1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work in the PCS tax department in Bristol. My role involves working with individuals on tax advisory projects and compliance (i.e. completing tax returns). In January, the workload is usually full on in order to meet the tax return filing deadline. However, the rest of the year work is relaxed, varied and enjoyable. I spend most days in the office, with the rest of the PCS team. Occasionally I will travel to client meetings which is a great opportunity to develop skills and confidence. I'm currently working on a number of advisory projects, including IHT planning and a CGT review on the trust. Each project you are involved in will focus on different aspects allowing a broad knowledge in tax.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
This is a 5 year programme in which you take your accounting exams and then a specialised tax qualification (CTA). During the course the first year and half are spent working towards your CFAB qualification which is the entry level to ICAEW (accountancy exams). I have also attended a number of tax training courses during my time at EY, this has been a great opportunity to meet other colleagues who work in different offices. Since I have been at EY, my confidence and professionalism has developed in the work place.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am currently really enjoying the programme. I have found the team welcoming and always approachable. The Bristol office currently only has 3 school leavers in my year and I get on well with all of them. EY have also arranged that we attend college with both the Reading and Southampton school leavers, which again is a great opportunity to catch up. I enjoy all the work I'm involved in, especially now I'm be given a greater involvement in the technical aspects of the tax advice and less admin.
4. How valued do you feel by EY?
I feel I am a valued member of the Bristol PCS team, and have been given greater involvement in client projects as my technical knowledge has increased. The PCS team and other colleagues at EY are very good at pointing out any tasks or projects which I have performed well at, and will highlight areas for improvement.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
This programme is well structured and has now been running for a number of years. My induction week, in London, was a great networking event and introduced me to the firm's expectations/beliefs. I have received a number of training courses in tax which has increased my knowledge on the technical areas in the office. Before I joined the firm I was given contact details to my buddy who supported my transition period into the team, and still is around to offer additional support. I feel I have good contact with the Exam team at EY, and have regular communication to understand my future exams.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I study for my accountancy exams at Kaplan in Reading. During this time, the tutors are clear and approachable. Currently, I have not contacted them outside of college as I haven't felt any of the resource/exam material needed further explaining. However, we have been given the relevant contact details and there is Kaplan centre in Bristol which we are able to visit.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Everyone at EY is assigned a counsellor who is responsible to help your development through the firm. This allows a contact in the company who you are able to see if you require any additional support. During my CFAB exams we currently haven't been given any additional days for study leave, with the exception of my days at college. This currently means if you wanted further time for revision you would need to use your annual leave. However, from my understanding, when you take your advanced/professional exams further study leave is granted.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I am able to live comfortably with my salary, as I currently don't have any commuting costs and receive support from my parents. This was my first time moving out of my parents house, and therefore I found the progression difficult. However, after the first few months I become comfortable budgeting each month.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have become involved in a number of activities which have both been involved with work and outside of work. I enjoy going to Young Professional's each month, which is an organised networking event to meet other 'professionals' in Bristol. Colleagues in EY have set up a number of social events, including and netball + football team, treck across the Sahara desert and constantly enjoying drinks after work.
9a. Would you recommend EY to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I have really enjoyed my time at EY, and hopefully will continue over the next few years. I have found the whole experience insightful, and a huge learning curve. This was my first time living away from my parents, budgeting the bills and working a 9-5:30 job! During this, understandably I sometimes found days overwhelming. However, I always found there was someone at work who would take the time to help me out - even if my problem wasn't work related.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EY? *
During the interviews, try to be yourself. Nobody will be trying to make you fail - they just want to help you. During my assessment day in London I turned up an hour and a half late (due to traffic), turned up in tears and stressed. The organiser of the event were extremely understanding about the event, allowing me time to compose and prepare myself. I then heard the response that I had been put through to the final partner interview only 2 hours after it had finished.
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