Accounting entries

October 3, 1997

Your report "Into the big time with big bucks" (THES, September 12) wrongly attributes to the Institute of Chartered Accountants a preference for non-accountancy graduates when it comes to training chartered accountants. The report also refers to a "large proportion" of classics students entering training.

In fact, half of our graduate entrants have accountancy or business degrees, and both our statistics and independent research show that accountancy graduates qualify significantly faster than others.

Interestingly, the very small proportion (0.6 per cent) of classics graduates also seems to do well in our examinations.

Although the institute sets minimum entry requirements for students wanting to train as chartered accountants we also give realistic advice to such students. For example, we explain that training firms prefer graduates with first and upper second-class honours and good (18-plus) A-level points.

Most firms also prefer to take graduates from a wide range of disciplines, a point which we can helpfully point out to non-accountants. But the institute itself states no preference.

E. P. Armitage, Director of education and training Institute of Chartered Accountants

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