1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an audit trainee at Grant Thornton. I have been at Grant Thornton for three years and therefore I am In-charge of client jobs. This involves me visiting clients sites for approximately 2 weeks at a time to perform planning, fieldwork and concluding sections. I review my teams work and in turn my work is reviewed by the manager and partner. At the end of the job, the partner will sign off the audit report on the financial statements.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes. The first two years of my qualification I was completed the AAT qualification - The Association of Accounting Technicians. This involved a variety of computer based exams and reports to complete. After this I have started by Chartered qualification - ACA (Association of Chartered Accountants). On top of this, I have learnt while working on the job by completing a wide range of client jobs.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Overall I enjoy my programme. My firm is paying for my qualification as well as giving me valuable work experience. The majority of the staff are helpful and willing you help if I am stuck or want more support. The culture is a 'work hard play hard' where we have a busy season in the first half of the year which has long hours and tight deadlines. The latter part of the year are more normal hours. Work also rewards us for our hard work by providing social events after our busy season.
4. How valued do you feel by Grant Thornton?
On the whole I feel valued by Grant Thornton. We have continuous feedback given to us, usually at the end of each client job and therefore have feedback as regular as every month. In addition, we have two appraisals a year where feedback is provided by the manager and partner team. The school leaver programme is two years longer than the graduate scheme, however the day-to-day job role is the same for school leavers and graduates, this creates positives as well as negatives. Where we are able to develop at the same speed as graduates, however promotions have to be spread over our qualification and therefore in some cases, school leavers could be exceeding their current level at work which could leave school leavers disheartened at times. On the whole, they do make us feel valued.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very structured. We have a weeks induction at the start of our job. We have continuous training on the job. I have been working for three years and still receive regular training to develop within my role. The professional college programme is also structured and communicated to us.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
A lot of support. We would attend college for up to 4 weeks for each module and will have continuous progress tests and mock papers to ensure we are on top of the syllabus.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I believe we have a lot of support form our employer. If I were stressed about a college module, I would communicate this to the manager team and they would take a look at my calendar to assess how to help with the situation. This is trickier however during busy season where hours are longer and it might appear that we are short staffed. This is the nature of the industry I work in and therefore I expect to work longer hours in this time of the year.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I currently live at home and therefore my costs are low, however I am looking to buy a house soon and therefore if I compared by current salary to my expected costs, I believe that I am being paid well for someone my age (21). However for the number of hours I commit to the job, I believe it could be viewed as slightly lower than expected. Saying this, there is constant pay increases (usually every 6-12 months) and therefore throughout my qualification my salary will continue to increase.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes there are lots of opportunities such as sporting events and networking events to attend. They also organise social events c.3 times a year such as trip to Bournemouth for a night/Top golf with the office. They also do charity events which we can volunteer for.
9a. Would you recommend Grant Thornton to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I believe they provide a lot of valuable work experience and push you to develop further. In addition, there are also overseas opportunities such as secondments abroad for 6 months-2 years.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Grant Thornton? *
Be prepared for the interview process as it can be intense with c.4-5 stages. Take a good look into the day-to-day role to assess whether the job role suits you and your life style. Within audit there can be a lot of travelling, away jobs, long hours and therefore ensure they are fully aware of the facts before applying.
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