Industries

accountancy

Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships and Work Experience

Accountancy


Accounting is essential to all businesses, from large, multinational organisations to smaller not-for-profit companies. As an accountant, you’ll be reporting on a business’s accounts or performing functions on behalf of the company itself. You may think accounting is uneventful, but it can be an incredibly rewarding career!

Industry Summary

Accounting is an industry that is accessible any age and whether you’ve not got any GCSEs, or you have a degree, there are opportunities available at any level. Many accountants do hold a degree; however, it is not an essential qualification and some of the biggest accounting firms in the UK offer alternative routes. 

There are many different roles within the accounting industry with different specialisations. Accounting can be broken down into financial accountants who provide information to people outside of their organisation and management accountants who plan and control an organisation. Management accounting is not as common as financial roles so it is more likely you will start your career this route. Your areas of focus may include:

  • Auditing
  • Insolvency
  • Forensic accounting
  • Tax

If you aspire to be an accountant, there are a number of routes you can take to get there. Qualifications are essential to your accounting career, so it is important to consider this when you choose your options. There are some popular accounting qualifications you should try and gain as they may be necessary throughout your career which include:

  • AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) accounting courses
  • ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualifications
  • ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) chartered accountant status(ACA)
  • CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) business finance award

Some accounting firms will be more likely to hire you if you have certain qualifications and different accounting paths require varying qualifications too. For instance, an ACCA qualification is essential for you if you want to be a chartered accountant as well as three years’ experience.

 

What options can I take for a career in accounting?

 

Work Experience

Work experience is highly valuable to a career in accountancy, luckily this is widely available in this industry. Many firms run shadowing programmes to offer insights to those considering a career as an accountant at all stages of their education. Internships and industrial placements are also open to those at university who want to gain some practical experience in the sector as they learn. Work experience is evidence to employers that you’re driven and possess the skills and qualities that will make you a great employee so your CV will stand out from the rest.

Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!

 

Apprenticeships

If you choose to do an accountancy apprenticeship, you will be combining work experience with great qualifications. This means you’ll be earning a salary while getting the qualifications that some people will not have the opportunity to obtain until they graduate or until later in their professional careers. Accounting apprenticeships are available at GCSE level all the way to masters level! You could even become a chartered accountant more quickly doing an apprenticeship than going to university. The range of apprenticeships is huge in accountancy, from intermediate roles that give the equivalent qualifications to GCSEs, all the way to a level 7 apprenticeship which enables you to gain the same qualification as a master’s degree!

Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!

 

Degree Apprenticeships

There are plenty of degree apprenticeships available in accountancy. Not only would a degree apprenticeship give you the relevant qualification to pursue a successful career in this industry, but you will also gain the practical experience that is highly sought after by employers in the field. You’ll be working alongside experience colleagues and putting your theoretical knowledge into practice, all whilst earning a salary.

Is a degree apprenticeship up your street? We’ll help you know!

 

University

If you choose to complete an accounting degree (or combined accounting degree) at university, you’ll be learning the theoretical knowledge that you can apply into your working life! The entry requirements for an accounting degree tend to require you to show strong mathematical skills so you may need an A-level in mathematics or economics. By choosing an accounting degree you’ll be able to choose specific units or topics to study to help you decide which accounting field you’d like to specialise in. Some degrees also offer placement years so you can get experience in an accounting firm or department and impress your future employers with the practical skills you’ve learnt from the workplace.

Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!

 

Graduate Jobs

If you’ve already achieved your degree and you have decided that a career in accounting is the right one for you, you could look at graduate roles. These would involve you going straight into the workplace or even being placed on a structured training programme as part of a graduate scheme to help you develop the skills you need to truly succeed in the world of accounting. A graduate scheme may be an excellent entry point into a company you’d like to work for, as many employers offer full-time employment to their recruits once their training has been completed.

Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!

 

Other routes

There are other routes to get into accounting, however, it is likely you will need a specific accounting qualification in order to land your first role. If you currently don’t have one of these, it is recommended to look to speak to local colleges, training providers, AAT, CIMA, ACCA and ACA to see what qualifications they run and how you can take them.

Now it’s time to begin your accountancy search

Career Progression, Discover Your Future

Financial managers and directors

Work Description

Financial managers and directors plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate financial information and advise on company financial policy.

Qualification

There are no pre-set entry standards, although entry is most common with a relevant degree or equivalent qualification. Professional qualifications are available and are required for certain posts.

Job Tasks

participates in the formulation of strategic and long-term business plans, assesses the implications for the organisation financial mechanisms and oversees their implementation; plans external and internal audit programmes, arranges for the collection and analysis of accounting, budgetary and related information, and manages the company’s financial systems; determines staffing levels appropriate for accounting activities; assesses and advises on factors affecting business performance.

Related Jobs

ACIS Banker, international Banker, investment Banker, merchant Banker Chamberlain, burgh Chamberlain, city Director, finance Director, financial Director and Secretary Director of finance FCIS Manager, assessment, credit Manager, branch Manager, branch Manager, collateral Manager, development, agency Manager, exchange, foreign Manager, finance Manager, financial Manager, market, money Manager, markets Manager, operations Manager, planning, capital Manager, practice, insolvency Manager, purchase, hire Manager, systems, financial Manager, treasury Manager Manager Manager Manager Manager Manager Manager Officer, operating, chief Principal Registrar, company Registrar Registrar of stock Registrar of stocks and bonds Secretary, company Secretary and company director Secretary and legal adviser Secretary of health authority Secretary of health board Secretary-accountant Secretary-director Treasurer, company Treasurer, county Treasurer 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Financial institution managers and directors

Work Description

Financial institution managers and directors plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the activities and resources of banks, building societies, insurance companies and post offices.

Qualification

Entry is possible with A levels/H grades, S/NVQ levels 4 and 5, a degree or equivalent qualification. Those with higher qualifications obtain accelerated training. Internal promotion to management is also possible. On-the-job training is provided. Professional qualifications are available and often mandatory.

Job Tasks

plans, organises, directs and co-ordinates the activities of financial institutions; verifies that accounting, recording and information storage and retrieval procedures are adhered to; authorises loans and mortgages in accordance with bank or building society policy; promotes financial services, establishes contact with the local business community and professional firms; preparing general reports and briefs on more complex cases for senior management; ensures compliance with the statutory regulatory framework.

Related Jobs

Banker, business Banker Director, bank Head of lending Manager, bank Manager, banking Manager, branch Manager, branch Manager, branch Manager, branch Manager, broking Manager, card, credit Manager, collection Manager, collections Manager, company, insurance Manager, corporate Manager, corporate Manager, cost Manager, costing Manager, district Manager, divisional Manager, equity Manager, fund, pension Manager, insurance Manager, lending Manager, market, mortgages Manager, mortgage Manager, office, post Manager, operations, bank Manager, operations Manager, operations Manager, sales Manager, sales Manager, settlements Manager, society, building Manager, society, friendly Manager, technical Manager, technical Manager, technical Manager, transaction Manager, unit, mortgage Manager Manager Manager Manager Manager Manager Manager Manager Officer, operating, chief Officer, operating, chief Owner 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Chartered and certified accountants

Work Description

Jobholders in this unit group provide accounting and auditing services, advise clients on financial matters, collect and analyse financial information and perform other accounting duties required by management for the planning and control of an establishment’s income and expenditure.

Qualification

Entrants usually possess a degree or equivalent qualification. To qualify as an accountant, entrants must undertake a period of training within an approved organisation and successfully complete professional examinations. Exemptions to some professional examinations are available to those with appropriate academic qualifications.

Job Tasks

plans and oversees implementation of accountancy system and policies; prepares financial documents and reports for management, shareholders, statutory or other bodies; audits accounts and book-keeping records; prepares tax returns, advises on tax problems and contests disputed claim before tax official; conducts financial investigations concerning insolvency, fraud, possible mergers, etc.; evaluates financial information for management purposes; liaises with management and other professionals to compile budgets and other costs; prepares periodic accounts, budgetary reviews and financial forecasts; conducts investigations and advises management on financial aspects of productivity, stock holding, sales, new products, etc.

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ACA ACWA ASAA Accountant, bank Accountant, borough Accountant, branch Accountant, certified Accountant, chartered Accountant, chief, group Accountant, chief Accountant, company Accountant, cost Accountant, cost and management Accountant, cost and works Accountant, district Accountant, financial Accountant, financial Accountant, forensic Accountant, fund Accountant, group Accountant, incorporated Accountant, management, chartered Accountant, management Accountant, principal Accountant, treasury Accountant, works Accountant Accountant Accountant Accountant Accountant-secretary Administrator, insolvency Adviser, technical Auditor, chief Auditor, internal Auditor Auditor Auditor Auditor and accountant Clerk, articled Clerk, audit Consultant, accountancy Consultant, accounting Consultant, audit Consultant, cost Controller, financial Controller, unit, business Examiner, audit Examiner, bankruptcy Examiner, insolvency Examiner Executive, audit Executive, finance, corporate FCA FCWA FSAA Inspector of audits Liquidator, company Manager, audit, internal Manager, insolvency Officer, development, cost Officer, expenditure Practitioner, insolvency Receiver, official Receiver 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Financial and accounting technicians

Work Description

Financial and accounting technicians work alongside accountants and other financial professionals in managing the financial affairs of organisations.

Qualification

There are no formal academic requirements. Professional qualifications are available from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Association of Accounting Technicians. These qualifications can be linked to NVQs/SVQs in Accounting at Levels 2, 3 and 4. Exemptions to professional examinations may be granted to those with certain academic qualifications.

Job Tasks

maintains profit and loss accounts, budgets, cash flow forecasts and other accounting records; produces, collates and reports financial information for managers; liaises with clients to ensure that payments are made on time and credit limits are not exceeded; ensures invoices and payments are correct and sent out on time; monitors accounting systems to determine accounts are being maintained effectively and provides information on accounting practices to auditors.

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Administrator, fund Administrator, insolvency Administrator, trust Associate, business Clerk, managing Controller, financial Controller Officer, trust Senior, audit Senior, trust Technician, account Technician, accounting Technician, audit Technician 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Financial accounts managers

Work Description

Job holders in this unit group manage client accounts or departments within financial institutions (such as banks and insurance companies) or manage a variety of financial accounts within other organisations.

Qualification

There are no formal academic requirements although professional qualifications in accountancy may be required by some employers. These qualifications can be linked to NVQs/SVQs in Accounting at Levels 2, 3 and 4, and apprenticeships may be available in some areas.

Job Tasks

develops and manages business accounts to increase sales of financial products; takes responsibility for the efficient and effective operation of several business accounts; manages teams handling insurance claims; checks customers’ credit rating with banks and credit reference agencies, and decides whether to offer credit; establishes terms of credit and ensures timely payment by customer, renegotiates payment terms and initiates legal action to recover debts if necessary; carries out and/or supervises general accounting and administrative work.

Related Jobs

Banker, private Executive, banking, private Manager, account, client Manager, account, customer Manager, account Manager, account Manager, account Manager, accounts, financial Manager, accounts Manager, asset Manager, audit Manager, banking, personal Manager, banking, private Manager, business Manager, claims Manager, client Manager, client Manager, control, credit Manager, credit Manager, customer Manager, customer Manager, customer Manager, department Manager, department Manager, department Manager, departmental Manager, departmental Manager, departmental Manager, derivatives Manager, fund Manager, house, acceptance Manager, incident, personal Manager, investment Manager, line, front Manager, payable, accounts Manager, planning, commercial Manager, planning, financial Manager, relations, client Manager, relationship, client Manager, relationship Manager, service, client Manager, services, client Manager, support, finance Manager, team, claims Manager, team, insurance Manager, team Manager, team Manager, underwriting Officer, vetting, credit 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Credit controllers

Work Description

Credit controllers perform financial, administrative and other tasks in relation to credit control and debt collection.

Qualification

Entry is most common with GCSEs/S grades but is also possible with other academic qualifications. Professional qualifications are available and may be required for some posts.

Job Tasks

receives requests for credit submissions and lending proposals; arranges for investigations of the credit worthiness of individuals or companies; deals with any enquiries or difficulties concerning the acceptance or rejection of credit applications; checks that accounting, recording and statutory procedures are adhered to for all credit transactions; arranges for the collection of arrears of payment.

Related Jobs

Administrator, control, credit Administrator, loans Adviser, difficulties, financial Adviser, management, debt Assistant, control, credit Associate, management, debt Clerk, authorisation Clerk, authorisation Clerk, control, credit Clerk, recovery, debt Controller, credit Coordinator, claim, credit Officer, collections Officer, collections Officer, control, credit Officer, recovery 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Book-keepers, payroll managers and wages clerks

Work Description

Book-keepers, payroll managers and wages clerks maintain and balance records of financial transactions, oversee the operation of payroll functions and calculate hours worked, wages due and other relevant contributions and deductions.

Qualification

There are no minimum academic requirements, although entrants typically possess GCSEs/S grades or equivalent qualifications, and maths may be required. Training is typically provided on-the-job. NVQs/SVQs in relevant areas are available, and apprenticeships may be available in some areas.

Job Tasks

records and checks accuracy of daily financial transactions; prepares provisional balances and reconciles these with appropriate accounts; supervises payroll team and develops payroll systems and procedures; calculates and records hours worked, wages due, deductions and voluntary contributions; processes holiday, sick and maternity pay and travel and subsistence expenses; compiles schedules and distributes or arranges distribution of wages and salaries; calculates costs and overheads and prepares analyses for management.

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Accountant, barrack Accountant, barracks Accountant, cost Accountant, cost and works Accountant, financial Accountant, group Accountant, management Accountant, works Accountant Accountant and auditor Administrator, accounts Administrator, holding, fund Administrator, ledger Administrator, pay Administrator, payroll Administrator, wages Assistant, account Assistant, accountancy Assistant, accountant's Assistant, accounts Assistant, clerical, accounts Assistant, ledger Assistant, payroll Assistant, salaries Assistant, services, payroll Assistant, wages Associate, accounts Auditor, internal Auditor, night Auditor Bookkeeper, chief Bookkeeper Bookkeeper-cashier Bookkeeper-typist Checker, invoice Clerk, account Clerk, accountancy Clerk, accountant's Clerk, accounts Clerk, audit Clerk, book-keeping Clerk, control, accounts Clerk, invoice Clerk, invoicing Clerk, keeping, book Clerk, ledger Clerk, pay Clerk, payable, accounts Clerk, payroll Clerk, salaries Clerk, wage Clerk, wages Clerk, wages and accounts Clerk-bookkeeper Controller, account Controller, accounts Controller, invoice Controller, ledger, bought Controller, ledger, purchase Controller, ledger Controller, payroll Controller, wages Inspector, accounts Investigator, accounts Invoicer Keeper, book, chief Keeper, book Keeper, ledger Manager, invoice Manager, ledger, purchase Manager, payroll Manager, payroll and pensions Manager, wages Master, pay Officer, accounts Officer, control, payroll Officer, payroll Officer, salaries Officer, wages Officer, wages and control Paymaster Supervisor, accounting Supervisor, accounts Supervisor, audit Supervisor, ledger Supervisor, payable, accounts Supervisor, payroll Supervisor, wages Supervisor 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Finance officers

Work Description

Finance officers oversee book-keeping, general accounting and other financial and related clerical functions mainly within local government and a variety of public sector organisations.

Qualification

Entrants will normally possess GCSEs/S grades (including maths), a finance-related qualification at an appropriate level and have relevant work experience.

Job Tasks

oversees the recording and checking of daily financial transactions, the preparation of provisional balances and reconciliation of accounts; prepares or arranges the preparation of financial reports for managers; plans work schedules and assigns tasks to financial clerks; coordinates the activities and resources of finance departments.

Related Jobs

Officer, finance, deputy Officer, finance, regional Officer, finance Officer, financial 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Financial administrative occupations n.e.c.

Work Description

Job holders in this unit group carry out a variety of finance-related administrative functions not elsewhere classified in MINOR GROUP 412: Administrative Occupations: Finance.

Qualification

There are no formal entry requirements although some employers may require GCSEs/S grades (including maths) and/or a relevant vocational qualification at an appropriate level.

Job Tasks

receives and pays out cash to customers in non-financial organisations such as turf accountants; sells tickets in theatre and cinema box offices, sports stadiums etc.; performs duties as cashier in schools, local government and other public sector organisations, legal and insurance services; administers grants and student loans in educational institutions; carries out clerical tasks in stockbroking companies, banking and credit card companies.

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Administrator, account Administrator, bonus Administrator, cost Administrator, finance Administrator, financial Administrator, mortgage Administrator, services, financial Administrator, wrap Administrator Analyst, billing Analyst, cost Assessor, bonus Assistant, accountant's, turf Assistant, agent's, commission Assistant, audit Assistant, budget Assistant, bursar's Assistant, cashier's Assistant, control Assistant, cost Assistant, costing Assistant, counter Assistant, dealer’s Assistant, estimating Assistant, estimator's Assistant, exchequer Assistant, finance Assistant, financial Assistant, fund Assistant, holding, fund Assistant, income Assistant, manager's Assistant, mortgage Assistant, office, box Assistant, office, cash Assistant, office, ticket Assistant, revenue Assistant, rights Assistant, rights Assistant, settlement Assistant, tax Assistant, taxation Assistant, timekeeper's Assistant, treasurer's Assistant, treasury Assistant, valuation Cashier, exchange, foreign Cashier, hospital Cashier, legal Cashier, office Cashier, office Cashier, office Cashier, school Cashier, shop, betting Cashier Cashier Cashier Cashier Cashier Cashier Cashier Cashier Cashier-receptionist Checker, time Clerk, accountant's, turf Clerk, allocation, cash Clerk, banking Clerk, bill Clerk, billing Clerk, bonus Clerk, bookmaker's Clerk, cash Clerk, cashier's Clerk, claims Clerk, cost Clerk, costing Clerk, counter Clerk, finance Clerk, financial Clerk, mortgage Clerk, office, box Clerk, office, cash Clerk, office, ticket Clerk, payments Clerk, reconciliation, bank Clerk, security Clerk, settlements, exchange, foreign Clerk, settlements Clerk, stockbroker's Clerk, time Clerk, valuation Clerk Clerk Clerk-cashier Collector Consultant, cost Consultant, sales, exchange, foreign Consultant, sales Controller, budget Controller, cash Controller, cost Controller, mortgage Controller, price Coordinator, account Counterhand Counterman Handler, cash Inspector, revenue Keeper, time Measurer Officer, administration, finance Officer, banking, corporate Officer, budget Officer, compensation Officer, control, budget Officer, grants Officer, loans, student Officer, mortgage Officer, pricing Officer, recovery Officer, revenue Officer, rights Officer, rights Officer, stamping Operator, totalisator Operator, tote Processor, mortgage Receptionist-cashier Recorder, time Representative, banker's Representative Salesman, ticket Seller, ticket Seller Settler Timekeeper Treasurer Verifier, stock Worker, shop 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

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