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30 Sep 2018

BDO LLP is an accountancy and business advisory firm, we provide integrated advice and solutions to help businesses navigate a changing world. Our clients are Britain’s economic engine – ambitious, entrepreneurially-spirited and high growth businesses that fuel the economy.

We share our clients’ ambitions and their entrepreneurial mind-set. We have the right combination of global reach, integrity and expertise to help them succeed.

BDO LLP operates in 18 offices across the UK, employing 3,500 people offering tax, audit and assurance, and a range of advisory services. BDO LLP has revenues of £428m and is the UK member firm of the BDO International network. The BDO global network provides business advisory services in 162 countries, with 74,000 people working out of 1,500 offices worldwide. It has revenues of $8.1bn.

BDO gives trainees all the training they need to attain their professional qualifications, along with extensive practical experience that includes on-site client work. The firm provides constant support to help you achieve your potential.

‘Achieving My Potential’ is BDO’s organisational framework. It is made up of 4 key elements – core competencies, technical competencies, values and attitude. In essence, what you do and how you do it.


Working in pensions audit means much more than just analysing numbers, we really get to know our clients by building close relationships with key individuals there in order to help them and their investors to better understand their financial performance, business systems, culture and the risks they face and then to provide crucial advice to them in these areas.

Our Professional Development programme will help you to develop your career in whichever direction it takes by supporting you to study for your professional qualifications (AAT and/or ACCA) whilst working in pensions audit. You will work as a part of a team, all of whom will be highly supportive, and there are plenty of opportunities to socialise together as well.

BDO’s National Pensions Team is based at Guildford but covers much of the country. It has some 200 pension scheme clients ranging from large DB schemes with assets of up to £600m to small individual schemes. Much of the audit work is undertaken in the office, but visits to clients are required, potentially to any part of the UK.

As a Trainee Pensions Auditor, you will be on our structured programme around working and studying. We will expect you to be looking to study AAT and/or ACCA. For the first 2 years you will likely be studying your AAT qualification. After this, depending on your ambitions you may wish to go on and study the ACCA.

Business Area Overview

A Pensions Audit Assistant will be part of a team and will undertake or assist in undertaking audits of variety of pension schemes, both in the office and at clients, ensuring that all aspects of the audit are completed to a high standard, on time and within budget. The individual will be supported, developed and supervised by senior members of the pensions audit team.

Auditing Tasks

•Involvement in the planning, execution and finalisation of the audit assignment.
•Complete work outlined in the audit programme.
•Record and document work undertaken and conclusions reached, using BDO’s computerised audit tool and supplemented by documentary e-files and appropriately structured work papers.
•Liaise with third parties to ensure external confirmations of client balances are received and checked on a timely basis.
•Identify matters arising on an audit for inclusion in notes for Partner.
•Active engagement with client staff /administrators (face-to-face, email and telephone) in the gathering of appropriate audit evidence.
•Identify potential areas of error or omission by the client and notify BDO colleagues.
•Provide a high level of client service; identify and understand client needs, including sometimes providing initial solutions to client challenges, then communicating these needs and solutions to the Senior or Manager

Accounting and Systems Tasks

•Analysis and summary of accounting data from clients’ books and records and preparation of SORP-compliant draft pension scheme accounts for some smaller pension schemes.
•Assist in the review of draft financial statements to help identify and correct typographical or other errors.
•Identify and document Management Letter Points to help advise clients on areas of weakness within their schemes.
•Active adherence to budget and timetable, bringing matters to the attention of the Senior or Manager, particularly when actual time is in excess of budget.

General Duties

•Provide onsite and offsite assistance and project management support to Audit Seniors, Managers and Partners.
•Gain an understanding of client structures, finance team roles and sector/industry issues.
•Ensure compliance with internal (audit methodology and risk management) and external (regulatory) requirements
•Attend relevant internal and external client meetings.
•Prepare and gain a working knowledge of the Firm’s software tools.
•Archiving of electronic audit files and file set-up for new assignments
•Act as a representative of the Firm whilst on client premises.
•Carry out ad hoc assignments as may be reasonably required.
•Undertake any training or development co-ordinated by your group.
•Participate in group, stream and firm-wide activities


Candidates must have, or be on course for the following grades (or international equivalent):
•3 A Levels at grades A*- C, excluding General Studies and Extended Projects
•A*- C at GCSE in Maths & English Language

  • Area of Specialism: Audit and Assurance
  • Location: Guildford
  • Salary: Competitive + Benefits
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