#Business Area Series – Business Risk Services

Fraser from the Manchester office tells us about business risk services at Grant Thornton….

When deciding what service line I’d apply for, I decided I wanted to join a team which would have a real positive impact on its clients. I read about the different Advisory roles at Grant Thornton and was attracted to a role within Business Risk Services (BRS) team. After online tests, telephone interviews and group exercises, I was lucky enough to join the BRS team as a graduate trainee in January 2014, joining the team in the Manchester office.

As a business unit, BRS provides non-statutory internal audit and bespoke advisory services to clients across all sectors. As a guide, some of the audits I have worked on have included in-depth reviews of payroll processes and controls at a FTSE 250 company, a review of the effectiveness of internal staff communications at a university and a financial health check of a non-departmental government body. As you can see, there is not only real variety in the work we do, but also in the clients we have. I love the variety of work we do and it’s great to get experience in so many different areas.

A typical week in BRS will involve having a kick off meeting with the client on the Monday morning and planning how to structure the piece of work we are doing, including establishing key contacts and any testing that we need to do. Throughout the week, we will complete fieldwork and speak to key members of staff and management and feedback our findings by the end of the week. We then produce a report for the senior management team, which is also usually presented to the client’s audit committee, so it’s important that the report is well written and accurate.

To join the BRS team, a successful candidate should be able to demonstrate a number of the CLEARR values. I think a key one is responsibility as you can sometimes be out on site on your own or in a small team and therefore it’s important to take ownership of the work you are doing and to represent the firm to the best of your ability. That said, the team is very close-knit and the managers and directors in the department are always happy to feedback on any work you have done. One of the other key requirements is to manage your work load, as you can end up very busy when it comes to exams. I’m studying towards my ACA qualification, which is hard enough on its own without work on top of it!

As a business unit, BRS has grown year-on-year and last year we celebrated our most successful ever financial results. Consequently, our client portfolio is expanding and the team is growing, it’s a great time to get involved in BRS and learn more about the rigours of internal audit. If you have any questions, please post these below.

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