• Name: Alastair Main
  • Job Title: Corporate Services ACA Trainee
  • Location: Staverton, Gloucestershire
  • Degree: Biology
  • Areas of Specialism: Corporate Finance

Whilst studying for my degree in Biology I was unsure of which career path to take, which led to me applying for a placement with Hazlewoods. This stimulated an interest in accountancy and led to me joining the graduate trainee scheme. I am a member of the Corporate Services department carrying out mainly statutory audit work for small and medium sized clients.

My work requires me to regularly go to clients’ premises where we work as a small team. This can involve a small amount of travel; it is always interesting to work in different places meeting new people.

The work is fascinating and varied, with great emphasis placed on understanding and questioning the information we are provided with. Direct contact with customers from an early stage has given me a great chance to develop my interpersonal skills, certainly when having the auditors in can be seen as quite intimidating!

There is a natural progression in work complexity and responsibility as you gain more knowledge and experience; a thirst for learning is a great asset. I have found there to be a great support network to facilitate my personal career growth and hope to be leading audit fieldwork within two years.

Personal attributes which I have found important in my role with the Corporate Services team are an inquisitive nature and an eye for detail which allow you to ask the right questions of the client. Strong time management skills are also a great asset as work often requires prioritisation.

As a company I have found Hazlewoods to offer a great range of experience. As a trainee I have been on secondments to other departments within the company, allowing me to work on personal tax returns and focus on accounts preparation, the value of which cannot be understated with regards to understanding the material you will study for the ACA qualification.

Aside from the work there is great comradery, with a very active social committee. There are events most months, ranging from go-karting to wine tasting; although a personal highlight was the black tie Christmas party.

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