As you might have guessed, it’s a smaller place up here – when we’re all in the office there’s only about 90 of us compared to the hundreds that work in London. Our building doesn’t quite have the same history behind it as the London office which was mentioned by Lis in her post, but it’s quite pretty and modern. We share the building with other companies as we only occupy the majority of the fourth (and top) floor. This means you can meet lots of different people just on your way up!
We’ve recently moved offices in Newcastle which means we’re now nearer to the train station but still quite close to the shopping centres (Eldon Square) and high streets (Northumberland Street) of the city centre. This means it’s a great location for those that commute from further afield like me and also for grabbing lunch and snacks when you’re hungry.
In the Newcastle office, we’re responsible for a number of large audits such as the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions Resource Accounts as well as smaller audits such as the Joint Nature Conservation Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The range of organisations that we audit – large and small – helps in developing different skills, and for more experienced trainees this can mean more opportunities to take on responsibility, such as leading audits.
As well as audit work we can also be involved in value for money studies, with work on the Help to Buy equity loan scheme and Personal Independence Payment: early progress being published recently. However, I should also point out that we’re a fluid organisation and many of our projects and audits combine both Newcastle and London staff. For example, I quite often talk to colleagues in London to discuss my audit work and I work as part of a Newcastle and London team on the internal work I’m involved in. We regularly use communication aides such as video conferencing to hold meetings and training sessions, which allows us to collaborate as one office.
Although being away from London (and being so far away from other colleagues!) can be a negative point at times (like trying to arrange meetings), there’s a lot of good points to the Newcastle office that I’d like to highlight too:
- There’s always cake in the kitchen (it’s quite unusual for there not to be cake!);
- Everyone works on the same floor and knows each other;
- Most of our audit clients are within two hours; and
- It’s easy to get to the airport as there’s a direct metro train that runs from the train station (which is practically outside the office).
If you have any questions about either of our offices, please let us know!