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With a little trip to the north of the UK, we met Liezl in the heart of Edinburgh! She's an Assistant Audit Manager, happy to share her career journey—from the South African lowveld to the historic and vibrant city of Edinburgh—capturing the essence of her experience with BDO.


Discovering the Charms of Edinburgh and BDO's Growth Potential

Hailing from the down-to-earth lowveld in South Africa, I embarked on my auditing career with a Big 4 firm at a smaller office. This experience allowed me to develop managerial skills and gain a wide range of audit experiences across various businesses. When the opportunity to move to Edinburgh presented itself, I found the city to be a perfect fit—a place where down-to-earth charm meets rich culture and architectural wonders.

Joining BDO was driven by the allure of growth potential, a decision that has been richly rewarded. The Edinburgh office, akin to the one where I did my articles, offered exposure to diverse businesses and industries. With a relatively small audit division combined with Glasgow, I've had the chance to take on exciting project management roles and contribute to large group audits, listed audits, and new audits, showcasing BDO's commitment to staff recognition and growth.

Navigating Benefits and Challenges of the International Move

Benefits: The relocation process with BDO was remarkably smooth. The support provided, including a relocation allowance, accommodation support, and an interest-free loan, made the transition seamless. The presence of fellow South Africans in the office, including my People Manager, offered invaluable support and shared experiences during the transition.

Challenges: Finding a place to live presented a challenge due to the competitive rental market, but the supportive BDO community eased the process. A lifestyle shift without a car in Edinburgh was a significant change, but the city's walkability and efficient public transport system made it an enjoyable adjustment.

Collaborative Teams and Approachable Leadership

In the Edinburgh office, BDO values collaborative teamwork. Our audit teams work closely together on-site or from the office, fostering relationships with both colleagues and clients. The approachable nature of audit managers and partners, who work alongside the team, enhances communication and a sense of camaraderie. Despite the rarity of working from home in Scotland, the approach has contributed to BDO's successful audit performance and accelerated development for junior staff.

Evolving Roles and Comfortable Growth

As an Assistant Audit Manager, the role has evolved from an entry-level position where I managed significant risk sections to now fully reviewing audit files. BDO's approach of gradually introducing responsibilities allowed for a comfortable transition, ensuring that as I progressed, I could confidently take on more complex tasks.

In conclusion, my journey with BDO in Scotland has been one of growth, discovery, and embracing new opportunities. Edinburgh's charm, coupled with BDO's commitment to professional development, has made every day an enriching experience. Here's to more growth, camaraderie, and success in the heart of Scotland with BDO!