1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an ABA assistant, which is the department that prepares accounts for clients. We work alongside Tax in order to complete the accounts. Clients vary in size and organisation, with some having management accounts to individuals who hand over bank statements and receipts. You are given responsibility over your own work and the client administration that comes with each assignment.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a range of accounting concepts, from my time at college and training courses provided by the firm. I have developed my people skills as I have to deal with other colleagues from a variety of departments. My own organisational skills have also improved. I have also begun my first level of accounting qualifications and am on the way to completing my AAT.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
To a large extent. I am given a variety of assignments within the department, and am never out of work. It mainly consists of preparing accounts and VAT returns as well as tagging. The people in my department are excellent and senior staff are all very approachable. I enjoy coming to work every day, despite the early starts.
4. How valued do you feel by RSM?
I feel highly valued at RSM, as managers and other members of staff are keen to give me work and are happy for me to complete tasks even though I am a very junior member of staff with little experience. Managers and partners ask how you are getting on with work and study which indicates they are looking for you to do well.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very structured. Initially there is a full day induction, followed by several days on internal training courses down south. You attend college regularly on a day release system and are paid for this course attendance. You are kept informed by your ETM as to whether you need to attend any internal or external courses which is extremely useful.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
BPP are incredibly supportive. Every mentor I have had so far has been great. The resources provided by BPP are exceptional, eg question banks and passcards. They have online practice tests to complete which are great for exam technique. Also an email goes around regularly from an AAT employee generally asking how you are getting on and if you need any assistance with any exam related issues.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The support from RSM is also great. Colleagues who are more advanced students regularly ask how things are going and whether you need any help with exam related issues. In addition to this, your line manager will regularly check on your progress with a 6 monthly appraisal. You are given a buddy who is generally your first port of call who has often completed the same process as you are on which is great for advice and general info.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
At the minute I am living at home on the cheap, but I need to do this as I have a large travel cost due to me commuting from York to Leeds. The salary at RSM is fantastic and provides the ability to socialise and also save at the same time as a junior. They provide a competitive salary and are keen to retain staff. They also provide excellent employee benefits, such as matching your salary contribution pound for pound and other things such as being able to reclaim railcards etc.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes. The firm provides a fully paid for 5 a side team every week, which I play for each Wednesday. There are regular office events organised by the social committee such as curry nights or bowling. Another big social aspect which I stay well away from is the office choir, who regularly perform for other companies and have just gone on a trip to Edinburgh to perform. All of the social events are covered by the firm as they want to provide a great working environment for all staff.
9a. Would you recommend RSM to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The salary and packages available are hard to beat. Everyone who works there is approachable and will always be willing to help out. Senior members of staff are supportive and make you feel part of the team. All training and exams are paid for as part of your programme. They provide TOIL for overtime worked by students. It is overall a fantastic place to work.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to RSM? *
Application - it is not just about the grades. They ask for achievable A-Level results and look for well-rounded people. Assessment days - use the material sent by the firm to prepare for the assessments and get involved in the group exercise. I was told to just be myself and take the whole application in my stride as it is a very unknown corporate process which I had never experienced.
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