• Name: James Lee
  • Job Title: Assistant – ABAS
  • Location: Durham
  • Type of Qualification: AAT
  • Areas of Specialism: Business Advisory

James Lee, Assistant in the Accounts & Business Advisory Services team based in Durham, shares his career journey from joining Azets straight from Sixth Form and studying AAT.

Why did you choose to apply to Azets?

When I started to look for accountancy apprenticeships after Sixth Form, Azets immediately stood out as a company that I could start and grow my accountancy career with, because it was a medium sized firm that could offer unlimited opportunities and work experience within different parts of the industry. The office I applied to was small, meaning I would be given more individual time and support to development my training.

What was the application process like?

The application process was very straight forward, I had an interview with the office partner and future manager, who were both very welcoming and laid out a clear career development path for me. I then attended an induction day, where I met fellow colleagues and got to see the office environment, I would be working in. This gave reassurance that I had chosen the right company for me.

What experience have you gained at Azets?

Before joining Azets, I studied A level Accountancy. Since working here, I’ve gained experience in accounts preparation. I’ve learnt a lot through preparing annual accounts for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. I’ve been given various opportunities within the firm to improve my knowledge by assisting fellow colleagues within the different services and sectors such as accounts, VAT, payroll, and tax. It’s been great doing this because I’ve been able to get a “taster” in these areas, meaning it’s something I may consider moving into in the future.

What type of training have you had?

When I first joined Azets, I was enrolled onto AAT Level 2 at my local college. I’ve since become AAT qualified after passing Level 4 in May 2022. I’ll now be moving onto ACA to further my training. Azets have been brilliant with furthering my career through enrolling me onto these brilliant courses. Furthermore, I’ve had in-house training and completed various courses from Azets Training & Development software to gain knowledge in other areas that I might be interested going into, such as Audit.

How do you rate the work/life balance?

Within the last 3 years, Azets have introduced agile working that has improved work/life balance massively, because we are able to work from home and have more flexible working hours, so I can make a schedule that works best for me, but also fits the needs of my base office and the companies’ policies. Therefore, this allows me to have more personal time outside of work to spend on hobbies and with family and friends.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

My favourite thing about the job is the endless experience and learning that you can gain daily, through working on different types of work for clients and working in different sectors within Azets. I’m able to use this knowledge to produce higher standard of work for our clients.

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