My name is Lucy Fielding and I am an ACA Trainee at Lewis Golden LLP in Marylebone, London. Having just completed my first six months as an accountant, I feel that I am fully settled into my new job and am looking forward to the challenges that my training contract will bring.
Although I studied Maths and Further Maths for my A-Levels, my Classics degree didn’t provide much in the way of numbers or calculations, so the decision to become an accountant was somewhat of a surprise to my friends. However, a degree like Classics is full of problem solving and analysis, skills which are vital to an accountant, so it just shows that you do not need to have studied Maths or Finance to become an accountant. In fact, there are very few people in the office who studied Maths at university; we cover all subjects, from English and Music, to Business and Geography.
The life of a trainee is varied, with time split between studying at college for the ACA exams and working on real clients in the office. The first month of my training contract was spent partly in college, where I studied for the first two exams, Accounting and Assurance, and partly with HAT. Whereas the college courses were largely theoretical, the HAT courses taught us how to put the theory into practice, and we completed our first mock accounts prep and audit. This prepared us for going into the office in September, where we were immediately given real-life accounting work.
One of the best things about training in a HAT firm is that you have all the benefits of being in a smaller firm, like working on lots of different clients, being given responsibility early on and having a very close knit group of colleagues, but you are also part of a larger intake of trainees in HAT firms. You do all your courses with the same intake group, so you quickly become friends with other trainees from different firms across London, and can compare your similar experiences and hear about how other firms operate.
While training, we are given exposure to a variety of clients, and we work in many different areas in the firm, although our main base is in the Audit and Accounts team. The past few months in the office have been filled with accounts work, but now I am about to go on my first audit, to a client in North London, and I will start learning all about tax in my college courses later this month, so the job is certainly varied!