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Training To Become An Accountant As A Mature Student



  • That's awful olestoepoke, I'm sorry to hear it went so poorly for you. You deserve better treatment than that after everything you achieved.

  • Ah thank you but its all good, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of university. I don't blame the industry they have their reasons and its all business at the end of the day. I blame myself for not researching it more.

  • Are you tailoring your CV to hide your age? I would recommend trying that

  • Sorry to hear that. Instead of applying directly to companies have you gone to a few recruitment agencies?

  • You might have some joy going through recruitment agencies rather than applying directly.

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  • Agencies are hired by employers to filter out unsuitable candidates not include unusual candidates. I doubt the OP would even get past the agency filtering interview never mind get presented to the employer unless the employer had already specified that they wanted a mature trainee.

  • I think you might have more luck with the smaller accountancy practices but the pay starting off would be extemely poor. A mature candidate that would be willing to grow with the practice would be an advantage.

  • I'm aware that the starting salary is poor and I'm fine with that, wife works so we are covered financially. I have tried smaller practices too but unfortunately no calls for interview. Regarding a suggestion from an earlier poster to hide my age on the CV, I haven't tried that yet, not sure I feel comfortable with that TBH. If I do get called for interview they'll immediately know I'm in my 40s lol.

  • You probably need a different approach - networking. Certainly if it were me I try to build up some contacts with firms outside of the interview circle. You can use services like LinkedIn etc... to identify people and try to find some local events where you might gain an introduction to them. Also consider reaching out directly to people on linkedin etc... join a forum conversation, compliment someone on an article they write, ask a question etc.... just get yourself noticed and involved.

  • I am a qualified accountant with ACCA. I did the mature student route also, a long time ago I did a couple years of European studies when I went to college after school and didn't see any direction, was struggling mentally and I dropped out. I worked in bars and the service industry for a long time.

    After many years of working nights I wanted to work during the day and ended up getting some admin jobs. These entailed some invoicing, from there I got a credit control job and saw all the heads in the finance dept were accountants. I looked into the ACCA and for industry based operational finance jobs looking for employee who are studying or interested in studying professional accountancy exams. I got an industry role which was invoice to cash. I started my ACCA exams there, as as I progressed I became involved almost all areas of the income statement and balance sheet.

    I never even heard of milk rounds until I found this forum. Having never done finance in university I didn't even look at the typical route for student accountants. Just what was on the ACCA website.

    Long story short, there are many ways to skin a cat. Just because the university, or big 4 route didn't work, doesn't mean that there are not other ways to become a qualified accountant. I have never worked in practice, but have gained lots of knowledge working in the tech industry while doing my exams.

    My advice to older students would be to just try and get a finance related job, which will count towards your work experience while you complete your exams. There are many people of all ages in operational finance roles and you wont stand out for being older. You will likely get promoted within industry as you gain experience and pass your exams also. The starting off the salary for a Credit controller, Accounts payable, treasury, payroll admin, etc is much higher than a student accountant, so again a more livable wage than taking a student salary.

    Personally I did not find any blockers due my age. However I can see if you are going for roles that are typically taken by 22 year olds it might be more of an issue.

    Dont give up, it you want it bad enough you will find a way.

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  • Its important to gather connections along the way. I graduated this year BA in Accounting at the age of 32 and after applying to well above 100 job ads(within a year) for entry positions in the accounting field I received 0 call backs and not a single invite for an interview. I have my age listed on my CV, but on top of that i am a foreigner with a foreign name. The user above me is right - if you want it bad enough you will find a way, however obviously some people will have much easier ways than others due to their age and other factors mentioned. This is like Henry Cavill saying - "if you like a girl ask her out for dinner. Works every time for me" :)

    I now got a job within the company i worked with, just in the accounting department, so you may want to try applying internally or speak to your friends who work in the industry to vouch for you, offer to do unpaid work if need be for some time, but you will eventually get a position. Best of luck.

  • I think this post is 100% great advice.

    milk rounds are for young university students, if you are any way outside of the norm you don’t stand a chance as the Big4 business model is based on eager young worker bees.

    Best advice is to get a role in industry with some finance related tasks and where there is scope to take on more.

    Or alternatively ask to get work experience in a small firm. Either a few weeks or a day a week etc as this will end up as a job offer if they like you and at a minimum a good reference/experience to build the CV. Most job requirements require some prior experience, so this method would enable you to get around that obstacle.

  • At what age do you think someone will run into problems/age discrimination issues when applying? Will someone late 20s or early 30s get screwed over also?

    I have A+F UG and two masters degrees, one in finance. All from top European business schools. Wondering if I will get screwed also when applying. Spent a couple of years at home as a carer. Concerned I won't get a fair shake.

    Have a good 35-40 years in me if I can get a crack. No kids or other distractions.

  • Hi all, I'm thinking of starting the ACCA's.

    Just wondering I'm going to apply for taxation fundamental paper in City college for december exam(completed ATI technician about 6/7 years ago).

    Do I have to register for ACCA before I apply? Luckily I'm currently working in accounts but not qualified therefore not in the position as some of you.

  • I knew Big4 trainees that started in their early 30s. Some struggled, some left, some seemed to get by just fine (but then, you dont always know when someone's struggling). Still, it's proof that early 30s isn't too late to get hired in Big4 (which is probably the most cookie-cutter of employers since they have such a high volume of applicants).

    I'm sure there are those who would discriminate at a relatively young age, whereas there are also those who couldn't care less about age. It all just depends on the opportunities you manage to land, and the luck of the draw when it comes to interviewers. Probably safe to say it'll get continuously more difficult the older you get, but I doubt theres any specific cut-off that you can pin down.

  • Back in my day Ireland was special in terms of demographics - if you were in your 40s you were old. But the thing is that the entire population is getting older and so in your you probably won't find it as big an issue as it was for people in say the past 20 years. Here in Switzerland the work force is much older and the big concern in some areas now is try and encourage people to stay on longer than the normal pension age, encourage retired people to get back into the workforce etc...

    The biggest challenge you may face is what I consider the dumb equality rules in recruiting. Not allowing employers advertise for the exact type of person they intend employ. No amount of hiding your age etc will make an employer take on someone they don't intend to employ. It just wastes everyone's time.