We asked third year Audit Trainee Adam Marshall to tell us what attracted him to the Audit Trainee Scheme and how he has found the role so far. For more information on the Audit Trainee Scheme visit our website
The first question I probably have to answer is what attracted me to apply for the role of audit trainee within the Wales Audit Office? There’s often the perception that auditors are dull and the work is boring, so my choice may seem strange to outsiders. I can say with certainty though, that is far from the case!
- An internationally recognised qualification
There aren’t many jobs that offer you the chance to study towards a world renowned accountancy qualification, while at the same time gaining valuable work experience and also earning a salary! The Wales Audit Office also offers the chance to audit public sector bodies, which appealed to me given the increasing pressures on budgets, and the added importance this brings to the auditors who hold them to account.
That was two and a half years ago, and I can safely say that that time has flown by, not least because I’ve enjoyed it! In the early days, I was welcomed by everyone, and given as much guidance and support as I needed.
I was assigned a buddy when I first started, which meant I had someone I could take any issues to, however small. From the very start I always felt respected and treated not as a trainee, but as a team member. As I’ve gained experience though, I’ve really come to feel integral to, and valued by the teams I work with.
Saying that, there is still plenty of support available to me if I need it- and I always take advantage of that support when I come to tackle a new audit area or task. That in itself is one of the things I most enjoy about the job- two and a half years in and I’m still finding new things to get involved with and work on.
- No two days are ever the same
I don’t see myself getting bored and becoming complacent any time soon either, because the number of different bodies we audit, and the different codes of practice they follow when preparing their accounts means that each audit is different and poses new and varied challenges.
There are also many other areas of the organisation which offer different experiences again. I’ve recently completed a three month secondment with the performance audit team. It allowed me to see audit from a different perspective and got me interacting with our audited bodies in a different (and interesting) way.
- Support every step of the way
The trainee scheme also brings the added challenge of passing professional exams. These exams certainly aren’t easy, and I have found them challenging, but the support from the WAO has certainly helped me to pass those I’ve sat so far. There’s a clear divide between study time and work time, and when you have three exams to prepare for at one time, being able to focus solely on them really is vital.
My advice to anyone who is considering applying to be a trainee is to make the most of this rare opportunity. You have the chance to work for an organisation which, due to its comparatively small size, means you’re more than just a number. You’ll get to do work which really matters, in a friendly and supportive environment. You also get to earn a good salary and gain a qualification which, along with the experience of working for a respected organisation like the WAO, is sure to open many doors in the future- there’s nothing to lose!
About the Author
Adam Marshall is an Audit Trainee at the Wales Audit Office. He has worked for the WAO for 2 and a half years, having joined after graduating with a BA in History from Cardiff University in 2012.