On Wednesday 1 February, my colleague Hebe and I attended the first SWAT UK Graduate Recruitment Fair in Angel, North London. The event, organised by SWAT UK Limited, was designed to give uni students the chance to meet with representatives from the ICAEW, Inside Careers and a number of firms to discuss a possible career in accountancy. By attending a series of presentations and visiting firms` stands, the aim was to ensure graduates could improve their knowledge of the ACA qualification and discover the advantages of working for a medium-sized firm.
The day gave myself and Hebe a great opportunity to speak face-to-face with a number of graduates and tell them about the many benefits we could offer a trainee, including access to our varied client base, an extensive training package and our regular social events. A particularly useful aspect of the day was that by speaking to one of our current trainees, students were able to learn firsthand what it would be like to work and train with us. Many of the attendees we spoke to seemed impressed by the opportunities we could offer them, with particular interest shown in our specialist sectors such as the film and media and financial services industries.
As well as giving us the chance to sell the firm, the day was also a learning experience for us as we were able to hear from graduates about their priorities, the factors that are most important to them when they are trying to decide what career to pursue, and the type of firm they wish to work for. Indeed, one of the most interesting parts of the day was seeing such a variety of students from different backgrounds, universities and degree courses.
With so many options open to graduates these days, it can sometime be hard for us to get our voice heard above the larger firms but this day gave us a chance to interact with students and let them know that there are other career options out there for them to consider. Hopefully between myself and Hebe we were able to convince a few of the people we met that Shipleys is the ideal place for them to work and train, even if we did have to ply them with our tasty free chocolate to do so!
There are plans to run the day again in the future so keep an eye on both the Shipleys and SWAT websites for future dates.
In the meantime, if you require any further information about careers at Shipleys please see our website: www.shipleys.com/careers.
Here in the HR department we are getting ready for the SWAT Chartered Accountancy recruitment fair at SWAT UK in London on the 1st February. Peter Ellis our student counsellor will be there and we’re excited about meeting graduates and students to hopefully help them with some of their career choices.
If you’re going to a graduate recruitment fair, my advice would be to talk to as many people as possible, ask lots of questions and try to get a feel for the work you might be expected to do. It’s really important that you are happy and fulfilled in your career so it’s important to find out whether a firm is a good fit for you.
As a mid-tier firm we offer our trainees a really good balance of interesting and varied client work alongside regular contact with senior managers and partners in a friendly, informal environment. Our graduate trainees are all unique but they do have some skills in common, they are all motivated, responsible people who work well as part of a team delivering excellent service to our clients. If that sounds like it could be you, make sure to stop by the Shipleys stand to have a chat, find out some more and help yourself to some chocolate!
See you there ……
…At the Christmas party hop! Thursday night saw in the Shipleys’ annual Christmas party. After having just given out the Secret Santa gifts, and having a tipple (or two) whilst getting ready for the night ahead, both the London & Godalming office arrived at Simpsons-in-the-Strand for an evening of laughing, dancing and celebrating all the successes and hard work undertaken throughout 2016.
We had a delightful three-course meal and each member of staff had their own designated seat, where we were all mixed up with different departments – a great way to get to know different members of staff across the two offices, who we may not necessarily have been able to speak to in the general working day.
Our Managing Principal, Simon Robinson, discussed the year’s events along with our successful merger with Smith Pearman, finally raising a glass to the New Year ahead and to what 2017 will bring, before opening up the dancefloor.
We also met one of our new graduate intakes, who will be starting in January and it was lovely to see them really enjoying the Christmas party, and getting to know all the staff they will be working with in the coming year. Lara and I remember being in the same position last year and how nice it was to be welcomed straight away by our future colleagues and we had a blast at the 2015 Christmas do.
Along with lots of chatting and dancing, we took loads of photos throughout the evening and here is one of them featuring myself, Eugene and Lara.
Just a few more days left of the working year, but everyone is in high spirits and we are all looking forward to a well-deserved Christmas break!
Now I think it’s just about time to say a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all our readers.
I’m midway through the secondment programme and so far the top highlights for me have definitely been meeting new people and trying new things, getting back into squash and fitness, the spontaneous trips to watch rugby, Sydney University law society comedy show and even that place they call ‘Chinese Laundry’.
Obviously there’s been the rough with the smooth- namely: being really ill after eating undercooked kangaroo steak, close to the sell-by date. This had quite the seismic effect as, for the secondment to date, ‘jump steak’ and lentils were the only two meals I’d cook at home and now it just doesn’t quite have the same appeal! Overall however it’s been huge.
So what does the future hold? As part of the exchange programme with Shipleys we get a month off to travel afterwards- ‘no way dude’!! Then after all that, I’ll be back having fun working at Shipleys – lots to look forward to.
Aus vs NZ, Bledisloe Cup, after some disappointing play from the Wallabies.
Shipleys goes to Sydney!
It has been an extraordinarily fast-paced couple of months. Never have I ever felt the time fly so fast!
Since my last post, I have been involved in even more audits within the film & television industry. For the first time I feel at ease when approaching audit work and feel that my confidence has grown and grown. I strongly believe that this is down to a combination of experience (practice makes perfect!) by being exposed to more and more audits in short spaces of time and by working alongside approachable, supportive and encouraging colleagues. You really get the feeling of a team spirit here at Shipleys.
Aside from film audits, I have worked on several large funds. Again, I have found that the more exposure I have to these types of clients, the more confident I feel when approaching the required working papers. Don’t get me wrong through, there is still (and always will be) lots more to learn, especially with ever changing regulations and updating of accounting standards – but I guess that’s the exciting part, because as an accountant you are always growing in your career and developing your knowledge and expertise.
Audits aside, I have recently undertaken lots more accounts preps. These have ranged from sole traders to limited companies. If I am completely honest I initially felt a little apprehensive tackling these tasks (due to having worked predominantly on audits), but I would just like to emphasise how valuable the time that Seniors, Supervisors, Managers and Partners are willing to set aside in their own busy workday for trainees. In one specific instance, my Manager took the time to run through how I should approach each section of the working papers (from fixed assets through to sales and purchases). He also explained exactly what I should be looking out for when inspecting the client’s nominal ledger and post-year end ledger, and explained the kind of journals I would potentially need to put through. At the end of the two weeks (and five accounts preps later), I had learnt so much. I also noted parts of the tasks that I found the trickiest, along with the Manager’s tips on how to approach these sections and have typed these up to use as a guide on future accounts preparation jobs.
I would say that I am definitely lucky to work at a firm like Shipleys. Not only are you encouraged and given many opportunities to be responsible for major parts of a job, but there is always support and guidance from those higher up at the firm. All are happy to invest their own time in making sure a trainee (like myself) understands and feels confident in approaching the work set – something I would consider extremely vital for a trainee’s personal development.