Name: James Shrimpton
Degree and university: University of Reading, Accounting and Management
Work Title: Audit ACA Trainee, UHY Hacker Young
Were you always interested in Accountancy as a career? Not always. I studied accountancy and management at university because I excelled in these areas during my A-levels and wanted to play to my strengths. I became interested in a career in accountancy during my third year, when I began to consider what direction I might take after university.
How did you find out about this particular job? I spoke to other students on my course who had already lined up graduate jobs in the profession with some of the Big Four firms. I then did my own further research to learn the exact requirements of the job and learn about the companies offering places. My cousin had also recently qualified to become a chartered accountant in the city so naturally he gave me some useful insights.
What do you like most about your job and are there any downsides? I like the intimate team-based style of working during audits and having the opportunity to work closely with different kinds of people on different audit jobs. There is also some good variation in the different audit clients we visit in different areas. I like the idea of having a tangible goal to achieve (ACA qualification) and the mix of academic and on-the-job training.
Some of the tasks we have to perform as auditors can be particularly monotonous. Another downside is the fact that some sacrifices have to be made in terms of personal time. I am interested in fitness and love to be active so I find it difficult to balance work, commuting, and ACA study with the activities I enjoy most outside of my career.
What skills do you think you need to succeed in this sector? I think you need to be motivated, diligent, professional, and have good interpersonal skills. It is important to communicate well with both your audit team and the client. Furthermore, I think a person should be ambitious, energetic, and have the capacity to learn quickly, and think decisively.
What advice would you give graduates coming into this sector? Research the job well and carefully consider what you want from your job. The latter I think is crucially important due to the constraints work and study put on the time you would like to dedicate to activities outside of work. If you want to work in the city, gain a well respected qualification and learn crucial business skills that would serve you well for the future, then I would recommend this sector.