When I left school I knew I wanted a career using maths but I had yet to decide what that would be. I was able to get a Postgraduate position in mathematics at Warwick University, a challenging degree but one which allowed me to explore my options.
I completed modules in accountancy and teaching, and during the holidays, I completed a number of work experience placements. I found that accountancy gave me the most enjoyment and allowed me to apply my skills in a very practical way.
During my last summer at University, I completed 3 weeks' work experience with Elsby and Co. I was very nervous on my first day but felt immediately welcomed, I got to meet and work with everyone in the company, and see the work that was done on a day-to-day basis.
When I compared this with the experience I had had working in a large firm where I worked with one person solidly for three weeks and experienced only a fraction of what they worked on, I knew I would feel more at home in a smaller firm. During my final year, I was lucky enough to agree on a training contract with Elsby and Co and I have been training here for over a year and a half now.
I was given the option as to which qualification I wanted to complete, and I chose ACA as I thought it would help me to stand out against other accountants. The exam structure starts by providing a good grounding in all topics, then builds the understanding up and finishes by bringing everything you have learned together in a case study. The structure is similar to how you progress whilst working in practice, so I believed I would suit me the most.
Whilst I have been at Elsby and Co I have been involved in preparing accounts as well as corporation, VAT and personal tax returns. This has given me a good technical grounding which I continually build on as I get given more advanced jobs to work on. I have also developed personally in my ability to communicate with colleagues and clients, and also in building my confidence when working on something I’ve not seen before and when looking ahead in my career.
While in the process of looking for a career in accountancy you’ll be bombarded with information about the large firms in London but they really aren’t for everyone. I believe I have found the best firm for me, and I would say to anyone looking for a role in accountancy to test the waters and don’t be afraid to go for what you want, rather than what you’re told you should want.