Patrick Mayor joined Mercer & Hole as an Audit Trainee in 2014 and is now an Assistant Manager. Here, he talks us through his career so far and offers his advice to those looking to enter the accountancy industry.

Why did you choose a career in the industry?

When I was in my final year at university studying economics, I decided to go into finance. This was because economics was always more theoretical, whereas I considered accountancy to be more practical and it lends itself to an understanding of daily life. In addition, I knew I would be interested in finance as I had completed double maths in my A-levels and so the numerical side of accountancy was attractive.

What is a ‘typical’ day like for you?

The key parts of my role are to manage my team, which means I communicate with them on a regular basis, review work that has been completed and deal with any important issues or pressing matters that may arise. My role also involves a lot of client management and interaction to balance expectation against our capacity to produce work.

Mercer & Hole offers flexible working, which ensures a good work/life balance. It is rare that the team have very long days, working evenings or weekends. However, on the odd occasion, when we need to meet a deadline, we would need to stay a bit later.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the portfolio of clients that I have and getting to know business owners well through my interactions with them. Essentially, by understanding clients’ business I can provide a service that adds value.

In addition, I manage the resource management within my team, as well as being involved in recruitment, interviewing and meeting up with qualified seniors.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I would like to continue to progress in practice – learning and growing. In the foreseeable future I would like to become a partner. What would really interest me is becoming a business services partner, building on my relationships with clients and providing a full range of services to meet the needs of our clients.

What are the current challenges the industry faces?

At the moment, the uncertainty caused by Covid-19 could impact industry sectors in the accounting industry. We are supporting our clients through this with the government temporary support measures.

In the long-term, changes in technology, with cloud accounting software becoming more accessible and AI being used to analyse data and patterns, are likely to be the biggest challenge to the industry. Businesses and audit practices will need to ensure they stay abreast of the changing environment.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry?

I would say, think carefully about whether you want to continue studying, as working and studying can be challenging and a big commitment. It is worth it in the longer term as your career gets projected forwards quicker.

In addition, you would also need to think carefully about what type of firm you would prefer to train with. Take into consideration which aspects of the role are important to you. In this regard, larger firms will have a wide range of clients and you may gain more exposure to a diverse array of large businesses, but you may lose the sense of being part of a team and can be treated more like a number rather than a person. In smaller firms you would likely feel more a part of a team and the work is more hands-on.

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