1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an associate currently working within the Public Sector Assurace department at Grant Thornton. My role is to audit public sector bodies such as Local Government, NHS and schools/colleges. I will attend a client's offices with the audit team, generally a team of 3, and perform testing on the accounts to ensure they show a true and fair view. The job is challenging but worth it as you get to learn alot about different clients and also there is a lot of scope for promotion within Grant Thornton should you work well and progress in your qualifications.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Grant Thornton are currently paying for me to study AAT levels 2, 3 and 4 which are recognised qualifications, after this is will go on to study ICAS/CIPFA which is a dual chartered qualification and combines both a corporate and a public sector qualification. Should you enter commercial audit you would study ACCA and if you were to go into Tax you would study CTA. Besides academic skills i have also attended internal training courses at Bradenham Manor which improve your skills within accounting and give you an insight to the work you will be performing at a client site. I also feel working with Grant Thornton has improved my confidence as you have to go up and speak to Finance Directors which to begin with ca be quite daunting.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Grant Thornton have a lot of benefits to offer such as a loan to help you get settled, car leasing schemes and a variety of social events which occur fortnightly. I thoroughly enjoy my spprenticship as its challenging and never gets boring as there is something different at every client and you are given the responsibility to do work that is interesting. I also feel the amount of support offered by colleagues and the college is very helpful and they are always willing to help.
4. How valued do you feel by Grant Thornton?
I fell like a crucial part of the team as i carry out work which is crucial to the audit. Feedback is regularly obtained from the audit manager which allows you to see how well you've done and also where you can improve. CLEARR points are also a benefit to Grant Thornton as they allow you to be recognised by collegaues for good work and these can then be turned into money to be spent on an online store or vouchers for a shopping centre for example.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Generally i attend a different client on a fortnightly bass, i am then given a fornight or so study leave where i attend college and then a couple of days before the exam to prepare fully.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Depending on which department you enter depends on where you study but for my case being in Public Sector Assurance i study at CIPFA, the tutors here are very helpful and are just n email away should you have any queries meetings can also be set up so that they can walk you through areas that you may be struggling with. I enjoy my training as the teachers are very helpful and also support you throughout the qualification.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Grant Thornton allow you a couple of days off per exam and as you are allocated a people manager and also a buddy there is a lot of support which can be gained from them. If you find yourself strugglig your people manager will be able to arrange a plan to help you get back on track. Also if you are having problems at work there is a confidential phone line which you can call to discuss personal problems that may or may not be work related. Grant Thornton always strive to make their employees feel supported.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is very competitive and also all expenses are reimbursed to you, including petrol outside what you would normally use to reach the office. The salary progresses as you pass exams and gain experience. I do not feel the salary prevents you from doing any activities you would want to or buying anythig yu may want.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are loads of things to help out with outside of normal work to better yourself or even just to get yourself recognised. Also there is the social club wich allows you to attend various events with collegues such as balet, bowling or theatre. There are also networking event which you can help out with.
9a. Would you recommend Grant Thornton to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would recommend Grant Thornton because the salary is competitive and also you are a wanted employee, Grant Thornton make you feel important by giving you the responsibility and also the training you need to be able to do this to the highest standard. The collegues are very friendly and helpful so you always have someone to ask if you're stuck.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Grant Thornton? *
Grant Thornton have a variety of different interviews such as a webcam interview and also assessment days. The best way to be prepared is to be yourself and let your personality shine through as ultimately there is only one of you. For the assessment days i would suggest looking up on the internet for the different types of tests (there are 3 for Grant Thornton) and learn what sort of things can come up.
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