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What to Expect from a Job in Audit

Hi, I’m Lauren from our Ipswich office. I remember when I first started my application with Grant Thornton wondering exactly what it was that the job entailed, and despite searching extensively for an idea of the work an ‘auditor’ does, I didn’t really know exactly what to expect.

Now that I’ve been with the firm for six months (time flies!), I thought this would be a good chance to share with you my experience and give you some idea of the type of thing you should expect to be doing as a new trainee in the audit department.

I was surprised at how involved you get pretty much straightaway, and in my first week I was out at a clients, experiencing the work we do first hand. This may sound a bit frightening but it’s a great way to learn, and my own personal experience at the Ipswich office has been that everybody is really welcoming and happy to help. You never have to worry about a question being too obvious or obscure, most people have been in your place at some point and remember being the new starter, even if it was a few years ago! I found that the trainees who had been in my place a year or two ago were especially keen to help out and explain anything I didn’t understand.

So what actually is it that we do? The dictionary definition of an auditor tells us that “An auditor is an accountant who officially examines the accounts of organisations”, and in principal that is one way of describing what we do, however this fails to capture the wide variety of day to day work we encounter and the dynamic range of clients that we work with.

Essentially, the main part of our work is examining our clients’ financial performance on a yearly basis, gaining comfort over the accuracy of the figures they give us. As an example this could involve transaction testing i.e. tracing a sale through the internal bookkeeping systems but sighting and checking key documents, such as the order request, invoice, despatch note and bank statements. Another example would include analytical reviewing, which is where we compare the client’s figures to our own expectations, and investigate unusual variances.

In the office we can get involved in organising events, and help out with finalising the accounts ready for signing by the client. Overall, there’s lots for you to experience and plenty of opportunities to get to know everyone at social events too!

Hopefully this has helped give you an idea of what it is that we do, but if you’ve got any further questions then fire away!

The Big Four – the obvious choice?

When I first decided that I wanted to work within professional services, I trawled the internet for all the national firms which offered the opportunity to start on a pre-determined graduate support role with a training contract. Having worked in a small firm of accountants in my hometown during my placement year from University, it had become clear to me that I wanted to work for a large, national firm, with international scope. The next step was deciding which one I wanted to work for.

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