Advisory Apprentice - International Institutions and Donor Assurance

Baker Street, London
Highly competitive starting salary
13 Nov 2020
13 Dec 2020
Approved employers
Approved employer
Contract type
Full time
Experience level
Entry level, Apprenticeship

We’re BDO. An accountancy and business advisory firm, providing the advice and solutions businesses need to navigate today’s changing world.

We’ll broaden your horizons

The trainee role in IIDA presents an opportunity for a great variety of work with different international clients, carrying out audit and assurance work for international donors, working onsite with funding beneficiaries.

Assignments vary, but you will typically be away for 1-2 weeks at a time, carrying out audits, verifications and internal controls reviews at organisations as varied as small local NGOs, government ministries and UN agencies. At first, you will work with an experienced team leader, but our programme allows trainees to take on real responsibility and autonomy at an early stage.

Travel tends to be slightly more limited in the first 6-12 months due to training and exams, but thereafter you can expect to travel and work at client sites across the world for around 40-60 % of the time.

We’ll help you succeed

The Advisory Apprenticeship Programme is your opportunity to combine work experience with achieving your professional qualifications. We’ll provide the training in skills, behaviours and professional knowledge you’ll need not just to pass your exams, but also to become an exceptional BDO advisor. Our pass results are often up to 10% above the national average. This is a unique opportunity to qualify in a working environment with a network of exceptional colleagues who will be invested in helping you achieve your full potential.

Programme & Qualification

BDO offer the globally recognised Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) qualification as a Level 7 apprenticeship programme, enabling individuals to become qualified chartered accountants and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). The ACA qualification and apprenticeship provides a broad range of accounting, finance and business skills. It opens a wealth of opportunities. The duration of this programme is 48 months.


  • Undertake audit fieldwork reporting to a Senior or Manager, taking increasing responsibility with experience, which may include assignment planning, leading fieldwork, leading client meetings and drafting the assignment report
  • Be willing to be out of the office at client sites in any part of the world. These are mostly in Europe, but can be in locations in Asia, Africa or the Americas
  • Balance the commitments of studying for exams while travelling extensively
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the objectives of an audit, particularly in a donor funding context
  • Prepare legible and comprehensive working papers, completing sections of the audit file with assistance from more senior colleagues
  • Be aware of assignment deadlines and work with the team to meet them
  • Develop a knowledge of audit issues and techniques specific to the donor-funded aid environment
  • Develop a good understanding of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and other applicable technical frameworks, supported by regular training
  • Understand what constitutes an assignment finding and how it should be classified and written up in the assignment report
  • Achieve utilisation of at least 70% on an annual basis
  • Develop internal contacts and demonstrate an awareness of the other services offered by BDO
  • Attend the firm’s technical training seminars and appropriate departmental seminars
  • Be aware of the firm’s risk management and practice assurance procedures and ensure compliance
  • Identify soft skills requirements in conjunction with your appraising manager/partner and communicate such requirements to the training department
  • Consistently demonstrate the BDO values
  • Successfully study towards your professional qualification and, where relevant, corresponding apprenticeship

When you join us

When you join us, we’ll make your growth our priority. If you’re right for us, you’ll thrive in an environment built to help you succeed. We’re looking for someone with:

  • Three A-levels or equivalent at A* to C excluding General Studies and Extended Projects (obtained or predicted)
  • A* to C in Maths and English at GCSE/Scottish Standards or equivalent (non-UK qualifications also considered)

Candidates can expect to travel and work at client sites across the world, therefore a second language is required, especially French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin or Arabic.

The International Institutions and Donor Assurance department (IIDA) offers a specific training programme, which is unique in the UK. We are looking for candidates who share our passion for the world of international development, have a clear understanding of what we do, and can articulate clear reasons why they want to join us. We therefore invite you to submit a short personal statement of 200-300 words explaining why you would like to join IIDA as an apprentice, and how your personal interests / experience relate to what we do in the department. The statement will be assessed for content and for the quality and clarity of English, as written reporting to clients is a major part of our work.

We’re in it together

At BDO, we believe that when our people feel valued and rewarded, their potential is unlimited. We offer highly competitive starting salaries and review remuneration packages regularly to ensure that our pay always positively reflects performance. As well as offering support with tuition and professional qualifications, we also provide the following benefits, as standard:

  • 25 days’ holiday;
  • access to a personal pension scheme, with matched employer contributions;
  • life assurance cover;
  • and income protection insurance.

For further information, and to apply, please visit our website via the “Apply” button below.

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