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The business benefits of accounting apprentices

Author: Suzanne Spicer FCA, founder of Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants

Published: 30 Jan 2023

Taking on apprentices in accountancy can be a cost-effective way of developing and growing your finance team. Suzanne Spicer FCA speaks to us about the positive impact hiring an apprentice accountant has had.

This week is National Apprenticeship Week. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover the benefits of being involved with the apprenticeship scheme.

Business benefits

Recruiting an apprentice to your accountancy practice is an opportunity to grow talent and develop a skilled and qualified team. Apprentices’ training can be adapted to fit the needs of your business.

Government statistics show that:

  • 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation.
  • 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity.
  • 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service.

Family practice Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants recruited Shivani Patel as an accounting apprentice in July 2020. Shivani is currently undertaking a Level 7 ICAEW Apprenticeship in order qualify as a Chartered Accountant.

We’re so pleased we recruited Shivani. The apprenticeship scheme is cost effective and flexible as we blend Shivani’s workload and training requirements. Recruiting an apprentice welcomes a new team member who is genuinely enthusiastic about accountancy and is keen to learn, both through training and the workplace.

Suzanne Spicer Founder of Spicer & Co

What is an Accounting and Financial Apprenticeship?

Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job. They can be current or new employees. This means that you can recruit someone new or upskill an existing member of your team. Distinct apprenticeship schemes exist in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

There is a range of different accounting apprenticeships available, lasting for a minimum of one year and up to five years (depending on the qualification involved). Apprentices work for a minimum of 30 hours per week in finance and accounting-related roles. Training time must be allocated during working hours.

Apprentices must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage. Different rates of pay are involved according to the age and completed apprenticeship years of each person. Funding is available, contributing towards the cost of training and assessment.

Four top recruitment tips

1. Training provider

We found that working with a training provider offering credible accountancy training was important. Our contacts have a good understanding of our sector and working environment.

Suzanne Spicer Founder of Spicer & Co

2. Transparent Details

Offer full details about the role and your practice so potential apprentices know what to expect. This is especially important if someone is new to accountancy.

3. Understand the Numbers

From funding to wages and employment rights…be sure to know what's involved with recruiting apprentices.

4. Enthusiasm vs. Experience

Interviewees are unlikely to offer relevant experience, however passion for working in accountancy, a willingness to learn and a positive attitude are crucial traits to look for.

We found the process easy to navigate. There’s a lot of information and support available.

Suzanne Spicer Founder of Spicer & Co

A Win-Win Scenario

Upon completing apprenticeships:

  • 85% of apprentices felt their apprenticeship had positively improved their career prospects.
  • 85% felt they were better at doing their job.
  • 75% were more satisfied in their job.
  • 75% felt more secure in their job.

(Department for Education report published March 2022.)

Shivani is delighted that she chose the accounting apprenticeship path.

The apprenticeship has helped build on my professional and interpersonal skills as well as my confidence in the working environment. I can’t wait to pass my exams, finish my apprenticeship and pursue my accountancy career.

Shivani Patel Accounting apprentice, Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants
Explore your local apprenticeship options. Discover how recruiting an apprentice can benefit your accountancy firm…and help someone achieve their accountancy career goals.

For more information

Learn more about investing in an accounting apprentice and find out how ICAEW can support you.

Upwards Growth, pot