1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job title is audit trainee , my day to day role is to work on audits with other team memebers. I spend a large amount of time out at a clients site with 2 or 3 other senior memebers of staff. The work is split to appropriate skill levels starting at the audit of sections such as cash and debtors. As you progoress and shown understanding of each section you are able to move onto other sections such as overheads and payroll. The team members I have worked with so far are extremely helpful and supportive allowing me to move on to harder sections as I progress while still happy to help and answer any questions I may have. I interact with a client on an almost daily basis in order to perform my role and have been able to build up good relationships with them.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am working towards the CFAB qualification and have currently taken my accounting exam and passed and I am about to sit my assurance exam. Apart from that most of the skills I have picked up have been on the job, learning about auditing, how to test certain sections and what risks you are looking for in each one, such as overheads may have a risk of understatement. I have only been with the firm since September as such have not had an opportunity to go to other training courses accept for the induction training in the first month.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have so far enjoyed the overall experience of BDO, the team members are friendly and happy to answer questions, they understand you are new to this and need coaching. They are a very social office so there is plenty of opportunity to go to events outside of work and get to know the whole team. I had believed this was the case when I joined BDO and my expectations were met.
4. How valued do you feel by BDO?
The teams I have been working with have been very good at pushing me and ensuring they are testing my abilities. I have quickly got a good grasp of audit and so have been able to move onto harder sections than others, the teams I have been with have facilitated this and encouraged me to push myself. I have thoroughly enjoyed this as it has kept me engaged and learning on the job which I find extremely important. Managers have showed appreciation for the hard work I have put in both through verbal recognition as well as a thank you in the 'thank you box' which is mailed out to all the office along with all the 'thank yous' for the month.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
We received training upon arrival at BDO this consisted of 2 weeks internal training which was extremely helpful. We were also sent straight to college to learn accounting which was great to have a basic understanding of what we were doing. There is plenty of support within the office should we need it. We are given time off for college to ensure we are able to properly prepare for the exams. There were some miscommunications between BDO and BPP at the start of the course wand what we should have been doing in regards to assignments but this was not crucial and was quickly solved. Largely happy with the structure and organisation
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The tutors for assurance and accounting at BPP college so far have been great, they are helpful and great at ensuring we understand the topic. Our 'assessor' for our assignments is not based in Reading and as such we only have phone reviews with her no face to face interaction. She is happy to answer questions and talk to us although I believe she is the assessors of a large amount of people and is sometimes unable to keep up with where we are in the programme, this can feel a little impersonal sometimes and feel like I am going over the same thing over again. But as I said she is happy to answer questions and always responds promptly
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have a counselling manager assigned to me who I regularly meet to discuss how I am progressing and any issues I may have. She is also available should I need to contact her in the mean time with any other issues. Senior members of the team are happy to help and answer any questions I may have. Over all the environment is very supportive.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
From what I am aware my salary package is over the usual average apprentices pay rate and meets my current living costs easily. We are also provided with expenses when we are traveling to clients to cover any additional costs. Throughout the training period (5 years in all to get to ACA)
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The office is a very social office and there is normally at least one event a month you can go to outside of work to socials. We are given extra days off to be able to volunteer or perform charity events if we choose to and the company often email round if any events are happening in the area that we may wish to attend.
9. Would you recommend BDO to a friend?
The work environment is great, if you want to push yourself and they see you have the skills they will help you along but at the same time if you want to go at a steady pace that's fine too. Everyone is friendly and happy to help, they all remember being the new person who doesn't have a clue. Personalities aren't squashed here, yes you have to be professional but you can also be yourself not just another number doing the work.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BDO?
Be yourself, to pretend to be something your not just to get a job. You have to enjoy your time there as well. Remember to stay relaxed at interviews, yes they are going to test you and push you but they are nice people as well.
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