• Name: Sophie Hewson
  • Job Title: ACA Trainee
  • Location: Louth, Lincolnshire
  • Degree: Business Finance and Management
  • Areas of Specialism: Audit and Assurance

How did you get your job at Duncan & Toplis?

I attended a university outside of Lincolnshire, so I first heard of Duncan & Toplis through word of mouth from my friends and family who suggested I should enquire about graduate jobs or work experience. I initially came into contact with the company during my second year summer break from university when I reached out to the HR team to enquire about work experience. Although I had missed the deadline for applications, the HR team directed me to the graduate roles that they would be recruiting for.

I decided to apply for a role and was invited to undertake a range of aptitude and ability tests, as well as an interview with HR and a director. I was offered a position within days of my interview, which I accepted immediately!

What is it like working for Duncan & Toplis?

From day one I have had exposure to clients, with my first on site visit on day four! I get to work on a range of different clients, from sole traders to private limited companies and public sector entities. I also have a diverse workload which can range from accounts preparation to audits and corporate tax work. No two days are the same, which I really enjoy.

The diverse workload has also helped me to apply the skills I have learnt at university whilst studying for my ACA qualification. Duncan & Toplis provide students with enough time away from the office to attend college tuition for these exams, which is hugely beneficial.

What skills do you need to succeed:

To succeed in an accountancy graduate role, you have to be determined and very self-driven as ultimately it is down to you to work full time and ensure you are able to pass all 15 ACA exams to achieve your professional qualification. The exams themselves can be very challenging and it will involve giving up some evenings and weekends to make sure you are prepared for them. I would also say that to be successful, don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way as that is one of the best ways to learn. I’ve found that no question is too silly and most of the time the people you are asking have been in your position in the past and are more than willing to help.

Advice for anyone wanting to work at Duncan & Toplis

Don’t be afraid to reach out and enquire about any potential jobs or work experience. Everyone is extremely friendly and more than happy to help. I showed a clear interest in the practice and a desire to work for Duncan & Toplis by reaching out to them, rather than waiting for an opportunity to arise, and this ultimately put me in good stead to secure my role. Taking initiative will put you in the best possible position, so don’t be scared to reach out!

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