I have always had a head for numbers and logical problems and coming from a family of chartered accountants I have been surrounded by those in the finance sector from a young age. I completed A level Economics, Business, and Maths and AS level Further Maths at school and went on to start an Economics and Accounting degree at the University of Leicester. After my first year I chose to take the more practical route and study as I work through an Association of Tax Technician (ATT) apprenticeship.
I researched top accountancy firms in the county and looked through any training vacancies available. Newby Castleman was the first firm I applied to and was invited to interview within a week of sending in my CV back in September 2018. Working and studying has given me the in-house experience as well as working towards my qualification of becoming a qualified ATT.
With my parents being Chartered Accountants and my sister being an auditor I knew I also wanted to go into the finance sector but I didn’t want to take the same qualifications as the rest of my family. Tax is an ever changing sector that involves a logical approach with many different areas in which I can differentiate and enjoy.
I spent my first year learning the basic fundamentals of processing and completing tax returns and studying for my first three exams. I’ve enjoyed taking knowledge that I’m learning through my ATT course and applying it to my everyday role at Newby Castleman. I have my own client allocation which has given me a sense of responsibility and allowed me to enhance my knowledge.
I am involved in processing and submitting self-assessment tax returns for individuals and partnerships, I create schedules and computations of clients data such as breakdowns of rental and trading income. I am also given projects that will involve me having to research and develop my knowledge into areas that I am not familiar with.
ATT takes 2 years to complete but Newby Castleman will always encourage you to take the path that you want, because of this once I’ve qualified as an ATT I will be looking to start my Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification with Newby Castleman.
I joined Newby Castleman in 2012 after graduating from university. Over the last seven and a half years, I have studied to become an Associate Chartered Accountant and progressed through the audit team to my current role as Head of Audit.
Since joining the firm, I have been supported and encouraged by Newby Castleman in my studies and career progression. I particularly enjoy the team environment here, with each department being approachable when assistance is needed.
I also enjoy being involved in the social activities organised by the firm, which range from quiz nights to car treasure hunts. Newby Castleman also supports many local charitable events and I am team captain for the firm in The Rotary Club of Oadby’s annual Swimarathon.
As Head of Audit, I am responsible for overseeing the audit department. This involves staff allocation, scheduling of audit timescales, monitoring of job progression, review of audit files and overseeing the completion and sign-off of audits. Another aspect of my role is to assist audit team members, ensuring that they are given opportunities to develop their knowledge and gain experience. I particularly enjoy this part of the role, having worked under managers who helped me to develop and progress to my current role.
I joined Newby Castleman as a trainee in September 2011, after graduating from the University of Leicester with a BA in Economics and Law. I was lucky enough to be offered a training contract with the firm, having previously completed a four week placement here back in 2010.
I was pleasantly surprised on my first day to be given a set of accounts to prepare, which I worked through with the help of other staff and found it fascinating how the file came together. I had heard that Newby Castleman was a friendly and supportive firm, which proved true: my colleagues were helpful and welcoming, and I knew I wanted to apply for a permanent position after completing my placement.
I have now been working at Newby Castleman for over eight years and have progressed through the ranks to the position of assistant manager, having qualified as a chartered accountant in December 2014. In the time I have been here I have gained a wide variety of experience, from preparing accounts to undertaking audits for a range of charities and companies. I know that my work experience helped me to make the right choice of career.
Combining work with studying for exams and socialising is tough, but once you establish a routine it becomes a lot easier. The firm is very supportive of our studies and provides plenty of practical experience – Newby Castleman is a great place to train.
Socialising contributes significantly to the friendly atmosphere of the firm. A wide variety of events are organised on a regular basis, including partners’ drinks every month, curry nights, sporting activities, and of course the Christmas do! I feel very fortunate to work for a firm which is so welcoming and supportive.
I joined Newby Castleman in the summer of 2010 after reading an article in a newspaper about the firm and applying for a trainee position. From day one I was made to feel welcome, everyone was friendly and made a real effort to make me feel part of the team.
I started studying for my AAT almost straight away and really enjoyed learning accountancy skills and putting this into practice at work. I passed level 3 after my first year and completed level 4 the following year. This meant that I was AAT qualified in just less than 2 years of joining the firm. I subsequently spoke to the training partner about furthering my qualification and I was told that Newby Castleman would support me in any route that I wished to pursue.
After much discussion with colleagues I chose to study ACCA as I felt that it would best suit my personal requirements. I also liked the idea of being able to obtain a University degree through the ACCA after my professional exams were completed. I qualified in December 2015. The ACCA exams took three years to complete in comparison to AAT at two years. Newby Castleman were excellent with regards to my all round study support giving study days for college and study/holiday leave before the actual exams. They were very aware of how important it was to me to be able to have time off to concentrate purely on my exams in the days and sometimes weeks beforehand.
I find the accounts work I do very interesting and stimulating and have dealt with many different clients and I have also been involved in stocktakes and audits. Most recently I have been involved in charity independent examinations and taking care of the admin side of accountancy which involves completing tasks on behalf of clients. Expanding my knowledge keeps me highly motivated.
There are chances to get involved with your colleagues on a social level at various events that are held occasionally by members of staff; pub crawls, quizzes, even days out and short breaks away for the weekend. There are also student events, mostly held by LENCASS, an accountancy body which allows many trainees to get together for large social events. Other events include networking with other businesses at various social gatherings.