Alfie Butler joined PKF in the 2021 graduate intake in the Business Services team.
Why did you choose a career in audit?
After university, I was hoping to go travelling but the Covid pandemic ruined my plans. I found a job at a food manufacturer instead and worked in its management accounts and sales analysis departments for around a year and a half.
I’d always considered a finance job in industry, but over time I realised that I wanted more of a structured training and development scheme, and somewhere that would support me in completing my studies – ideally with the potential for overseas travel as well. That’s when I started thinking about joining an accountancy practice.
“It was also great to see that PKF values diversity. It’s a very inclusive firm, and the friendly culture stands out from the moment you walk into the office. I noticed that when I went for my interview.”
What was it about PKF that attracted you?
I decided that I wanted to take the ACA route towards qualification and began comparing the different accountancy firms that offered it. My research involved looking at all of the main practices’ websites, the rankings, fee income, number of staff, office locations and international operations. PKF scored well on all of those fronts.
However, my priority was to find an employer with a great culture and working environment. I’d been working from home every day in my previous role and realised it just wasn’t for me. PKF stood out because of its values and individuality, as well as its great office in Canary Wharf!
How did you find the recruitment process?
I noticed straight away how well I was treated and how open and honest everyone was. There was just something about the whole process – really quick responses and answering every question thoroughly – that made me understand that the firm’s focus on ‘collaboration’ and ‘people’ wasn’t just words on the website; it was being shown to me! It was also great to see that PKF values diversity. It’s a very inclusive firm, and the friendly culture stands out from the moment you walk into the office. I noticed that when I went for my interview.
I’ve now been at PKF since April 2022 and am moving on to professional level ACA exams after finishing my certificate level.
Has PKF lived up to your expectations?
Yes. The firm is very open and you can ask anyone any question, whether that be a Partner or someone in the year above you. All the teams work well together, and everyone gets along, from top to bottom. It’s a hard-working firm – but it doesn’t forget the importance of enjoying life.
The training, in particular, has been brilliant. I was expecting to get only technical training, but the training rolled out by PKF, which covers a broad range of accounting, audit, tax and business skills and is run in addition to the courses we attend for exam training, was very useful too. It helped me to settle into the firm and understand the basics of accounting before going to college for the more technical aspects. From speaking to friends at other firms, not many practices offer this additional training so it’s yet another area where PKF stands out.
How have you found the studying?
So far, I’ve been lucky that most of my studying has been in the quieter summer months. I’d spend an hour and a half studying every day from Monday to Friday and then use the weekend before the exams to revise with friends, which worked really well. We got into a good routine and it’s helped us all do well so far.
And what about travel?
I’d mentioned to my manager that I love to travel, and since then the firm has been very accommodating.
I went on my first assignment away from the office after just a couple of months.
I’ve now spent some time in various locations around the UK and have recently come back from the Netherlands. So far this year I’ve been to Toronto and I’ve also been to Cleveland.
These opportunities have been amazing and I’m so grateful to have been able to see different parts of the world whilst working!