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Graduate Update and Mid-Tier Firms

Our graduate recruitment day was a great success as we managed to fill five of our ACA trainee places.  Three started at the beginning of August and two will be joining us in January.  However, there are still spaces available for our January intake, so if you would like to apply for one of these, please visit the SWAT website soon as we’ll be holding our next graduate assessment day around the end of October.  I’m always happy to give advice on applying for our roles, so feel free to contact me beforehand.

So as I mentioned, three of our graduates started with us a month ago.  After the traditional first day welcome, they were off to Kaplan and SWAT to get started on their training.  Kaplan provide training for their exams and SWAT for their office work.  We find that this combination works really well, because it can be difficult to put the Kaplan technical knowledge learnt into context for office work.  I’ve now seen the three of them back in the office prior to taking their first e-assessments which of course I know they will all pass because they were so carefully selected :)

While I think of it, I actually have an apology to make to our newbies… I completely forgot to tell them that Fridays in the office are dress-down days.  They turned up on their first day looking very smart while the rest of us were in jeans.  There’s not much better than waking up on a Friday morning and throwing on a pair of jeans before heading off to the office.  Anyway, I digress!

In this post I thought that I would say a bit about the benefits of training with a mid-tier firm of accountants rather than going down the Big Four route.  At a firm our size, from early on you are entrusted with a variety of real client assignments and responsibilities.  This gives you a much better grounding, not only for your professional exams, but for your future career.  With the Big Four you can get stuck working on the same audit for a year (yawn!), whereas with us, you get to work on a variety of clients as well as meeting a variety of people.  Not only does this increase your technical skills, but your interpersonal skills which means that this also benefits the firm because we end up with qualified Audit Seniors who we know we can trust with our clients.


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Jane managed the internal HR function for Shipleys LLP.