1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Working within the audit department involves spending a majority of time out on client sites performing tests on financial statements. I am also occasionally involved in the preparation of the accounts. The role involves a high degree of teamwork and liaising with the other departments.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My communication and confidence has improved drastically since I first joined solely due to the number of conversations I am having with clients and colleagues on a daily basis. The AAT qualification has helped build by general accounting and business knowledge, setting a strong foundation to move onto the ACA.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the team that I work with on a day-to-day basis but at times I have struggled to get the work/life balance right. There is a good support network within the office but I have found it challenging, particularly during the busier periods.
4. How valued do you feel by Grant Thornton?
The appraisal system has recently changed to make it more focused on feedback and personal goals. The managers are keen for the associates to drive their own personal development and will support you. The only downside is that there is often the perception that the managers are so busy that they may not have time to help out, despite the fact that they are more than happy to help out.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The training process is well structured. Now that I've moved from the AAT to ACA I am now spending blocks of time at college as opposed to the occasional day. I have found that there is often a breakdown in communication between the training provider and firm which means I have been booked on the wrong courses or attended college on the wrong days. It would be great if the communication channels improved.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Kaplan has a vast amount of resources and the tutors always seem happy to help out. They seem to be very understanding that you have to balance studies with the job.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support network is very good and you are pushed in appraisals. I've even been fortunate to be offered support from people that aren't my people manager.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is competitive and has improved. I still live at home and so costs are minimal. I would be keen to move to Cambridge in the near future but am not sure just how far my salary would stretch to let me do so. Whilst I've not applied for any yet, I've also heard good things about the benefits scheme.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The Cambridge office does have a social committee that arranges events outside of work, but due to the office being right on the edge of the city it's often difficult to arrange something spontaneous after work.
9a. Would you recommend Grant Thornton to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The people I work with are great and the role is varied. It may not be as social as university though!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Grant Thornton? *
There's a great website called Spilling the Beans where trainees blog on their day-to-day roles. It's a great way to learn about the firm, get tips for the interview process, and see how the work that we do is aligned with our firm values.
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