Megan’s Exam Blog

It’s been a couple of months since I combined some of my thoughts into a blog, and what better time to continue the trend than when attempting to take a break from revision (I’ve already cleaned my flat, colour co-ordinated my wardrobe, counted the tiles in my bathroom…).

We have been busy in Public Sector Audit with final accounts for NHS clients well underway. I am sure many of you will have heard in the news about the NHS reforms, a shake-up that will change the healthcare service in Britain for future generations, and also topical is the pressure on A&E departments across the country – now is both and important and interesting time to be working as a public sector auditor.

As a trainee on my first final accounts job I was slightly daunted but once the tasks were broken down to me over a cup of tea with the in-charge, I felt much more comfortable. It may come as a surprise to hear that making cups of tea did not feature as a major part of my role, seeing as I was both the newest and youngest member of the team, but in fact I was lined up to be tackling some rather more pressing matters.

For a trainee the main tasks involve checking the accounts for accuracy and testing balances. It is an important job that requires patience and a 20/20 eye for detail, as any mistakes that go unnoticed could result in the audit opinion being inaccurate. Spending time going through the accounts really helped my understanding of the organisation and brought together lots of topics which had been covered in my CIPFA studies. Spending time at the client site also helped to build my confidence around approaching client staff members. Once the working day was done I stepped outside into the beautiful Cornish sunshine (did I forget to mention I’d bagged an away job in “the English Riviera”) and enjoyed the delights that the coast had to offer.

After holidaying (of course I mean working) down in Cornwall for three weeks a return to Bristol was welcome, if not for the fact it was to complete mock exams for my second round of CIPFA modules. Working and studying has been a challenge, especially with the lure of activities that seem to pop up whenever you blank out a weekend for revision, however preparations have come along steadily and with the prospect of a trip to Denmark to look forward to after exams, putting in the effort to (hopefully) pass now doesn’t seem so bad.

For me it was helpful that I came straight from University into a training contract, meaning I had not had much time to fall out of the habit of studying. Trainees across all departments will be preparing for upcoming exams at the moment, as well as some of our potential Talent 13 trainees who will have their final University exams. To all sitting exams good luck, try not to overdo the energy drinks, and take regular breaks for tea and cake which I find improves my sanity if not my waistline.

See you at the other end!

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