What have my first few months at Mazars been like?
Study. Clients. Exams. Sleep. Repeat.
For me, working in audit at Mazars is so much more interesting…
Studying and exams is a vital part of my job but so is learning much more than I’ve ever learned in my life. I’m not just talking how to distinguish between debits and credits or what on earth all these acronyms like P/L and TB mean. I’ve also learned some pretty essential life and career skills that I’d have a hard time getting anywhere else. I’ve worked hard and put my brain to good use but any job worth doing should challenge you each and every day and I’ve certainly been challenged to learn all the time.
The learning has come a lot more easily since I have so many supportive colleagues who are willing to take some time out to help me through a tricky accounting concept or walk me through a seemingly unintelligible Excel formula (trust me, excel formulas will save your life one day). Even my managers are just a few steps away in an open-plan office that does away with closed-off spaces. They may seem scary but I have found that my managers want me to do well and have made the effort to make us first-years settle in. One of my managers even took an hour out of his time to answer the many questions the first years had about what it meant to audit.
Studying while working seemed daunting to me at first but taking a little time each day to study has worked wonders for my knowledge when at work. Similarly, learning how clients manage their accounts and getting to grips with the ins and outs of corporate and charity accounting has brought the contents of the (at times) dry textbooks to life! In the first few weeks of the job, straight out of university with a languages degree, I was asked to put something on the SOFA (Statement of Financial Activities in case you were wondering). I remember panicking, looking round and thinking but there’s no sofa in here…
Now, just six months later, my confidence has come on in leaps and bounds. I do many parts of the audit myself, I can speak to clients without hesitation about ‘’revenue recognition’’ and ‘’accruals’’, and I have even tamed the beast of Excel to a modest degree. Even as beginners, Mazars has been keen to put us right at the front line, face-to-face with clients, whizzing around London, in a new and completely different place each time. I feel like Superwoman, although instead of the cape I have an awesome touchscreen laptop.
Socialising has been a major part of my life over the past six months. Getting to know the audit seniors, managers and even partners (the first years were sat next to the South East partner at the first audit dinner!), networking with local businesses as part of business development, and meeting new clients has been every bit as important as the audit work itself. Every day I receive an email proposing an audit dinner or even just elevenses in the kitchen (where there is often an abundance of delicious cakes by the way). Whatever the situation, I have had fun being part of a team. We work hard and we play hard.
The months have flown by but I feel I am just at the beginning of my journey. I have a lot left to learn, countless new clients left to meet and, of course, many audits left to take on. I think that I made the best decision of my life to make this journey with Mazars and look forward to what the future of this fantastic firm holds for young and ambitious people like me.
Audit Trainee, Sutton office