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  • Name: Bilal Khurram
  • Job Title: Audit trainee
  • Location: London
  • Degree: MSc Corporate Governance
  • Areas of Specialism: Generalist

Why did you choose a career in accounting?
The clear structured career path, even though it can be slightly different depending on your specialism and industry, was what attracted me to the industry. Many people hold the misconception that you need to be ‘good with numbers’ to succeed within accountancy, however, I believe the main skills required to excel are communication and empathy as this is a very interpersonal industry, plus you have a calculator for the numbers!
What made you choose UHY Hacker Young?
Throughout the recruitment process, there were various attributes I was looking for in a firm. I wanted to be sure that I would gain experience working with businesses of different sizes and industries whilst working for a firm who were not going to recruit a very large number of trainees as I did not want to become ‘just a number’. However, UHY Hacker Young only recruit a select number of graduates to ensure you are given the time, responsibilities and training you need.
Another great selling point for me was the interview stage where an informal chat occurred with the current crop of trainees. Not only were they very personable but also honest and genuine people who I sought to work with.
What is the atmosphere like in the office?
The atmosphere in the office is always easy-going and all staff are extremely approachable; I genuinely feel that I can talk to anyone in the office. On assignments, visiting client premises, a slightly more professional demeanour is required, however, bringing an open and enthusiastic mind-set is always recommended to help put the client at ease and encourage interaction. As assignments can be for an extended period of time, you will have the chance to build relationships in and out of the office, which I have found to be a really valued benefit.
What do you like most about your role?
Definitely the amount of time I spend interacting with others. Although, as trainee accountants, we have to make sense of the numbers, we also have to make the numbers speak for themselves and the only way to do this is to gain a greater understanding through increased interaction with our clients.
Throughout my career history, this is the only role where I wish there was more time. Not because the workload is too great, but because you can get so engrossed in solving a problem. Once achieved, it is great to take pride in the problems you have managed to solve.
Finally, I like that with most assignments I work on, I am encouraged to use my initiative to improve a client’s situation and also encouraged to provide my opinion on any issues. This is because the managers appreciate your input and always value what you have to say.
What level of responsibility do you receive as a trainee?
As a trainee, the level of responsibility I was given vastly increased as I gained experience. This allowed me to achieve a greater understanding of the role and provided me with the confidence to tackle issues from an early stage. Throughout my time as a trainee, I have been able to work on a variety of assignments, some completely different from anything I have previously encountered, but my manager has been confident enough to let me take on these responsibilities and use my own initiative. I have come to realise that you can only stand out and impress people, including yourself, when you are challenged. As I have become more senior in my role, I encourage junior members of the team to take on greater responsibilities as this will stand them in good stead for future assignments.

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