Why did you choose a career in accounting?
I always enjoyed Maths at school and I studied it at university so I wanted to continue that in my career. I spoke to a number of friends who are accountants and I liked the technical aspects of the role. In addition, there are so many areas to specialise in that your career can go in many different directions. I was also keen to pursue a professional qualification that is well recognised.
What made you choose UHY Hacker Young?
I was very keen to work for a top 20 firm where I would be able to gain exposure to a wide range of clients but not lose the personal touch. From the moment I came to UHY, I knew it ticked all the right boxes. Everyone I met on the open day, from the staff to the trainees, was very friendly so I felt at home straight away.
Do you tend to work late into the evenings or a lot of weekends?
I have done so on the rare occasion but it tends to be the exception rather than the rule. That said, working towards a professional qualification does mean studying during the evenings and over the weekends. It takes a lot of commitment to sit down at the end of a busy day and focus on the study material.
What makes a good auditor/accountant?
A good eye for detail and someone who likes to lose themselves in the numbers. The ability to get to grips with different accounting systems it quite important too. All clients are different so once you’ve mastered one client’s systems you’re off on the next audit. Communication is also essential because you will be dealing with a range of clients at a range of levels.
What is the atmosphere like at UHY Hacker Young?
It is a very supportive and nurturing atmosphere where everyone is happy to help you out. Everyone is happy to take the time to explain things to you and give you the support you need. The training is on the job so it helps that everyone is relaxed and you are encouraged to ask questions.
What do you like most about your role?
I really enjoy meeting new clients and getting to know their business. No two clients are the same, even if they are competitors! I enjoy listening to them talk about their business and what changes have gone on in the year.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
It is challenging balancing both work and study. Audits can be very intense as some deadlines are very tight and sitting down at the end of the day to study can be the last thing on your mind.
What do you hope to do when you have finished your qualification?
One of the best things about doing the ACA is that so many doors open once you qualify so the options are endless. I constantly change my mind about what I want to do, but I think it is likely that I will go into industry as a financial controller. At some point, I would like to work overseas and one of the advantages of the ACA is that this is possible.
Is it difficult to balance your exams and work commitments?
Absolutely! The amount of studying that needs to be done before an exam is enormous and it’s difficult to motivate yourself to stay home for another weekend when all your friends are out having fun. That being said, when there is free time you enjoy yourself so much more.
What level of responsibility do you receive as a trainee?
On my first audit, I was expected to test a number of balances on the accounts. Despite the training I had, I was still daunted. As you progress, you gain more and more responsibilities until you find yourself the senior liaising with the client on site and off.
Describe a typical day in the audit department:
No two days are the same. One day you will find yourself in the back of a storeroom counting some computer component on a stock take in your jeans and then the next you will be in a smart office block in the city. All the clients are from a range of industries and sizes so there are lots of opportunities to learn about the issues affecting their businesses.
What are you particularly proud of since starting your career with UHY Hacker Young?
I am really happy and proud every time I pass an exam. The ACA itself is very intense, particularly in the build up to an exam, so passing is just the best feeling.