1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Check company's financial statements to make sure they're accurate, to do this we perform testing on different areas- i.e. expenses, cash and capital. E.g. this involves getting samples of expenses, and asking the client for invoices to support these transactions. As a trainee, your work is given to you by the senior on the job and they assist you when you are stuck. Sometimes you may need to go to the client's offices- this can either be in London or further out, so you'll stay in a hotel when necessary.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I've learnt lots of new skills, and developed a lot too. Especially since I didn't study accounting/finance at university and haven't studied anything mathemetical since my maths GCSEs about 7 years ago. In audit, you study towards the ACA and there are lots of modules in different areas so you learn a lot about everything- business, tax, law, management information etc.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the programme a lot, it's a great opportunity and the people in the company are nice. I've made some good friends- you get to interact closely with people when working on teams with them. It is pretty much what I expected since I'd done my research beforehand so had a good idea.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is very structured. There is a professional qualifications team which book in and sort out all your exams and most of your study leave. There is also a system in the audit team, which shows you all the clients you are booked in months in advance, so you can plan holiday etc around this if you need. You also have a counselling manager, buddy and counselling partner assigned to you from day 1 which is good.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
You seem to get a lot of support if needed. You can speak to your counselling manager or buddy, and there are services for wellbeing/mental health constantly being advertised and made available. If you need guidance, people are generally happy to help and are supportive/understanding. The important thing is just to speak up early enough if something is affecting you.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Some modules are taught in 'college'. Its a classroom setting outside of the office, at a BPP location where you are taught the syllabus 9am - 5pm. BPP also have welfare tutors- this is something constantly advertised. And they reach out to you regularly, letting you know what to do if you've failed exams etc, or if you need help with learning.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualification is good because it gives background knowledge and detail to the tasks you do on a daily basis. Because the work you do as a trainee can be quite 'superficial', it's nice to get a deeper understanding of why you're doing things. It also teaches you things outside of your job role which is good because it is holisitic.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There are apparently lots of extra curricular activities and teams etc, however they aren't advertised that well. Most of the time, you find out about these things by word of mouth/through friends- then you can asked to be added to the group. There's something called Yammer which people use, and that is helpful for finding out about socials. There are monthly drinks which is strongly advertised to all, and is fun.
9a. Would you recommend BDO to a friend?
I would recommend it, because the people/culture is nice, there's a decent work life balance, you get to study towards a professional qualification whilst working and getting paid. So far, it's been an enjoyable experience for me, and most others that I am on the programme with.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BDO?
I would say to fully research the role and the relevant professional qualification that you'll be studying towards before starting so that you are not blindsided. In the interview process, show your personality but be authentic. Take your time with the online application, and make sure it's not generic- really tailor it to BDO and the role/area you are applying for. Good luck!
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