How did you get into accounting?
It wasn’t what I originally thought of doing. I took my GCSEs at Sidmouth College then went to Bicton College to study Horse Care. But after I broke my arm, I decided it wasn’t the career for me! I took an apprenticeship in Business Administration at the Royal College of Nursing with Exeter College, then became an administrator with a local accountant.
Why did you make the move to Griffin?
I realised that instead of admin, I wanted to actually work with numbers. I was good at maths at school, which I think is crucial for an accountant. I answered an advert and joined Griffin in May 2018.
What does your training entail?
I’m currently working towards AAT Level 3 (Advanced Diploma in Accounting) which I hope to finish this year, then I’ll be moving on to Level 4 and after that, studying to become a Chartered Accountant. I have a paid day off each fortnight to study. The training is with Accountancy Learning in Exeter and is a mix of online presentations and quizzes, plus a standard text book. I study at home, and I have a tutor who is at the end of the phone line if I need help. I only need to go into Exeter to take my exams.
Is your career progression clear to you?
It’s a very clear progression. Once I’ve completed my initial training, then my next step is into a semi-senior role, then a senior position. After that I would hope to become a manager and who knows, one day maybe a partner.
What do you like about working at Griffin?
Every day is different and every client is different, which I enjoy. The work includes audits and personal tax and I really like being able to help people with this part of their business. Accounting can seem like a minefield to anyone outside accountancy! I’m a people person and I like the fact that I had the chance to have contact with clients early on.
What is the most interesting aspect of your work?
I enjoy academy work when the audits take place, between September and Christmas. Last year I visited five schools with a senior member of staff. I like book-keeping, which includes supporting evidence, reconciliation, and checking clients are spending their money how they should be. I have eight book-keeping clients at the moment including a client in London, a leisure specialist and a charity. The charity is a newer client and it’s really helpful to learn about the details of charity accounting, such as restricted and unrestricted funds.
Do you have all the support you need?
At the moment, Misty reviews all the work and is really good at explaining what else a client could do to save tax, for example. Everyone in the office is always willing to help me out with my training, answering any questions I might have.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I’m a trustee for a wonderful local charity, Munchkins Miniature Shetland Rescue. I manage the website and at weekends I spend time with the ponies. Our latest project is to build a stable block.
As a trustee, I have to approve the accounts, and it’s really helpful that I understand what the accounts actually mean.