Case study

Apprentice audit associate — Kiran Narula

After gaining practical experience helping her dad with his accounts, Kiran chose to pursue a career in auditing. By landing an apprenticeship with Grant Thornton, this allows her to achieve recognised qualifications through the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)

How did you get your apprenticeship at Grant Thornton?

I spent a lot of time researching different companies as I knew I wanted to work for a firm that had a real purpose. I came across the work that Grant Thornton does with the refugee employment charity Breaking Barriers, and this was the standout moment for me.

The processes were both quite fun and engaging. The application process involved a series of recorded questions and a short test on maths and situational questions. This led on to the assessment centre, which felt like being on The Apprentice.

The trainee recruitment team were great at keeping me up to date during each stage of my application and they got in touch before the assessment day to make sure I was ready.

What qualifications have you studied up to this point?

The Level 3 Advanced Bookkeeping and Level 4 External Audit, as part of the AAT qualification.

What made you choose an apprenticeship?

I've always loved working. I used to help my dad with his accounts and my mum has always worked in the city, so a job in this profession has always appealed to me. I'd watched my older sister go to university, but it just didn't feel like the right route for me. Then COVID-19 hit, and I saw everyone at university had to spend all their time in their rooms, losing out on the social element. This made my mind up that an apprenticeship was what I wanted.

What support have you received during your apprenticeship?

Before I started the job, I was able to get in touch with other trainees on LinkedIn and WhatsApp to get to know each other. A few of us, who were all joining the same team, actually met up in person for lunch near the London office before we started.

I've also been supported in changing roles since joining the firm. I originally joined in the commercial audit team but, after working on a public sector project, realised I preferred public sector audit. Everyone was really supportive of my move, which is almost unheard of for someone in their first year of a trainee contract. It was my job manager who asked whether I wanted to make the move, as she could tell how much I loved the work I was doing.

What's a typical day like as an apprentice?

It starts with a meeting in the morning, setting out the plan for the day and then cracking on with the different tasks. Plus there's lunch with your friends and colleagues.

If you get to work at a client site, a typical day consists of working through the audit and sitting with clients to go through documents.

What are the challenges?

The challenges are in balancing work life and studying - the studying needs to be kept on top of and it's easy to get lost in how much there is. Between working on client sites and in the office, making sure you keep enough time for study is vital.

Another challenge is understanding the work when you first join and not being too shy to ask for help when needed. Everyone wants you to learn.

What advice would you give to others interested in pursuing an apprenticeship?

Don't think that an apprenticeship is an easy option - you do have to maintain work and study alongside each other. But if you have that drive, and you know what you want to do, it's the best move you can make. You'll be qualified at a young age, and gain so much experience along the way.

Find out more

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

success feedback

Thank you for rating the page