Nick’s Diary – April 2012

I was once asked at a careers event at Loughborough University how I had coped with the transformation from student to employee. Where the 11am roll out of bed became a 7am rush and a week’s worth of lecturing hours can sometimes fit themselves into one day at the office. I guess this will be a concern for a lot of people at University and, as I’m not exactly a ‘morning person’, it was probably a concern to me. As my student days are now two years behind me, I can honestly say a 7am start no longer fills me with dread, even if I still don’t like the noise of my alarm clock. Typically, and this really isn’t as bad as it sounds, the Grant Thornton Southampton office can feel a bit like my second home.

April though was quite the contrary to this rule, as I spent plenty of time hopping around my skillset in what was a three tier month.

I kicked the month off by heading back to Corporation Tax, where there was plenty of work to be catching up with after the end of my audit secondment. This also saw me heading out to a client early in the month to complete their tax return on site – an increasingly regular feature in my training contract as my experience and client relationships grow.

Mid-month came another shift in my day job, as I headed back over to the audit department for one final week to complete the audit of a games manufacturer. This provided yet another opportunity to broaden my horizons and get an insight into another truly interesting company.

As April drew to a close I started to experience one thing I’m sure all students can relate to. It’s that constant and nagging reminder of exams, badgering away in the back of your mind. This is one student habit I’ve not yet managed to shake and so the last week of the month was spent sitting at home with a textbook just inches away from my face.

As part of the CTA training contract, part way through we must complete a ‘hurdle’ exam which is designed to see if we’re up to the mental challenge of this qualification. I’d had plenty of practice but was still surprised to see how high the bar has been raised from ATT to CTA. Fortunately, a 67% pass is enough to see me heading off to Bradenham next month as I start my CTA qualification.

It’s been ages since I’ve been to Bradenham and I can’t wait to get up there to see my fellow tax trainees again. Of course, Bradenham being Bradenham means fantastic food and zero commute. I’ll probably weigh in at a couple of stone heavier at the end of May but here’s to hoping I’ll be smarter for it too.

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