Degree and university: Economics (2.1), Lancaster University
Chartered body: ICAEW
Job title: Trainee accountant in assurance and business services at Smith and Williamson
When did you decide to pursue a career in accounting and why?
In my final year at university. I wanted to do the ACA qualification as I thought it would open a lot of doors. Through doing audits, I get to see lots of different firms, so I can see what I eventually want to go into.
What did the application process for your current job involve?
You fill out an online application form and then do some tests online, both numerical and verbal reasoning. Next there is an assessment centre with more tests and group work, plus an interview with HR. If you get through to the next stage there’s an interview with a director from the department you’re applying to.
What do you do on a typical day?
Most days I’m out at clients’ offices doing audit checking. I go through their accounts, making sure they’re doing it all correctly.
How do you balance your workload with your studies?
If we are in the office but unassigned to any work, the firm will let us study during office hours. It also gives us time off to go to college, which is usually in slots of a couple of weeks.
What is the most rewarding part about the job?
Because we’re a medium-sized firm, we’ve got smaller clients. So when we’re auditing we get to see things from planning to completion.
What is the worst part?
The studying – we had four exams all together, which was a big workload. But for new graduates the exams will be split into two.
What advice do you have for students considering a career in accountancy?
Go to careers fairs – you get to meet trainees on schemes. Find out as much as you can about the firms. That way you will be well-informed to fill out applications.