Read Ella’s top tips for those thinking about a career in accountancy
“Having just graduated from Durham University, I joined PKF in December 2021 in the financial services division. With exemptions from some certificate level exams having already studied them at university, I am currently studying for my 6th exam out of 15 (the last of certificate level), and hope to qualify as a chartered accountant in 2024.”
Ella Hunter, Audit Junior, Financial Services
What was the application process like – any advice?
The first stage of the application process involves two tests – a numerical, and deductive reasoning assessment. Both of these aim to ensure you have the basic knowledge and understanding required for the role. After having completed and (hopefully!) passing this stage, a phone interview is offered with a HR manager, and then finally a group assessment centre. In terms of advice – the best thing to do is just be yourself! The best interviews I’ve done are when I have put less pressure on myself to give perfect answers, and instead just given genuine answers to the questions that are asked.
What skills are useful in this sector/ profession?
One of the most important skills when working in audit is communication – both with the client that you are working on, and other members of staff at PKF. Forming professional relationships with your client is crucial, and also makes the working day more enjoyable when you can enjoy talking to them!
Particularly when you have just started your training as an accountant, there are plenty of occasions where you may come across something you have not seen before. When deadlines are tight, it is important that you are efficient in communicating with your seniors and other team members in order to complete the audit in the timeframe required.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession?
The best advice I can give to anyone wanting to enter the profession is that no question is a bad question. There is a culture at PKF in which questions are not only welcomed, but encouraged. Staying curious, and asking questions is important for your own development as well as ensuring a high level audit!