soft skills like strong communication and even the ability to perform an analysis or calculations on a business. Accountancy gives you the opportunity to have a real impact on the business world.
Who are the top companies that offer graduate accounting schemes?
The key players in the Accountancy industry are known as the Big Four, and include Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. These firms offer a range of services including risk consulting, audit and assurance, management consulting, advisory and capital and transaction management.
The Big Four have the most competitive and sought-after graduate schemes, but there are plenty more firms that offer just as amazing and high-quality schemes. Some of these include Bow & Arrow, BDO, Smith & Williamson and Mazars. Find out more detailed information about the leading graduate employers in Accounting, Audit and Tax.
What can an Accountancy firm offer me?
Most accountancy firms have many employees, large working spaces and offices around the world, and offer fantastic benefits to their workers.
Depending on the chosen graduate scheme, some Accountancy firms offer funding towards the prestigious ACCA or ACA qualification. For a detailed look into the ACA qualification read Bright Network’s article on How you become a qualified Accountant. Or, have a read on the difference between the ACCA and ACA qualification.
The Big Four will have some of the biggest and well-known clients which means you could have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people, make great connections and offer maximum impact while gaining first-hand decision-making and collaboration experience in a real-work setting.
Accountancy firms also offer other benefits like gym memberships, season tickets, shopping discounts and life insurance cover.
What specific skills/attributes do Accounting firms look for in graduates?
- Strong analytical and research skills
- Ability to adopt a proactive approach to tasks
- Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
- Have a high level of commercial awareness
- Capable of producing accurate and timely work
- Ability to build relationships
Read our top 10 key skills you need to become a good Accountant article for more information. Or, to get a better understanding of commercial awareness and how to nail this key attribute that employers look for, take part in Bright Network Academy's Commercial Awareness course. It’s free and you’ll receive a certificate!
Are there any specific application requirements I need? And how do I apply?
This depends entirely on your chosen graduate accounting scheme, however, most Accounting, Audit and Tax graduate schemes look for strong academic performance. This can be in the form of a minimum 2.2 or above degree discipline or at least 104 UCAS points (260 UCAS points pre-2017) from A-Levels or equivalent. Make sure to check the specific requirements for the graduate scheme you’re applying for.
When can I apply? Is there a deadline?
Several companies use a rolling deadline instead of a fixed deadline date that you must meet. But it’s recommended that you search and apply for the schemes you’re interested in as soon as possible for the best chance of progressing through the application process.
If you’re a Bright Network member, take advantage of our Career Calendar that allows you to add potential internships, graduate jobs or events on campus that you’re interested in to make sure you don’t miss a thing – you can even receive application deadline reminders straight to your email inbox! If you’re not yet a member, sign up today.
Is there a specific application process that I should prepare for?
Each firm and graduate scheme may have a different application process, but they often include an online application, various tests, interviews and maybe an assessment centre. It’s important that you research your chosen firm and role so that you are well prepared.
EY’s graduate application process for example, follows a straight forward process – application form (where you want to work, information about yourself etc.), online assessment (ranking exercises, multiple-choice questions, numerical reasoning test (NRT), job simulation, experience day and possibly a final interview.
For extra tips, read our articles on what to expect and types of questions you might face in an Accountancy interview, salary expectations, key terms you need to know and much more.
Accounting graduate schemes are highly sought after, but if you have the right skills, academic requirements and drive to succeed in this industry, you have a great chance of success. To apply or find out more information, discover the latest Accounting, Tax and Audit graduate schemes today.