As our new trainees start their second day with us, here’s some more advice from those who know best. Learn from Robert, one of our previous trainees who has successfully qualified as an accountant, how to deal with clients, get organised in the office and keep up at college.
Below, in no particular order and in a handy bullet point format (for ease of reading and maximum enjoyment!) are my final thoughts.
- Be confident when you speak to the client, but don’t pretend to know something you do not. Your confidence will often help the clients’ nerves settle.
- Following on from the above, remember that it is the client being audited, not you. They are the ones that are nervous… not you! Some clients can feel intimidated by the fact that they are being asked questions by us. This can provoke a variety of reactions. It’s always worth being mentally prepared for this and having your responses ready.
- Be willing to chat with the client more generally. Talk to them about the football match from last night, or the movie they saw recently that you also saw. It helps build up a strong rapport and dialogue that will help both professionally (they get on with you) and personally (the job is more rewarding).
- Always say goodbye to the client staff and thank them in person at the end of each and every visit. You don’t have to speak to everyone, but it is advisable to go to the people you had a lot of contact with and ideally some of those with less contact too. Again it is about building that rapport and dialogue. They will appreciate it and you will also be helping corporately.
- Book a desk when you are in the office. It saves headaches!
- Go to bed early when at college. It will help you to focus and concentrate while in class. It sounds harsh but there are times where if you lose concentration for a moment you can be thrown wildly out of sync with the class.
- Become friends with the person who gets the college stuff… they can help you to understand it!
- Remember to stay calm and have fun. It may be a job, but it doesn’t always have to be work!
- And finally: audit treats (e.g. sweets, biscuits, chocolate and doughnuts) are wonderful and should be considered a necessity!
At the end of the day, if you get involved, work hard, integrate yourself into a team and demonstrate a keen ‘can do’ attitude you will succeed. This is generally true in life and the graduate scheme is no different. It will set you up well for life wherever you end up.
And with that the baton is passed. I bid you farewell and good luck.