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ACA to consulting

#1 ACA to consulting
05/06/2009 21:00



I study for my ACA in audit at a Big-4. I am nearly part-qualified but have been offered a consulting job elsewhere.

I saw a thread a while ago saying that if you leave your contract early, you need to pay back the fees - does anyone know if this is true? I really want this other position - what should I do?

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#2 RE: ACA to consulting
05/06/2009 22:51

anon to Jaret (#1)

Yes, it's generally true, esp. if you are more than 6 months or so in, or if you're heading to another firm. If you quit after a month to go and dig wells in sub-Saharan Africa, then they're not going to pursue it hard as a) you're not getting benefit and b) it's seen as just youthful foolishness to have made a mistake in your first career choice

If you really want the job, take it and pay off the training. Long-term, being in the right career track will be worth it and if you don't move now, you'll always be wondering "what if". You could also ask your new employer to pay off the debt as a hiring condition, but to be honest the environment for bargaining is pretty poor and if you've already got the job offer it's a risk that they'll withdraw it if you try and change the T&Cs at this point.

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#3 RE: ACA to consulting
05/06/2009 23:50

Jaret to anon (#2)

Thanks anon.

I'm about 18 months or so in. Do you have any idea what the ballpark figure is? The new job is certainly more lucrative than Big-4 audit, so I suspect they may want the fees.

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#4 RE: ACA to consulting
06/06/2009 11:32

another ACA to Jaret (#3)

It can add up to quite a bit if you consider everything:

- ICAEW fees (£200-£300) x2 years

- exams fees (£50-£70 x 5 otts, £80 x 4-6 application papers)

- college time (£800-£1800 x 4-6 application papers)

- paid leave (self study) (£80-£120 x X days)

Not sure if that's how they'd assess it.

Two things to consider.

- Could you as easily get the same job in 1.5/2 years time (assuming that's how long it would take to time qualify), then stick it out

- would you still pursue the ACA in the new job? if not they may not chase you for the money

- talk to the new potential employer: "really want to work for you guys but the fees..." can they meet you half way/cover all/make you a loan?

Personally, if you detest your present job then take the next one - work out the premium on the salary, be disciplined and cover a potential loan repayment asap.

I bad failed an exam, got the boot and joined a more commercial financial institution still doing the ACA (no repayments) and enjoy it a lot more than audit at big4.

All the best!

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#5 RE: ACA to consulting
09/06/2009 14:36

Anon123 to Jaret (#1)


it may well be that it is in your training contract that you have to repay the fees but the ICAEW now recommend that firms do not include this clause in their contracts as it is a restriction of trade and will be unenforcable in a court of law.

So if they do ask you to repay the fees you can tell them where to go.

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#6 RE: ACA to consulting
09/06/2009 14:55

Jaret to Anon123 (#5)

Excellent - thanks for that.

Is this something that you know for sure? Do you know of actual examples of this happening?

I have that clause in my contract.

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#7 RE: ACA to consulting
10/06/2009 10:38

Anon123 to Jaret (#6)

I know from experience that a number of my colleagues haven't been asked to repay their fees but that was less than one year into their contracts.

See the link below for the advice that ICAEW are giving firms.

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