Name: Chloe Eldridge
Office: Bournemouth
Position: Senior Manager (Audit)
School Leaver: AAT qualified

Why did you apply for Saffery?

I joined Saffery in October 2015 as a Trainee Chartered Accountant. I had already gained my AAT qualification prior to joining, having previously completed an apprenticeship with a small local firm. I have now completed my ACA qualification.

I was initially approached by a recruitment firm and was attracted by the firm’s size and culture which I felt would provide me with a variety of new opportunities.

What opportunities for progression have you had at Saffery?

For me the size is just right; smaller firms have limited opportunities whereas with Saffery I am constantly provided with new challenges. At biannual appraisals, there is the opportunity to suggest areas you would like to work on, for example in landed estates or a tax secondment. Arrangements are then put in place to facilitate this where possible.

The career pathway is flexible as additional responsibilities are granted on merit. I started as an Audit Junior but am now an audit manager. My role has evolved from assisting on small audit assignments to now being responsible for a portfolio of clients, buildings relationships and overseeing both their compliance work as well as assisting with specialist advice throughout the year.

As a member of the audit management team I also oversee the trainees and seniors which is a key part of my role that I really enjoy; making sure that they feel supported and helping them to develop their own careers at Saffery drawing from my own experience.

How difficult are the exams?

The exams are definitely not easy, however the courses and the on the job training are invaluable. Saffery also provides the support required to make it as stress-free as possible to balance work and studying. Study is given priority as the exam date approaches so my workload was eased and we are given study leave to attend the course and revise. The whole team was supportive throughout the process as many of them have sat the exams themselves. Now that I am on the other side, I offer the same support to junior colleagues as they sit their exams.

How would you describe the culture of Saffery?

Everyone is very approachable and friendly and this is a key part of the Saffery culture. Even throughout the period of exclusive remote working where we had a prolonged period of not seeing our colleagues face to face, there was a clear focus on keeping up the team spirit and morale. There is also a great work-life balance which is essential, especially once you throw studying into the mix as well.

Chloe’s excellent exam success was celebrated in a feature article in the July 2017 issue of Vital, the ICAEW’s magazine. Chloe is pictured on the front cover. You can view the magazine here.