What made you want to pursue a career in accountancy?
I enjoy understanding how things work, and a career in accountancy provides an opportunity to develop an understanding of how different businesses work. Accountancy also has a wide range of applications, which means I will be opening myself up to a wide range of job options both within and outside my Firm upon qualification.
Why did you choose to study the CA qualification?
Prior to joining Deloitte, I was given the opportunity to study the ACA or CA qualification. I elected for the CA qualification as the two are considered equivalent in both stature and reputation, however the CA qualification had (in my opinion) a better exam schedule; in particular, a better separation of exams and work. I was also interested to discover that ICAS is the oldest Institute of Chartered Accountants in the world, and the number of influential and interesting people who qualified with ICAS.
How do you find studying for the CA qualification?
The course is very informative. We learn about accountancy, audit, tax, business management and law, so there is plenty of variety in what we study. The exams are quite challenging, but also very rewarding once completed.
There is a strong sense of camaraderie both with my peers and also within my Firm, as everyone understands how difficult the exams can be and what it takes to complete them. The syllabus is also focused on ensuring a wide range of understanding, rather than a few specific topics. This has helped me become much more well-rounded in my understanding of the economy, businesses and how everything fits together than many of my friends who work in specific industries.
How will being ICAS trained will help with your future job prospects?
Being ICAS trained should help my future job prospects significantly. As part of my training I have now come into contact with several senior members of ICAS who have outlined the options available to me when I qualify. They made clear the breadth of professions which will become open to me and how being ICAS trained can help me access them. They also discussed with us examples of ICAS trained individuals who have gone on to become CFOs, CEOs and so forth in a wide variety of industries, which goes to show how well regarded the CA qualification is.
Would you recommend the CA qualification to others?
I would recommend the qualification for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Institute itself is interesting as it is the first Institute of Chartered Accountants, which lends a certain grandeur and history.
The course itself has been well managed with a clear separation of work and study/exams which I found particularly helpful. Whilst some of the exams are individually longer than those on the ACA course, they are fewer in number.
As part of the course we have also met several senior figures within ICAS which makes the qualification seem very personal; this is completely different to my colleagues who have studied for the ACA who have had little (if any) contact with senior figures in ICAEW.
Please describe your current role.
I am in my second year of a three year graduate scheme at Deloitte in audit. I assist on the audits of banking and capital market clients. This includes understanding internal controls, testing of financial statements and reporting our conclusions to shareholders.
What do you like about training to be a CA in Deloitte?
We have a nice mix of technical and soft skill training which helps a great deal in our written work, as well as our interactions with client staff and colleagues.
Do you get to travel a lot within your role?
There is a lot of scope for travel within my role. Although I have elected not to apply so far, there are secondments offered at regular intervals to other Deloitte offices and locations. In addition, many of the clients we serve have offices throughout the UK and abroad, which means we often have to travel in these cases.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve been involved with?
So far I would say that working on the audit of Santander UK plc has been the most interesting project I've been involved in.