Nathan and Hannah are Audit trainees but at different stages; having joined post A’levels Nathan is recently ACA qualified after five years with Randall & Payne, whilst Hannah started last year after completing her Accounting and Finance degree.
Despite their length of service and entry level to the firm being poles apart, both Nathan and Hannah are proud to work within the team shortlisted for a British Accountancy Award for Audit Team of the Year and enjoy the team dynamic with its competitive spirit and constant desire to raise the bar, coupled with the sense of comradery and banter!
Through Hannah’s research before applying, she realised Randall & Payne invest heavily in both the professional and personal development of their trainees. She recognised that she would gain more experience in a shorter space of time as a result of the firm’s size (<60 staff) because trainees get to see all the parts that make up the audit process, unlike larger firms where exposure may be limited to certain sections.
Hannah Churches, graduate studying ACCA (one year)
Both were made to feel at ease during the interview process. Hannah comments, “Whilst there was a skill and technical element to the interview process, emphasis was on getting to know one another as Russel Byrd (Audit Partner) was not only interested in whether I was a good candidate, he wanted to identify if I was a good fit for his team”.
Working in practice appealed to both trainees due to the diverse nature of the work across different industries, sectors and company sizes. Nathan commented on the lack of team atmosphere within a purchase ledger team in a larger industry based firm he did work experience with.
Nathan Smith, recently qualified (five years)
When asked about how Randall & Payne support study and progression, Hannah explained that her study was postponed until January 2018 to enable her time to settle in before experiencing her first ‘Academy season’ with its high volume of work from September to December. Other firms had wanted the exams to be completed as soon as possible despite the workload, so she felt teed up for success with her work and study commitments being considered simultaneously here.
Nathan explained that trainees are provided with both college based teaching and revision courses which allows a real focus on learning with feedback after practicing mock questions. He added that colleagues are happy to help and his regular meetings with his allocated ACA Mentor to update his training file kept him on track.
When asked how he balanced work and study, Nathan’s tip is to study little and often to maintain knowledge and allow yourself time to relax. He found it easier to stay on at work for an hour or two to revise.
Hannah recalls her shock in her first week when asked by a partner whether she wanted a cup of tea! She soon realised that this is part of the firm’s culture and the senior team sit amongst everyone else in the open plan office.
It is clear that the stereotypical accountant is nowhere to be seen here!
If you are interested in being considered for this year’s trainee intake please contact us on 01242 776000 or email HR@randall-payne.co.uk