Tag Archives: Accelerate

Accelerate-ing Through the Ranks

When Rhys asked me to write a guest blog for Spilling the Beans, I was really excited, my follow up question was ‘how long does it have to be’, when he replied I was slightly concerned I wouldn’t meet the quota. However, once I began thinking through my 7 years at Grant Thornton I started to think that actually I may not be able to fit it all in…

I’m Mel and I joined Grant Thornton in September 2006 as an Audit Accelerate Trainee. I joined straight after my A-levels and made the most of my last summer before full time employment with a girls holiday to Malia – which was rather messy so I won’t go into details! After 4 years I was a fully qualified chartered accountant, which I have to admit I was really proud to achieve at the age of 22. Following another 2 years working (exceptionally hard) in audit I was promoted to Assistant Manager. Then after a challenging year in this role I was promoted to Audit Manager in October this year!

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Molly’s Accelerate Diary – October 2013

October has been a month that has seen me really start to pick up the pace of revision. With my first two ACCA exams taking place on the 3 and 9 December this might sound like a lifetime away, but what with working full time and trying to squeeze in a little bit of a social life, the revision has to start now. This has caused me to feel somewhat like a working, revising robot so, at the end of a hard days revision, for which I had taken a day’s holiday,  I treated myself to…

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The Perks of being a School Leaver

The recent release of this year’s A Level results caught my attention when I heard that a record 401,000 applicants had been accepted for undergraduate courses within 24 hours of receiving their results, that’s 9% higher than last year.

When fees were trebled to £9,000 in 2012 many expected that more students would opt instead for higher level apprenticeships, which provide workplace experience and a professional qualification.  I was surprised then to discover that recent findings by the AAT showed that 81% of parents are unaware that a higher apprenticeship is an university-level qualification. Read this post

Molly’s Accelerate Diary – July 2013

As an Accelerate trainee, I am set to endure 5 years of training and exams, with the exams only getting harder, meaning that the preparation only gets tougher. With this in mind I have really relished having a whole month exam and revision free, while I await my final AAT exam result with the hope that by the end of the summer I will be AAT qualified and ready to step full of energy and enthusiasm into the next stage of my journey at Grant Thornton – studying to become a chartered accountant with the ACCA. Read this post

Molly’s Accelerate Diary – May 2013

First thing’s first, I got my Personal Tax results and passed! With this big weight off my mind I headed off for a week in Ibiza to relax and not be tempted to look at my emails.

On my return to the office for the first time in a month, I got stuck into some audit planning work. An audit consists of planning, fieldwork and concluding stages. When you begin life as an audit trainee at Grant Thornton you are thrown straight into the middle part, the fieldwork.

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Molly’s Accelerate Diary – April 2013

This month has been an agonising one, eagerly logging onto the AAT website daily in the hope that my Personal Tax results will have been posted. At Level 4, unlike Level 3 where you receive your results as you walk out of the exam, results take between four to six weeks to arrive. Alongside this, I have sat tuition for my Business Tax exam. The tuition phase was double the length of the Personal Tax tuition at four days long, meaning double the volume of information to absorb. As with Personal Tax, I found the module an extremely interesting and relevant one leading me to wonder about the possibilities of secondment at the end of my training contract (three years away!).

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Introducing a New Team Member – Molly

Hi everyone, I’m Molly and I’m the nearly-newest member of the Spilling the Beans team. I’m really excited to answer anyone’s questions so that I can help you make the right decision.

The big decision for me was university vs work. I had found myself floating down the path of university application, just because that felt like the natural thing to do. My heart wasn’t in it, but I didn’t know what other options there were.

As I didn’t take Accounting at A-Level I missed out on seeing the presentations that trainees like me hold at local sixth forms, however I was lucky enough to have a friend tell me all about the presentations. I now find when I go to local sixth forms that students from various classes take the time to come and see our presentations. I think it is important to realise that you do not have to have taken Accounting at college or university in order to become a trainee at Grant Thornton, as the training provided both in work, and at college is completely sufficient, providing you are keen to learn.

My best tip when applying is to research, research and research. It’s important to know all you can about Grant Thornton, and also about the other firms out there, so that you can be sure you are making the right decision, and be able to portray why this is the perfect path for you in your interview.

The reason this was the perfect path for me was primarily avoiding the university debts. I also loved the fact that this was a fast-track approach to becoming a chartered accountant; as you qualify a year younger as a school leaver than if you joined as a graduate. I really love the AAT qualification (read my AAT blog to find out more) as I feel that it is a solid stepping stone to the ACA/ACCA and provides a really strong knowledge base for accounting. Another advantage of this job is that you have the chance to meet a range of different and remarkable people, both clients and colleagues. As an auditor at Grant Thornton you have the chance to work with different teams on a regular basis in vastly different locations, giving variety to the working day. A perk of working for a firm of this size is opportunities available. For example, I have had the fantastic opportunity to be involved in Spilling the Beans only a year into my training – something which a smaller firm may not have the capacity for, and that at a larger firm I may not have the time or support for.

If you’re thinking about joining please do make the most of the Spilling the Beans team as we are always happy to help answer any queries you may have. As with all team members, you can follow me on twitter @GT_Molly.

Accelerate to Success

Hi Everyone, we’re Nicola, Harriet and Faye from the Manchester office!

We’d like to introduce you to the School Liaison Project and the work we have been doing in the North West to promote Grant Thornton’s opportunities for school leavers.

Alongside the graduate programme, year on year, Grant Thornton are opening more vacancies up to school leavers. This is a programme which is run alongside the graduate training programme and is perfect for individuals who are looking for an alternative to university education.

Training with us as a school leaver is a great opportunity as within four years of sitting your A-Levels you could have achieved both the AAT and ACA qualification meaning that you would be a fully qualified chartered accountant. The ACA is recognised worldwide as one of the leading financial qualifications and prepares you to work in a huge range of financial positions, whether you choose to continue working at an accountancy firm or within industry. Also unlike university, if you choose to join us as a school leaver, at the same time as studying, you will be gaining invaluable on the job experience, earning a competitive salary, receiving full study support, and avoiding the increasing university tuition fees!

In order to get this message across to sixth form and college students, School Liaison teams have been established across the country and are all run by current trainees like us. The North West team was established in March 2012 and we have so far worked with over 60 schools and colleges across Liverpool and Manchester. We attend school careers fairs, run sessions on interview and application skills, and have developed a business game for students to practice business awareness and analysis – the type of skills that will be tested at interview stage! Recently, we also piloted an Insight afternoon at the Liverpool office for sixth form students from a local school to come to the office and see what life is like as a trainee at Grant Thornton.

A recent Insight Day

We all really enjoy being a part the School Liaison team. It is a great way of adding something different to our day to day role within the firm and we always enjoy the opportunity to meet and talk with people who are interested in taking similar career paths.

Look out for us coming to your school soon and in the meantime you can follow Faye on twitter (@GT_Faye) for updates on the North West Schools Liaison team and further insights into working at Grant Thornton. Please get in touch with any further questions – we’d love to hear from you!