Trained to be no ordinary auditors

By Jo Byrd

Jo Byrd

 

Ben, Nathan and Alice from the Audit team share their experiences of starting out as a trainee at Randall & Payne through to qualifying.

Ben and Nathan joined the firm as trainee accountants on the same day seven years ago after completing their A ‘levels and both qualified almost two years ago. Alice joined Randall & Payne in August 2015 as a graduate trainee after studying Accounting and Finance at the University of Birmingham and qualified just under a year ago.

All three are proud to work within the team who were finalists for the British Accountancy Award for Audit Team of the Year for the third year in a row. They enjoy the team dynamic with its competitive spirit and constant desire to raise the bar, coupled with the sense of comradery and banter!

 

Joining the Audit & Assurance team…

Nathan knew he wanted to work in practice due to the diverse nature of the work across different industries, sectors and company sizes and commented on the lack of team atmosphere within a purchase ledger team in a larger industry based firm he did work experience with.

Ben interviewed with Randall & Payne in the summer of 2012. He was drawn to the long-standing history of the firm and the fact that it was owner-managed – which in his experience led to a more personable approach to management, whilst giving greater scope to rotate and learn his trade in each department of the business, as opposed to the more rigid structure that can be expected in larger firms.

It wasn’t always auditing for Ben, however. “I worked and trained as a Chef throughout my teens, but ultimately the opportunity to pursue an academic career with a more standardised and social work pattern was too good to turn down.” Ben was pleasantly surprised that the second interview, with Audit Partner Russel Byrd, focused on his background and upbringing rather than his CV, because it reinforced the idea that at Randall & Payne it’s about getting the right person and their fit within the team.

Alice joined Randall & Payne in August 2015 having graduated from the University of Birmingham with an Accounting and Finance degree. She “officially” joined the Audit team in February 2018 having rotated around each of the departments within the firm and has developed a keen passion for charity audit and assurance work. Alice explains that “being a graduate trainee who rotates around the different teams provides you with many opportunities to work with different clients within each of the teams and further helps with study as you can build on your knowledge from university and apply the theory learnt from professional studies to your work and vice versa.”

Balancing work and study…

Nathan explained that trainees are provided with both college based teaching and revision courses which allows a real focus on learning with feedback after practising mock questions. “Colleagues are happy to help and I had regular meetings with my allocated ACA Mentor to update my training file which kept me 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.

Ben added that it’s really helpful that the studies are fully funded and he appreciates the proactive study support from the HR and Partners.

More recently a ‘buddy system’ has been introduced for new trainees, which was Alice’s idea based on first-hand experience. Alice explains that the “buddy system” builds on what is already an incredibly supportive environment in which to work and study by providing trainees with an allocated colleague who has recently qualified themselves. This provides an opportunity for trainees, in addition to the support you get from fellow trainees right through to Partners, to have a “go-to” person who can share not only study experience, exam technique and know-how but also provide first-hand advice and support on balancing work and study.

The audit team likes to work hard and play hard too endorsing a social and friendly environment where team members often gather for meals, nights out and even weekends away.

It is clear that the stereotypical accountant, or indeed auditor, is nowhere to be seen here!

For more information about starting a career at Randall & Payne, contact the HR team on 01242 776000 or email HR@randall-payne.co.uk

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