My Month of May 2015

Having finished my Principles of Taxation exam on the 1st of May, the rest of the month has been a lot more easy going!

I booked the first week off as annual leave to relax a bit from the first block of exams.

On the second week, I began the first week of tuition for my 3 written exams which will take place in September. Lizzi had finished hers only a month ago so was able to give me some advice (as well as the more senior trainees) on how to tackle the studying.

Outside of college I have been working on accounts preparation in the office, recording transactions from one ‘book of prime entry’ and matching them to another. This work is not too difficult, but it’s important to keep an eye on the masses of figures and not get confused by the exchange rates.

This final week I have mainly been ‘free for work’ – where I’m not assigned to a specific client so will help managers with their workload. This involves anything from updating client codes to even buying cakes for a Principal’s birthday. It’s a great time to catch up on studying or any outstanding admin when you haven’t got any set work to do.

We also had our end of the month social, a ‘Pointless’ inspired quiz hosted by Lizzi and our Training Manager, Peter Ellis. Prizes were up for grabs and it was a great way to catch up with colleagues I hadn’t seen for a while. Most importantly my team won!

Outside of work I had the joy of flat hunting in London – an inevitable process for non-Londoners which is definitely a struggle! With a bit of research, patience and asking friends, family and colleagues for advice I fortunately found a place. So if the prospect of moving to London seems a bit overwhelming, we would be more than happy to give you advice when you join 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.

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!

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.

What to expect as a new graduate at Shipleys

As my first blog post – and being part of the newest graduate intake at Shipleys – I’d like to focus on what I’ve achieved so far to give you an idea of what you could expect when starting here.

Being my first graduate job, and moving to London, it was an exciting but nervous prospect! However my nerves were put at ease straight away, as I was invited to the Christmas party a few weeks before starting and it was a great way to meet the team in a relaxed way. Our induction day was much the same, with the whole office joining us for lunch and drinks. I could not think of a better way of starting a graduate job!

Of course, the work kicks in and the beginning of the following week we started college for our first two exams. Tuition and exams are the biggest challenge for starters in Accountancy as it is definitely tougher than most of University. This might sound scary but my advice is to practice as much as possible any time you are free in the run up to the exams, and once they’re over it is a rewarding experience to know the hard work has paid off. Kaplan – the tuition providers – are very helpful, giving superb notes and advice on how to focus your revision.  I have now passed my first 3 exams and will begin tuition for the next 3 shortly.

Accountancy work for Shipleys itself constitutes for about two-thirds of my experience so far. Roughly 80% is Audit work both at the office and on site at clients. I have already done 2 ‘away jobs’ staying outside of London. As a Junior, the work itself has not been too tough yet. I run a lot of tests of the clients’ accounts from sales to their profits and losses. It can be quite daunting approaching a Financial Director, but you get the experience of understating how Accountancy varies between industries from Film to Funds, and applying your learning to everyday life.  The other 20% of work relates to preparing accounts for clients within the office. It’s a great way to cement your understating of how accounts work so when you audit one, you may understand why the clients have prepared them in such a way and avoid asking obvious questions.

It’s not all work and no play when your induction period is over! Friday and end of the month drinks are a great way to relax and chat to everyone and there are events dotted around such as the recent Curry Night social. Having the office a 2 minute walk from Leicester Square means it’s always easy to try a new bar or restaurant once the days over.  Also having this view walking  to work every day makes it even better!

View on way to work

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.