Accounts Assistant at RSM

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Start Date:
2019
Location:
Preston
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5)
Review Date:
July 2020

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Review Score

9.6/10

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

10/10

I work as an assistant in the accounts and financial reporting department. On a day to day basis I will assist in preparing year end accounts for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. This can range from the planning, fieldwork, completion and post completion (usually budget to actuals) sections of the job. Another job I complete regularly is called tagging. This involves electronically tagging parts of the financial statements so that HMRC can easily identify the information they are looking for. I also do some outsourcing work - I process the monthly management accounts for a company before the supervisor reviews my work and completes the management accounts.

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

10/10

I have developed general skills I need for everyday life, such as communication (important regarding clients and colleagues), teamwork (understanding the different skills and personalities of members of a team is essential to being the most efficient) and my organisational and adaptability skills have also improved. These have all helped my gain confidence which I would not have had if I had not taken this apprenticeship. I have also learnt so many new skills regarding accountancy and the system and software we use at RSM. This includes how to tag a set of accounts, how to complete opening balance journals, how to reconcile bank accounts and how post adjusting journals into our softwares.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

10/10

I find my apprenticeship to be so rewarding because I am learning new skills and knowledge at work, but I am studying for my professional qualifications alongside this, so I am gaining experience and what the real world of work is actually like, not just a qualification. Sometimes it is hard balancing the two of these with non-work life as well, but it is all worth it for the qualifications and experience I will have gained. I am also pleased that I have made new friends and fit into my workplace very well, so that has made it more enjoyable too.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?

9/10

My programme is set over 5 years, starting with gaining my AAT Level 3 qualification (which I have now achieved), then my AAT Level 4 qualification, and then ending with my ACA Professional qualification. I think it is well planned ahead by the team at RSM and I know where I am up to in relation to where I am expected to be at each point in time. It is expected to spend the first 2 years on AAT and then the last 3 on ACA, which is a quicker way to be qualified as an accountant than if I had chosen to go to university and then sit ACA exams, so I should be one year ahead of others my age who may have chosen the university route.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?

10/10

I feel like I receive a great amount of support from RSM. We have Exam Training Managers who are always available to ask if you have any questions or queries about college and studies as well as where you should be with the internal training. I have a progress call with BPP every 3 months which my line manager also attends, meaning they know where I am up to and how I should be progressing with internal and external training. I know that if I had any issues there would be plenty of people that could help me or that I could talk to, so I don't feel under pressure while i'm still leaning.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?

8/10

My training provider holds a progress review call every 3 months in which we discuss any recent exam results, how my studies at college are going, how my written side of the apprenticeship is coming along (we need to complete essays to show we have the skills of an accountant), and British values in the workplace. These calls are somewhat useful. As well as this, before each exam I receive an email ensuring me that there are people at BPP available to help if I need it and I am aware that I can contact them if I have an issue, however sometimes these emails do seem very structured and not personal, as if they are only sending them because they have to in order to show that they have reached out to us.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?

10/10

I think that the things I am learning through my training provider do help me while I am at work because what I learn is directly related to my job in the accounts department. It also makes it easier to learn a new skill at work or complete a job I haven't completed before if I have been taught the theory behind it whilst studying for my qualification, so I would say it does help me perform better at work.

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.)

10/10

There are always social activities available to take part in at RSM, I think there is lots of variety too so there is something to suit everyone. Personally I have taken the opportunity to do a weekly yoga class over Zoom with people from my workplace. This is nice because it is a way of relaxing and relieving any stress that you may have, but you can also interact with colleagues in a social setting rather than a work one, so you can talk to them as people, not just about work related things. We do many charity events every year and there is a summer and Christmas party for the office which is a good way to get to know people.

9a. Would you recommend RSM to a friend?

Yes

9b. Why?

I feel like RSM is a great place to start your career because you can gain experience from the workplace whilst building your professional qualification. There is a wonderfully friendly and hard working atmosphere at RSM, you could ask anyone for help and they would give you as much of their time as you needed, but they are also dedicated to providing the best service to clients which is a good mindset to see. It shows me it is possible to be very good and professional at your job, whilst enjoying it and making social connections at the same time. I have found RSM to be very rewarding for my career, future and my growth as a person.

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

Be yourself and don't feel pressured to be perfect at everything right now. RSM look for team players who are dedicated to providing the best service possible, but there is plenty of help available and lots of learning to do along the way. Doing an apprenticeship does take discipline, but it is so rewarding if you are willing to put the time and effort in. Be sensible,have a "can do" attitude, and be a team player.

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