After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in 2017, I worked as an accounts assistant for two years in industry. In 2019, as part of Lubbock Fine’s Assurance Group intake that year, I was offered a position as a trainee auditor.
Why did you choose a job in this sector/profession?
I studied accountancy for my degree, so going into this field as a professional was a natural progression. While I was still studying I decided that I wanted to achieve an ACA qualification, so even at that stage I knew I wanted to apply for accountancy graduate scheme. I chose accountancy as a degree because I enjoy working with numbers. I also enjoy applying principles to practical work.
How did you get your job at Lubbock Fine?
I applied directly through Lubbock Fine’s website by filling out an application form. After that, I made it through round one of assessment day and then another interview day. After that I was offered a place on the scheme.
What was the application process like – any advice?
The first stage of the application process is to fill out a form. There are only a few questions, a mix of skills competence and work related queries, followed by a few personal questions. I found my answers to these questions came naturally as I had a genuine interest in pursuing accountancy as a career. It’s important to try and answer the questions with as many specific details as you can, including examples if possible. The second stage is an assessment day. It consists of three tests – a numerical one, a verbal reasoning one, and an in-tray exercise. Before my assessment day, I found grad tests online that prepared me for the numerical and verbal reasoning tests. Practicing this kind of assessment before the day definitely helped.
The in-tray exercise was not as easy to practice for beforehand and the most important thing to remember with this exercise is to be efficient with your time and to prioritise the tasks in the best way you can. The last stage of this process was an interview day, consisting of two separate interviews. I felt the interviews were quite personable. It mostly felt like my interviewer was trying to get a feel for my personality. I think if you have a genuine interest in accountancy and completing your ACA and would like to join a medium sized firm, the interview will be a good experience for you – don’t be afraid to show your personality.
What are your main duties/roles?
Most of the time I will be on an audit assignment, although as a member of the assurance group I prepare the accounts for clients too. Usually we work from the office and complete audit assignments based on information received from the client. Sometimes we will also complete an audit, or part of it, at the client’s office site. Here you have an opportunity to do physical verification of assets and staffing and to go through actual files such as invoices. You can also discuss matters directly with the client. Sometimes you assist other members of staff on a job for a day or two, or perhaps you are the main team member for an audit and can be on the job for weeks at a time. Starting off as a trainee you will be assigned a senior auditor on the majority of your jobs who provides you with guidance and designate your tasks.
Is it a 9-5 job?
In the way that you expect it be, it is. Most of the time you are working at the office, doing regular hours – it’s a steady job. However, there is also the opportunity to be taken out of your routine, such as when you are sent to the client’s site. This can feel like a total change of scenery. Your work can also involve travel where you stay in other parts of the UK for around a week with your team. Occasionally there may be opportunities to go abroad too. Another instance where the routine is changed is when we are sent to college, usually for at least a week at a time, or more. The college centres are in a different part of London and we are put in classes with students from other firms. College days usually end after 4pm.
What skills are useful in this sector/profession?
Attention to detail is a very good skill to learn. As an auditor you often have to look for things that could potentially be missed. An analytical mind is also very important. It’s also worth noting that people skills are useful as this is, after all, a client-focused profession and you will usually be working on assignments as part of a team. Another useful skill to have is the ability to quickly apply what you’ve learned in college to the job at hand. Tasks are explained to us but the only way to really access the essential level of knowledge about the work we are doing is to understand the theory learnt at college.