Firms unite to provide better access to accountancy qualifications

THE PROFESSION has united to create a unified approach aimed at helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds obtain accountancy qualifications.

The scheme, Access Accountancy (#AccessAccountancy), was formally launched today at an inner city girls secondary school, based in Islington, London.

Firms and institutes have banded together to produce a set of measures and targets to increase opportunities for young people from underprivileged backgrounds across the UK.

The profession will jointly create 750 work placements a year for five years, although this number is expected to grow; benchmark and measure socio-economic information on applicants’ progress and externally validate this data; create a school outreach programme to increase awareness of the scheme among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Firms and institutes that have signed up so far include: AAT, ACCA, BDO, Blick Rothenberg, Baker Tilly, Buzzacott, Deloitte, Duncan & Toplis, EY, Grant Thornton, ICAEW, Kingston Smith, KPMG, Mazars, the National Audit Office, PKF Littlejohn, Price Bailey, PwC and Reeves. According to a statement from KPMG, other firms are committed in “principle” including ICAS, with confirmation of their joining to be announced throughout the year.

Marianne Fallon (pictured), head of corporate affairs at KPMG, who first initiated the scheme alongside the ICAEW, said: “There is no doubt that we all need to do more to provide entry routes into the profession for a wider range of talented young people.

“We are very excited about this programme and believe that it will make a real and lasting difference. We want the accountancy profession to reflect the society it serves. Access Accountancy is about opening the door to anyone who has the potential, the talent and the desire to succeed, whatever their background.”

Information about the scheme will be available at the new website, where further updates will be posted as the programme develops. 

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