The PSA Series: Life as a PSA Associate

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The last guest blog in our PSA series comes from Jenny, an Associate in our Liverpool Office…

PSA is a rapidly growing department here at Grant Thornton and it’s with good reason- our firm is the best in its field. Grant Thornton is the UK’s number 1 Public Sector Auditor, boasting a 33% market share of Public Sector clients, making us the leading firm of business advisers in this space.

So, looking past the shiny facts and figures, what do we actually do on a daily basis and how does this fit into the bigger picture? After joining Grant Thornton only three months ago as a PSA Associate, I still have a pretty fresh perspective on how it all works.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day in PSA and that in itself is what makes audit so versatile and appealing to me. Sure, sometimes you’ll be producing minute reviews and will be pretty much desk-bound for the day, but the majority of the time, there’s a lot more going on. Within my first few weeks, I had been to Bradenham Manor to learn the theory behind what we do as auditors, in the office applying my accumulated knowledge, and sat with a client discussing the work we were carrying out and what we needed from them. The fast-paced nature of the department means it’s a pretty big learning curve, but one that you can thrive in if you get stuck in.

I don’t think you can compare audit to most jobs- one week you’ll be working in your office and the next, you could be, well, anywhere! Working on-site and gaining practical experience is invaluable and having client interaction on a daily basis is what creates our long-standing client relationships, which we as a firm pride ourselves on.

In terms of opportunity, my experience of PSA so far is that Grant Thornton makes sure everyone enjoys their job as much as possible. After speaking up and showing interest in Police, I soon got assigned a role in the team for an audit of this sector. The willingness to be flexible and accommodate individual’s interests is just a subtle reminder of the supportive environment Grant Thornton provides for its employees.

If you needed another reason to be swayed towards PSA as opposed to other departments, then it’s got to be the new integrated CIPFA/ICAS qualification. This qualification means that not only will you be qualified for Public Sector Finance, but the Private Sector also, meaning the world really is your oyster! This is especially good for those individuals who are uncertain on their long-term career path, as this way, all the doors are left open. There may be 15 exams to get through, but I am certain it’ll be worth it- the benefits of being dually qualified are obvious.

In a nutshell, being part of the PSA department is a varied, exciting and challenging role, which promises to stretch you as an individual and get you involved as part of a team, making you the most successful you can be and I’m excited for what the future holds. In the next few weeks I have my first stock take, training at the Birmingham Office and North West Insights Week, where both internal and external professionals will discuss their thoughts on various areas in our sector. It’s a busy time for PSA and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!

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