Tell us about your role at Shenward?
My responsibilities vary from day to day, but one that never changes is exceptional customer service for clients. I support a range of clients who fall within many different sectors; some are individuals, and some are bigger businesses. Service to these clients includes preparing financial accounts, VAT returns, personal tax returns and general bookkeeping. I love the variety that the role brings with it.
What inspired you to train as an accountant?
I achieved a master’s in chemistry at university, and after that decided to try a variety of roles within the hospitality sector. After doing that for a while, I decided it was time to focus on my career and knew I wanted to get back to working with numbers again. There were plenty of roles in and around Leeds, many of which liked, but given that I was a science graduate I was offered this role with Shenward and jumped at the chance.
How have you found working at Shenward?
I love it! I work in the Leeds office, which is quite small compared to the Bradford one, but we have all been working together for a few years with no personnel changes and so we are like a family. We each know our clients inside out and work together to get things done.
What support has the team given you?
So much support. I came into the office with no previous experience working as an accountant and the team really helped me to get to grips with everything in the early days. The nice thing is that they’ve been around through my entire journey, and I’ve been able to lean on them for support when I’ve needed it. Shenward has also helped out with the financial cost of my studies, which has been a huge help.
How have you found studying and working?
I’ve found it very easy. I used to make plans of what I wanted to achieve and by when and carry it out by breaking it down into smaller parts and setting myself deadlines for finishing them. It helps that I only live 10 minutes away from work, so I get plenty of time in the evenings to get things done.
What qualifications have you obtained?
I successfully passed my AAT professional level 4 and have since signed up for the ACCA qualification. I can’t wait to get started.
What advice would you give to other aspiring accountants?
My advice would be to start as early as possible as your earning potential increases as you gain the necessary experience and qualifications; within 3 years you could be earning £30k instead of owing £30k from going to university. Looking back, I wish I had found this role before enrolling at university as I would have been further along in my career.
Tell us a little bit about yourself outside of work.
I play a lot of guitar. I’ve been playing for a long time now and have built up quite a collection – I’m not a materialistic person at all apart from when it comes to guitars. I like to play chess a lot as well and play in tournaments online quite a bit. I find it passes the time especially during the current lockdown.