Being a Trainee Accountant with Myers Clark
Accountancy offers a challenging and rewarding career with excellent salaries and huge potential for career progression. Each September we look to recruit two trainees to join our training programme leading to qualification as a Chartered Accountant. As a trainee accountant, you will enter a 3 - 5 year training contract and during this time you receive a wide range of practical experience whilst studying for the professional exams. You will be based in the Corporate department but will get the opportunity to work in other departments during your training.
ROUTES OF ENTRY
There are two points of entry to train as a Chartered Accountant with Myers Clark. The training programmes take between 3 and 5 years and depending on your starting point, you will follow one of these routes:
18+ School Leaver Programme
Trainees join us having completed their A level or BTEC studies and complete their training within 5 years.
Minimum entry requirements are:
- Maths & English GCSE Grade A* - B plus
- 3 ‘A’ Levels Grade A* - B and/or
- BTEC Level National Diploma in Business Grade DD
Graduates join us having completed an academic degree course at a UK University and complete their training within 3 years.
Minimum entry requirements are:
- Maths & English GCSE Grade A* - B plus
- UK University degree Grade 2.1 or above
Whilst an Accounting and Finance related degree would be an advantage, it is not a requirement. We will accept any degree which demonstrates a high level of analytical skills, essay writing, reasoned arguments and be academically robust and balanced.
WORKING FOR MYERS CLARK
Myers Clark is a 4 director general practice firm based in Watford, Hertfordshire. The practice has been established for over 100 years and we currently have around 50 staff. We are well known in the area with a reputation for providing good service with a personal touch.
The firm is friendly and supportive. Directors and staff are professional and hardworking and our aim is for all staff to be happy at work, progress and succeed.
The firm is large enough to provide trainees with structured training, interesting and varied work and a chance to progress, whilst being small enough to treat them as individuals.
We have an active social committee which is elected and run by our staff. The Social Committee organises the Christmas party and other social events throughout the year. Each department also has its own social budget with events chosen and organised by department members.
Staff also take part in national and local charity fundraising events and we have a monthly dress down day to raise funds for charities nominated by members of staff.
HOW THE FIRM IS ORGANISED
There are two fee earning departments:
The Corporate Department looks after our company & charity clients. These include owner managed limited companies, property management companies, charities & other not-for-profit organisations, pension funds and clubs.
The core services provided are audits & independent examinations, year-end statutory accounts, corporation tax, management accounts and outsourced services including bookkeeping, VAT and payroll.
We also support clients on an ad-hoc basis giving advice & providing consultancy services including corporate finance and cloud accounting solutions.
The Private Client Department takes care of our non-corporate clients. These include individuals, company directors and partnerships.
The core services provided are personal tax compliance, wealth management, trusts & estate planning, international tax and probate.
Both departments work closely together as there is some cross-over of client services.
The fee-earning departments are supported by departmental and central administrative teams.
ACA trainees are based in the corporate department. During their training, they may have the opportunity to spend some time in private client department to enhance their skills and help them with their exams. This also gives them a taste of what they might want to do post-qualification.
Getting a broad grounding in all aspects of the accounting process and the chance to get experience in a different discipline is one of the advantages of training with Myers Clark.
The corporate department looks after approximately
- 340 company clients which vary in size from small owner managed businesses to medium size companies. Our clients operate in a variety of industries including: property development and construction, football clubs, manufacturing, telecommunications, IT hardware & software, distribution, hotels, service providers.
- 70 charities and other not for profit organisations which vary in size from small local charities to large grant making foundations. Our clients operate for a variety of charitable purposes including: livery companies, learned societies, international development, churches, education and training, advice, information and advocacy, residential care, local community support, mental health.
- 600 property management & service charge clients.
- 10 local clubs and associations.
- 10 pension funds.
The chance to get practical experience on a variety of clients makes working for Myers Clark interesting and challenging.
Trainees will be based at our offices in Watford but will also travel to client premises, depending on the nature of the work.
Generally speaking, trainees are more office based in the earlier part of their training so they can learn the basic skills under close supervision. As they progress, they will visit clients, initially with a supervisor but eventually on their own.
Most clients are based within a 30 miles radius of our office and staff travel to clients daily. We only have 3 audit clients where an overnight stay is required.
Knowing that they will be at home at a reasonable hour each evening enables trainees to have workable study plans and pass exams.
THE TRAINING PROGRAMME
We are a registered training office of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) and trainees work towards membership of the ICAEW. Once they have successfully completed the exams and the practical training programme they are able to apply for membership of the ICAEW, and if successful, call themselves a Chartered Accountant and add the ACA designation to their name.
We take training seriously at Myers Clark, as good rounded training benefits both student and employer.
We support trainees through the ICAEW programme as follows:
We provide full support to students for their first attempt at each ICAEW exam. The following are paid for by Myers Clark:
- Study courses & materials
- Block release study leave
- Exam days
- Exam fees
- Travel costs to/from college and exams
In return for this support we expect students to take their exam study seriously too and put in the necessary hours and effort to pass their exams at the first attempt. This means dedicating between 15-20 a week outside of work hours to studying and revising for exams.
Professional exam courses are currently delivered in London by Kaplan Financial Training.
ACA trainees follow a prescribed training plan over the period of their contract which ensures that they acquire the day to day skills they need to become effective accountants.
We put a lot of time and effort into our trainees and so expect them to apply themselves 100% to working efficiently, learning and progressing in their day-to-day work.
Trainees gain experience in all the core services provided to the department’s clients as listed above.
Broadly speaking, trainees start with more straightforward tasks and assignments and will tackle more complex work as they gain knowledge, skills and experience. In the early stages trainees are heavily supervised but as they show their capabilities, supervision becomes lighter and they take more responsibility for their own work, initially on a task by task basis, working towards responsibility for whole assignments.
All work is checked and reviewed by a more experienced member of staff right up to manager level. Trainees of a more senior level are responsible for training & developing the newer trainees. As trainees progress, they in turn, become responsible for passing on their skills and will be given responsibility for training and developing the trainees that follow them.
We have proven support and training structures in place that produce newly qualified accountants with the skills, experience and confidence for a successful post-qualification career.
Trainees are supported and encouraged to progress and take on more client responsibility.
In addition to on-the-job training, students attend courses to enhance their practical and soft skills as appropriate throughout their training. Skill based courses are delivered in London by SWAT.
Trainees start interacting with clients from the start of their training. When office based they will be expected to contact clients for information by email or over the phone and they will deal with clients face to face when visiting client premises.
Good accountants are good communicators and trainees get plenty of opportunities to develop these skills.
Good relationships with clients is at the heart of Myers Clark’s philosophy and success, and we consistently receive positive feedback from clients on how helpful, professional and approachable our staff are.
Trainees are allocated to work on specific client assignments with different supervisors. This might be for regular monthly or quarterly assignments (for example, a book-keeping assignment) or as a ‘one off’ (for example assisting with an annual audit). This gives trainees the opportunity to develop a variety of client facing skills and work under a variety of the senior team members.
Developing relationships with clients and team members builds confidence and is a key skill in becoming a successful chartered accountant.
Ethics & Professional Development
We ensure that through their exam study or practical experience trainees are able to complete all the ICAEW professional development ladders. These focus on ‘soft’ skills and what it means to be a chartered accountant in the wider business world. Trainees attend bi-annual ethics meetings where theoretical and real life issues are discussed in a group environment, usually over lunch. This is also an opportunity for trainees to develop presentation skills.
This training underpins our key value of integrity and how trainees can apply this in their day to day work.
We currently have 8 staff members at various stages of training and we take on 2 new trainees each year.
Trainees have a support network to help them cope with the demands of work and study.
Further information on training to be a Chartered Accountant can be found at www.icaew.com
PROSPECTS POST QUALIFICATION
Students that successfully progress through their training contract and are interested in a career in practice have historically been retained by the firm, whilst others have chosen to move into industry. The four directors, two corporate managers and all our qualified seniors and supervisors have completed their training and qualified with Myers Clark. The firm is growing and at this time we anticipate that we will continue to have opportunities for staff post-qualification.
Where opportunities exist, newly qualified ACAs are offered the option of further professional training, including studying for CTA tax exams.
Post qualification opportunities exist within the firm for good candidates. Trainees have an excellent chance of staying with Myers Clark and progressing through the firm as their skills and experience grow.
SUPPORT, DEVELOPMENT AND ASSESSMENT
Trainees are allocated a ‘buddy’ for their first six months. The ‘buddy’ is there to help and support them whilst they settle in to Myers Clark.
They are also allocated a mentor who is responsible for monitoring their progress through the period of training. Mentor meetings take place every three months to review work performance, set goals and identify any training or support needed to achieve those goals. Performance is reviewed and assessed based on assignments completed and feedback received. As we are a relatively small team we can be flexible when allocating work to build on strengths and address any weaknesses. Less formal 1-2-1 meetings take place between these meetings.
Trainees also meet bi-annually with one of the managers who is authorised by the ICAEW as a person responsible for qualified training (PQRT). They will review overall progression against ICAEW requirements and sign off training files.
As well as this formal support, more experienced students are always on hand to give advice and help on day to day work and studies.
The standard working week is Monday to Friday.
Office hours are 9.00 – 5.30 (including 1 hour break for lunch).
If working out of the office, hours may vary to accommodate the client. You may be expected to work longer hours including additional time for travel to/from client premises. However, unlike many firms, we do not expect students to work any extra time without compensation so any additional hours will either be paid or time will be given in lieu.
SALARY & OTHER BENEFITS
As well as the fully funded training package described above, students benefit from:
A starting salary of £19,500 p.a. (18+ School Leavers) or £26,000 p.a. (Graduates) which is reviewed on a six monthly basis and adjusted positively to reflect achievements and progression at work and in exams.
- Contributory work place pension (4% matched)
- 4 weeks holiday
- An additional 3 days holiday at Christmas (Office closed)
- Bank Holidays as they fall
- Medicash Employee Assistance Programme
- ICAEW annual student membership fees
- Excess travel expenses incurred travelling to/from clients
- Non-contributory health insurance (optional)
Accommodation and subsistence when an overnight stay is required whilst on audit.
To apply for a Trainee position, you will need to complete our application form.
Applications are taken from 1 May 2019 to 30th June 2019. Suitable applications will be asked to attend an initial interview, and if successful, they will be asked back for a full day to meet the team and undertake practical tasks.
Current Trainee Testimonials:
I am currently in the first year of my training contract with Myers Clark and already I have gained invaluable, hands-on experience and knowledge, through working on a variety of tasks for a wide range of clients. During my time here so far, I have been provided with the upmost support from experienced, qualified accountants and other trainees which allows me to enhance my professional skills every day. In addition, I am given exceptional educational support which allows me to balance work commitments with studying for my on-going ACA examinations. The main thing I value about coming to work is the warm and friendly atmosphere. This spirit continues outside office hours, at firm and departmental social events, throughout the year, which I believe is a fundamental.
Myers Clark is a great place to develop your accountancy skills. You will be exposed to a wide range of clients which will allow you to develop your skills and challenge yourself. Myers Clark provide excellent support to their trainees to allow them to complete exams for the ACA qualification. Working at Myers Clark you will develop professional skills as well as professional qualifications quickly.
Training at Myers Clark provides the pathway to becoming a well-rounded accountant, enabling you to gain experience in a broad range of client services with the ability to specialise later in your career. This provides you with a sound understanding of all the different areas which will impact businesses enabling you to see the full picture. They are a friendly firm where you are treated as an individual. Guidance is provided on an individual level which results in a tailored personal development plan to ensure you achieve your potential. You will not find a firm with the same culture who places the same value on the importance of developing their staff. With competitive pay, supported studies and flexible hours there is no reason not to apply to Myers Clark.
I was initiallyattracted to Myers Clark by the friendly and enthusiastic working environment and their reputation of producing high quality work. Having spent nearly 4 years working for the firm this aspect has not changed at all. The firm has invested in my career development and is very supportive with my ACA qualification training. I could not think of a better place to learn and develop as you work closely with your colleagues, managers and directors. Myers Clark are constantly looking to adapt and evolve to keep in line with the changing world.