Tag Archives: Location blog

Location, Location, Location

Hi, I’m Sean and I joined Grant Thornton in September 2012 as an Audit Trainee. Having spent three years at University in Birmingham, I had my mind set on returning to the ‘bright lights’ of London, my hometown, where I could begin my career as an accountant and start to pay off my student loan.

As you may know, London is very competitive and graduate positions tend to be filled early. During the application process I was told that despite Grant Thornton liking my application, the London Euston office had filled their vacancies and I was asked to consider applying to another office. This caused me to weigh-up the pros and cons of moving to a new city, especially my living arrangements and the work and social opportunities available in a new place.

Southampton was my new chosen destination and I was somewhat apprehensive before the Assessment Centre day. However, by the end of that day my mind had firmly been made up. I received a call directly from the Audit Partner who interviewed me, stating how enthused he was with my application and for me to join his office. Looking back, this is typical of life at Grant Thornton and our values. It proved to me that trainees play a key role in the firms growth. Rather than applying for other accountancy firms in London, I felt Grant Thornton’s distinctive brand message of growth and the responsibility given to trainees from the start were convincing factors for my future.

Eight months later and I have not looked back since joining the Southampton office. My experience has been varied and no week is the same. I write this blog having just returned from a visit to Northern Ireland to a subsidiary company of one of our regular clients in the construction industry. With the Southampton office being somewhat smaller in comparison to London, it presents greater opportunities to adopt responsibility and have ownership of jobs from the start. This is definitely an advantage of working in a regional office.

Southampton offers reasonably priced accommodation and I have been lucky enough to find a shared house within walking distance of both the office and our local Kaplan centre (the external training provider used for our exams). There are regular social events, all of which are well attended and have helped me to settle down in the South. I particularly look forward to the Grant Thornton National Football Tournament. The event will be held in Liverpool during July and the Southampton office will be sending along two boys and two girls teams to bring back the trophy!

My advice to current applicants is to be open-minded. Regional offices offer you a varied experience with great responsibility. You should consider whether it is the firm and its values which help decide on your next job offer or whether the location is the most important factor relevant to you. Things are developing well my end, still a long way to go with the student loan though!

Location Blog Summary

Since the Spilling the Beans blog’s incarnation a few years ago, we’ve constantly pushed to develop the site to help it achieve its goal of giving potential trainees an insight into what life is like at Grant Thornton. Two years ago we added a forum, and we were quickly inundated with queries regarding our various offices – clearly it worked and we were starting to learn about what you guys wanted to know about Grant Thornton.

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Location Blog Special – London Finsbury Square

Hi, I’m Priya and an Assistant Tax Manager in the London Finsbury Square office. I joined Grant Thornton at the start of 2012 having previously completed my ACA training contract at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in 2007. More recently, I have worked in the tax team for a market leader in the leisure and entertainment industry. I am currently studying for my CTA exams with Kaplan to complement my ACA qualification and enhance my understanding of the various technical tax issues relevant to my clients.

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Location Blog Special – Reading

Hi I’m Chris, I joined Grant Thornton around two years ago as a school leaver in what is now the Reading IQ or Winnersh Office. Reading IQ is part of the Thames Valley unit with the Oxford office.

The Reading IQ office is part of the Winnersh IQ Business Park which is located just outside Reading off Junction 10 on the M4 and is home to approximately 80 staff members over 3 main departments ? GCOS (Global Coordination and Outsourcing Solutions), Audit and Tax. The office itself is a new build so everything is very new and shiny! There’s even a pool table which gets frequent use in lunches and breaks, and in the pipeline there’s even a hint of a tournament brewing!

Although the office is situated on a business park, there is still a good choice for food. There’s a WH Smith and a restaurant or cafe directly opposite which serves the standard sandwiches as well as doing a range of hot foods which change daily. There’s also a Holiday Inn with a large bar inside which is often used for Friday drinks given by the partners or managers for a job well done or rather just surviving the week!

Overall the social aspect of the office is very good. As discussed often everyone goes for Friday drinks after work at the Holiday Inn or to a nearby pub, a 5 minute drive away, on a Friday for a pub lunch. We also get cakes on a Friday bought by the office as a treat to all staff and get to dress down too – basically Fridays are the best and most indulgent days to be in the office!

There are also various sports socials that go on. Historically staff have met up on a Tuesday at a sports centre to play badminton, but there is also weekly football played amongst staff on the weekend, with some games against other companies arranged for the midweek. Recently a squash league has also started, so there is always something you can do if you want to get involved.

We have a real range of clients in the office ranging from medium to large stock based companies all the way through to sports based entities and even some charities. Most of our clients however are small to medium entities in the computing industry and the majority are based as you would imagine in the Thames Valley region, but we do have a fair amount of clients based in and around London too. So in conclusion the mix of clients is great for a bit of variety!

Overall, Reading IQ is an incredibly dynamic office with engaged, friendly and enthusiastic staff which can offer you numerous opportunities to develop and diversify your skills to become an overall great business advisor.