Your work experience and what to expect

Work experience placements are a great opportunity to learn more about the accountancy profession.

What does Access Accountancy mean for me?

Access Accountancy is a movement for change across the accountancy profession. Accountancy firms, organisations and professional bodies in the sector have committed to delivering real change by welcoming talented and ambitious young people to the profession from all backgrounds.

They recognise that work experience placements are a great opportunity to learn more about the accountancy profession. A number of employers have signed up and committed to offering work experience placements where you’ll get to explore what the day-to-day life of an accountant is like, while also gaining new skills and enjoying new experiences.

“Accountancy offers so many opportunities. I would definitely recommend that students do their research and look at work experience programmes to help them get ahead of the game.”

Olivia Penny is a Trainee Business Adviser at BDO

Am I eligible to apply for a work experience placement?

In order to apply for a placement, you will need to match the following criteria:

  • Attend a state school or college and;
  • Are in year 10, 11, 12 or 13 (the exact year required will depend on the organisation) and;
  • The occupation of your main household earner when you were aged 14 is categorised as a lower socio-economic background or;
  • Are/have been eligible for free school meals or;
  • Attend a school that is above the regional average in terms of the number of students eligible for free school meals or;
  • Would be the first member of your immediate family to attend university.

What can I expect from work experience?

Your work experience will take place over the course of a week with specific timings and activities varying across organisations.


Your first day will include a welcome to the employers’ offices and an overview of the firm, a talk about careers in accountancy and youll get an introduction to business areas that the firm offers.

As the week progresses, you will also get more information about school leaver and graduate routes into accountancy and an insight into the recruitment process and qualifications on offer.

Skills development

Throughout the work experience placement youll also get training to help you develop some of the key skills that employers look for.

This could be in a number of different areas depending on the organisation you join and may include: training on how to deal with clients and how to network; how to improve your business writing; problem‐solving and decision‐making skills; how to organise yourself; CV writing and mock interview hints and tips; and/or technical training in basic book‐keeping/financial accounting etc.

Accountancy work

You may also get the opportunity to complete client work and/or internal finance department work.

You could be attending and planning meetings, contributing to stock counts, job shadowing managers and partners, contributing to the preparation of management or statutory accounts, or purchase ledger and sales ledger work.

How will this benefit me?

Benefits of work experience:

  • Get an insight into a profession.
  • Meet a network of new people – they could help you in the future.
  • Develop skills that employers are looking for – you can use these as examples on your UCAS statements, CV’s or job applications.
  • Demonstrate your ability to work as part of a team.
  • Prove you are able to communicate with a diverse range of people.
  • Develop your understanding of what is required in the workplace and improve your confidence in a working environment.