1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am currently an audit associate at Grant Thornton. The day to day life of an auditor involves traveling to clients to audit their work. This involves carrying out audit tests, discussing processes with clients and observation of procedures. I also will regularly be producing financial statements for businesses of all sizes. I will often take responsibility for a section of the audit file, of which I am required to provide enough evidence to the manager and partner that I believe the section is free from material misstatement.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am currently studying for AAT and will go on to ACA or ACCA after completing AAT. Working at Grant Thornton has developed my professional skills dramatically, I have the confidence to speak to clients who can be three times my age and convey my point easily. We are regularly sent to Bradenham Manor, our internal training facility, to further develop our audit knowledge and quality. Grant Thornton will continually develop you and push you whilst still providing all of support you need.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am thoroughly enjoying the school leaver program and would recommend it to anyone who had an interest in accountancy. Since my first day I have felt welcomed into the team and I have always been included in a wide range of social activities, from a dinner at Twickenham to Go Karting with my office. I never expected the team to be so friendly!
4. How valued do you feel by Grant Thornton?
I feel very valued by Grant Thornton. Due to not being one of the Big 4 accountancy firms it means that you have easy access to managers and partners. When I complete work I will often receive feedback from not just my in charge accountant but the job manager and the partner. We have an internal recognition scheme to further reward people who go the extra mile when working.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program has been well structured with a detailed induction program and continued development from the very first week. Our internal training facility, Bradenham Manor, continually provides training which are scheduled throughout the year. I am provided with study leave for exams where necessary and regular catch ups with my people manager to discuss any concerns I have and to keep me notified on what I am to expect in the next few months.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Grant Thornton uses Kaplan Financial for training. I have found the tutors to be helpful and they are available over email when you have a query outside of class. The tutors are very knowledgeable on the subjects they teach and understand the exam format so that you feel fully prepared.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager and team will provide me with support on all training I am given. I have not yet failed an exam or found them too difficult therefore I have not had to heavily rely on people, however in the few instances I have there has always been someone to support me.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary offered by Grant Thornton is competitive in the market place and rises year on year. Salary reviews are yearly and the chance to earn a bonus is also reviewed yearly depending on your performance. Travel costs are always reimbursed and in the event you are working away from home all food, hotel and travel costs are covered. The location of the Southampton office gives easy access by train and there are car parks local to the office if you drive.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The company holds regular events that employees are able to attend, including professional business development events and social events. Grant Thornton also allows for time to be taken off work to help with charity groups. Grant Thornton also works to raise money for a selected charity.
9a. Would you recommend Grant Thornton to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Grant Thornton is a forward thinking firm that values its employees and listens to you. I don't feel like I'm just another person, I feel valued and empowered. With shared enterprise coming into play, employees are given the chance to voice their opinions which will change how the firm operates. Recently we have allowed all employees at Southampton to 'dress for the diary', there is no dress code anymore and you are given the responsibility to decide what you feel is right to wear.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Grant Thornton? *
Be yourself throughout the application process - the firm is looking to recruit the people who will fit in well with our culture. Make sure to ask the questions that you want to know, we want you to be sure that Grant Thornton is the place for you. Do some research on what service lines we offer and our most recent marketing campaigns, this will give you a background on how we work as a firm.
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