• Name: Sophie Pedlar
  • Job Title: ACA Trainee
  • Location: Newark, Nottinghamshire
  • University: Nottingham Trent
  • Degree: Accounting and Finance
  • Type of Qualification: ACA
  • Areas of Specialism: Audit and Assurance, Corporate Finance, Tax
Duncan Toplis

What journey did you take to join Duncan & Toplis?

I was nearing the end of my first year at university studying Accounting and Finance and was looking to apply for a summer job before starting my second year. In casual conversation with friends and family it was mentioned that I should contact Duncan & Toplis to see if they had anything available – which I did.

I reached out to their HR team by email about the possibility of a summer internship / work experience. This led to a three-month placement at their Loughborough office in 2018 where I learnt a lot and gained valuable hands-on experience.

The following summer I contacted them again and was given a further three-month placement, this time in their Newark office. This opportunity built on my prior knowledge and gave me confidence to apply for their ACA trainee position which started in September 2020. I am pleased to say my application was successful and I am now part of the team based in Newark.

What is it like working at Duncan & Toplis?

No two days are the same, I really enjoy the exposure to different types of work including accounts, bookkeeping, audit, tax returns and VAT claims. This keeps my work life interesting and avoids monotony.

I work within the agriculture team. Having grown up on the family farm this is a sector I have a strong interest in, and I am able to relate to and understand the clients on a higher level than just the transactions on paper. Duncan & Toplis support all sectors but specialise in seven key industries, allowing team members
to work with businesses in fields that interest most people.

I am fortunate to work with a very knowledgeable, friendly, and supportive team in a positive environment. Despite working from home for seven months of my first eight in this role, I have felt well supported and involved. There is an understanding and respect within the workplace for your life outside of work and the hobbies you may have. The training team have been more than helpful in allowing me to be flexible in completing my study days to fit in around an equestrian trip to America later this year – ensuring I am able to complete my exam preparation without having to miss out on once in a lifetime opportunity.

Advice for anyone anything to work at Duncan and Toplis?

Get in touch! I am always baffled by the number of people who will only apply for listed jobs, yet so many jobs are not even advertised! The work experience I was able to gain was not advertised but secured by contacting the HR team to enquire about possible opportunities – which in my case has then led to a full-time job.

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