Faye Ashton

Faye AshtonI joined Newby Castleman straight from school after completing my A-Levels on a four-year training contract. I felt that going to university wasn’t right for me but I wanted to be able to continue training and developing my skills while I worked. I applied for a job at Newby Castleman and I was lucky as they let me go straight into training to be a Chartered Accountant and by-pass the AAT qualification.

My first day was scary as I was unsure what to expect, however everyone was extremely helpful and friendly and although I found it a shock after coming straight from school I soon settled in. On my first day I was given the accounts to prepare of a small sole trader and from then on the responsibility I was given gradually grew with my expertise.

The firm has a wide variety of clients from small sole traders to large limited companies. This enables me to gain a variety of experience, which I feel is essential. The majority of the work that I have done is accounts preparation; however, there is some audit work. In addition I’ve also gained experience in preparing business tax computations.

While I was training I would say that on average 60% of my time was spent in the office preparing accounts, 20 % at college studying and 20% out at clients either on audit or preparing accounts for larger limited companies. After spending a few months in the office getting to know basic accounts preparation skills I was given the opportunity to go out to a client’s premises which I really enjoyed as I was able to interact with the client on a one to one basis.

The biggest challenge to date has been juggling work with studying which was a big shock when I first started. You have to work very hard and a lot is expected of you, but once you get into it, it definitely gets easier. The rewards of passing are also worth it as you feel that all your hard work was worthwhile.

Even though it was a challenge I managed to pass all of my exams first time and the firm allowed me to shorten my training contract from four to three years. I also came first in the region in 3 out of the 9 exams.

As Newby Castleman is a training firm I started with five other trainees. This made me immediately feel part of a group. It felt good as you had others to relate to and you could also help each other out at college. The Partners are always supportive and understanding and have helped wherever possible.

I have been at Newby Castleman for four years now and I love working here. The staff are very sociable and I have made a lot of good friends here. There are organised social events such as skittles and go-karting; and in addition the staff arrange their own events so that everyone can spend time together outside of the working atmosphere.