At EKWilliams Chartered Accountants, we know better than anyone that our team is what makes our service so great. We welcome school leavers to explore what our apprenticeship schemes have to offer. Take Racheal, for example, who joined our practice five years ago as an apprentice…
Back in 2018, I joined EKWilliams, aged 17, as an Accounts Apprentice. I didn’t have much prior knowledge of accounting, but I was intrigued by what I could learn from a career in the financial sector. At first, I was mainly working on bookkeeping and VAT, with a few admin tasks as well, whilst I settled into the role and started to learn. It wasn’t long before I discovered just how much I enjoyed accounting and realised I had landed in the right career for me!
Ever since then, my role has evolved consistently as I have found my feet at the firm and continued to progress through my studies. Having begun as an Accounts Apprentice, it wasn’t long before I became Accounts Assistant. As I eventually took on a greater breadth of work, I was made Accounts and Audit Assistant, before being promoted to my current role of Accounts and Audit Semi-Senior.
Gaining more responsibility
One of the things I have enjoyed most about my apprenticeship at EKWilliams is how varied my responsibilities can be – especially as I’ve learnt more about the accounting processes the team carries out. Would it sound cliche to say that no two days are the same? One day I could be working on tax, understanding what our clients earn and the tax they owe as a result. The next day, however, I could be undertaking an audit, ensuring that the client’s accounts are as they should be.
I’m now also taking on more client-facing tasks, which I have really enjoyed being able to do! We get many different queries each day, and I’ve gained so much confidence when answering questions and solving clients’ problems.
Learning as I go
My managers at EKWilliams have supported me throughout each of my AAT exams, since I first started at Level 2, all the way through to recently completing Level 4. The variety of clients and the niche sectors we work with means that we gain a wide range of experience to apply to our college studies as we learn. I’m excited to take the next steps in my career, hopefully moving onto my ACCA training soon!
Quite often, I’m surprised by how far I’ve come in the past five years. I started with hardly any knowledge, which was quite daunting. Now, however, I can confidently work across many aspects of the business, using my studies to support how I tackle unfamiliar topics. Most of our clients use cloud accounting, which means that I have become extremely proficient in using accounting software such as Xero, Quickbook and Sage – these each streamline the accounting process for our clients.
A local practice within an international network.
One of the things that attracted me to EKWilliams was its membership within the ETL GLOBAL network and the opportunities that could arise from this. In fact, we sometimes take on referral work from our fellow accountancy firms in the network. These mean that I have been exposed to accounting styles that I may not have worked with previously, if the firm wasn’t part of an international organisation.
I also recently had the opportunity to attend a networking event with several other young professionals within the network. It was great to spend some time with my colleagues outside the office, and to meet other like-minded people from ETL GLOBAL firms within the North-West.
A supportive company culture
One of the main things I love about my role at EKWilliams is how much I get along with the rest of the team. There’s quite a few other young people on the team, which means that it can sometimes feel like we’re all in the same boat, learning together. It has been nice to see us all find our different strengths and niche interests within accounting, and begin to help each other within these aspects.
I find it really rewarding coming into an office where I feel valued and respected each day, not only by the rest of my team, but by senior management as well. This translates into how involved the company has been throughout my apprenticeship, working alongside me to develop a training programme that suits my learning style.
Are you looking for apprenticeship opportunities?
If you’re thinking about applying for an apprenticeship at EKWilliams, I’d say go for it, and try absolutely everything that comes your way. I was nervous to try audit work, but now I really enjoy it. You’ll also find that the practical style of learning in the role helps to get your head around some of the more complicated elements – you’ll be an expert in no time!
If you would like to enquire about joining our team, please do not hesitate to get in touch at: [email protected].
You can find more of our articles here.