Accountancy Graduate Programme
Graduate Programmes
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Count on different.

Applications have now closed for the 2023 intake

About the Accountancy Graduate Programme

The unique structure of our Accountancy Graduate Programme allows us to do things differently. Instead of asking you to choose a specialism from the outset, you will rotate through five different departments in our firm, giving you the chance to experience a variety of roles, including opportunities in both Fund and Corporate Accounting. Following an in-depth four-month induction, each placement will give you real responsibilities and deliverables. You’ll work as a valued member of each team, learning how our business operates and how your accountancy skills can be applied in different ways.

To us you’re more than just a number, and our focus will be on getting to know you as a person. This starts from the moment you apply, as there are no psychometric tests or online assessments - we prefer to see you face-to-face. Throughout the application process, you’ll get to meet the managers and team members you’ll be working with. And once you start the programme we’ll provide dedicated support and training, so where possible, we can tailor the programme to your individual interests and skills.  

There’s time to study for your CA qualification too. Although we work hard, we don’t believe in long hours. To give you as much support as possible we provide generous study leave and a dedicated Training Principal to offer guidance throughout the programme. Once qualified, you’ll be guaranteed a permanent role with us. And it doesn’t stop there! There are ongoing training opportunities and the chance to pursue a variety of career options.

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Our Accountancy Graduate Programme runs for three years, with rotations across five different areas of our business. You will be based in our Edinburgh head office but have exposure to geographic challenges in each department. Each core placement will run for at least four months, giving you the chance to gain an understanding of each department and take on real responsibility. The five areas are:


Through two distinct placements in our Financial Control and Financial Reporting teams, you’ll gain exposure to all facets of accounts preparation and reporting, from data entry and reconciliation through to statutory accounts, tax, regulatory returns and board papers. We’ll also give you exposure to our geographic spread of corporate entities and their reporting requirements.

Client Administration

In this department you will be involved in the management and support of a portfolio of clients. Responsibilities will include recording and reconciling transactions, compiling reports and invoicing.

European Fund Operations

On this placement your responsibilities could include checking quarterly client reporting, working with third party vendors and supporting internal departments to ensure we provide an effective service to shareholders.

North American Fund Operations

Working in this department’s Financial Reporting team, you’ll experience a variety of day-to-day Fund Accounting tasks, such as reviewing financial statements and regulatory filings from our third party vendors.

Investment Trust

This department provides accounting information and administrative services for Baillie Gifford's investment trusts. Your placement here will involve creating reports, attending board meetings and completing regulatory and VAT returns.

Additional placements

In order to gain the broadest possible experience of our business, between your longer-running placements you’ll spend shorter periods in other areas of the firm, such as Internal Audit and Compliance. For the final few months of the programme, you’ll also deliver an accountancy project based on a live business need.

“The range of experience across client facing and business accounting roles provides a great opportunity to learn about many different aspects of practical accounting, backed up by the CA qualification.”

Sinclair Coghill,
Chief Financial Officer.

Career Development

As a graduate trainee, you’ll join the firm in August before completing the ICAS book-keeping course. You’ll then start your four-month induction, which will include an introduction to the firm, our investment approach and the different departments across the business, as well as an overview of the investment management industry as a whole. You’ll also get the chance to attend professional training courses, such as networking and effective collaboration skills, and start ICAS tuition for your first CA exams in October and December. (We do not rely on any exemptions, so all of our trainees are expected to pass ICAS Test of Competence.)

Throughout the programme, you’ll meet regularly with your line manager to discuss your progress, and have the support of your Training Principal, who will be available to answer any of your queries or to share experiences. On each rotation, you’ll also have a placement host to ensure you settle into your new team and are on track with your ICAS competencies.

In the final year of the programme, discussions with your Training Principal and line manager will become more tailored to your career goals. For example, you may have the chance to experience some leadership responsibilities and explore technical areas that interest you. Once you’ve achieved your CA qualification and join us in a permanent role, you’ll be able to continue your development by exploring opportunities in the different areas of our business.

Our requirements

Whether you've always wanted to be an accountant or only just started to think about a career in finance, our Accountancy Graduate Programme is open to people from all backgrounds who have the key skills below.

Curiosity and passion

We don’t mind what you studied at university, as we like to work with people who are curious and passionate about a range of topics. Our minimum requirement is a 2:1 degree in any subject.

Proactivity and responsibility

We’re looking for people with a proactive approach. People who like to ask questions and solve problems. From an early stage, and as you progress with the firm, you’ll be expected to add value and bring new ideas to the table, so you must be comfortable with responsibility and happy to take ownership of your own projects.

Individuality and a point of view

Other than that, just bring your individuality. It’s your unique viewpoint we need. So, don’t be afraid to be yourself and give us your own take on things.

Application process

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You will complete a short online application form, which will help us assess whether you have the skills and attributes we’re looking for.

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You will be invited for a first interview with members of relevant business teams. We’ll discuss your life experience, skills and qualities, as well as your passions and interests.

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The final stage will dig a bit deeper. You’ll attend an assessment centre with other applicants, which will include a second interview and group exercise. There’s also an opportunity to speak to those who have recently qualified and members of the teams you might join.

Meet our People

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Lisa Lapsley Accountancy
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Lucy Nguyen Accountancy
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Olivia Maude Accountancy
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Corie McKirdy Accountancy
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Alan Coleman Accountancy