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McBrides Blog

Routes into Accountancy – part two:

Article posted: 7th July 2017

From fixing bikes to company audits by Patrick Duncan

I was directed to McBrides after working a long summer fixing bikes in a local shop. I studied A Levels in Maths, Biology and Chemistry and then went on to do a degree in Maths at Sussex Uni-versity. My choice of degree was made based on my aptitude for numbers, rather than to aid an accountancy career. I couldn’t apply for the ‘big 4’ as my grade in GCSE English Language didn’t meet their pre-requisite, so I started looking at smaller firms and I’m pretty grateful that I did. A cou-ple of my friends at the big companies, whilst training, are working ridiculous hours and not getting anywhere near as varied experience as I am.

I love the atmosphere, everyone is so friendly and welcoming. Everyone is happy to help you and don’t expect the world of you while you are studying and building your knowledge. It’s nice not to have that pressure but at the same time feel respected and part of the team, a valuable part of it, not just someone that can be replaced.

Study & working

The training environment is ideal as you get day release to college and internal support. For exam-ple, a couple of months back I was able to go and study at my local college in Maidstone, this makes it easier for balancing study and work. I think it’s helpful if you are practicing whilst studying as it keeps your mind fresh and really hammers it home for you.

I am a ‘semi-senior’ at the moment, this involves planning and leading audits, and delegating appro-priate work to juniors My next step in progression will be reaching part qualified. I’m also taking on more specialist work such as solicitor engagements.

I’m enjoying the variety, we can go from tax work all the way through to audit and do some ac-counts in between. It gives you the experience and skill to be equipped for pretty much everything. The best part for me however is the high level of client interaction.

Having been brought up around classic cars and motor racing, my mind works in a very mechani-cal way; meaning logic and problem solving are two of my main strengths. These attributes are constantly being tested when working on audit, so this is another favorite area of work.

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