Training Contract

What’s it like to train at Goodman Jones

We are looking for students with strong academic results and enthusiasm. It is not necessary to hold a degree in a finance subject, as applications are considered from all subject backgrounds. What we are looking for are the transferable skills you will have acquired during your degree course and work experience.

Approximately 15 students currently train with us and no function receives more care and attention than the selection and training of our graduate intake to ensure that not only do you qualify, but also that you develop as an individual into a well-rounded and assured professional.

We recruit between 4 and 6 trainees onto our ACA training programme each year to qualify as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).  Additionally, there are opportunities to join our Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) scheme, with the possibility of moving on to then qualify as a Chartered Accountant.

Client contact

When you start your training you will have the opportunity to work as part of a team on a wide variety of clients, ranging from small owner-managed businesses to large groups of companies trading both in the UK and internationally. This will involve work of both an accounting and an auditing nature, and you will gain strong skills in both of these key areas.

You will additionally receive hands-on involvement with corporate tax work, again building up strong skills in this area, as well as having to liaise with our personal tax department on individuals' personal tax issues. If that's not enough you may well find yourself assisting on, for example, a one-off investigation or due diligence case.

Although we specialise in a number of areas, we act for a wide range of clients and you can expect to be involved in a wide variety of businesses. You are encouraged from an early stage to use your experience gained to provide sound 'value added' business advice to clients.

Study Courses

Course training for the professional examinations

Be under no illusion, we want you to qualify at the earliest opportunity. We invest a great deal of time and cost in each of our trainees, and we continually review the quality of the training you receive.

Your course training for the ACA exams is provided by First Intuition. It is their task to equip you with all the classroom knowledge you need to pass the exams and give additional support should you need it. It is our task to provide you with all the practical knowledge. It is your task to work and study hard throughout your training contract.

The course training is held at First Intuition’s central London offices, near to Goodman Jones’ offices.

Our examinations policy

We want you to achieve first-time passes. Your constant hard work, coupled with the support from Goodman Jones and First Intuition, should enable you to achieve this. However, we all know that life doesn't always run according to plan.

We would like you to pass the 'Early Hurdle' papers, and the remaining papers at the Professional Stage, at the first attempt. If, for some reason, you have a 'blip', we will look at all the circumstances and discuss with you what the best course of action should be.

Financial support

We will pay all the course and examination costs, and provide you with paid study leave for your first attempt at each exam.

Re-sit course costs are your responsibility, but you will be able to utilise your holiday entitlement or take unpaid study leave for any retake course and exam you wish to attend. We also provide an interest free loan to assist with your cash flow.

Study support

Your study support starts on day 1 when you meet your assigned tutor from First Intuition. They will be your first port of call should you need any assistance at any point, and provide us with regular reports to help us monitor your progress throughout the courses.

Problems don't often arise, but if you are having difficulty with a particular topic a one-to-one tutorial can be arranged. Additionally, many of your work colleagues will be only too pleased to give you help and advice.

In-house Training: First Intuition

Studying at First Intuition is merely one aspect of your training.

Our in-house training courses ensure that you not only have all the skills to undertake your work in the office and at the client, but also give you additional practical support with the examinations. The examinations are designed to test your practical ability and knowledge in real life situations. Our in-house training is an invaluable addition to your skill sets.

These courses are presented at various points throughout your training, and are primarily aimed at providing you with practical skills required on your work assignments. Courses are given at varying levels as you progress and gain responsibility.

Secondly, there is on-the-job training. You will be working as part of a team virtually from the word go, and the more senior members of the team will provide you with help, advice and direction on each assignment.

Assessment & Review

Formal assessments are undertaken every 6 months for all audit trainees. These assessments are undertaken by the audit managers who work closely with you and get to know you well. The assessments are therefore accurate, meaningful and useful.

For ACA trainees these sit alongside the 6 monthly review meetings with the Training Partner, prescribed by the ICAEW as part of your keeping your training records

Training Salaries and package

Our salaries are constantly reviewed to ensure we pay a competitive salary at all levels. Salaries are increased annually, part of which is performance-based, and there are further increases relating to periodic exam success throughout the training contract.

We will pay all the course and examination costs, and provide you with paid study leave for your first attempt at each exam.

We provide all our trainees with 33 days annual leave including bank holidays, in addition to a full benefits package and pension contributions. 

Trainee Profiles

What's it like to train at Goodman Jones?  Here's what our former trainees had to say.

Applying: ACA

All of our trainees have a strong academic history, this gives them the best possible foundation for coping with the demands of the ACA qualification. As a guide, we look for a minimum of 120 UCAS tariff points (excluding General Studies) and a 2:1 degree classification. However, we may consider candidates outside of these grade requirements if they are exceptional in all other respects.

Our trainees represent the firm and are often in contact with clients. The key attributes we look for in our trainees are excellent communication skills, a strong work ethic, and a well-rounded personality.

ACA Exams

The ACA qualification is no easy ride. The exams are like nothing else you will have encountered before. They are difficult and time-pressured, coupled with the fact that you are combining your studies with full time work in the office. We don't want to put you off. Far from it, but you have to be 100% certain that this qualification is for you.

The ACA qualification comprises three stages: the Certificate Level, the Professional Level, and the Advanced Level. Certificate Level exams are held throughout the year. Exams are held in March, June, September and December for the Professional Stage, and in July and November for the Advanced Stage.

Certificate and Professional Levels

The Certificate Level comprises six papers which introduce you to the core concepts underpinning accountancy, and these are examined by a 90 minute computer based multiple choice assessment. The Professional Level also comprises six papers which build upon the Certificate Level and demonstrate how you can build on your knowledge in practice. The Professional Level exams are also computer based using the ICAEW’s CBE software and take the form of a traditional written exam.

The Certificate Level and Professional Level modules complement each other and are frequently taught at the same time. There are obvious pairings of modules - the first four papers (Accounting, Assurance, Financial Accounting and Audit & Assurance) form the Early Hurdle and you would then sit the remaining eight papers in batches of four as given below:





Audit & assurance

Financial accounting & reporting


Principles of taxation

Business Planning

Tax Compliance

Business & finance

Management information

Business strategy

Financial management


You may be eligible for exemptions from some of the papers, but we would still want you to attend the courses to ensure your knowledge is maintained. The whole point of these exams is to give you knowledge and skills that equip you for the real world. Your studies will complement your work in the office, and your work in the office will compliment your studies.

Advanced Stage

The Advanced Stage comprises two technical integration papers and a case study. It is here that you really focus on putting theory into practice, as you will be asked to come up with practical real life solutions to genuine problems using a multi-disciplinary approach.  You will need to exercise professional judgement, whilst demonstrating business awareness and strong technical skills.

Success at the Advanced Stage is not just about classroom learning.  The experience you gain in the office is also critical, as you will be applying your classroom learning to the practical issues facing businesses. 

The first of the two technical papers is Corporate Reporting, covering financial and corporate reporting and accounting, audit and assurance, taxation, law and ethics.

The second paper is Strategic Business Management and this concentrates on demonstrating your understanding, planning skills and ability to give advice.

The Case Study tests your professional skills in the context of a specific business issue, often incorporating multiple areas of the syllabus.

Further details of the exact contents of each subject can be found at

Application process

We have an annual training programme that starts every September.  Please make sure we have your application by April.  Send it to

Applying: AAT

We understand that university is not for everyone.  Our AAT training programme is designed to give you the knowledge and training you need to develop a career in accountancy.  We seek a minimum of 120 UCAS tariff points (excluding General Studies) from our AAT applicants.

AAT Exams

AAT is a fantastic qualification both in its own right and as a stepping stone to further qualifications, including the ACA. The qualification is made up of three stages which each take between 6 to 18 months to complete:

Course level

Modules Undertaken

Foundation Certificate in Accounting


·       Bookkeeping transactions

·       Bookkeeping controls

·       Elements of costing

·       Using accounting software

·       Work effectively in finance

·       Synoptic assessment


Advanced Diploma in Accounting


·       Advanced bookkeeping

·       Final Accounts preparation

·       Management Accounting:  Costing

·       Indirect Tax

·       Spreadsheets for Accounting

·       Synoptic Assessment


Professional Diploma in Accounting


·       Management Accounting:  Budgeting

·       Management Accounting: Decision & Control

·       Financial Statements of Limited Companies

·       Synoptic Assessment

Plus at least two of the following optional modules;

·       External auditing

·       Business Tax

·       Personal Tax

·       Credit Management

·       Cash and Treasury Management




Each module listed above is assessed with a computer-based exam which focuses on your analytical and interpretative skills.

Each stage is a qualification in itself; however you must complete the Professional Diploma to be eligible to apply to become a Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians. It is only once you have completed the Professional Diploma that you can go on to study the ACA, ACCA or CIMA. At Goodman Jones, all of our trainees follow the ACA route.

To see if the AAT qualification is suitable for you, you can take the AAT skill-check test here;

Post Qualification

Every applicant chosen to become one of our trainees is selected on the basis that they have what we believe are the attributes required to progress to a very senior level at Goodman Jones. Indeed, many of our current Managers and Partners trained at Goodman Jones.

After qualification, a structured career progression at Goodman Jones might be on the cards and we will discuss all the options with you nearer the time.

Once qualified, performance appraisals are held annually usually with one audit manager and the Head of Audit.

You are encouraged to discuss any matter of concern with an audit manager, a Staff Partner or Training Partner at the time.


The world in which we work is constantly evolving and changing. After qualification, we run regular courses to keep you up-to-date on the world of auditing, financial reporting and tax, as well as courses designed to expand your management, interpersonal and presentation skills.