• Role: ACA Trainee
  • Location: Grantham, Lincolnshire
  • University: Lincoln
  • Degree: Accounting and Finance

Krystopher McQueen

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How did you get your job at Duncan & Toplis?
I knew I wanted to work for Duncan & Toplis when I heard what a brilliant place it is by individuals at university and trainees already working there. With all the positive feedback, I enthusiastically applied for a graduate trainee role online and was delighted when I was shortlisted. The recruitment process included completing aptitude and ability tests followed by an interview with a member of HR and then later with a Director, who I now work for!

Everyone I met during the process were warm and friendly which included the reception team, who could tell I was nervous and made me feel completely at ease. The whole process made me want to work at Duncan & Toplis even more.

What is it like working for Duncan & Toplis?
From day one I was seen as one of the team and expected to get fully involved. I was able to work on such a variety of clients in my first couple of months and learnt so much in such a short amount of time which I feel has set me up with a practical way of thinking. I feel I have had extensive exposure on clients from many different sectors and this has aided my understanding of the accounting practise as a whole.

What is training like at Duncan & Toplis?
I feel I have developed considerably in my time here and have acquired experience in all aspects of accounts production, audit and tax. This experience has helped greatly with the understanding of the theoretical side needed for my studies. I firmly believe it was this that helped me pass all my exams first time. The team around me supported me every step of the way and now that I am nearing the end of my contract I have been provided with management development training, resulting in me successfully obtaining the ILM level 3 qualification. This course has provided me with the soft skills to help train others and the confidence to lead my own team, learn new skills and help train new team members.

What skills do you need to succeed?
Duncan & Toplis provide you with every resource you need to succeed but ultimately you must have determination and commitment. Completing the ACA qualification is technically challenging, and you must be willing to give up your own time to prepare for exams whilst still learning the job. Problem solving skills are essential as you must be able to adapt to the environment you are in and find solutions to many different scenarios.

What is the work life balance?
Working and studying at the same time is demanding and leading up to your exams you have to put in a lot of extra hours to ensure you do well and pass. Having flexible working has helped greatly and outside of the exam period I have taken advantage of flexible working so I can pursue other interests such as obtaining my personal trainer qualification. Duncan & Toplis organise a variety of social events throughout the year and encourage the team to actively take part in these. These are great for bonding, making new contacts and having lots of fun!

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