Why did you choose a career in accountancy?
I studied accounting and finance at university so I knew early on that I wanted to ultimately undertake the chartered accountancy training. The qualification is well respected and would enhance my career in whatever I chose to do in business. The exam process as well as learning on the job and constant training workshops and seminars has set me up well for my future career.
What was the application process like?
The application process is certainly one of the simpler ones I went through. It begins by submitting a covering letter and CV which, if successful, is followed by a telephone interview.
An assessment day follows which consists of a small icebreaker, a team exercise and a short presentation on something you are passionate about. If, like me, you are someone who gets nervous about giving presentations and being out of your comfort zone then there is nothing to be worried about. Everyone present is keen to make sure you are put at ease whilst performing the presentation. Talk about something that is personal to you and it will be easy for you to talk about and present. Lunch is provided, which gives you a chance to mingle with all members of the audit team, from semi seniors to partners.
Following the assessment day an interview with a partner and a manager is next, where they want to find out a little bit more about you as a person, not just about your accounting knowledge.
How do you balance work and studying?
Adapting from university life to being a full time employee whilst studying for the ACA qualification was a challenge, however I endeavoured to establish a sensible working pattern and tried not to work around the clock.
Studying in the evenings and at weekends, when appropriate, but also maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime enable me to give my best at all times. There are busy and quiet periods during the year, so being able to balance work with study during these times is very important, especially in the run up to exams. It can be difficult to work a full day and then have to revise into the evening, but it is part of the job and if you manage your time efficiently you will find you are still able to have a social life even during exam periods. Revision comes in blocks, so you will not be revising throughout the whole year and you will find that there are often large breaks between exams to give you time to relax and prepare yourself for the next ones.
What skills have you learnt in the role?
I have learnt that the main skills needed to be successful in this profession are having the ability to listen, be a team player, be versatile and have good time management. There are going to be different deadlines for different clients so being able to keep on top of them all and doing them correctly is very important and also very challenging. However, the help and knowledge I have received from colleagues and management around me has made it much easier to achieve my goals and complete my work to a professional standard.
What are your main duties?
Before I started working, I was told that each day I would be doing something different and having worked for over a year and a half now, this has certainly been the case. You can be working on a different client on a day-to-day basis as well as working in office and out on client’s sites. We have a very diverse client portfolio and I have gained exposure working in audit, accounting and corporation tax. I have also gained experience working on some major clients as well as being a senior on some smaller clients, both of which have helped me during my time at SRLV. This is combined with spending time at college working towards my professional qualification. I am very proud of my work ethic and commitment to achieve and believe the environment at SRLV is helping me to achieve this.
When I first began applying for jobs I always knew that I wanted to join a top medium-sized firm as I felt there would be a more personal relationship with managers and partners and this ultimately would be of great help to me during my accountancy career. Having found, and subsequently joined, SRLV I found this was certainly the case and I thrive on the personal relationships I have forged. I am able to work very closely with managers and partners and benefit from their expertise and knowledge, which has helped me greatly in my short accountancy career so far. I have gained exposure to diverse clients in a number of different industries and this helps to keep me motivated whilst at work. The firm’s main priority is your personal development and you are given plenty of opportunities to grow and develop yourself as an accountant. You will receive plenty of training and all colleagues are happy to help you with whatever queries you may have during the working day.