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Spilling the Beans: My first client experience as an Audit Placement

Book open Reading time: 2 mins

My name is Sophia and I have just started my 12-month Audit Placement at the Reading office.

At Grant Thornton they throw you in at the deep end! – I was working at a client’s office in my second week!  At first, I was really nervous as I did not know what to expect, but everyone was so welcoming which made me feel really relaxed.

At the start of the job, I was entering workpapers into LEAP (audit software) which helped me to understand audit. I was constantly asking questions to ensure I was doing the task correctly and my team were very helpful when answering. I was also seeing all the workpapers that are needed to be completed for the audit which gave me an insight into what I would be completing in the future, so this was interesting and helpful to see.

A few days into the job I was asked to speak to the client to ask questions and gather information – again I was really nervous, the in-charge of my job talked me through the process and made sure I understood exactly what I had to do before going. The client was friendly which made me much more comfortable when speaking to her, and this interaction really has boosted my confidence for future client contact. After speaking to the client, I felt confident enough to ask her anything throughout the job which made me feel a lot more independent within the role. Interacting with clients this early into my placement year has been very beneficial and I think it’s a great way to boost your confidence at the start of the job.

I had very little accounting knowledge before starting my placement so being thrown into the deep end was the best thing for me as I ‘learnt by doing’. From constantly looking at financial statements and trial balance’s I quickly started understanding what everything meant which increased my knowledge a lot. Everyone in the team I was working with talked me through everything and gave me tips as I was completing tasks to help further my understanding and will help me moving forward onto other roles.

I have also improved my Excel skills; I used complicated formulas and learnt how to make a pivot table to speed up the jobs I was doing, my team taught me the best ways to do things in Excel which made it so much easier to complete tasks and check the accuracy of my work. As Excel is used for most of the work, I found this helpful as I can now complete tasks more efficiently.

For anyone that is about to go to their first client my main tips would be; don’t worry, ask as many questions as you can and be confident!