Trainee Accounts Assistant - School Leave Programme

Job Title: Trainee Accounts Assistant - School Leave Programme
Contract Type: School Leavers
Location: Bristol
Salary: £18,000 + £1,000 welcome bonus + study
Reference: AAT/2021
Contact Name: Louisa Watkiss
Contact Email:
Job Published: April 20, 2021 21:46

Job Description

Become a qualified accountant without going to university. Join our school leaver programme and become a Chartered Accountant within 4-5 years, gaining practical experience in a supportive environment whilst studying for your professional exams.

Please visit the "Staff" page of our website to download a recruitment pack and application form.

The Role

This role is perfect for a school or college leaver who wants to train to be a professional, qualified accountant but without going to university. Working in our Accounts and Payroll Team, under the supervision of qualified staff, you will learn about bookkeeping, payroll, tax and accounting. On the job training and work experience will be supplemented by fully funded AAT studies. The AAT qualification will take 2-3 years to complete. On completion you will move onto the ACCA or ACA Fast Track scheme, qualifying as a Chartered or Certified Accountant 2 years later. We can offer exceptional career progression and have a track record of promoting our staff from within: all of our current managers started their careers as trainees with the firm.

The Firm

Godfrey Wilson is an award-winning charity-specialist practice in Bristol. Having built a reputation as a leading provider of audit and accountancy services to small and medium sized charities, we now work with over 200 charities in Bristol and nationally. We also work with commercial clients from a wide variety of industries and sectors.

We have developed a reputation for our fresh, down-to-earth approach and our ability to make the principles of good financial management easy to understand and implement.

We are a close-knit, people-focused firm. We recognise that our success is due to the skills and professionalism of our team. Our staff are driven to provide the highest levels of customer service and are committed to delivering quality and excellence.

We have strong ethical and environmental credentials, with policies on charitable giving, recycling, fair trade, sustainable transport and green energy.


We are a small but growing firm. The firm has two partners, Alison Godfrey and Rob Wilson, and sixteen staff. The firm is split into two teams: the audit team (10 staff) and the accounts/payroll team (5 staff). The technical teams are supported by an office administrator.


We are privileged to work with a fascinating and inspiring portfolio of clients. Many are charities and social-purpose organisations. We also work with lots of clients from the creative industries as well as new start-ups.

Most of our clients are located in Bristol and the South West, however we work with clients from across the UK. Our clients vary in size with turnovers ranging from £10,000 to £15m.


It is our vision to expand the business over the coming years, take on a larger team of staff, and further develop our reputation as a leading firm providing charity-specialist accountancy services.

Person Specification

We are looking for someone who has all the necessary skills to become an excellent accountant, but who is looking for more than just a training contract. You will share the firm’s values and ethos and will be looking for a career that delivers a sense of purpose – somewhere where you can use your skills in a meaningful way. You will feel more at home in a small firm, than a large corporation, and will be looking for somewhere where you can play an integral part in the firm’s success.

Education and Experience:

  • No prior accountancy experience is necessary;
  • Three A levels grade A*- C;
  • Nine GCSEs, including English and Maths at grade B / Level 5 or above.

Skills and Attributes:

  • A good work ethic – ambitious and hard-working with a desire to learn, progress and take on responsibility;
  • An exceptional communicator – verbal and written;
  • Problem-solving - ability to quickly assimilate large amounts of information/data and demonstrate clear, logical thinking;
  • Excellent attention to detail, and a commitment to quality outputs;
  • Strong team-working – ability to work collaboratively to achieve a shared goal;
  • Good time management and organisation - ability to handle a high workload, prioritise effectively and work to tight deadlines under pressure; and
  • Ability to work flexibly, including travel to client sites when necessary and over-time at peak times.


  • Right to work in the UK.

Salary & Benefits

  • Starting salary of £18,000;
  • Welcome bonus of £1,000 on completion of your probation period;
  • Pension scheme with 3% employer contribution;
  • Full study package, including payment of all study costs, paid study leave for exams and AAT/ACA membership fees;
  • 25 days holiday, plus bank holidays;
  • Flexible working hours and remote working options.

Working Hours

We work a 35-hour week. We have a flexible working policy which means you can adapt your hours to suit, subject to core office hours and client/college commitments. The nature of our work means that we have to fit in with client working hours and deadlines. This can mean there may be occasions where you will be required to work outside these hours or do overtime.

Place of Work

We have all been working at home throughout the pandemic but we hope to gradually re-open the office over the coming months. We are hopeful that the office will be fully open by the time our new trainees start.

When all restrictions are lifted, we intend to continue with a hybrid working solution, giving our staff the flexibility to do some of their work from home. However, we also recognise that the best learning environment for our trainees is to work alongside their colleagues and to visit clients at their premises. We firmly believe that our team culture is deeply rooted in the conversations, collaborations and social interactions that occur in a face-to-face setting. So whilst we are committed to embracing flexibility, we will always be primarily an office-based firm.

Start Date

The role will start in summer 2021 (between June and August).