The roller-coaster of an accountancy placement… yes I said roller-coaster!

Jon Davies Accountants recently sponsored a prize at the Liverpool Hope University Insight to Business Awards. Amongst the likes of Lloyds Bank, Vodafone and Everton FC,

Patrick Bolton secured the two-week placement at Jon Davies Accountants and here are his reflections from the experience:

“I arrived at this placement, fairly confident that I as an ‘accomplished’ student of Accountancy, had a firm grasp of the principles going in. After a rude awakening, I have spent the majority of my time being led by the nose by the far more capable and infinitely more knowledgeable members of the team here. I didn’t know what to expect when granted this view behind the scenes but, by far my biggest takeaway from this experience is my respect for the amount of work and time the team here puts in every day. A special mention must be made for Billie Arnold, my neighbour throughout the week, and without whom, I fear I would still be reeling in confusion and looking for the nearest escape route. I’m incredibly grateful for her tutelage over these past two weeks but I’m sure she will be welcoming an end to the unceasing entreaties for help.  

It is in many ways unbelievable to me that I have only been here for two weeks. I don’t imagine that rollercoaster and accountancy often appear in the same sentence together however, for my time here it feels appropriate. I have truly run the gamut of emotional reactions at Jon Davies Accountants. The hair-ripping frustration of numbers not balancing, mitigated only by the savage joy of solving the mystery of missing figures. The overwhelming resentment you feel for inanimate pieces of paper, followed later by the weary satisfaction as the last receipt is inputted. I have learned a great deal during my time here, perhaps too much. I worry now that when I return to my classmates, they will recognise this knowledge within me and will be apprehensive in approaching the poise and mastery with which I return.

I said to Jon in our first interview that I wasn’t overly enthused about the faceless aspect of accountancy when it comes to firms like the Big Four. He assured me at the time that his firm was entirely different, that there was nothing faceless about it and he has been proved right time and time again. The atmosphere in the office is entirely different to what I (and I’m assuming everyone) imagines when thinking about an Accountancy firm. There are no grey men in grey suits and no dingy lifeless cubicles. There are times when you walk into this office, where you would be forgiven for thinking that you have unintentionally interrupted a family reunion. There is a closeness here that seems to extend to the clients as well. Often when overhearing phone calls around the office, a conversation could start with a business inquiry but by the end sound like two old friends catching up after some time apart.

I’ll close by thanking Jon for the opportunity to work at his firm and to every member of the team, for making me feel as welcome as I did and for all the time and help they’ve given to me. As a poor student, it is unlikely I will be requiring Jon’s services any time soon, but, in the event of a lottery win or the surprise discovery of a priceless antique, there is no team I would trust more with my finances.

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