6 months on

At the end of June I was back in college completing a block of Audit & Assurance (AA) tuition and beginning Tax Compliance (TC).  It’s interesting to see how far AA & TC build on our first 3 exams: Accounting, Assurance and Principles of Taxation. I have also had a lot of mock exams in-between which is good practice to push myself into learning exam technique which is just as important as the content.

Back in the office I was given my first solo client visit to attend a stock-take of a steel yard in Devon. I was slightly nervous going to a clients by myself so far away, but they were very friendly and was a good confidence boost for when I have more senior roles in the future.

On the audit-side of work I was assigned to a letting management company matching expenses to invoices and payslips, and noting any discrepancies – which requires an eye for detail.   With audit there are times where you have to wait for client information, so I juggled between several accounts preps rolling forward data from last year and tagging completed financial statements.

I also had my first 6-monthly appraisal meeting with Peter Ellis and my mentor Mark Richardson. It’s a good opportunity to discuss what I think has gone well over the period and well as creating goals to improve myself over the training contract and suggest types of clients that I would like to gain more experience of.

On the social side we have had a fair few things to celebrate! The beginning of July marked Graham Baxter’s 43rd anniversary at Shipleys – yes prospective applicants, you read that right! Graham will be retiring at the end of the month which will involve past and present colleagues celebrating at our office.  We also had drinks to congratulate Alice and Jess for passing their exams, and to say a farewell to Alex and Jade who have left this month after several years working with us.

Terinder Bhangal

I'm part of the most recent graduate intake working as a Junior in the Audit Department, having graduated last year in Economics from the University of Leicester. My work is split roughly into two-thirds of Audit work and a third training to become ACA qualified.

Stock-takes and socials

Cricket at The Oval

Cricket at The Oval

It’s been a very busy month and a half since I last had the chance to write a blog post; for that I’m sorry! If you decide to follow the trainee accountancy path one of the first things you’ll realise is how busy your life suddenly can be.

Since my last post I have done a lot of things in and out of work. As I mentioned, I had a few more exams and have now completed 9 in total! I keep telling myself that’s 60% of the way through (despite the hardest exams being the ones yet to come!).

Also, quite soon after we started the blog, I helped organise a Pointless themed quiz with our training manager, Peter Ellis. Between us we came up with an extended version of the popular show, presented it to 20 members of staff and handed out a fair few prizes for pointless answers! There was also a lot of pizza available to keep everyone’s brains working. This hasn’t been the only social in the past month however; a fortnight ago we took a trip to The Oval in Vauxhall to watch Kent vs. Surrey in a T20. Although cricket isn’t really my thing there are always new social events cropping up, and if you want to spend some time getting to know your colleagues and have fun in the process then Shipleys is a great place to do that.

Of course, one of the main contributors to the busy life of a trainee accountant is work. Working in audit can, at times, be relaxed and quite contained within the office (Terinder mentioned working on a client’s accounts), but it is more often than not quite full-on. For example, today was my first day back in the office after going to Glastonbury Festival over the weekend and I arrived in the office at 9:00am to be told straight away that I was to attend a stock-take in Staines. This meant returning to rush hour traffic and getting to grips with the client’s business and reading over the prior year notes on the train. The silver lining is that the weather in London at the minute is lovely and the stock-take took place outside in a steel yard.

I would say one of the best things about this job for me is being out of the office and meeting new people and new clients; seeing how different businesses are run and getting an understanding of various industries. In the past few weeks I have worked on everything from clients in the Media and Entertainment industry to an Open Ended Investment Company!

Lizzi Gear

I work in the Audit team and started as a trainee in August 2014. I studied Mathematics at the University of Sheffield. I work on the audit and accounts of a variety of Shipleys' clients.