‘I decided against going to university as I wanted to earn whilst learning. At the time I didn’t see myself as an accountant, I just felt the career path being offered was something that was going to work for me. I’m glad I made the right choice.’ – Philip Reynolds discusses a non-graduate route into the profession and the opportunities on offer as your career progresses.
I joined Kreston Reeves back in 2000 as an AAT trainee after completing my A levels. I decided against going to university as I wanted to earn whilst learning. At the time, I didn’t see myself as an accountant, I just felt the career path being offered was something that was going to work for me. I’m glad I made the right choice.
After completing the AAT qualification, the firm supported me further by allowing me to undertake the ACCA qualification, which I duly completed in 2008. Since then I have progressed through the firm to become a Senior Manager in our Audit and Assurance department.
My role in the firm continues to evolve. When the Government’s academy programme commenced back in 2010, I wanted to ensure we could offer support to our existing school clients and some potential new ones. The firm needed someone to learn about academy schools and I was keen to be that person. The support and backing I received to develop into this area was fantastic and we haven’t looked back – we have been successful in establishing a dedicated academies team and have won numerous new clients.
I also continue to look after a portfolio of corporate clients and I use social media on a regular basis to demonstrate to the wider world the firm’s expertise and specialisms. Although the company has grown significantly over time via mergers, I like the fact there is still a real focus on looking after its employees and clients.
Aside from accountancy training, I’ve also benefited from fantastic people skills training with the support of an outside company. This training has been really good and helped me to hone my people skills far more than I would have done without it. It’s such a vital ability to have in this industry.
Everyone here is extremely sociable and there’s a dedicated committee that organises events throughout the year, including quizzes, football tournaments and sports days. This helps everyone get to know those they don’t necessarily work with on a regular basis – this has been especially important since the Spofforths merger.
As for the future, I eventually want to become a Partner in the firm and help to shape its future. I care passionately about the firm, not because that has been installed in me, but because I know what working here has done for me as a person, as well as the career opportunities that are available.
Would I recommend a career in accountancy? A million percent yes!