UHY Ross Brooke Chartered Accountants

Alex – ACA trainee

Newbury Office

About Alex

After studying Maths, Physics and Biology as A-Levels, I decided to study Accountancy and Finance at the University of Portsmouth. I felt that a business degree would be too generic and a degree in Accountancy would enable me to earn exemptions from the ACA qualification.

The University encourages students to gain practical work experience and I was fortunate enough to intern over the summers at UHY Ross Brooke in Newbury, where I gained valuable skills, which I could apply to my studies. Once I had finished University, I accepted a training contract at UHY Ross Brooke to become a qualified accountant.

Audit training secondment with UHY Hacker Young, London

Since UHY Ross Brooke is part of the prestigious UHY Hacker Young Group, it is sometimes possible to experience working at other offices. This is a fantastic opportunity to try out different workplace cultures and locations and see what you like without committing long term.

My two-week secondment was spent assisting UHY Hacker Young with an audit: one week remotely and one week in London. The client was a global agency specialising in sports and entertainment partnerships.

On day one, I had a call with the audit manager and the audit senior for an audit planning meeting, where we discussed the client’s background and the company’s performance for the year. We went through key areas of the audit, and the audit manager highlighted areas that she wanted us to pay particular attention to.

Learning outcomes from the secondment

I was able to gain experience in a sector that I had no previous experience in.

I could apply accounting principles that I had learnt at university but had yet to apply to a real-word scenario, such as hedging.

I also found ways to streamline the ways I worked, through clever shortcuts that my colleagues showed me.

A different way of working

Whilst in London I gained valuable insight into how different accountancy practices prepared their audit file and working papers.

It is useful to see how other firms lay out their working papers, as you sometimes have to review the working papers of a new audit client who has moved from a different accountancy firm. By seeing the alternative ways accountancy practices layout their working papers, I can continue to refine and improve my skills as an auditor.

A networking opportunity

Throughout my secondment, I met lots of trainees, qualified staff, and managers, who were always very friendly and interested in how other firms operated. All the staff made me feel welcome.

I had a brief opportunity to meet with the partner, who made sure that I had no problems and ensured my time in London was an enjoyable experience.

During my stay, I met almost twenty trainees, which was only a fraction of the total number of trainees in the London office, due to COVID restrictions, their hybrid working arrangements, and auditors being on site.

The trainees ate lunch together and we discussed training and what working in London was like. They often offered their recommendations for restaurants to eat at in the area in the evening and it was fun spending time with them.

The big city or the riverside market town?

I really enjoyed my time with UHY Hacker Young, meeting new people, networking and learning new ways of working. That said, it is also good to be back in Newbury, with my existing team who support me, and with whom I have a fantastic working and social relationship.

It is inspiring to have the chance to move between practices in the UHY group and gather new skills for the future. Working for a large accountancy group gives us these opportunities, which are not always available in smaller accounting firms.

Next steps

Take a look at our current vacancies, or meet more of our trainee accountants.

Why UHY Ross Brooke?

UHY Ross Brooke is a Top 20 firm of Chartered Accountants based in Newbury, Abingdon, Hungerford and Swindon. We are ambitious people, united in our mission to be exceptional accountants and business advisers delivering seamlessly integrated client service.

Through our UHY network we harness global intelligence and combine this with local presence and knowledge to share technical and commercial insight.

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  • Competitive benefits package & private health care
  • Friendly and supportive environment
  • UHY network partner
  • Hybrid working (where possible)

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Newbury: 01635 555666
Abingdon: 01235 251252
Swindon: 01793 610008
Hungerford: 01488 682546