Finance Assistant Review

by De Montfort University


  • Skills
  • Responsibilities
  • Support & Guidance
  • Culture
  • Your Impressions


  • 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis.
  • Providing support to the Taxation team to ensure correct VAT treatment in the transactions incurred by the university. Making journal entries to rectify incorrectly coded transactions on SAP. Performing compliance checks on expense claims submitted by the organisation's employees to ensure all claims abide by HMRC policy. Issuing zero VAT certificates, within a 48 hour time frame, to enable the university to procure goods at VAT free charge


  • 2. Have you learnt any new skills, or developed your existing skills?
  • I have developed a greater eye for detail, having analysed a multitude of transactions to determine if they are compliant with HMRC policy. This involved checking receipt dates and amounts to determine if they match claim values. This placement has helped me to build onto my numeracy skills as I calculated gross amounts, net amounts, and VAT transactions on a daily basis. My communication has grown exponentially as I liaised with finance and non-finance staff.

  • How would you rate the training provided during your experience?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate your development of industry-specific skills during the experience?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate your development of personal / soft skills during the experience?
  • 5/5

  • Please rate how these skills have helped you in your career development
  • 5/5


  • 3. Were you given much responsibility during your placement / internship?
  • Following the retirement of the Head of Taxation after 30 years of service, I have joined at a time when the Taxation team is severely under-resourced. My responsibilities have been tailored towards alleviating the duties of my team members. I have been learning every process and concept as quickly as possible to assist my senior colleagues in completing their tasks. Will also cover for a senior colleague who will begin their secondment in another team.

  • Please rate how meaningful the work you were doing was
  • 5/5

    Support & Guidance

  • 4. How much support and guidance did you receive during your placement / internship?
  • My colleagues have never failed to answer my mountain of questions. Even on remote working days, I have always felt like I was with them in the office! I have been given a file containing guidance materials (100+ pages including advice from previous interns). I refer to this file regularly and this massively helps me in carrying out my duties.

  • How would you rate the support and guidance from your line manager?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the support and guidance from the wider team?
  • 5/5


  • 5. What was the company culture and general atmosphere like?
  • The organisation operates with a highly participative culture. I cannot recall the number of times I have been asked by upper senior members for my suggestions on how to improve the processes. The entire Finance Directorate is like a family; we take time to celebrate each other's achievements every month, and we also look forward to meeting each other during our in-office days on Wednesdays.

  • How would you rate the inclusiveness of the culture?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the social opportunities?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the diversity initiatives?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the charity, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives?
  • 4/5

    Your Impressions

  • 6. To what extent did you enjoy your placement / internship?
  • I am enjoying every day of my internship. This placement was previously centred around just Taxation work, but this year it was changed to include a focus on all key areas of Finance such as Taxation, Treasury, Management Accounting, and Financial Accounting. This means that I am not confined to one area, and having exposure to a variety of work will boost my CV and unlock various graduate opportunities in the future.

  • Please rate your level of enjoyment on your placement / internship
  • 5/5

  • Please rate how your experience met your expectations
  • 5/5

  • Please rate the future employment prospects at De Montfort University
  • 5/5

  • 7. Would you recommend De Montfort University to a friend?
  • Yes

  • 8. What advice would you give to others applying to De Montfort University
  • Ask as many questions as you need - don't be shy! All team members are ready to help. As the role is very technical, it's best to keep a notebook and pen so you can note down everything your learn on the job. Keep your CV updated with all tasks that you do and if possible, apply the theory you have covered in your studies. Then it's just a matter of practice!

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Placement (10 Months+)

Accounting, Tax, Financial Management

East Midlands

October 2023

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