Harriet joined UHY Hacker Young in 2011 as a graduate, before progressing through the ranks to supervisor in 2016.
Why did you choose a career in accounting?
I was keen to find a role which was diverse and would allow insight into businesses and how they work. I wanted to have a career that would allow me to continue learning and provided opportunities for continued professional development and I found that accounting and audit in particular offered all of this.
What made you choose UHY Hacker Young?
I wanted to work in a firm that provided a lot of support to their trainees and opportunities for exposure to a lot of different types of clients ranging in size and industry. UHY Hacker Young have a fantastic training programme. Both the internal training and their relationship with BPP supported me through my exams and throughout my time as a trainee.
What is the atmosphere like in the office?
The atmosphere in the office varies depending on how busy it is. It can be stressful at times when there are lots of deadlines looming but there is always someone willing to provide guidance and support when needed. Everyone is friendly and approachable.
What do you like most about your role?
I like the diversity of my role. I have a variety of clients in my portfolio from charities to Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listed clients and large groups. Every client is different and I enjoy building a relationship with them, which improves the audit process. I also enjoy the opportunities to work on other projects, such as due diligence work, which has allowed me to gain insight into clients in a different way.
What level of responsibility do you receive as a trainee?
From the start you are given a lot of responsibility as you are out at client sites and are representing the firm. As you progress through the training programme, you become responsible for more sections of the audit file and ultimately are responsible for the fieldwork stage of the audit itself. Although this can be daunting at times, you are always thoroughly supported by your seniors, managers and the partners on the assignment.
What advice would you give to a potential trainee?
It can be hard to manage the workload and the exams initially, as it is very different from University, but, as long as you learn to manage your time, it is all possible. The management and training group have all been through the exams and know how hard it can be and can offer advice and help with your time management, if needs be.
What training and support have you received?
During my time as a trainee we had regular training courses on the different aspects of auditing and financial reporting. You are fully supported by the seniors who help you with your day-to-day training, which is important as you can ask questions whilst you are at the clients and as and when issues arise. Once you qualify, you are invited to attend the UHY International training courses and ICAEW webinars which cover any changes in financial reporting standards and different aspects of business development.
When I moved into the management group I was encouraged to attend an external management training course which I found really useful as the role changes quite significantly when you are managing more than one assignment at a time.
What has been the best thing about training with UHY?
The people that you work with throughout your training are the best thing about UHY. There is a real sense of camaraderie. You look out for each other and support each other throughout the exams, whilst in the office and at college. It helps to know that you are not the only one going through this experience but are sharing it with others.
How much interaction have you had with clients?
I have had a lot of interaction with clients from day one. In my first couple of months I was straight out on site at different client offices interacting with senior finance staff and directors and requesting the various information I needed to audit.
I now regularly speak to my clients throughout the year to plan the different stages of their audits or assignments and to offer other services when needed.
What sets UHY apart from other firms?
UHY can offer so many opportunities throughout your training. The varied client base and size of the audit group allows you to gain audit experience in a wide variety of sectors, whilst the internal training and the people at UHY provides you with support throughout your training. There are also opportunities for secondments at client sites for accounts preparation experience and temporary roles in the tax department and in other areas of UHY, if you would like to vary your experience further.