“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’… but I know that every bit of responsibility I take on is a good thing and it is improving my confidence no end.
In-charging a job at Grant Thornton means being responsible for the audit whilst out on site at the client’s offices. To expand a bit further this involves:
- managing a team
- managing the file
- dividing and monitoring everyone’s work
- helping others complete their work where necessary
- being the main point of contact for the client
- ensuring that the audit is completed effectively and most importantly on time!
So as well as managing your own time, being an in-charge is a lot about helping others in the team manage their time too – a very valuable skill which is often hard to master. It is a skill which can be transferred beyond the realms of accounting too.
I was quite nervous about my first in-charge job as it meant for the first time, I was out at the client, just me, with one new graduate to manage. There was no longer anyone to check or ask questions of. Instead I was the person who needed to come up with all the answers! This was a great experience for me as all too often it is easy to check with an in-charge how to do a particular test or how to approach the client with a particular issue. As there was no one to ask I made my own judgements and gained confidence in my own ability. Having said that the job manager was always at the end of the phone if there was anything major I was unsure of.
The client was particularly into sailing (as am I) which was useful for building a rapport and having a bit of fun whilst out on site! Having been there as a new graduate last year, I could go back and build upon a rapport I had already established which was very rewarding. With his last minute participation in the America’s Cup there was lots of chat about Sir Ben Ainslie this year, and let’s face it, I could talk about him all day long (swoon!).
As it was my first in-charge role, I did put in quite long hours to complete the audit on time. I was doing many sections of the file for the very first time and so it took me longer than it might have otherwise. A more experienced in-charge would not have needed to work overtime, however as the ultimate responsibility for completing the file lies with the in-charge it is important that the work gets done irrespective of how long it takes. As such, in-charging an audit is not just about building a rapport with the client and managing a team, it is also about putting in some hard graft too!
In charging an audit also involves carrying out all the concluding work on the file too. This enabled me to see the audit process from start to finish which was very useful and certainly presented a few ‘light bulb’ moments for me along the way
All in all, my first in-charge job went well and I am looking forward to a few more next year! If you have any questions you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org