As part of our trainee series, we talked to Ethan King about life as a trainee in the accounts team and here’s what he said.
Ethan studied economics, physics and maths A levels, and quickly realised he wasn’t interested in going to university as he wanted to go into a more practical learning environment where he could see the new knowledge being applied day-to-day. He decided on a career in accountancy as it matched his skill set; being good with numbers, his ability to work well both individually but also as part of a larger team, and his ambition to progress, improve and succeed.
Whilst researching accountancy firms, Ethan decided a medium sized firm would be best for him in order to get recognition for his efforts and for his opinions and suggestions to be heard – and hopefully implemented.
Ethan confirmed that his idea of the stereotypical accountant is nowhere to be seen at Randall & Payne and he’s always felt welcomed and enjoys being able to have a laugh with everyone regardless of how senior they are in the firm.
How do trainees juggle work and study?
At Randall & Payne trainees enjoy study leave, as well as financial support covering course, exam and travel costs. Our trainees find this helps to alleviate a lot of the stress of study and exams and our managers take study leave into consideration when looking at workflow to ensure that trainees are given the best chance of passing them.
I found the AAT course very fulfilling and it was far more engaging to learn new things and see how they fitted into my daily work to help me improve in my role. One of the huge benefits of working in practice is that the majority of people around you have been in the same situation so there’s plenty of help when you get stuck on a question or topic!”
What does Ethan enjoy about his role as an accounts trainee?
Using new technology
As a firm, we encourage clients onto new cloud software packages reducing the admin required for both the client as well as the accountant.
In just a few years, I’ve seen a huge technological advancement which has helped us all. When I first started, receipts and bank statements would need to be manually typed in an electronic format in order to prepare accounts, but now we have software to help with these tasks and allow us more time to focus on how to support clients further.”
Ethan enjoys working for a firm which is keen to embrace new technology and was proud to be involved in a project to move from paper files to new Working Paper File software which was implemented early 2020. The result is completely paperless files and its timing was fortunate given the pandemic which has required the team to work remotely for the best part of a year.
Assisting new trainees
Helping the new trainees has helped Ethan to cement his knowledge.
Fielding questions and having to explain complex rules and processes really helps to test my knowledge each day and is a reminder of how far I’ve come in my time here.”
Variety and progression
Ethan’s role has changed a lot since joining the firm and he’s moved from preparing accounts for small sole-trade businesses with manual records to working closely with larger companies and keeping in contact with them directly to ensure we can help them as best as we can.
Working in a firm which offers a wide range of services and in which all the teams work so closely together has given me the opportunity to pick up bits of knowledge in areas I may not otherwise have, e.g. having a better understanding of different tax rules. It’s also testament to the other staff who are always willing to take the time to explain new things.”
Whilst the nature of our work has had to change given the current circumstances, everyone has been happy to support each other as one big team and overcome the new challenges we face.
What’s next for Ethan?
Having gained his AAT qualification last year, Ethan is now looking to start working towards the ACA qualification soon.
I’m looking forward to furthering my knowledge, progressing within the firm and offering the clients I work with more in depth and helpful advice in areas that may otherwise be too complicated to ensure they reach their goals for their business.”
At Randall & Payne our differentiator to other training firms is our encouragement of early client contact, developing skills and confidence for the trainee. We also support all our staff by providing wider opportunities for regular personal development and non-technical learning. As well as a great training package, our trainees have the opportunity to undertake meaningful work in a friendly environment, where they are valued and supported. We believe in fun, a healthy work-life balance and wellbeing as much as hard work and delivering excellence to our clients.