Chloe Lee

Giuseppe Scozzaro, Head of trainee recruitment speaks with Chloe Lee about working and training at Goodman Jones. 

Here's the transcript from the conversation:

[CL]: So, my name's Chloe. I've been at Goodman Jones for four and a half years, and I started in 2015 when I finished sixth form and I completed AAT here. And I've just started ACA in September so this is my first year of training.

[GS]: Very good. Going back to when you joined as an AAT trainee here, what was it about Goodman Jones that appealed to you and why did you apply here?

[CL]: So I was looking at websites for different accountancy firms and when I was trying to look for a job and Goodman Jones just seems the most interesting one, I guess.

[GS]: That's fair enough. I mean, I would agree.

[CL]: But yes, I'got a good response back from here, so then I came for a friendly chat first and everyone seemed really welcoming. So then I took the interview. We had two of the partners and it was just a friendly atmosphere.  It just gave me good opportunities to progress and that's what I wanted to do.

[GS]: And out of interest, obviously you coming just out of school, what, 17, 18?

[CL]: Yes, 17.

[GS]: 17. And having an interview with two partners could sound quite daunting. I mean, how did you find that?

[CL]: I mean, it was the first time that I've done it, but it was a good experience. And as I say, they weren't actually scary at all as what I thought they would be.

[GS]: That's what we tried to say to everyone coming in, that the partners are quite nice and have an open door policy. 

With regards to your two or so years as an AAT, if you could briefly discuss what your roles and responsibilities were and how you found it.

[CL]: Yes, so I started off as an accounts assistant where I was helping out the account senior at the time. We have accounts preps and started off really basic things and then  developed over two years the more exams I did. And then I got promoted to the account senior by the end of my AAT qualification. Where I do my own accounts preps and tax returns and had responsibility for quite a lot of things.

[GS]: Would you say that training and working as part of the AAT, did that help you to prepare for the studies of the ACA and going into the ACA team?

[CL]: Yes, definitely. I was definitely prepared a lot and I could understand a lot more things from doing AAT rather than just jumping straight into ACA. And the work experience was a lot of help as well.

[GS]: With regards to the studies as well as the studying aspect of the AAT. If we stick with the AAT for now. Can you briefly discuss how that works with regards to your day to day job? So in terms of when did, you go to college and how did you find the studies?

[CL]: Yes. Well, I got day release to go to college, which was handy because I started off doing night study in college. And that didn't work in the end so I did day release, which was a lot more helpful because I didn't have to sort of do work and college at the same time. And then we got days off for our exams and time off, holiday off if needed for revision days. So yes, it was definitely a work exam balance but I made it.

[GS]: Since September, now, you’ve been part of the ACA team, how have you found the jump from the work and the studies at AAT into ACA?

[CL]: Definitely a bigger job, much more challenging, but I've learned a lot more things than I did in AAT, which is what I want to do, and I've progressed so much, I think since Septembe than over the two years doing AAT. Because you're in your year group as well, you're doing it in a group, you can all help each other, which I found a lot better. And you get revision courses as well for the exams and tutors are always happy to help.

[GS]: I must say that I've seen your improvement since you started at 18.

[CL]: So that's good.

[GS]: Yes absolutely. What has been the biggest challenge since you've been at Goodman Jones?

[CL]: I think it probably starts at ACA because of how big the jump is and the exams. But I think if you're prepared for them, then it’s okay if you know what to expect.

[GS]: With regards to your studies, when are you expected to become an exam qualified?

[CL]: Two years from now.

[GS]: I think it's around December 22.

[CL]: 22 yes. When the contract will end.

[GS]: What can you tell us about the social aspects of working at Goodman Jones?

[CL]: Everyone's really friendly and sociable. Most Fridays are always out at the pub. We always have a social every month. Where everyone can like talk to each other about their lives and stuff which is good outside of work.

[GS]: Back into the work side of things. What can you say about the support that you give through your training and the general work?

[CL]: Yes, it's a lot of support. You can talk to anyone. Anyway everyone's really friendly. And also college tutors are always happy to help. They're an email away or they give you their phone numbers. You could just pop over because it's five minutes away and see them. So you have a lot of support if you need it.

[GS]: Are you looking forward to next year at Goodman Jones?

[CL]: I guess I'm just progressing further on, I think, and learning lots more on just their more advanced work and yes, just working more advanced things.

[GS]: Okay. So what made you choose Goodman Jones?

[CL]: I chose Goodman Jones because of the friendly atmosphere when I arrived. And all of the detail on the website about the firm. And the support you give them it was just… yeah, that's why I chose GJ.

[GS]: And with regards to, I guess your exposure to client work and direct contact with clients, what can you tell us about that?

[CL]: So when I was doing AAT from I think probably six months in, I had responsibilities for client documentation and things like that.

And then as I progressed further on to do that, to do AAT returns and accounts preps. My responsibilities are just to email them directly and then from then on, the manager didn't really get involved and they would email me directly. So you sort of form a relationship with the clients, which is good.

[GS]: Which says that has helped you develop since joining at 17 years old.

[CL]: Yes, I mean, in the beginning, it was quite scary to email clients, but now I don't really have problems with it because I've done it.

[GS]: Something that you’re accustomed to now.

[CL]: Yes.

[GS]: What made you decide to choose a career in accountancy, sort of following your A level?

[CL]: I did maths at A level and that’s probably one of my most favourite subjects in school. So I always knew I wanted to do something figure based. And I knew that there was a lot of progression in accountancy, which is what I wanted in a job. So yes I thought I'll give it a go.

[GS]: And did the ability to do the AAT help with your decision to go into accountancy?

[CL]: Yes, definitely. Because I knew there was so much more that I can learn from AAT, and I learned so much in those two years doing AAT. I was like, yes, why not?

Thank you very much for taking the time to listen to our podcast. I hope you found this useful and it gave you an insight into working and training at Goodman Jones.

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