What is it like to work at UHY Hacker Young Manchester?
I joined UHY’s Manchester office from a much smaller firm, where I’d started the first eight months of my training. The process of transferring my training contract was complicated and time-consuming, and I was worried that the upheaval might not pay off. Luckily for me, it did.
Although daunting to join a much larger office with bigger clients, I knew instantly that I’d made the right decision. UHY’s atmosphere is really friendly, and this permeates through all staff members. The working attitude is professional yet relaxed. This combination allows you scope to take on a lot of responsibility without the barrier of fear.
How do you balance your work and social life?
UHY has a very flexible and supportive approach to study. I spent, and continue to spend, time with my training managers to establish a course schedule that suits my needs. Unlike other firms, UHY encourages you to stagger your exams across the three year training period. This relieves some of the pressure and allows you time between exams to apply the knowledge gained from studying to real-life scenarios.
Most people who have chosen this career path know that they’ve got to put the graft in to reap the longer-term rewards. Although there are periods where you may have to give up your evenings and weekends, it’s important to remember that those are short-lived, and that there’s always a post-exam lull to be enjoyed before the next one.
What are the most important skills that you utilise in your current position?
You’ve got to be inquisitive. One of UHY’s audit and accounts managers told me early on that there is no such thing as a stupid question, and it’s that advice, coupled with the approachable attitude of the office, that has helped me to grow my career so quickly. Asking questions helps you to understand the work that you’re doing, and will often prompt your colleagues to think about things in a different light.
If you could pass on one nugget of wisdom to future trainees, what would it be?
Know what you want out of your career. As a graduate, it’s tempting to take the first job offer that comes along but that’s not always the right fit. When I took my first accounting job, I had made assumptions about the role which turned out to be incorrect. You should think about the size of the firm you’re applying to, and how that will affect the type of work you will be doing. Consider asking:
- What is the split between audit and accounts work?
- What type of clients does the firm get? Are they small, medium or large?
- What is the industry focus of the firm?
Since joining UHY, I’ve gained key experience of audit work across a number of sectors including automotive, academy, charity, engineering and retail. I really enjoy the diversity of my day-to-day, and am very glad that I made the move to UHY Manchester.