Assisting the audit team with the audit of financial statements e.g. performing testing over a financial statement line item such as revenue. Attending meetings with the team and clients to gain an understanding of the business and communicating to the client what is needed to perform testing.
Developed my communication skills and confidence by being chucked in the deep end. I am now a lot more proficient in Excel and the intense work schedule means everyone improves on their time management and organisation by the end of the placement.
Yes, on some engagements you may be the only employee assisting the manager for that week. You are expected to do a pretty similar job to a senior associate and there isn't really a slow learning period. Once you have got the basics down in college work you are given whatever work needs doing as long as they can provide coaching to guide you through it. The quality of this coaching depends on person to person though.
You are given a career coach and a buddy to help you through the placement. My first career coach didn't want to get to know me and 4 months in there was barely any contact. Then I requested a new career coach and we would catch up maybe monthly. I complained about the workload and how it was hard to manage everything yet in their feedback for me they stated how well I was managing the workload so not sure how much was actually taken on board. I set up a call with my buddy to ask for help at the start of my placement and they never reached out to me again.
A lot of senior associates want to leave as soon as they have passed their exams and a lot of associates feel like workhorses. Support and guidance completely depends on the team you are working with.
I learnt a lot but it is clear that a lot of money is spent on small financial rewards, gifts, webinars etc rather than actually decreasing the workload to relieve stress on employees. Very unpredictable in terms of hours as it completely depends what client you are booked to, some people one month are working no later than 6pm every night, others are doing 50 hours overtime. Overall I enjoyed some aspects but the work/life balance is not sustainable and I can see why lots of seniors want to leave as soon as they pass their exams- I think this is just expected.
Consider what is important to you. If it's work/life balance, don't apply.
Placement Year (10 Months+)