1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I have joined EY in UK&I assurance - as an auditor. This involves understanding the companies processes and testing their accounts to check they are true and fair. Part of the task is to meet and discuss with management of firms to anaylse the results of the company and to check it matches the accounts.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have been training to become a chartered accountant with ICAEW. This involves completing 15 exams. So far, I have passed the first 6 (CFAB) exams first time. This was partly due to EY paying for "college" in Kaplan who taught us in a classroom environment. Some other firms I know make students study at home - which I think would be a major disadvantage.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have been placed on a client which lasts 11 months of the year (9 month for statutory reporting and two months for group reporting). This allows me to have a stable audit team and get to know both the team and the client well. EY holds lots of social events which allow you to get to know everybody in the department and feel part of the company.
4. How valued do you feel by EY?
I feel appreciated from management and have been given more responsiblity the more time goes on. They are also able to show this by giving out "value awards". If a good piece of work has been performed - they are allowed to gift you this award which is worth £50 and can be spent in most shops, for example Amazon.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction is very well organised where you get to know everybody in your year. When you join, a buddy is asigned to you so that you can ask any questions if necessary (such as how to submit a timesheet etc). A peer group meeting is set up to discuss anything that EY could do better for yourself as an employee and you are assigned to a family. This family involves colleagues at every level at EY in the same department as you. This allows you to get to know everything and discuss all the opportunities that are available at EY.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
You are able to receive support from the college tutor in between your exams. They provide their email, where you can ask questions at any time. You also have guidance from a buddy assigned to you (described above) who are all very happy to help. You are allowed to discuss any problems and anybody I have asked has always been positive and supportive to find a solution. A web-cast is also before the exam between yourself and the kaplan tutor so you can ask all questions you are unsure of.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Senior management help very much if you have a problem within EY or have a problem with your job. They are happy to tell you any solutions and everybody at EY is happy to act as a "mentor" for you.
HR are easily accessible and usually pick up within 2 or 3 minutes. If there are any issues, they are very knowledgable and can usually refer you to the correct colleague.
As described above, you can easily obtain support from your buddy, peer group, family or councellor.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
From what I have heard, the salary is the lowest of the big 4 firms. At the start of joining, school leavers earn nowhere near enough to live or rent in London, however this is true for any firm you join at this level. Therefore, er have to commute. In busy season, this does get a bit tricky with the long hours. However, the teams usually know this and are flexible to allow you to travel and work from home.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many company events or voluntary activities EY organise and allow you to take place in. There are many clubs such as football teams if you want to join. These events are usually local in London and are easy to join up. These allow you to get to meet more colleagues at EY and get to network more.
9a. Would you recommend EY to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I would recommend EY to anyone coming out of university/joining as a school leaver to all the reasons explained above. It provides many opportunities that will be very beneficial in later life. Although the contract is longer, the exams are more spread. Sometimes, you feel this is very slow, especially at the CFAB level. It takes a year to complete these exams, whereas it only takes 3 months as a graduate. However, it is much more beneficial when you get to the professional level where school leavers only take two exams at once, whereas graduates have to take three at the same time.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EY? *
I would adivse everyone to put down a reference (ie anyone in EY) and take part of the fee given to you. I was actually referred by a colleague, however didnt put his name in the correct box and missed out. The assessment days are very chilled - so do not worry. If you fail a test by a small amount (as I did in the maths test), EY look at your grades and I was able to take a re-test.
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