Poole: 01202 663600
New Milton: 01425 610166

Please note: Princecroft Willis and Francis Clark have merged. Although it is ‘business as usual’ this site will not be updated and will be phased out over the coming months. For all the latest information please visit the Francis Clark website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate

How long will it take to become a qualified accountant?

Approximately 3 years

What is the difference between working in tax and working in accounts?

A role in one of our accounts team will generally involve more face-to-face contact with clients.  In taxation most contact is by phone.  You would need excellent attention to detail for both roles.  In our tax team you would have your own portfolio of clients so there is the opportunity to build excellent client relationships.  In our accounts team you would be out of the office more either working management accounts, bookkeeping or audits at our clients’ premises.

What happens if I fail an exam?

Unlike some of the larger accountancy firms we don’t believe in dismissing team members when they fail exams (unless they cannot perform well in their job).  We have a training manager who will provide full support should you fail an exam.  You would have to pay to re-enter the exam yourself as the firm pay for first attempts only. As we use a top training provider and provide so much support these instance are rare however!

What is the benefit of working for an independent firm rather than one of the Big 4 accountancy firms?
  • We have a smaller team so you will get to know virtually everybody in your office.  We have around 120 staff. This makes for an excellent working environment.
  • Your work life balance will be excellent and you will be offered flexitime so you can continue with your outside interests.
  • You will have the opportunity to work with local clients, meeting them face-to-face. There is the opportunity to build strong client relationships.
  • We pay attention to your career aspirations with personalised training plans and career plans. We listen to you.
What opportunities will I have once qualified?
  • You become very marketable as a qualified practice accountant as your knowledge will be broad based. More than an accountant who has qualified in industry, for example.
  • You could progress into a technical specialist role within practice or to a management role.  There are opportunities to combine business development within an accountancy career. The ultimate goal for many is be a Director or Partner within an accountancy firm.
  • You could work in industry gaining valuable experience within a business.  That experience is then marketable if you wish to return to practice accountancy.
  • Many qualified accountants start their own businesses or accountancy practices.  Their experience and knowledge is ideal for starting and running a new business.
  • You could become a lecturer in accountancy and finance at colleges and universities.


Apprentice

How long will it take me to become a qualified accountant?

Approximately 5 years

What support will I receive as this will be my first job?

You will be provided with a Mentor who will advise you as required.  As well as training on-the-job, your studies will support what you are doing in the office.  We have an intake of trainees every year so your colleagues have all been new trainees and you will find our working environment very supportive.

What is it like working in an office?
  • Our offices are friendly, informal and generally very busy!
  • You will have your own workstation and we generally place you next to an experienced team member for support. You will also have a Mentor for guidance.
  • We work flexitime so you will work 7.5 hours per day at times agreed with your manager.  Any extra time you work can be used to take time off at a later date.
  • We supply free drinks and free cakes to celebrate birthdays!
How much holiday do I get?

You will get 20 days + Bank Holidays to start.  This increases by 1 day per year until you reach 25 days holiday.  You can also purchase up to 5 days extra per year if you wish.

Will my employment contract be temporary whilst I am studying?

No.  We take on apprentices on permanent contracts.

What happens if I fail an exam?

Unlike some of the larger accountancy firms we don’t believe in dismissing team members when they fail exams (unless they cannot perform well in their job).  We have a training manager who will provide full support should you fail an exam.  You would have to pay to re-enter the exam yourself as the firm pay for first attempts only. As we use a top training provider and provide so much support these instance are rare however!

What opportunities will I have once qualified?
  • You become very marketable as a qualified practice accountant as your knowledge will be broad based. More than an accountant who has qualified in industry, for example.
  • You could progress into a technical specialist role within practice or to a management role.  There are opportunities to combine business development within an accountancy career. The ultimate goal for many is be a Director or Partner within an accountancy firm.
  • You could work in industry gaining valuable experience within a business.  That experience is then marketable if you wish to return to practice accountancy.
  • Many qualified accountants start their own businesses or accountancy practices.  Their experience and knowledge is ideal for starting and running a new business.
  • You could become a lecturer in accountancy and finance at colleges and universities.

The world is your oyster!