• Name: Jack Wareham
  • Job Title: ACA Trainee - Financial Services
  • Location: London
  • University: Lancaster
  • Degree: Economics
  • Areas of Specialism: Audit and Assurance

What was the interview process like?

The process was typical of what you would expect. After the initial application I was invited to complete two online tests before progressing to a telephone interview, then I was invited to a half-day assessment centre. Throughout the process every person I met at PKF Littlejohn was very helpful and made me feel at ease.

Is it a 9-5 job?

There is some flexibility in working hours and this really does depend on a few factors, such as the client you’re working on, the deadlines you have to meet and how efficiently you perform your work. There will be some weeks where you will be required to work extra hours, but not consistently and work-life balance is good at the Firm.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The juggling of exams with work commitments is a challenge and takes some time to adjust to. Coming from university where, during exam periods, I was free to completely focus on revision, it was initially difficult to ensure I was completely prepared for all my ACA exams given I was still working full time. However, everyone at the firm is very supportive and understanding during this period, doing everything they can to ensure you have the best chance possible to pass.

How promising are the graduate prospects?

Very! The ACA qualification is recognised around the world and post qualification gives you a virtually endless array of options, from progressing with the firm to a management position to moving into industry. PKF is a great place to work as a graduate, offering exposure to numerous large and prestigious clients whilst still allowing you the chance to progress quickly and take on additional responsibility – an ideal balance between the Big 4 and a typical mid-tier firm.

What is the best part about working at PKF?

It may sound cliché but it really is the people! Starting any new job, it’s natural to be nervous, but from the beginning everyone was really friendly and welcoming, from the fellow graduates all the way up to the partners.

There are numerous social events organised by the sports and social committee and which are great opportunities to meet new people, and the office atmosphere is a great balance between social and switched on.

Do I have to have accounting experience?

Absolutely not. While lots of trainees have done accounting at university, the fact is ACA trainees come from a variety of degree backgrounds, from arts to economics. When I first started I didn’t know the difference between a debit and a credit, but through my studies and on the job experience I quickly picked up the necessary skills.

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