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Opportunity

Trainee Chartered Accountant

Job Title: Trainee Chartered Accountant
Contract Type: Graduate
Location: Watford
Industry:
Salary: 21000 - 21000
Reference: 2022
Contact Name: Sumeet Bajaria
Contact Email: Sumeet.Bajaria@myersclark.co.uk
Job Published: January 14, 2022 13:45

Job Description

ROUTES OF ENTRY

Graduate

Graduates join us having completed an academic degree course at a UK University.

Minimum entry requirements are:

Maths & English GCSE Grade A* - B                             plus

UK University degree Grade 2.1 or above

Whilst an Accounting and Finance related degree would be an advantage, it is not a requirement. We will accept any degree which demonstrates a high level of analytical skills, essay writing, reasoned arguments and be academically robust and balanced.

As well as graduates, for the right candidate we will consider school leavers:

 

18+ School Leaver

Trainees join us having completed their A level or BTEC studies.

Minimum entry requirements are:

Maths & English GCSE Grade A* - B                             plus

3 ‘A’ Levels Grade A* - B                                               and/or

BTEC Level National Diploma in Business Grade DD

 

 

WORKING FOR MYERS CLARK

Myers Clark is a 3 director general practice firm based in Watford, Hertfordshire. The practice has been established for over 100 years and we currently have around 40 staff. We are well known in the area with a reputation for providing good service with a personal touch.

The firm is friendly and supportive. Directors and staff are professional and hardworking and our aim is for all staff to be happy at work, progress and succeed.

 

 

HOW THE FIRM IS ORGANISED

There are two fee earning departments:

The Assurance & Advisory Department looks after our company & charity clients. These include owner managed limited companies, property management companies, charities & other not-for-profit organisations, pension funds and clubs.

The core services provided are audits & independent examinations, year-end statutory accounts, corporation tax, management accounts and outsourced services including bookkeeping, VAT and payroll.

We also support clients on an ad-hoc basis giving advice & providing consultancy services including corporate finance and cloud accounting solutions.

Within the Assurance & Advisory Department all fee earning staff are allocated to three individual teams, each headed up by one of the directors. Each team has its own specialisms and areas of interest. Trainees are allocated to a team from day one, but will often work across teams to ensure they get a broad experience of work over the course of their training.

The Private Client Department takes care of our non-corporate clients. These include individuals, company directors and partnerships.

Both departments work closely together as there is some cross-over of client services.

The fee-earning departments are supported by departmental and central administrative teams.

ACA trainees are based in the Assurance & Advisory Department. During their training, they may have the opportunity to spend some time in private client department to enhance their skills and help them with their exams. This also gives them a taste of what they might want to do post-qualification.

Getting a broad grounding in all aspects of the accounting process and the chance to get experience in a different discipline is one of the advantages of training with Myers Clark.

 

OUR CLIENTS

The Assurance & Advisory Department looks after approximately

  • 340 company clients which vary in size from small owner managed businesses to medium size companies. Our clients operate in a variety of industries including: property development and construction, football clubs, manufacturing, telecommunications, IT hardware & software, distribution, hotels, service providers.
  • 50 charities and other not for profit organisations which vary in size from small local charities to large grant making foundations. Our clients operate for a variety of charitable purposes including: livery companies, learned societies, international development, churches, education and training, advice, information and advocacy, residential care, local community support, mental health.
  • 700 property management & service charge clients.
  • 5 local clubs and associations.
  • 5 pension funds.

The chance to get practical experience on a variety of clients makes working for Myers Clark interesting and challenging.

Trainees will be based at our offices in Watford (subject to Covid restrictions) but will also travel to client premises, depending on the nature of the work. Trainees are offered flexible working arrangement including working from home after passing their probation period.

Most clients are based within a 30 miles radius of our office and staff travel to clients daily. We only have a handful of audit clients where an overnight stay is required.

Knowing that they will be at home at a reasonable hour each evening and being able to work from home enables trainees to have workable study plans and pass exams.

 

THE TRAINING PROGRAMME

We are a registered training office of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) and trainees work towards membership of the ICAEW. Once they have successfully completed the exams and the practical training programme they are able to apply for membership of the ICAEW, and if successful, call themselves a Chartered Accountant and add the ACA designation to their name.

We take training seriously at Myers Clark, as good, rounded, training benefits both student and employer.

We support trainees through the ICAEW programme as follows:

Exams

We provide full support to students through the ICAEW Level 7 Apprenticeship Scheme. The following are paid for by Myers Clark:

Study courses & materials

Block release study leave

Exam days

Exam fees

Travel costs to/from college and exams

In return for this support we expect students to take their exam study seriously too and put in the necessary hours and effort to pass their exams at the first attempt. This means dedicating between 15-20 a week outside of work hours to studying and revising for exams.

Professional exam courses are currently delivered in London by Kaplan Financial Training.

While the ICAEW training program typically takes 36 months for trainees to pass all of their ACA exams and become a qualified Chartered Accountant, our training program continues further developing successful candidates into supervisors and managers. 

Practical Training

By the end of the programme trainees may have gained experience in:

  • Bookkeeping
  • VAT returns
  • Management accounts
  • Cashflows
  • P11d’s
  • Payroll
  • Statutory accounts
  • Group accounts
  • Audit
  • Corporation tax returns

The training program takes trainees from a starting salary of £21,000 up to potentially £37,500 at qualified senior level.

Progression is assessed and documented every 6 months on our progression charts and pay rises awarded based on the new skills that trainees have mastered.

We put a lot of time and effort into our trainees and so expect them to apply themselves 100% to working efficiently, learning and progressing in their day-to-day work.

Broadly speaking, trainees start with more straightforward tasks and assignments and will tackle more complex work as they gain knowledge, skills and experience. In the early stages, trainees are heavily supervised but as they show their capabilities, supervision becomes lighter and they take more responsibility for their own work, initially on a task by task basis, working towards responsibility for whole assignments.

All work is checked and reviewed by a more experienced member of staff right up to manager level. Trainees of a more senior level are responsible for training & developing the newer trainees. As trainees progress, they in turn, become responsible for passing on their skills and will be given responsibility for training and developing the trainees that follow them.

We have proven support and training structures in place that produce newly qualified accountants with the skills, experience and confidence for a successful post-qualification career.

Trainees are supported and encouraged to progress and take on more client responsibility.

In addition to on-the-job training, students attend courses to enhance their practical and soft skills as appropriate throughout their training. Skill based courses are delivered in London by Mercia.

Trainees start interacting with clients from the start of their training. When office based, they will be expected to contact clients for information by email or over the phone and they will deal with clients face to face when visiting client premises.

Good accountants are good communicators and trainees get plenty of opportunities to develop these skills.

Good relationships with clients is at the heart of Myers Clark’s philosophy and success, and we consistently receive positive feedback from clients on how helpful, professional and approachable our staff are.

Trainees are allocated to work on specific client assignments with different supervisors. This might be for regular monthly or quarterly assignments (for example, a book-keeping assignment) or as a ‘one off’ (for example assisting with an annual audit). This gives trainees the opportunity to develop a variety of client facing skills and work under a variety of the senior team members.

Developing relationships with clients and team members builds confidence and is a key skill in becoming a successful chartered accountant.

 

Ethics & Professional Development

We ensure that through their exam study or practical experience trainees are able to complete all the ICAEW professional development ladders. These focus on ‘soft’ skills and what it means to be a chartered accountant in the wider business world. Trainees attend bi-annual ethics meetings where theoretical and real life issues are discussed in a group environment, usually over lunch. This is also an opportunity for trainees to develop presentation skills.

This training underpins our key value of integrity and how trainees can apply this in their day to day work.

We currently have 5 staff members at various stages of training and we take on an average of 2 new trainees each year.

Trainees have a support network to help them cope with the demands of work and study.

Further information on training to be a Chartered Accountant can be found at www.icaew.com

 

PROSPECTS POST QUALIFICATION

Students that successfully progress through their training contract and are interested in a career in practice have historically been retained by the firm, whilst others have chosen to move into industry. The three directors, three of the Assurance & Advisory managers and all of  our qualified seniors and supervisors have completed their training and qualified with Myers Clark. The firm is growing and at this time we anticipate that we will continue to have opportunities for staff post-qualification.

 

SUPPORT, DEVELOPMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Trainees are allocated a ‘buddy’ for their first four months. The ‘buddy’ is there to help and support them whilst they settle into Myers Clark.

Trainees are also allocated a mentor who is responsible for monitoring their progress through the period of training. Informal 1-2-1 check-ins take place on a regular basis (monthly or weekly depending on circumstances). More formal meetings take place every six months to review work performance, set goals and identify any training or support needed to achieve those goals. Performance is reviewed and assessed based on assignments completed and feedback received against our progression chart. As we are a relatively small team we can be flexible when allocating work to build on strengths and address any weaknesses.

Trainees also meet bi-annually with one of the managers who is authorised by the ICAEW as a person responsible for qualified training (PQRT). They will review overall progression against ICAEW requirements and sign off training files.

As well as this formal support, more experienced students are always on hand to give advice and help on day to day work and studies.

WORKING HOURS

The standard working week is Monday to Friday.

Office hours are 9.00 – 5.30 (including 1 hour break for lunch).

If working out of the office, hours may vary to accommodate the client. You may be expected to work longer hours including additional time for travel to/from client premises. However, unlike many firms, we do not expect students to work any extra time without compensation so any additional hours will either be paid or time will be given in lieu.

SALARY & OTHER BENEFITS

As well as the fully funded training package described above, students benefit from:

A starting salary of £21,000 p.a. which is reviewed on a six monthly basis and adjusted positively to reflect achievements and progression at work and in exams.

Contributory work place pension (4% matched)

4 weeks holiday

An additional 3 days holiday at Christmas (Office closed)

Bank Holidays as they fall

Medicash Employee Assistance Programme

ICAEW annual student membership fees

Excess travel expenses incurred travelling to/from clients

Non-contributory health insurance (optional)

Accommodation and subsistence when an overnight stay is required whilst on audit.

APPLICATION PROCESS

If you are interested in applying for a trainee accountant position starting end of August 2022, please complete and submit the application form by 18 March 2022.