Balance Sheet Associate at Premier Foods

Start Date:
North West
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
£24,400 annually
Review Date:
May 2018

Connect with Premier Foods

Review Score

9.2 /10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


I currently work as a balance sheet associate. I have specific areas of responsibility such as the general accruals for the company, construction the purchase price variance report including any error correction mid-month, calculating some of the stock provisions, actioning recharges and posting journals for other departments (segregation of duties).

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Absolutely. I've learnt a lot about the controls in place, the month end process and how one process has a knock on effect on other areas of the business. I've been picking up balance sheet reconciliations for finished goods, accruals and prepayments which is something I'd not done previously. I've been picking up reporting and data manipulation tips too. We've had training sessions with the costing team to help give me a wider knowledge pool too.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


With the exception of the workshops that are compulsory with the apprenticeship it's been great. The workshops seem to be aimed much more at those starting off in finance for the 1st time. But I've been a business manager and worked in accounts receivable before and have completed my AAT to level 4. And the workshops have provided absolutely no additional insight, knowledge or best practice that I could take to the workplace. They are not appropriate for someone studying at level 8 ACCA. If someone with little or no work experience studying at level 2 or 3 AAT it may be more beneficial. But other than that the support I've had from my employer, the training provider and other students has been great. And more importantly I've learnt a lot from it and can see that I'm going to continue to learn.

4. How valued do you feel by Premier Foods?


Highly valued. They've been incredibly supportive in offering me a new role, cross training and adequate leave to attend college during the week. Even though I've not asked for much help from them my direct line manager has regularly asked if there's anything else that she can do to aid or support me. All of my managers have been supportive and are keen to ensure they're doing everything they can in order for me to get the most out of the apprenticeship.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


Quite well. Although some of the workshop courses all seem to be centred around month end which is problematic. But information has been sent out in good time by the training provider and I've got no real complaints.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


The tutors are really keen for you to e-mail them out of hours and on the occassions I have I get quick replies. For each topic we've been given the e-mail and phone number of the tutor so the support is always available. They've provided one-to-one support where required and have offered plenty of other support. They've given additional mock exams, which other training providers charge separately for, and give constructive feedback on them all. Their offices are always open for private revision if you just want somewhere quiet to study. It's a great atmosphere and the staff are really approachable.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


The offer is always there, however I've not had to take them up on it much. They've given me the time off, they have a monthly one to one with me and offer assistance in the form of study leave or quiet study time at work if I need it. So although I've not asked for much support it is there if I need it.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


I don't pay for anything on this apprenticeship. Therefore my salary / package is irrelevant in meeting my costs. Additionally all of my professional fees are paid.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


The company does a lot of team building exercies and community work. It encourages you to get invoved with promoting the business at Easter and Christmas and to take part in charity events. The company is also keen on motivating and encouraging staff and have annual away days and conferences which are generally well received.

9. Would you recommend Premier Foods to a friend?


9b. Why?

They're supportive, are ACCA and CIMA accredited and being a large PLC have a large range of specialists within the business that provide a diverse knowledge pool you can call upon or use for cross training and experience.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Premier Foods?

Learn the company values. The company lives and breathes its values and works them in to every single aspect of their work and business. Make sure that you're prepared to be targeted on those values and deliver and drive for excellence.

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