The first couple of months in 2017 have flown by so quickly, partly due to exams which have been non-stop since the start of the year and the rest has been down to a busy audit season! Plenty of December year ends means we are very busy at the start of each year. At one point, I was out of office on client sites for 4 weeks on the trot and also completed 2 e-assessments within that time period. I’ve now completed my first year and now have a bit of respite between now and college for the next set of exams
On another note, we haven’t been short on work socials as usual, we’ve had our annual curry night which was changed to a Chinese night this year. It was the perfect opportunity to welcome new members of staff to our firm across all departments. It was a fun filled evening with plenty of food & drink, also a bit of karaoke at the end to round up the night. Other socials have included a work stag do, a leaving party for a retiring partner which was an epic night. I think you get the picture that we are a social bunch around here, we are only 4 months into the year so plenty more socials on the horizon….
More on life after my first year to follow in the next blog!
So this is my first post since joining Shipleys in January; there’s a fair amount to report to you so let’s go!
From the moment I walked around the office on that wintry morning in January, I knew I’d stumbled on a pretty lucky place to work. Table tennis, pool, inventive socials, a very good support structure, interesting clients, an incredible work life balance and some pretty ok people in the firm have really lit the year up for me.
Then I found out about Shipleys’ work exchange programme with Australian firm Hall Chadwick. Two people from Hall Chadwick come to work with us at Shipleys for three months and then Shipleys send two people over to work in Sydney for three months. So after consolidating my presence at the firm as king of the table tennis and pool courts, I thought my luck was coming to an end, however in a Leicester City FC-esque premier league winning run, I managed to get onto the exchange programme with the infamous Andrew Howard and here we are!!
Although being a huge advocate of working and living in London, from my time in Sydney so far I have really been taken by the city. We have been put up in little area called Bronte, 10 minutes from Bronte beach and may be 30 minutes in flip flops from Bondi Beach (Sydney’s main tourist beach); along one of the most scenic walkways I’ve strolled. It’s a different vibe to Elephant & Castle anyway.
Andrew and I have been enjoying our time at Hall Chadwick. The nuts and bolts of what I’ve been doing has been the same as at Shipleys but it has been interesting seeing the different culture, ways of doing things and practices of a different firm in a different country. Undoubtedly the work has been relatively challenging, getting up to speed in a short space of time with a fair amount of work to go around; however the audit team at Hall Chadwick is great and I feel I’ve learnt a great deal. In essence, I couldn’t recommend the programme highly enough.
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.
Well it’s been about six weeks since my last post and I feel like I’ve been busier than ever – both in my work and social life!
I’ve attended another three weeks of college for the first three modules of the professional level: for Financial Accounting (FAR), Audit & Assurance (AA) & Tax Compliance (TC) and will be back again in mid-July to learn the rest of the content. It’s definitely a “step-up” from the E-Assessments. There’s tons more knowledge to learn and longer questions to complete, which means I’ll definitely be increasing my revision and compiling a study timetable. I’ve noticed that I tend to be a lot more productive if I study as soon as it’s the end of the working day. I live quite far from the office so it ends up working out better because it’s lovely and quiet which means I can focus for a few hours, then at least when I leave the office I actually get a seat on the train! Nevertheless, this doesn’t work for everyone, I know that a lot of my colleagues prefer to study in the comfort of their own home, and don’t get me wrong there are some days when I just prefer that too, but the key is really to do whatever suits you best.
Putting college to one side, in the office, I’ve been working mostly on the accounts for various films and TV series, which I always find exciting, especially when you see an advert for the film or watch the TV series after having worked on them. I’ve been attending a few more audits, one of which was at a film studio and the other at a place where I felt like I was stepping into Hogwarts!
Outside of working and studying, I’ve been on to two hen dos, caught up with university friends and re-joined the tennis club I used to be a member of when I was at secondary school. It’s nice to be feeling more active and to get back into the sport I used to love, just in time for Wimbledon to start up again – strawberries and cream at the ready! Then this Saturday I will be taking part in the “Pretty Muddy” Race for Life for Cancer Research UK, which is very dear to my heart. I’ve taken part in the Race for Life event before and last time the atmosphere was incredible. I’m sure it will be a brilliant day, and if it is to rain like it has been for the last two days, it will only help with making the race even muddier!
This week I was back in the office and I can see from the staff planner that I have a few different audit jobs lined up, then in a couple of weeks I have my six monthly review and the next chapter begins…
A lot has certainly happened in 4 months! Moving to London, exams and quite a bit of travelling- for work that is!
Moving to London was an experience filled with a mixture of emotions- I’m pretty sure I covered the full range of smileys on an emoji keyboard. First there was the excitement of viewing flats, then the pain of paying a holding fee and deposit, then the hassle of taking delivery of furniture, which was made even more difficult as I live on the 8th floor. Finally, there was the joy of decorating my flat and having my own place for the first time!
Within the first few months, I realised how outgoing people are at Shipleys. Social events always have a big turnout, with most people in attendance, including partners! That’s one of my favourite things about Shipleys- there are always opportunities to interact with people you might not necessarily work with on a regular basis.
Another positive about work socials is the variety of events that are available. Since I’ve joined the firm, I’ve been to the Christmas party, Curry night, end of month drinks- well the end of month drinks is not strictly every month, more like once a week! There are a lot of upcoming events which sound pretty exciting, especially the Quiz night! Last year’s theme was centred around Pointless, not sure what this year’s theme would be but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.
Then there’s college and exams… which I must admit feels really intense but then after the first set of exams you get used to it. The best thing about being a junior is that you get a lot of periods where you’re free for work, if you’re in the office that is, which is great with getting in a bit of revision. I’m trying to make the most of it now because I’ve heard from the seniors that this isn’t likely to be the case as you progress through the ranks.
There’s still so much more I could talk about… I’ll probably cover the types of jobs of I’ve worked on both in and out of the office, training courses and all that type of stuff in my next blog. On that note, I better sign off this blog before I carry on rambling on!