Laura Jenkinson | Accountant | Randall & Payne
Category: Jobs, R&P News

The importance of a supportive learning environment for an accounts trainee

Laura Jenkinson joined us as a part-qualified AAT accountant two years ago feeling a little disillusioned after her experience as a trainee with a couple of smaller accountancy firms.

Having completed her A’ Levels in Product Design, Travel & Tourism and Maths, Laura didn’t really know what she wanted to do next. She knew that University wasn’t the right path for her, and wanted to learn on-the-job, so she researched apprenticeships.

Being good with numbers, Laura chose to do an accountancy apprenticeship at a very small firm initially, but found she was given office admin jobs rather than accounts work, so moved to another firm to continue her apprenticeship. Although she was doing more accounts work, she wasn’t given enough time by colleagues to be shown how to do the relevant jobs and was feeling unsupported. She wasn’t gaining enough actual accounts experience relative to where she was in her studies which was becoming a problem.

Knowing she was unhappy where she was, her Mum spotted an advert for a part-qualified role here at Randall & Payne which was also in a much better location, so Laura applied.

Laura has not looked back! Her first interview was face-to-face with Carrie and Andy who made her feel at ease, and her second was on a video call with Shaun and Nikki. After being offered the job, with a bit of a gap between the interviews and start date, Shaun arranged to meet Laura for a coffee since he lived in a neighbouring village, which was reassuring indication of the caring team she would soon be working with.

Laura joined the accounts team part way through her level 4 AAT and experienced a much more nurturing learning environment. She has felt well supported by Carrie and the wider accounts team who took the time to go back to basics to ensure she fully understood all the elements of the job.

Laura has found Randall & Payne to be much more supportive when it comes to study time, which then allows Laura to focus on her exams which are just as important as the actual work. The amount of work around study periods is limited so trainees can focus on their studies. The way study is prioritised gives trainees the best opportunity to progress in all aspects accountancy, whether it be passing exams or producing a high standard of accounts.

Laura commented:

At Randall & Payne, I believe the slogan ‘we make your success our priority’ is highly important to the firm and isn’t just around clients’ success but also their employees’, which is demonstrated by how they help to prioritise study periods alongside work.”

Laura was given the opportunity to train other trainees which has helped to give her more confidence. She is grateful for the opportunity to work from home a couple of days a week which helps with the work life balance but is still able to ask questions, by calling or messaging her colleagues.

Laura was delighted to pass all her exams last October and finally achieve her AAT qualification.

Carrie added:

Laura has progressed well here at Randall & Payne, learning our processes quickly. She has even been helping with training newer team members, passing on her own knowledge and experiences! Now that she has passed her AAT qualification she is taking on more complex work and is a real asset to the R&P team.”

Visit our Apprentices and Graduates page, email or call 01242 776000 if you would like to find out more about trainee opportunities at Randall & Payne.