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Welcome to the vibrant world of audit, where every day presents a new challenge and every number tells a story. Today, we're sitting down with Steve, an Audit Director based in the bustling city of Bristol. Join us as Steve shares insights into his journey, the intricacies of his day-to-day role, and why Bristol is more than just a city—it's a lifestyle.

Steve in audit against a green wall

Hi Steve, so tell us: what's your background, and how did you end up with BDO?

Before joining BDO, I studied Economics and Finance at Cardiff University, where I developed a keen interest in the economic side of things. Post-graduation, I embarked on a journey with another mid-tier company, where I worked my way up to becoming a manager. However, I yearned for more challenges and complex work. That's when I heard about BDO from some acquaintances who had recently joined and had nothing but good things to say about the work and the people. Intrigued by the prospect of larger engagements and new challenges, I made the leap to BDO as a senior manager.

So what was the reason for choosing BDO then?

The main draw for me was the opportunity to tackle more complex engagements. I craved new challenges beyond what I had experienced at my previous firm. I knew from colleagues in Bristol that BDO offered larger, more intricate engagements, which aligned perfectly with my career aspirations.

Why did you decide to stay with mid-tier firms versus some of the bigger or smaller ones?

I chose BDO over the big four firms because of the growth and opportunities I saw, especially in Bristol. While I considered the big four, I valued the personal touch and engagement with audited entities that BDO offered. Additionally, I wanted to focus on the regional market, particularly in Bristol, where I could truly understand and contribute to the local business landscape.

What does your day-to-day look like?

No two days are ever the same in my role as a Director. I spend a significant portion of my time reviewing and signing audit reports, ensuring they meet the highest quality standards. Coaching and mentoring the team, from fresh graduates to experienced managers, is also a crucial part of my day. Additionally, I'm heavily involved in business development activities, focusing on presenting BDO within the Bristol market and pursuing potential audit opportunities. It's a dynamic role that keeps me on my toes, with plenty of travel and interactions with diverse businesses and professionals.

What sets Bristol apart from particularly London, and why has that given you the career that you have?

Bristol offers a diverse array of sectors to work in, from professional services and listed businesses to charities and tech firms. This variety allows me to gain exposure to different industries and experiences, unlike the more specialised focus often found in London. The Bristol market provides ample opportunities for growth and learning, shaping my career in ways I hadn't imagined.

What does the future look like at BDO?

The future at BDO Bristol is bright, with numerous opportunities on the horizon. We have the luxury of being selective about the engagements we pursue, allowing us to focus on meaningful and challenging work. As our team continues to grow, we'll have the chance to undertake larger, more interesting projects across various sectors. With each new addition to the team comes the potential for expanded expertise and a deeper understanding of our audited entities' needs.

What preconceptions have you experienced around accounting as a profession, and what's your reaction to that?

Some may perceive accounting and audit as mundane or boring, but I couldn't disagree more. Every day presents a unique challenge, from navigating complex regulations to problem-solving alongside the team. While the numbers may not always be riveting, the collaborative nature of the work and the constant problem-solving keep me engaged and energised.

What are the most difficult or challenging parts of your role and your team?

Staying abreast of ever-evolving regulations and regulatory expectations is a significant challenge in our line of work. The UK regulatory landscape is constantly shifting, which requires us to remain agile and adaptable. Despite the challenges, the camaraderie within the team and our shared commitment to overcoming obstacles make every difficulty worthwhile.

With all the complexity of the role, how do you switch off and maintain a good work/life balance?

Outside of work, I find solace in walking my dog, Womack. His enthusiasm for daily walks keeps me grounded and ensures I get some much-needed fresh air. His presence, whether sprawled on the sofa or photobombing video calls, brings joy and reminds me to take breaks and enjoy life beyond the office. Plus, his unwavering enthusiasm for belly rubs is a constant source of amusement and relaxation.
Womack the dog on grass

What is the fun fact that you know about BDO that no one else does?

One of the audited entities we work with specialises in producing intricate metal ceilings seen in various tube stations, train stations, and airports worldwide. So, the next time you're admiring the ceiling in a bustling transportation hub, know that it might just be the handiwork of one of our audited entities.

Bristol is a city like no other, boasting a vibrant culture, rich history, and a thriving independent spirit. From iconic landmarks like the Clifton Suspension Bridge to the bustling streets of Gloucester Road, Bristol offers something for everyone. With easy access to stunning countryside and nearby beaches, as well as a diverse culinary scene and lively nightlife, Bristol truly has it all. It's not just a place to work—it's a place to live, explore, and thrive.