what can i do at level 4? (jobs wise)

AATnovice Registered Posts: 46 Epic contributor 🐘
Hi Everyone

I've just started level 4 and done one exam. I am looking for jobs now and I jut wondered what jobs you are expected to look for whilst doing level 4?

Any help please or even a job ;P

Many Thanks in Advance


  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    Well, as an example. I'm a graduate, with AAT and 7 out of 14 ACCA exams completed. I started job hunting yesterday and spent all day on the phone to agencies. I have been applying for any old Accounts Admin job available (plus a few trainee accountant roles, as if you don't ask, you don't get). They were all asking for either experience or studying AAT regardless of how straightforward the job sounded. One agency was very negative (short term) but very positive (long term), ie. not interested until I had 6 months experience (was expecting him to say 12-18 months) but then stating he'd be really interested to hear back from me.

    Basically regardless of your level of qualification, without experience, you are really only going to be looking at very junior admin roles, and you will be competing with level 2 AAT students right up to ACCA/CIMA students. For each job advertised there is going to be a huge range of candidates with wildly different qualification levels (eg. I've applied for a £16k role and have already been told that at least 6 other CIMA/ACCA students have also applied, as well as the numerous AAT students).

    Despite being responsible for nearly 300 staff, and earning £50k in my current non-accountancy role, I fully expect to be earning less than a third of that and making tea/filing etc for people 15 years younger than me in order to get my foot in that elusive accountancy door. I just need to keep reminding myself of the bigger picture and that it is short term pain for long term gain, and a far healthier work/life balance. I do sometimes wonder if I'm making a big mistake though.........luckily I have my old job to go back to if it doesn't work out, but that's a last resort.
  • omega man
    omega man Registered Posts: 283
    Nps - I would stay exactly where you are and get ACCA qualified, even if it is for personal gratification purposes.
  • Vlee
    Vlee Registered Posts: 136 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Good luck with the job hunting.

    Nps - the job market sounds terrifying. I guess graduate schemes aren't suitable unless public sector due to working hours. Someone suggested I set up alone for a while initially, doing friends' accounts to get experience. Is this a possibility? I don't yet feel able but you are much further along and have more recent work experience than I do. I'm guessing you'll be sending some speculative CVs to local firms too and any friends or contacts you could use? Is your voluntary work counting for anything?
  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    VLee - I haven't applied for graduate schemes. I have no basis for this, but I imagine the graduate schemes will be far more high pressured and that would defeat the purpose of this career change. No doubt I'd love the work and environment, but I'm not 24 any more and working ridiculous hours just isn't an option any more.

    I wouldn't want to do friends accounts, I just don't think I should do that until I have practical experience. No matter how much you tell friends you are still learning, I still find they assume you are an expert. This is quite unlike me as normally I'm happy to throw myself into anything, but I just think I should stay on the side of cautiousness when dealing with other people's money!

    Voluntary work - one specialist recruitment company told me it wasn't worth the paper it was written on. I know that's not strictly true though, as certainly my one volunteer role is giving me all the experience of a junior role, just not for 40 hours a week.

    The best advice I got was to stay away from the specialist agencies for the first 6 months and stick to local high street firms as companies who are prepared to take a chance on an inexperienced staff probably have less money to spend so will try to avoid the fees of the specialist agencies. I can certainly confirm that in my area, that does seem to be the case. I was also advised to look any the job centre website and this too was good advice - loads of Accounts admin roles, as well as fully qualified roles. It also helped me compile a list of recruitment agencies in the are (there are a lot!) as they advertise a lot of their jobs via the Job Centre.

    Basically, if you have no practical experience, your level of qualifications seems to generally be irrelevant, a Level 2 AAT student is no worse off than a Level 4 student, who in turn is no worse off than a PQ ACCA student. I always knew this though and the point of carrying on my studies was to get as many under my belt before I went back to work, to ease off the pressure once I was there.

    I applied for about 15 jobs on Thursday, some I know I will be completely bored of within 6 months, and some I know I have absolutely no chance of getting, despite being over qualified (in qualification terms). There are literally 100's of accounting jobs being advertised in my area, but no doubt 1000's applying. I just need that magic 6-12 months under my belt, then I'm quite confident about the future.
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