Danette - Audit Services Group
Thomas - Insurance Group
Tom - Insurance Group
Danette, Audit Services Group
I joined Moore Stephens straight after my A levels as an AAT trainee. I had heard about AAT while doing a Business Studies A level and thought it could be a good alternative to university as I could gain experience, study an accountancy qualification and earn a salary without incurring student debt. It was daunting going straight from school into working in the firm however I have found that everyone is very friendly and supportive.
I work in the Real Estate accounting department and prepare quarterly management accounts and annual financial statements from source information obtained from clients. The clients are mainly owners of commercial properties in London and I enjoy recognising buildings which the clients own when I walk through the city. Each client is different and there is always something to learn. I work closely with a Partner who is very supportive of my development. As my knowledge has increased, so have my responsibilities. I now delegate some of the work I am responsible for to more junior AAT staff.
After completing AAT I commenced my ACCA qualification which allows me to continue to learn in my role. ACCA exams are challenging, however AAT provides a solid knowledge base as does my work experience.
I’d advise anyone considering commencing an AAT training position from school to be ready for a full time job! When I first started I was really tired for the first month from getting up early and working all day. However now I like the regular working hours as it means that you have weekends free – if you’re not studying! I joined Moore Stephens 5 years ago and I can now see how much I’ve grown. The time has flown by!
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Thomas, Insurance Group
I was good at maths at school and in sixth form moved to studying business studies, economics and accountancy. I enjoyed accountancy and when I finished my A-levels I knew I wanted to be an accountant.
I got offers from my first three university choices, but I decided it was not for me as I just wanted to get into work. I heard about AAT through a careers adviser at college and I decided to go for it. The AAT is a well known qualification and well worth having. I’m now about to finish my ACA qualification and found that AAT prepared me well for these studies.
As a medium sized firm, Moore Stephens provides a good balance between the job and studying. You also get to know people in the other departments. I’ve been given more responsibility as I have learned more. In my second year I began supervising others and would often visit a client on my own or with a first year student who I delegated work to. For the last two years I’ve been leading university graduates who are older than me!
My department provides services to different types of insurance clients such as brokers, underwriters and managing agents. Our largest clients are P&I clubs who insure ships and have really interesting claims. For example, when there is a shipwreck claims could emerge from owners of the cargo that was lost or damaged from the ship as well as seaside businesses if beach visitors decreased due to the debris. I find working in financial services really interesting as the scale of our clients is incredibly varied. I can go from working on a client with a billion dollar balance sheet to a small client with barely a million on their balance sheet.
I enjoy audit as you view a lot of different businesses and meet new people. You learn something new in each job and approximately 70% of your time is out of the office. One of the aims of an audit is to ensure that the company’s financial records are true and fair (ie: they accurately reflect the financial activities of that company). However you can discover errors or weaknesses in businesses’ systems as you work. As you’ve seen a lot of different businesses, you can suggest improvements on simple controls that could save your clients time and money.
I discovered at school that the business route was what I wanted to take. I selected my A-levels to ensure I had the best grounding rather than specialising. I did my research and discovered that communication skills were very important so I included English Language with my other A-level subjects of Maths and Economics.
I thought AAT would be a better route to achieving Chartered Accountancy status as I’d end up at the same point younger than is possible if I’d gone to university. I’m all for learning and working at the same time.
My experience at Moore Stephens has been really good. My colleagues are very friendly and everyone gets along well. The managers are very approachable although your work needs to be a high standard. I feel very well supported and the team is also very social.
I enjoy audit as you learn the ins and outs of business. A typical audit begins with a walkthrough to learn a client’s systems. Once you know the systems, you can audit them. You go through each part of the financial statements provided by the client and analyse the figures to see if we are in agreement that the figures are true and fair. Any changes from the previous year require you to go into more detail where you analyse what is different and seek supporting documents. Examining a business’ financial statements teaches you a lot as you see everything while you analyse what has happened and why it has happened.
I really like working in the Insurance Group. London is the capital of the Insurance world and our clients include insurance brokers, MAs and underwriters. A specialism gives you more in-depth knowledge although there are general principles you can apply to all clients. No two clients are the same and no two audits or days are the same. Every client is different and every client does things differently and you quickly learn to adapt.