Careers in accountancy

There are many different routes you can take to start your career in accountancy. At Grant Thornton, we have five different programmes you can choose from depending on where you are in your schooling. 

Our five trainee programmes

We’ve designed our three-year graduate programme to take you on a journey from graduate to professionally qualified trainee.

In that time, you’ll pack in lots of learning and new experiences. You’ll help us provide market leading business advice to support our clients’ growth. You’ll study and revise for your exams. You’ll also have the chance to work on a variety of exciting projects and help provide a great client service. It’s not easy to do all of these things at the same time. But it’s as rewarding as it is challenging.

Working with clients in many different sectors, you’ll get a better understanding of the complete business lifecycle. You’ll also enjoy being part of a firm that has a strong sense of purpose and is helping businesses, people and communities thrive.

We work with banks, regulators and government to rebuild trust. We work with dynamic organisations to help them grow. And we work with the public sector to build a business environment that supports growth, including national and local public services.

Being part of a dynamic global firm driven by independent thinkers, we provide high quality business and financial advice to a wide range of clients in countries all over the world.

For more information visit our graduate programme page.

Enjoy four or five years of studying, learning and gaining real-work experience, working with organisations of all shapes and sizes across a variety of sectors. Anyone without a degree can join this programme. If you join us straight after your A-levels, you could qualify a year earlier than your peers who go to uni.

At Grant Thornton, no two days are the same. You’ll enjoy first-class training. You’ll experience different aspects of the business lifecycle. And you’ll work at our client sites, helping to provide the insight, advice and expertise they need to grow.

Studying and working at the same time will be challenging. But your hard work will pay off with a rewarding career at an ambitious, purpose-led firm that is helping businesses, people and communities thrive.

We work with banks, regulators and government to rebuild trust. We work with dynamic organisations to help them grow. And we work with the public sector to build a business environment that supports growth, including national and local public services.

Being part of a dynamic global firm driven by independent thinkers, we provide high quality business and financial advice to a wide range of clients in countries all over the world.

For more information visit our school leaver programme page.

Spend six weeks with us over the summer and you’ll get a real insight into life as a trainee. Our internships give penultimate year students the opportunity to work on real projects and take on new responsibilities during the summer between their penultimate and final year.

You’ll also be supported every step of the way by our team. And we’re consistently rated a top provider of internships and placements in Rate My Placement's list of Top Undergraduate Employers.

Your internship will start with a two-day orientation event online or in London. This kicks-off the summer with a celebratory evening. There is then a full day of getting to know your new colleagues and fellow interns, and immersing yourself in our business, vision and purpose.

For more information visit our internship programme page.

Our 12-month placements are an excellent way to get a unique insight into our business and experience what it’s like to provide vital business and financial advice to clients. Working on real projects, you’ll help our clients to grow and be encouraged to develop your skills every day. You’ll also be on the fast-track to a graduate offer if that’s what you want. Most students who join us on a placement go onto become a full-time trainee after graduation.

Your placement will start with a two-day orientation event online or in London that includes a celebratory evening to kick-off the year. The next day, you’ll get to know your colleagues and students on other placements, while learning more about our business, vision and purpose.

From the very beginning you’ll get a good grounding in what it takes to be a trainee, working with your team at client sites, supported by a mentor and team buddy. Here, you won’t spend your time photocopying or making the coffee. You’ll learn all about our dynamic and ambitious firm and make a very real contribution, while experiencing first-hand, how we work with our clients to drive their growth.

For more information visit our 12-month placement programme page.

Our work experience programme is a unique insight and development programme that will give you a taste of what it's like to work in professional services. To apply to our programme you'll need to be in Year 12 or 13, or S5 or S6. 

We partner with Access Accountancy for many of our work experience programmes. Access Accountancy is a collaboration of more than 25 professional services firms dedicated to improving access to the accountancy profession in the UK. The programme was established in 2014 with the ambition to promote diversity across all levels of the sector in the face of overwhelming evidence showing that applicants from lower socio-economic backgrounds are less likely to be hired.

For more information visit our work experience programme page.

Depending on which route you choose, you'll have an opportunity to work within our Audit, Tax or Advisory teams. You might already know exactly what you'd like to pursue. However, if you do not, below we'll go through the different options and the qualifications you'll earn for each. 

Business Areas

Our clients are operating in uncertain times. It’s our role as an auditor to act independently to support trust and integrity in the business.

Right from the start, you’ll develop relationships built on credibility and trust with clients across a wide range of sectors. As you will get to spend time with clients at their sites, you’ll get to the heart of how they work and what challenges they face. You’ll learn how to provide the business and financial advice they need to grow and make the right decisions about the future. With a relentless focus on quality and integrity, you'll help our clients to flourish.

We’re the number one supplier of public sector audit services to local governments and the NHS and you could specialise in public sector audit dealing with government departments, public services and local authorities. Not only can you make a difference to your clients, you will make a difference to vital health and public services that improve lives up and down the country and help to create environments where businesses and people flourish.

Whether you are in commercial or public sector audit, your role will be challenging, rewarding and interesting. You’ll get hands-on experience of different aspects of audit, working on all kinds of projects that range from a few days to up to eight weeks. One day you could find yourself examining financial records and carrying out audit tests. The next you could be attending stocktakes or completing audit files.

As a graduate or school leaver you'll study towards one of these professional qualifications, depending on the office you join and whether you want to specialise:

  • School leavers - AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) within your first two years
  • Offices in England and Wales - ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant)
  • Offices in Scotland - CA (Chartered Accountant)
  • If you choose to specialise in public sector audit, you’ll do CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy) or ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant)

Our clients rely on us to make sure they do the right thing and are operating within the law. Providing advice on their business goals and bringing them commercial insight, we help them build sustainable growth and operate with integrity.

If you want to be at the forefront of business issues then you could be a perfect match for tax. The work you’ll do with your clients is of huge importance. After all, bad tax advice can lead to damaged reputations and expensive consequences. You’ll help your clients manage their tax obligations efficiently and responsibly. From early on, you could have your own client portfolio.

We’ve a variety of corporate and specialist tax teams here. Whichever one you join, you’ll gain hands-on experience, working with a variety of dynamic clients, from organisations in media and entertainment to finance to charities. We’ll help you to learn how to interpret complex legislation, deliver different solutions and provide our clients with clear advice and recommendations they can count on.

Our tax advisers provide expertise in such areas as corporate tax, employer solutions, innovation, financial services tax, private client, real estate, tax investigations, transfer pricing, restructuring, trusts and VAT. It’s an area that offers lots of variety and opportunities to specialise.

As a graduate or school leaver you'll study towards one of these professional qualifications:

  • School leavers - AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) within your first two years
  • Offices in England and Wales - ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) or ATT (Association of Tax Technicians). Many of our trainees go on to complete CTA (Chartered Tax Adviser)
  • Offices in Scotland - CA (Chartered Accountant)

The work our advisory trainees do with our clients is of huge importance.  As part of advisory, you’ll ask questions to our clients and pay attention to responses to understand their needs. You’ll develop solutions tailored to our clients' organisations challenges and markets, delivering on unique requirements and objectives. Which means our advisory trainees have lots of responsibility.

It takes tenacity, a keen eye for detail and a real passion for helping all kinds of businesses. Is this you? And are you ready for the challenge?

We’ve a wide range of advisory teams, providing advice in such areas as actuarial, business consulting, business and technology risk, corporate finance, financial services, forensics and investigations, government and infrastructure, insolvency, public services, restructuring, transaction advisory and valuations. This is a fast-growing area that offers plenty of variety, opportunities, and interesting work.

Whichever team you join you’ll also study towards one of these professional qualifications:

  • School leavers - AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) within your first two years
  • Offices in England and Wales - ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant)
  • Offices in Scotland - CA (Chartered Accountant)

Together with TargetJobs, we put together some videos featuring current trainees and their experiences at Grant Thornton. We hope these videos give you an insight into our trainees day-to-day and some of the unique opportunities available to them.