Our standards are extremely high and our atmosphere is lively, friendly and stimulating. Many of our clients are part of substantial groups with strong international connections. Others are SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises), high net worth individuals, professional firms and charities. As we do not split the varying facets of our work into separate compartments, we are able to offer our trainees variety, stimulation, challenge and early responsibility. We are also committed to the development of our trainees.
What we are looking for
We look for students who really want to work in a medium-sized firm such as ours – we are not a cut-down version of the Big 4 but exist very much on our own terms and in our own right. We are looking for ambition, analytical ability and enterprise in potential trainees. Good communication skills, both written and oral are also a must, as are the personal skills necessary to work as a member of a team and to maintain good relations with clients.
We naturally assume that candidates who wish to enter the profession will be able to demonstrate a high level of numeracy and the intellectual calibre necessary to pass demanding professional examinations. That means you will need to have obtained grade B in GCSE Maths and English Language, at least 300 UCAS Tariff points from your top three A-level grades (excluding General Studies) if completed before 2017 or 120 UCAS points after 2017, or equivalent, and to have or be heading towards a 2:1 degree or better.
Studying for the professional examinations
Our trainees attend integrated link courses run by a leading financial training company in London to prepare them for their professional examinations. The courses combine long periods of full time study and progress examinations with a home study element. The tutors liaise with us on a regular basis, allowing us to maintain an active interest in performance.
We pay for all courses, exam fees and study leave for first sittings. The firm’s commitment to our trainees’ development shows in the consistently high pass rates our students achieve in the examinations. This, for a firm entering a dozen students among the three thousand who sit the exam each time, is something we are very proud of. Our success lies first in the process of selection and then in providing the best possible tuition, both in practical and theoretical terms.
We run a series of in-house practical training courses. In the first few weeks, trainees receive a basic grounding in audit and accountancy.
Further courses run throughout the training contract so that our trainees are prepared for all the challenges they meet. In addition to technical training, our courses cover personal development and managerial skills such as communication, assertiveness, teamwork, critical thinking and negotiation.
A trainee’s day-to-day work at Blick Rothenberg consists of:
- The basics
Our trainees typically spend half of their working time outside the offices working at clients’ premises. Most clients are based within the Greater London area but trainees should also expect to spend some time outside of Greater London, perhaps two to four weeks. Around 20 per cent of a trainee’s time will be accounted for by attending courses either linked to the professional examinations or for internal training purposes.
A trainee would start as a junior member of a team of two to four people. A typical assignment might last a couple of weeks, some more, some less. After a year, perhaps earlier, our trainees start planning and carrying out small assignments on their own, first at our offices where they can easily turn to other staff for advice, then at a client’s premises. Later on, as they gain experience and seniority, they start leading audit teams. We expect our trainees to exercise their judgement, professional scepticism, show initiative and take responsibility sooner rather than later. We give them support and training to enable them to do just that.
Each trainee is exposed to a variety of client work, providing accounting, corporation tax, management advice and due diligence services. We do not split the varying facets of our practice into separate compartments. In the natural course of events a trainee will be exposed to all aspects of the work we carry out for our clients.
- Our clients
Our clients cover a wide range of industries, from heavy engineering and advanced computer technology, nationwide insurance operations and charities, to professional firms such as solicitors. Our ‘typical’ client is a large, successful family business. For many, the ownership rests in another part of the European Union (EU), giving our trainees a unique opportunity to see how the EU impacts upon business in Britain and how other nationalities approach businesses here. This will continue to be the case, even as the UK leaves the European Union. It is a unique opportunity to see how businesses will react to this change.
- Additional services
We have a highly regarded taxation consultancy department and students liaise with this and draw on its expertise as required. In the past we have been able to offer secondments to corporate and personal tax to those students interested. The firm also deals with litigation support work, personal tax, personal financial planning, company registration work, trust administration and fully outsourced business services solutions for clients expanding across multiple territories.
Your future with us
By the time you are in your final year with us, you should be working closely with some of our largest clients and supervising junior trainees. You will have practical experience, excellent personal and professional skills and you will be familiar with the latest developments in the chartered accountancy profession. In short, you will have a solid all-round working knowledge of the profession and will be in a position to begin to formulate your ideas for the future.
We maintain a close personal connection and interest in one another. We are small enough that no one need ever feel that they are simply a cog in a machine, but we are large enough to offer a challenging and satisfying variety of work. Some of our partners either trained with us or joined us shortly after qualifying, and there is always scope for good trainees to build a fulfilling and successful career within the firm.
Our selection process:
- Online application form
- Verbal, numerical and logical tests
- Video assessment and online maths test
- Assessment day