Why did you choose Kreston Reeves?
I was interested in medium-sized firms as I felt that the training would be high quality with a more personalised approach than, say, a larger firm. Due to there being a small intake of graduates here each year, we receive highly individual attention from managers and senior staff who take a keen interest in our careers and wellbeing. This was critical to me when I was choosing where I wanted to work. Kreston Reeves’s central London location was a huge selling point for me too; Paternoster Square is very lively with lots to do at lunchtime and after work. The stunning view of St Paul’s Cathedral from the office is always breathtaking!
What was the application process like?
I completed an initial application form and soon afterwards was invited for an assessment day during which my numerical, verbal and communication skills were tested. Following this, an interview day was organised, which provided me with the opportunity to meet with other graduate applicants and ask questions about the firm. During my interview day, as well as meeting a number of partners, I met some of the other graduates and staff, some of whom I now count as good friends. We all support each other at work and through the stress of exam periods.
What experience have you gained here?
Since starting at Kreston Reeves, I have learnt a lot about accountancy. Within the first six months of working, I was beginning to ‘senior’ on smaller accounts jobs. I didn’t have a background in accountancy before joining and therefore I learned a huge amount and made great strides in a short space of time. Since then, I have expanded my experience by completing accounts for different types of clients in a range of industries, using different accounting frameworks. The firm works across a variety of sectors with a range of clients which has given me exposure to many different areas of work. This has helped me to acquire many different skills.
After gaining experience as a junior in audit, which gave me great background knowledge, I am now taking a senior role on some audit jobs. We start to act as seniors on audits during the middle of our second year, and are then given responsibility and autonomy over our work, which I very much enjoy. In the same way as in the accounts department, we are able to gain wide-ranging audit experience over a diverse bank of clients. I have also had the opportunity to work in different departments in the firm – so far in tax, outsourcing and international audit – and have had a few chances to travel abroad, which was great.
What type of training have you had?
As well as studying at college for the ACA exams, I receive in-house training, where we look at specific areas of accountancy or auditing in detail, and learn about the approach we should be taking to each job. I am assigned a mentor, who I meet with on a monthly basis to discuss my progress throughout my training contract. Together with my fellow graduates, this system provides us with further support as we progress through our exams.
How do you rate the work/life balance?
The work life balance here is great. Whilst there is an emphasis on completing work to the highest standard, everyone realises that we also need time to relax and have fun outside of work. We have a varied programme of social events, notably our Christmas party, our annual ‘away-day’ and bi-annual charity quizzes. As well as this, we have fun department socials to get to know everyone and do a bit of team-building.
What’s your favourite thing about the job?
In my opinion, the friendly atmosphere and approachability of all staff, at all levels. All the managers and senior staff are very willing to help and want to see all us graduates make the most of our time at the firm and progress as fast as possible.