Audit Assistant, ACA Level 1
Tell us a little bit about your background before you joined UNW?
I have a science background having graduated from Newcastle University with a BSc before going on to complete a PhD in Dermatology, so not the classic route to becoming an accountant! I was interested in finding out more about accountancy graduate schemes and managed to get a week of work experience with UNW. During that week, I was given the opportunity to go on a proper audit and really get involved with the work and I loved it. I then interviewed for a position and was offered the job!
What have your day-to-day responsibilities been so far in your training contract?
I am a first year trainee so when I am not in college I go out on audits, the length of which varies but generally these are 1-2 weeks long. On site, the team often consists of myself, a second year and an in-charge, who allocates the work I need to complete. I started off mainly testing cash, fixed assets and payroll then moved onto debtors and recently I have started testing creditors. You really get a chance to cover most areas of testing early on which is great experience.
How has the transition from graduate to accountant been since you joined UNW?
I feel like I have learnt so much so quickly! You really are hands on speaking to clients and carrying out audit testing from day one which is great and helps you gain confidence quickly. Everyone is so supportive and helpful and I never feel nervous asking a question as an in-charge. As everyone says, “no question is stupid!”.
Could you describe your exam training in a little more detail?
When I first started we had a week in the office for induction activities and training and then we went to college for a few weeks after this. I didn’t come from an accountancy background so it was quite a lot to take in at first but the tutors at college are brilliant and they appreciate not everyone knows what a debit or credit is initially! The notes you get are also great and you are given loads of resources to help you with exam practice and gain confidence with the types of questions you may be asked. College tuition is often spaced out, giving you time to recap and revise the areas you have covered. The weeks in between are spent back on audits, this really helps as you are basically practising what you have learnt in college, but on the job.
Could you describe the positive aspects about your job?
I really enjoy going to different clients and working with different people every week! Each client is very different and can bring different challenges which keeps the work interesting. I also like that we get a chance to cover all areas of audit testing early on and if we want to try a new area there is freedom to do so.
Could you describe one thing you particularly enjoy about working at UNW?
For me one of the best things about UNW is the people and the support they offer you! Everyone is so friendly, approachable and willing to help whether it be on something you are stuck on at college or a test you are carrying out on an audit, everyone has been in your position. Even though we are out the office quite a lot, everyone knows each other and there are often social events which are firm wide and a great opportunity to get to know new people!
Photo: Front, l-r: Rajan and Anjali Malhotra, Marjorie Ridgway / Back, l-r: Alan Suggett, Karen Simms, Amanda Maskery, Paul Graham
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