Jonathan’s Public Sector Diary – Q1 2013

Hi, I’m Jonathan and I am an Associate in Public Sector Assurance working from the Birmingham Office. The aim of this blog is to give an insight into the life of a Public Sector Assurance trainee, the clients we work with and my experiences so far.

Public Sector Assurance at Grant Thornton has grown rapidly in the last six months with over 300 former Audit Commission staff joining across the UK in November 2012, bringing with them their wide-ranging portfolio of clients making Grant Thornton UK LLP the leading provider of audit services to the Public Sector. Typical clients in this sector are Local Government, NHS and Police Authorities, but there are also opportunities to work with not-for-profit organisations such as Housing Associations (the sector I worked in before joining Grant Thornton) and academic institutions.

Since joining in January 2013 I have worked with a clients in local government and a Police Authority. The work I have done so far has contributed to the ‘interim’ stage of the audit, which is essentially planning and preparation for the audit of clients final produced accounts. During this period I have travelled to areas such as the Peak District and also central Birmingham (a convenient two minute walk from the office!).

During my long commutes to the Peak District I had the opportunity to listen to morning radio, and what has really struck me is how the public sector makes the headlines on an almost daily basis. If it is not an NHS Trust making the headlines, it is a Police Authority or a Local Council! This shows how dynamic the sector is and how important the work we do is to ensuring that public money is being spent correctly.

As I write this blog I think about the experiences I have already had in the (nearly) four months I have been at Grant Thornton. Training for my Police audit has seen me go down to our Finsbury Square office in London and I have driven around cross-referencing physical assets (such as a Caravan park!) with deeds held by a Council.

The Public Sector busy season begins next week as NHS final accounts begins. This will be my first experience of final accounts (the audit of the financial accounts produced by the client) and I have no doubt that this will be hard work. Long hours will need to be put in but above all I am looking forward to the new experiences NHS final accounts will bring to continue my learning and development. Once NHS final accounts have been completed we move straight onto local government and police final accounts (after a brief holiday for me) and I look forward to telling you about what I have been up to.

If you have any questions you can find me on Twitter @GT_JonathanM or feel free to comment below.

Thanks for reading!

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