Sports Day 2016

sports-day

Since my last post I’ve been busy organising a number of socials with Shipleys in the New Year. Some of the things we’ve done over the past 6 months have included an in-house pub quiz and a treasure hunt around Soho and the West End. Most recent of the socials however was Shipleys’ Sports Day 2016.

At the end of July we all met in Hyde Park on a Thursday after work and took part in a primary school themed sports day. With events such as the three legged race and a big game of rounder’s at the end, the event was a success.

Highlights of the evening included one of our partners slipping one too many times whilst during the rounder’s matches (we are all very competitive!) and watching numerous people try and fail during the sack race.

Working so centrally in London, we are lucky to throw socials throughout the centre. In the coming months we have a casino night planned as well as our Audit conference. The Audit conference is usually one of our best socials of the year; in previous years we’ve been to Bounce and Mayfair Bowling Lanes.

 

2016 – Happy New Year!

2016-grad-blog-lizzi

Hi all! Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve had chance to post on here. After a fun filled summer in London things became really busy for me in the winter. I have now been working at Shipleys for just under 18 months and the last 6 months saw me take on more responsibility than I’d had previously. Personally, I found this great, as it was something that attracted me to work in a medium-sized firm to begin with. I also felt ready to take on the responsibility as Shipleys are good at phasing you into working independently; seniors and managers are always willing to help and answer any queries that you may have.

As well as my work life picking up, I studied for the final set of professional exams, which I sat in early December. This meant a few weeks spent in college learning the material, followed by the juggling of home study and work up until the revision stage. As I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy going to college as you get to know people at various other firms and by this stage in my training contract I have people that I’ve studied with since the beginning and are very good friends. This means that despite the difficult nature of the exams, everyone is there to help you through it.

When exams were finally over (hooray!) I came back to work and worked on two clients, a film client and a school, before Christmas. I was excited to be back, I needed the normality; Shipleys staff as a whole, however, were of course very excited instead for our annual Christmas party. We spent the evening at Le Meridian hotel on Piccadilly, conveniently located near our office, and lots of food, drink and dancing meant we had a very enjoyable evening.

I’m writing this during our first week back at work – with new staff starting every 6 months, January is an exciting time despite the Christmas blues! I’ve already been to a client and am looking forward to my next 6 months; I have away jobs lined up and, as Sujit mentioned, clients from a number of industries, as well as some that I have worked on in the past. I hope you’re all looking forward to the New Year, too!

 

Summer in London

This has been my first summer in London, and so far it has not disappointed. Even though lots of you looking to become accountancy trainees will be anxious over your first summer without a few months off, I can tell you that being in London and organising things after work and at the weekends makes up for working 9-5.

There’s always something to do, whether you’re with the friends you moved with, friends you made at Kaplan or people from work. In the past month we’ve had a few social events. Terinder talked about our big farewell to Graham Baxter. He will be sorely missed at Shipleys by staff and clients alike, however his leaving party was definitely worthy of the occasion.

We’ve also had some new starters join us! I don’t want to give anything away about your first day at Shipleys, however the first day is something we all look forward to and a good opportunity for you to get to know the staff you’ll be working with for three years (at least!).

Outside of work, as a new Londoner, I’ve made it my goal to visit each of the things on Time Out’s list of “Free Things to do in London over Summer”. So far I’ve visited various pop-up bars and food stalls (not so free but the food and drinks are usually amazing), museums that I would never have noticed before and cycled around some of London’s hidden outdoor spaces.

As far as work goes, I’ve now been at Shipleys a year. To give you some perspective, this means I’m starting to work independently, looking to work in bigger audit teams where I take on the role of Semi-Senior and heading towards my last lot of professional exams in order to become part-qualified. But all of that’s to come after a well-deserved summer holiday!

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!

My experience so far

I graduated from university in July last year and had a lovely month of relaxing at home before the big move to London and starting my full time graduate job. I’ve been at Shipleys for just under 10 months now, and in those 10 months I’ve already achieved so much. I was thrown into tuition for my first certificate level exams right from the start, and by November had already sat 3 of the 15 exams necessary to become chartered. Now, I have sat a further 3 exams at the professional stage (they were stressful but extremely rewarding) and I am studying for my next 2 certificate level exams already! The exams, although tough, allow you to progress technically within the workplace and take on new challenges with each job.

But it’s not all work and no play; one of the reasons I chose a job in accountancy, and Shipleys in particular, was for the appealing work-life balance. It’s true that whilst studying for exams your life can be a bit overwhelming (in the fact it’s non-stop) but during the rest of the year the work hours are good and Shipleys organise various social events for their employees. I joined the social committee at Shipleys after about 6 months of working for them and this year we have one big event planned for each month – these include a Shipleys sports day in the Summer and a treasure hunt around London in the Autumn.  As Terinder mentioned, it’s not only big events that get everyone out of the office but also trips to our local pub “The Comedy” on a Friday after work.

As someone who made the move to London so soon, and from a small town in the North-West of England, one of my main worries was being in this huge city and struggling to make friends. Shipleys successfully fought off this worry; with so many fellow trainees and friendly, approachable managers and partners, I have made some great friends at work. Studying with Kaplan has also allowed me to get to know people of a similar age who are experiencing the same things at work and with exams as me.

All in all, my first 10 months in London have been incredibly enjoyable and I look forward to the next few years, if not more, at Shipleys. I’ll post on here again after my next few exams, fingers crossed!