TARGETjobs black logo
Graduate audit associate at Grant Thornton

How I got hired by Grant Thornton

Richard Jones is an audit associate at Grant Thornton. He graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in accounting and finance.

I tried to get as much experience as I could prior to leaving university.

Why accountancy?

My dad worked in a bank, so I have been interested in business from a young age. I’ve always enjoyed maths and how numbers work too. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do after leaving school, but one of my teachers suggested accountancy; it suited me well and seemed like a logical fit.

Did you do any placements or internships?

I tried to get as much experience as I could prior to leaving university. I did a placement with PwC in the summer after second year and then did a six-week placement with Grant Thornton in the summer before graduating. My time at PwC definitely helped me in the interview for the placement here. The bit of experience I had in accountancy showed I had some knowledge and I was able to draw on real-life experiences.

I really enjoyed my placement with Grant Thornton and got offered a graduate job as a result. The organisation works with smaller clients, so I get to see more sections of the job I am working on rather than only one part.

Describe your job for us.

As an audit associate I work with the clients and try to corroborate the figures in their financial accounts. My job involves a lot of communication with clients, as they provide me with information I need. The size of the team varies depending on the job and time pressures – sometimes it can be one or two people and other times six. I travel quite a lot, as you have to go where the client is based. I’ve had some jobs that are across the road and one was in Norway!

What is the most exciting part of your job?

I really like going out and trying to get an understanding of how different businesses work. I’ve worked with a company that does duck farming and a company that manufactures sewage machinery – the clients are really varied.

What training and support have you received so far?

Training to become a fully chartered accountant is a big part of the job. Grant Thornton has a training manor house where we go for several days and learn skills needed for a new role. There are online mini-learning courses too, which means development is continual. As a graduate, you also have blocks of time where you study for a few weeks at college, then go back to work, then have revision time and then take your exams for your qualifications. It’s very structured.

Name the top three skills for a successful career in accountancy and financial management.

  • Good use of Microsoft Excel – if you haven’t got a good understanding of Excel before you start, you’ll definitely have it very soon!
  • An enquiring mind – you should always try to support information and never take it at face value.
  • Interpersonal skills – you will have to engage with lots of different people and it’s important to build up good relationships with your clients.

Supported by

This describes editorially independent and objective content, written and edited by the GTI content team, with which the organisation would like to be associated and has provided some funding in order to be so. Any external contributors featuring in the article are independent from the supporter organisation and contributions are in line with our non-advertorial policy.

Advertising feature by

This describes content that has been written and edited in close collaboration with the organisation, who has funded the feature; it is advertising. We are committed to upholding our ethical values of transparency and honesty when dealing with students and feel that this is the best way not to deceive consumers of our content. The content will be written by GTI editors, but the organisation will have had input into the messaging, provided knowledge and contributors and approved the content.

In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

Top