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.

 

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.

4 months in…

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!

Lara Anifowose

I graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in Accounting and Finance then joined Shipleys as a trainee in January 2016. I work on Audits and Accounts Preparation for different entities. Outside of work, I am a bit of a travel enthusiast!

My Shipleys experience

Wow a lot has happened in the last four months! Beginning my training contract at Shipleys in January 2016 was so exciting. I’d had a wonderful Christmas with my family, I’d also been on holiday with friends and saw the New Year in with a “Cheers”, champagne & celebrations. It was the best time of the year for a new job – as they say, “a new year…a new start”.

Having graduated in the summer of 2014, I’d had about 18 months out of studying (and I was starting to miss it!), so I couldn’t wait to get back into the swing of things. And definitely did I get stuck in – on my very first day I went straight to college at Kaplan to begin the first two modules of the ACA – Accounting and Assurance.

I found the first few days at Kaplan to be quite intense and fast-paced, nevertheless, it’s surprising how quickly you are able to pick up new topics and as long as you keep up-to-date with all the homework you feel a lot more confident when the revision period starts. My top tip would definitely be to attempt all the questions set, follow the study materials and to just dedicate a few hours every night to recap and remind yourself of what you’ve learnt at college that day. This all helps to put you in good stead for the exams, and I found that as long as you put the hours in, the hard work does pay off.

January flew by and with a mixture of SWAT training, accounts preparation and a few audit jobs undertaken in February, by the start of March I’d already completed the Accounting and Assurance E-Assessments. Since then, I’ve been working on a variety of clients from films to television series to charities and investment funds. I undertook my first stocktake and was back at Kaplan at the start of April to study the Principles of Tax module, and by the end of April this third E-Assessment had been completed.

Studying and working can be quite daunting at first, especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever had to balance the two, and for me this was the case, so on a Sunday evening I try to plan out the week ahead, just so I know what topics I need to revise, focus on or prioritise, and this is even more important during the run up to exams.

Shipleys is a very supportive firm, right from the junior staff and senior staff to the Managers and Partners. Everyone is always willing to help with any queries you have, whether it be work-related or college-related, and I’ve also found college to be another great support system. By meeting new people of similar ages entering into the same industry as you means that not only do you have the support from your firm, but you also have the support from your peers as everyone is in the same boat, and it’s nice to think that I now have a close knit group of friends at Kaplan.

I would like to stress that working hard is important, but it’s not all work at Shipleys. There are lots of events organised by our social committee. I attended the Christmas party in December 2015 (even though I wasn’t starting my training contract until January, I’d been asked to come to and enjoy the celebrations.) It was a fabulous night in the West End and a good way of meeting my fellow colleagues before the first day in the office. I think this highlights the welcoming and friendly firm that Shipleys is. We’ve also had a curry night, end of month’s drinks and most recently the Quiz Night.

With the variety of work on offer at Shipleys, no two work days are ever the same, and I think this is one of the firm’s strong points and one of the main features that attracted me to Shipleys.

What I’ve found the most fulfilling so far is being able to put what you’ve learnt at college into practice in the workplace. With every day I feel more confident and I look forward to going into the office and seeing what the day will bring.

Shenai Doughty

Shenai graduated from the University of Southampton with a Law degree and joined Shipleys in January 2016 as a Trainee Chartered Accountant. Her time is divided between working within the audit team in the London office and studying at Kaplan and attending SWAT training.

My experience of graduate life at Shipleys

As I’m part of the most recent graduate intake, I thought I would give you an overview of what to expect in your first couple of months at Shipleys.

The best place to start is from day 1 – my first day as a graduate employee. We spent the morning getting a formal induction to the office and some systems, then it turned 12 when, shall we say, we were treated to a more informal induction. We got to meet the majority of the audit team in a relaxed environment with a couple of drinks flying about which helped calm the nerves. It was also a great way to get to know the other people starting with me. I genuinely believe it was the best way to start a new job.

As you would expect, the work does kick in. The following week we spent at college preparing for our first 2 exams. Balancing working full-time and revising was completely new to me, but I realised that at Shipleys they understand that it may be hard for you to get used to this new lifestyle and everyone is around to offer help, which I have personally found to be reassuring, especially as they have been through the same process themselves.

Over the first couple of months I reckon you spend approximately 60% of the time in the office. Shipleys aims to give you roughly 80% audit work and 20% accounts preparation. I’ve personally found this mix to be extremely beneficial because it means you’re not doing the same job on a daily basis. One day you could be doing an accounts prep for a film client and the next you’ll be out on an audit for a charity client. Even though a lot of Shipleys’ clients are in the film industry, we’re exposed to all the different industries they work for. In the short period I have been working at Shipleys I have already worked on clients in the steel, finance and film industries.

Shipleys is a company that understands the importance of having a work-life balance. You can play 6-a-side football on a Monday night (which I must say is a great way to spend your evening) or have a drink after work on a Friday to celebrate the beginning of the weekend (or end of the week). These events have been a great way to properly get to know the people I’m working with and for because managers and partners will always make an appearance.

Sujit Dadar

I work in the Audit team at Shipleys and started as a trainee in August 2015. I graduated from Cardiff University in 2014 with a degree in Accounting and Finance.

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.

 

Jane

Jane managed the internal HR function for Shipleys LLP.