Explain why you decided to pursue a career in this profession
I have always enjoyed working with numbers so thought that accountancy would be a good fit. This profession also seemed sufficiently flexible; I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do when I left university, so the fact that there are a few different departments was ideal. The structured training programme appealed to me since it provides you with both technical skills and practical experience.
Give a bit of background on your qualifications and the training that you have completed
I touched on some financial maths at university but had no real knowledge of accountancy when I joined, so it was a steep learning curve at first. A considerable amount of time was spent at college in the first year to learn the technical content. In terms of on-the-job training, I had a two-week induction to learn the basics, and then worked closely with managers on my first jobs. There is a very collaborative approach at Mercer & Hole, so I feel I am constantly learning from my managers.
Explain what your current role involves
I work in the audit and accounts department, mainly focussing on audit work. This involves preparing sets of accounts, preparing tax computations, and testing balances through substantive and analytical procedures. I liaise directly with clients throughout the course of each audit to obtain all the necessary evidence. I primarily work in the London office, but occasionally visit clients’ sites to carry out audit work.
My focus for now is tackling the final three ACA exams. Over the next year, I hope to gain more experience auditing listed entities and entities which operate in regulated industries, so that I am fully equipped by the time I am become an audit senior. Mercer & Hole also offers the ICAEW Data Analytics course upon qualifying, which is something I would consider completing.
Good time-management skills and a resilient mindset are key to completing the ACA. Balancing work and study can be challenging, so it is important to consider employers’ attitudes when applying to jobs. Mercer & Hole pride themselves on facilitating a good work-life balance, which makes it a very supportive environment for completing the ACA.