All things must come to an end, be it a nice holiday, an awesome movie, a damned good meal (or hangovers, exams etc.) or even the time as a graduate trainee. I was asked to look back at my time as a trainee to pick out a top 10 of things I did that I really enjoyed.
- Going to the pub on a Friday with people from the office.
- Exploring a new audit location in the evenings. While I never did go on an international audit, I did get the opportunity to go to Southend, Buxton.
- Meeting client staff, whether it is the first time or the fifth time. This is especially true when they remember you from a year ago when you only spent five days on site. There are many interesting conversations to be had if you take the time.
- The office Christmas parties and team lunches. They were always a good way to spend an evening/afternoon to relax and celebrate the success of the year/audit season with the people you have spent a lot of time working with.
- Seeing my name printed in a value for money study. I was only heavily involved in one study, and whilst more would have been nice, I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to get deeply involved and credited in at least one study.
- Successfully planning an audit in one week, then being involved in decision-making early in my second year in the office. This was the turning point for me and that confidence boost was incredible. Alongside this was identifying a way through a very complex accounting issue and navigating a frustrating account area (all different audits). The sense of achievement gave further confidence boosts.
- Leading an audit to completion. It is immensely satisfying to know that you were responsible and finished the job, rather than someone else doing it.
- Passing the exams and getting my ICAEW Training File submitted to finally become qualified. This is what I came here to do, so naturally it features on the list. Plus passing exams is always a good thing!
- Asset existence testing on the Health & Safety Laboratory audit. A great audit with plenty of assets to let someone with a scientific geekiness to go nuts! I especially liked the jet turbine engines used to burn things, or burn holes in things; all in the name of health and safety.
- Going to Number 10 Downing Street. Admittedly all I did was sit of a sofa and wait for someone to bring me a disc of data, but I got to go inside!
As I now start moving toward the next phase of my career, I am genuinely excited by what the future holds; and what my top 10 list will look like after the first three years of my time as a qualified financial auditor.