Embarking on a career path in accountancy is more than just crunching numbers; it's a journey that intertwines personal growth, professional development, and a close-knit community. In this interview, we delve into the career trajectory of Simon, an Audit Senior Manager in our East Anglia office, uncovering the choices, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped his story. From the decision to specialise after University, to becoming an Audit Senior Manager, we explore the diverse landscape of #LifeatBDO. Join us as we discover the secrets to success, the joys of mentoring, and the unpredictably exciting world of audit, both inside and outside the office.
Can you describe your current position?
I started my career at BDO as a new trainee with no previous experience of accountancy or auditing. After 3 years within BDO's graduate training programme, I became a qualified accountant. After qualification, I became an Audit Senior, then progressed over a 5 year period to Audit Assistant Manager, Audit Manager and finally to my current position of Audit Senior Manager. I am now the key point of contact for my audited entities, which range from small accounts with turnover of £500k to large businesses employing thousands of staff and reporting turnover of up to £200m. I have also taken on additional responsibilities within the department and I am now in charge of training within the East Anglia region as well as supporing recruitment efforts.
What do you like the most about your current position?
Whilst the primary focus of my role is entity facing and ensuring that my audited entities needs are met, the area of my job that I most enjoy is working with our trainees and helping them develop. We have over 20 trainees in the region, all who require assistance in different areas. The most enjoyable part of the job is seeing them become qualified accountants at the end of their training contracts.
How would you describe your career path in a nutshell?
I decided to move into accountancy after studying economics at the University of Sheffield as it is a career field that allowed me to get to understand the business community and meant I could keep my options open for my future career. I moved back to my hometown after graduating to begin my career in accountancy. I was motivated to join a large firm where I could gain experience of various types of businesses but decided against the big 4 as feared I would not gain a wide enough exposure. I have stayed with BDO since qualifying in 2015 as they have offered me the personal development opportunities I was looking for and I enjoy the close knit relationship of the 50 people who work within the department.
What advice would you give to a potential candidate based on your career experience?
Every day you come across something new to you, but it is likely to be a question or a situation that someone else has faced. Ask as many questions of the people around you as you can and it will allow their experience to become your experience. No-one expects you to know everything and people you come across will be happy to spend time answering your questions.
How would you describe #LifeatBDO?
Varied, challenging but enjoyable. You never quite know what any audit, or any particular day, is going to throw at you but that is what it keeps it interesting. You work so closely with your team members that you quickly develop friendships rather than just working relationships.
What are your interests outside of work?
I love most sports, although as I am getting older my interests have trended towards watching rather than playing. Football and the NFL are my favourite sports and I have a season ticket at my hometown club Ipswich.