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My ACA experience: Hayley

Hayley joined medium-sized accountancy firm Rickard Keen LLP on the AAT-ACA Fast Track programme after she completed her A levels. She works in the accounts and audit department and is involved with some of the company’s largest clients. She advises students to consider the size of the organisation they apply to train with because they can offer different experiences.

Hayley Robinson,  Rickard Keen LLP

Hayley Robinson Audit and Accounts Senior, Rickard Keen LLP

ICAEW route: AAT-ACA Fast Track

Industry: Audit and assurance

Location: UK

Hayley's story...

Once I’d set my sights on chartered accountancy, I started looking for jobs with training programmes and luckily found a place on the Rickard Keen LLP AAT-ACA Fast Track programme

After completing my A levels in Psychology, Human Biology, Chemistry and Maths (at AS level) in August 2007, I chose to go on and study with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) instead of going to university. 

On successful completion of the AAT qualification I then decided to continue to pursue a career as a chartered accountant and as a result progressed onto ICAEW's ACA qualification. 

I don’t regret not going to university. Sometimes I think I would have liked to have the experience of moving away from home and living the university lifestyle, but now, when I hear my friends comparing their student debt I’m glad I didn’t go!

My current role is within the accounts and audit department for Rickard Keen LLP (a medium to top 20 accountancy firm). As Audit and Accounts Senior, my day-to-day work mainly involves working on audits alongside the firm’s director of audit.

To date the job has provided me with essential hands-on experience in this particular field of chartered accountancy.

While it can be challenging at times, I enjoy getting involved with some of the firm’s largest client audits. Not only is it great experience, but it is fun too!

Looking to the future I would like to broaden my experience within tax as I found the ACA modules in this field particularly interesting.

I hope to then perhaps complete the CTA exams in taxation on successful completion of the ACA qualification.

One piece of advice I would give to students looking into chartered accountancy as a career is to consider training with firms of different sizes.

Although the salaries offered in bigger London firms can seem very appealing, the environment in a smaller firm may offer a wider range of experiences and support while training.

Find your route

There are a number of different routes to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. You can start your journey straight from school, while you're at university or after you have graduated. Find out which route is right for you.

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