Tag Archives: Training

Six tips from six interns

The Euston interns at the Confidence in Presenting conference in the Birmingham office!

As us Audit interns in Euston started our internship three weeks before those in other offices we thought we would each give a quick insight into what we’ve learnt so far and helpful tips for those who have just started the program or for those thinking of applying in the future.

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Being an in-charge at Grant Thornton

“The price of greatness is responsibility” – Winston Churchill

Having now been at Grant Thornton for over a year and a half, one of my objectives this year was to in-charge a small audit before Christmas. So a few weeks ago I had my first in-charge job – objective…Tick!

So OK, being an in-charge is not quite on Winston Churchill’s levels of ‘responsibility’… Read this post

Izzy’s Bradenham Experience

Hi, I’m Izzy and a current intern in the property tax department. I had such a good time at Bradenham (Grant Thornton’s national training centre) that I want to share my experience with you.

As we pulled up to Bradenham Manor in the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside I was so excited! A big part of becoming a trainee at Grant Thornton is spending time developing your learning at Bradenham Manor, and so as an intern I was beaming when I found out we would be spending two nights there. Read this post

All You Need to Know: ATT to CTA

A major consideration when applying for a role in a professional services firm like Grant Thornton is the choice of professional qualifications. There are various acronyms floating around for professional finance qualifications and some can seem very familiar. At Grant Thornton, we offer ACA, ACCA, AAT and ICAS on the accountancy side and ATT and CTA for tax.

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Nick’s Diary – March 2013

Ever since I received my exam timetable this January, I’ve been concerned that March would be a draining month. As a trainee studying CTA, the firm sets internal progress ‘link’ exams in order to allow us to practice exam technique and keep on top of the books. These are usually set a month or so apart. In March, I had four.

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Akash’s Accelerate Blog: Part 2

It has been a little over five months since I joined Grant Thornton, and it comes as no surprise that my time here has already quickly flown by. At the time of writing my last post, I was still waiting to go on my first away job and looking forward to all the challenges I would be facing and since then, a lot has changed!

The first two months for myself involved a lot of travelling to all parts of Britain. Cities I visited included Glasgow, Brighton, Cardiff and London. This was a massive eye opener. As a school leaver, it was something I had not experienced previously. My initial assumptions prior to my travelling were that as a new starter, I’d predominantly be very office based for the first few months, however this is not the case at Grant Thornton. New starters get the opportunity to go out on audits almost immediately after joining.

To help and assist you prior to this, all the new starters from our region were able to attend an audit training week. During the week, you get given a better understanding of the work you’ll be carrying out on audits and as a result, you’ll come away from the week with a much firmer grasp of auditing. I was surprised to learn that the training was being led by graduates and school leavers who had been with the firm for just 2-3 years. The advantage of receiving training from them was that they were sitting in our shoes not very long ago and were able to share the experiences and lessons they had learnt. It was also useful as I felt they were also able to relate to us more effectively and overall, the week proved to be an insightful one.

One of the biggest factors that influenced me on applying to Grant Thornton was the buzz about Bradenham. For those that don’t know, Bradenham is a manor house and is where Grant Thornton house many of their internal training courses. It’s a unique setting in which every individual at Grant Thornton will get to experience at some point. It’s even full of facilities such as accommodation, a gym, bar and a games room. The most enjoyable part from Bradenham from my experience was being able to meet other individuals in the same position as me, but from offices all over the country. This provided a great opportunity to talk to others and their experiences so far and also to even build some networks.

After receiving all my training, I most certainly felt more prepared for my first audit. It became apparent how useful the audit training week had been as I was pretty much replicating what I had been taught. This helped ease any nerves I had at the time as I felt more comfortable with the work I was carrying out. All in all, it’s hard to believe it’s already been five months. In the next few months, it’s ‘busy’ season, so I’m expecting to get a lot more experience on jobs. In addition, I have college in the summer to look forward to which will provide a break from the office. Speak to you then!

Insightful Conversations

As I am still pretty new I am no expert on our Grant Thornton systems and intranet. One day before Christmas I found myself looking at the firm’s Learning Zone page (an online system which allows us to book internal training courses) of the intranet to check up on a Bradenham Course I am booked onto. I was exploring the Learning Zone, clicking odd buttons to see what would happen when suddenly I received an email to say I had booked myself onto a workshop named “Insightful Conversations”. I checked out the course description and decided it sounded pretty fun so asked the permission of my line manager to whether I could go, and as I had a free date in my diary I could.

There was some pre-course work that involved watching a couple of YouTube videos and jotting down comments and so I thought I was going to be in for a jolly day at the new Birmingham office. On arrival and the shiny, glass building in the heart of Birmingham, I was whisked up to the eleventh floor in a lift that would put Charlie’s Great Glass Elevator to shame and greeted with tea and biscuits – a fantastic start. The course was introduced by two facilitators, one who claimed to be a trained hypnotherapist (which had me spending a vast part of the day trying to avoid eye contact) and we were set to introduce ourselves to the group with one interesting fact; mine being that I have played on the courts at Wimbledon with Tim Henman. So far so good.

From this point on my day changed, I got into the activities with gusto, I had to think, and think really hard, so hard by brain ached, but the results really were fantastic. We learnt how to remove obstacles to progress through coaching people to solve problems for themselves, helping people through the process of coming to their own conclusion instead of simply giving them the answer. We also spoke about how many of our everyday conversations are shallow, unfulfilling and without risk, meaning we do not actually get all of the information that we actually require, or sometimes miss the point entirely. We covered the art of “active listening” whereby you do not listen only to the words that come out a someone’s mouth, but also pick up on the subtle signals such as tone, pace, body language and what they don’t say in order to conduct a more effective conversation. Yes, I understand it sounds like some sort of therapy session but you’d be amazed just how “insightful” it was! It was amazing how by practicing these techniques on each other how many of us realised new ways around barriers we thought we could not conquer, such as how to request better training, and how to ask for more responsibility. I certainly found myself thinking that I had so many more options than I had realised for my particular obstacle of meeting new people in a new city.

The day ended around 5pm. It certainly wasn’t the easy day of chat that I had perhaps hoped for (although we were provided with a free lunch) but was far more valuable for both my work and personal life. I have come away a toolbox of how to have more effective conversations, a new way of thinking about ‘bumps’ in the road, as well as a few sweets from the bowl on reception. Luckily at Grant Thornton we are offered loads of personal development courses internally, because as a brand we realise that people and good relationships are our most important asset. Whatever your situation, I would encourage everyone to take all the opportunities that are offered to you, whether that be extra-curricular at university, optional training at work, or a workshop offered through a careers service, because you may also come away with amazing things that you never expected to learn, and if that fails at least you may be left with a few sweets from the bowl on reception…

The Summer Internship

Hi, I’m Liam and this summer I completed a six week internship working mainly in commercial audit from Grant Thornton’s Bristol office. I also had the opportunity to spend time in the commercial tax, corporate finance and public sector audit departments, as well as working from the Cardiff office for one week.

At the moment I’m in my fourth year studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Warwick. I get asked a lot why I chose to work for an accountancy firm and, at the time, I applied because I was interested in business from modules at university and reading newspapers. I also enjoy watching TV shows like Dragons Den; which I think really demonstrates how important understanding the numbers is for a business.

I’d considered other business and finance careers, but chose accountancy because of the chance to study for the ACA qualification and the opportunity to work closely with clients. Grant Thornton stood out to me because they work mainly with medium sized businesses and promised a greater variety of work than some of the larger firms.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed and from my second day I was out completing real work on a client site. Each week I was with a different client and was involved in most sections of the audit. It surprised me how independently I was expected to work and towards the end of my internship I was responsible for entire sections of the audit. The fieldwork was normally led by a second or third year trainee, making it really easy for me to ask lots of questions without feeling silly. All of my work was of course thoroughly checked and everyone was encouraged to share feedback at the end of a job.

The open plan office at Bristol made it easy to talk to the managers and I felt a real effort was made to fully involve me with the department. Working in audit, however, does mean you can sometimes feel like a stranger in the office, but I personally enjoyed working in a small team and visiting clients.

There were of course aspects I found difficult, such as getting up early to catch a train to Cardiff and working with detailed spreadsheets. However, I was grateful to have the opportunity to work with clients in a different city and enjoyed being engaged by the work.

At the end of my internship I was fortunate to secure a graduate position with the audit team. My summer with Grant Thornton was a brilliant experience and I’m really looking forward to starting with the firm next year.

If you have any questions please post on the Facebook page. I’m also the Campus Ambassador at Warwick this year and am really looking forward to hopefully meeting some of you at our events.