Case study

Accounts senior — Beth-Anne Bruce

After being headhunted via her LinkedIn profile, Beth-Anne managed to secure a job as accounts senior for the Accountancy Partnership

How did you get your job?

A recruiter contacted me regarding an opportunity to work for an up-and-coming online accountancy firm, The Accountancy Partnership. There was a fair bit of back and forth, and I was then invited to have a telephone interview. I also had to attend a trial day before being offered the role.

What's a typical day like?

It usually involves:

  • answering client queries, via email and phone
  • preparing limited company, limited liability partnership (LLP) and partnership accounts and relevant tax computations and returns
  • preparing VAT and self-assessment tax returns
  • dealing with HMRC on behalf of clients.

What do you enjoy about your job?

There's a really good work ethic among all employees. We aim to help each other out if one of us comes across something we're unsure of. Together we will try and figure out the answer.

I also enjoy the investigative aspect of preparing accounts, such as reconciling the control accounts.

What are the challenges?

One challenge is that each client is different, so you have to apply different, but relevant, aspects of knowledge to each client. They might ask a question that you're unsure about, which is where good research and colleague interaction becomes essential.

The pressure of deadlines is also a challenge, as every report and return must be submitted to the relevant authorities on time. Occasionally, clients send in their records with just a few days to go - placing a strain on other deadline work you may be working on.

In what way is your degree relevant?

My ACCA qualification (from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is relevant as it provides an overarching view of accounting from all over the world, which you wouldn't get just working in practice. There are small, niche parts that stick with you. When you have a client query, or if a colleague is unsure about something, it's highly encouraging when the information can be passed over.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

I started in my current workplace as a semi-senior accountant, and was promoted to senior within 18 months. In my previous job, I started as an apprentice, and worked up to becoming a full-time employee within five months.

I'm now delivering in-house training to others alongside my accounting work. I plan on staying with The Accountancy Partnership for the foreseeable future, and will continue with professional development, as part of my ACCA membership.

How do I get into accounting?

  • Engage in self-study - this is where you actively seek to study for accountancy qualifications, either via a degree or through a professional body such as AAT, ACCA or CIMA; all without the help of an employer. It will lay the foundation for your future, and any employer will love to see that you're invested in the profession.
  • Volunteer or get work experience - it can help get your foot in the door at an accountancy practice. This shows your willingness to actively get work, and gives your employer the opportunity to see how hard-working and amazing you are at your job. They're then more likely to offer you a full-time position.
  • Keep your online CV up to date - when you pass an exam with the AAT or ACCA, be sure to include this on your CV. It will ensure that the employers looking at your CV are fully up to date with where you're at with your studying.

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