Job Title: Trainee Chartered Accountant
University: Cardiff University
Degree: Economics BSc
Job Location: London
Why did you choose a job in accountancy?
I was always keen to complete my ACA qualification and Saffery Champness has given me the opportunity to work in a variety of industries with a variety of people. From recruitment to entertainment, construction to not-for-profit, one thing ties almost every industry together – they need financial professionals to manage and advise them. When training as an accountant, you gain skills that can apply to almost any industry of your choosing, so after completing an economics degree, the ACA at Saffery’s seemed a perfect opportunity to hone my development.
What attracted you to the role?
Accountancy in ‘normal times’ is (arguably) the ultimate portable qualification. Not only are the principles universal, applying all over the world, but membership of a body such as the ICAEW is also globally recognised and respected. If you harbour ambitions of moving abroad, an accountancy qualification could be the passport to your dream, especially as Saffery’s is part of Nexia International, a leading, global network of independent accounting and consulting firms.
How did this role tie in with your overall career plans?
If all businesses need finance pros, it should be no surprise that those pros are generally always in demand. It’s not a career that’s going anywhere either – while increasing automation means that there can be less to do on the calculations side of things, that just means that accountants are spending more time consulting and advising on strategy providing so much future opportunity.
What are your main duties/roles?
Following graduation, I joined the Saffery’s Business Advisory Group as a trainee working on audit and accounts preparation for an extensive range of clients. As a trainee my day-to-day is never the same. There is huge opportunity and my role has allowed me to consolidate and apply the theory learnt at university and to increase my knowledge and understanding through my studies towards the ACA exams.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
Following beginning as an entry-level trainee, the potential for growth at Saffery’s is fantastic. As I progress through my exams, I can’t wait to be exposed to greater areas of the business, widening my portfolio and moving up in the firm. Don’t get me wrong, the ACA is tough, but it opens so many doors to the future!
What skills are useful in this profession?
If you become an accountant, the learning doesn’t stop once you’ve earned your degree. To progress in your career, you’ll need to have the drive, resilience and work ethic to continue education, at least to keep up with changes in the industry and succeed in the ACA.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?
What you get out of working in accountancy is that challenge to constantly solve new problems, learn new ways of solving those problems and becoming better at your job. It’s very much experience-driven. Keep working hard in work and on the ACA, and you’ll pick up on all the twists and turns you need to solve the problem.
What was the application process like – any advice?
Saffery’s pride themselves on their core values. So, no matter your background, if you possess integrity, collegiality and a lot of enthusiasm you will be an asset to any team. As a trainee you will very quickly learn the need to balance excellent client service, studying towards the ACA and having a personal life. However, if you are resilient and willing to work hard, Saffery gives you the best opportunity to succeed.