SupportAs well as being supported during your training contract and the exam periods by the NAO itself, there are many other organisations which are both willing and able to help. The help on offer ranges from exam entries to social events and emotional support. The ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) is one organisation that provides such support through its student groups.

As a registered student of the ICAEW, you are automatically assigned to one of the 24 student societies across the UK based on your location (as there are now ACA students across the globe there are student groups worldwide too!). As I work in Newcastle, I was automatically enrolled in NCASS (the Northern Chartered Accountant Students’ Society).

Each student society is run by a group of students who have been elected onto the committee for the year. Luckily for me, the NAO has a strong involvement with NCASS from before I started working here, which meant it wasn’t long before I gained my first committee position! Working on the committee has also helped me develop my technical skills (as I need to submit the tax returns and produce the accounts) and also my softer skills such as communication and team working. I would therefore recommend becoming involved in your local student society! I have maintained my involvement with the society since then, and I have been elected as the Treasurer for both the current and previous year.

The student societies, including NCASS, aim to provide a point of contact for queries, a forum for informal networking with other firms and a committee to represent views to the ICAEW through the ICAEW Student Council (ISC). NCASS is one of the more active student societies and we also play our role in providing feedback to ICAEW Рthis is very much helped by the fact that our NCASS Chairman was also recently elected at the Vice Chairman of the ICAEW Student Council.

NCASS also works closely with the Northern Society of Chartered Accountants (NorSCA) which represents some 4,000 ICAEW members and ACA students across the north east and Cumbria.¬†NorSCA arranges an annual Newly Qualified and Prize-giving Event each April for those students who have successfully become exam-qualified in the previous calendar year. This event takes place in the prestigious King’s Hall in Newcastle University and is one of the best attended events of its kind in the country. We also have very good links with the ICAEW staff who live and work in the north of England.

If you have any questions about the above please let me know!

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