1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Job title: Financial services audit trainee Daily tasks: Completing different sections on the audit for example cash section- checking bank statements and bank reconciliations, performing exchange rates. Overheads section- checking invoices for expenses. I am booked to different clients all of the time, some for one week some for more, like 4 weeks. Sometimes I would work from the office, or I would go the clients office with the rest of the audit time. This is mostly in London, near where my office is, or other times it involves travelling. You stay in a hotel and get an allowance for food everyday that can be expensed back. One time I flew to a client in Dublin. The audit team consists of juniors, seniors, assistant manager, manager and partner.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt lots of new skill. I started at the end of November and there was an induction day at the London office with everyone from all over the UK. Then we had one week in college in London with people from the London and Gatwick offices to start learning for the accounting exam, and two weeks spent training in Cambridge, staying there. One week was before Christmas, the second week was in January. This was with everyone from all offices. I had my accounting exam on the 2nd March. Now I have college for my second exam, assurance, in May, for 3 days and then I will sit the exam a couple weeks later. I have some more college time in August for Management info, and the exam will be a couple weeks later again.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The work is hard at times, and sometimes you have to work late to finish work, but I am enjoying it. Whenever you get stuck, or have any issues, there is always someone there to help so you are never alone. You perform audits in teams, so you wouldn't be doing it all on your own. There are socials arranged quite regularly so you can get to know everyone else you work with. Also, because of Cambridge and college you get to know everyone who starts at the same time as you, and who are the same age, so you can make friends easy.
4. How valued do you feel by BDO?
I feel valued because seniors always thank you for work you do. Also, you write appraisals after jobs and the seniors and managers give you feedback.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The first month was very organised, we had the induction day and then after we had college at BPP kings cross and training in Cambridge. At work, your seniors are always helpful explaining what work you need to do, so you don't sit there not knowing what to do. I got given a buddy who started two years before me who was very helpful with every question I had, even questions that you think are stupid, because they were in the same position as you. I also got a counselling manager who I meet with so they see how I am doing and are there to help with any problems.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
You have full support at college for the exams and can contact your tutor whenever you need to ask them questions after the week of college when you are revising. There is a website for BPP that has a lot of support
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Seniors and managers are always helpful when you ask questions. They have their own work to do but always find time to help. If you have issues at work you can always go to your counselling manager who is there to help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary meets my expectations very well, considering I have just left school with A levels and I am getting all my education and exams paid for. I live at home so I don't have much to pay for. I buy a monthly travel card because I have to get the train into London. Anything that involves extra travel than normal travel to the office, for example clients not in London, travel can e expensed back.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There is a football club that you can be involved in, and they have travelled abroad with this before. You can also get involved in volunteering, because you can get 10 days of leave each year for community work. You also have the chance to go back to your secondary school to give a talk about the training program.
9. Would you recommend BDO to a friend?
It is a very good opportunity for someone who just left school. It is a good paying job, and you can get a qualification at the same time. It is a great alternative to university.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BDO?
Know what you are applying for, and what the job involves because you will be asked about the day to day job. So day to day you perform testing, e.g invoice testing is checking invoices to see that they accounted for the correct amount. Try to practice the online tests before you apply.
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