Why did you choose a career in accounting?
Ultimately, I would love to set up and run my own business. After speaking with many different people who had previously begun their careers in assurance roles, I soon realised that this, in conjunction with the ACA qualification, would be a solid foundation to help achieve my goal in the future.
Audit allows you to explore many different businesses working in a variety of very different industries; how do they function? What makes them successful/unsuccessful? How do the employees come together in different environments to create overall benefit? I think these are all very valuable questions to consider and learn from, and this is one of the main reasons I chose to start a career in accounting.
What made you choose UHY Hacker Young?
After previously gaining some work experience at UHY Haines Norton in Australia, I was attracted to the size and functionality of accounting firms operating in a mid-tier market. The idea of being given early responsibilities appealed to me, as did the opportunity to be able to work in a large variety of industries – from Private Equity firms and online traders, to chemical manufacturers and shipping companies.
What is the atmosphere like in the office?
Whilst not at a client, some of our work is based out of the UHY offices. For the trainee auditors, that means hot desking – sitting together in a first-come-first-served seating plan. Depending on the time of year, sometimes you will be with a lot of other trainees in the office, other times you will be amongst only a few. Either way, everyone enjoys being surrounded by so many familiar faces back at our home ground, and the mood is always jovial.
What do you like most about your role?
Given that our graduate intakes are not huge, you have the opportunity to become close with all of the trainees in your year and in your audit teams. For me, working within teams where you genuinely get along with and have a lot of respect for your colleagues, really does make a massive difference. This has been my experience so far at UHY and I feel that that is really important in any workplace.
Another aspect I really like about my job is the continuous necessity to communicate with our clients. From speaking to the firms HR, to their accounts team and company directors, you meet some very interesting people and most of the time they are more than happy to help you learn and grow so that you can understand their businesses better.
What level of responsibility do you receive as a trainee?
Given that UHY operates in the mid-tier market with clients of significantly different sizes, we are given a lot of responsibility throughout our training contracts. Each year seemingly brings new responsibilities, and it’s this progression which helps our development over the course of the contract. I remember my very first audit, when I had to go and speak to the financial director of the company (who had worked there for 10+ years) about a particular accounting policy they had applied which was potentially incorrect. As you can imagine, it was a very nerve-racking experience and one that I definitely will not forget. However, the fact that I even had the opportunity to approach the company’s financial director on my first assignment and have this conversation is testament to how much responsibility is given to the graduates.