1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I'm an associate at Grant Thornton in the BSG department. This means I carry out the work on a variety of accounting jobs, including accounts preparation, management accounts, VAT returns and smaller audits. My work is then reviewed by a manager and where necessary a partner/director before being signed off as complete.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have studied for and received an AAT qualification and have now moved on to ACCA. Additionally I have been to many internal training sessions on both general accounting principles and the Grant Thornton methodology. I had no accounting background, and so have learnt all of the many skills required through this training and on the job mentoring.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my programme more than I had anticipated. The work is challenging, particularly to start with, but everyone here is perfectly happy to help whenever needed. The variety of work keeps it quite interesting, although some of the tight deadlines can lead to some stressful weeks. Overall though Grant Thornton has a friendly and inclusive culture that makes working here an enjoyable experience.
4. How valued do you feel by Grant Thornton?
On a personal level I feel valued by Grant Thornton. My people manager and the managers I work for on other jobs generally make me feel like my work is necessary and appreciated. They are willing to involve me in more complicated tasks and take an interest in my development. Overall however, there is a lack of flexibility over some of the regulations relating to trainees (e.g what programme of study we can take) that can make you feel less of an individual with value to the firm.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The induction element was probably the weakest part of my programme, being poorly designed and unclear in its objectives. However this has been improved since I have done it. The training contract and courses are set out clearly, giving a formal (albeit slightly inflexible) progression. Both my people manager and my 'buddy' have been available for both impromptu and organised catch ups and overall the programme feels well structured and organised.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Kaplan have been quite supportive whenever I have needed it. All of their tutors are available by email for queries outside of contact hours, and are helpful within class. However AAT was not particularly challenging, and so I couldn't say yet how effective their support would be on a difficult issue.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Grant Thornton are very supportive of any issues I've had. Any sick leave or personal requirements have been dealt with sympathetically and professionally by my managers with my welfare put first. This has been more local as I haven't had any issues where central HR would be involved, but they have been quick to respond to things like signing contracts and any admin issues.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary meets my costs more than adequately, given the fairly low rent in Leicester. I have also been very happy with the year on year pay increases I have received. The expense policy is fair and so overall I am perfectly happy with how I am paid. However there is a small disconnect between salaries for people of the same level in different departments that can sometimes feel a little unfair, especially when the lines of who performs what work are not fixed.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes there is a local social committee that arrange monthly events, as well as a charity partner who we work with to provide things like interview days for schoolchildren and an annual day long project. The social side could definitely be more active though, and the events could suit me better.
9a. Would you recommend Grant Thornton to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It has been a good first job, a friendly atmosphere where I have learnt a lot and been pushed but supported.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Grant Thornton? *
Research the department you are applying for. Most people don't know the nitty gritty of the day to day work when applying, but knowing a little can go a long way to show you are a serious, interested candidate.
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