Life as a Business Services Associate

Posted: Jan 12, 2021
Cezara Glynn

At Manchester Accountants HURST our people are at the heart of what we do. As a modern, energetic accounting, tax and business advisory practice, we understand how important it is to have the right people in the right roles to be able to provide the high-quality services our clients expect. We asked Business Service Associate Nathan Jones to share his experiences working at HURST Accountants.

How did your HURST journey begin?

Before joining HURST, I attended The University of Manchester achieving First-Class Honours in Accounting and Finance at undergraduate level, before achieving an MSc in Financial Technology with distinction.

After graduating, I naturally wanted to progress my education and passion for accounting with the aim of becoming a qualified accountant.

HURST attracted my attention whilst at studying at university with its stellar reputation but also for its innovative thinking – expressed through the introduction of HURST Digital.

I got a sincere feel for HURST’s ethos during the interview process; instantly recognising the welcoming nature of the partners and managers. I was elated when I received the offer, and I joined HURST in September 2020.  

How were you supported when you started your new role?

Induction week comprised of training, navigating through the different accounting processes, and getting accustomed with the accounting software used.

Once on my first audit, I was guided through the different tests conducted by the senior auditors and manager, who helped answer any of my questions.

This support was essential for helping me begin my life as an auditor and transition into my position.

Additionally, the support provided by my line manager has been exceptional. Together we have been in constant contact since day one; supporting me through the apprenticeship and answering any questions I have about work.

What’s a day in the life of a HURST graduate team member like?

Working and studying simultaneously can be a challenging path, but ultimately it is one that is extremely rewarding. During the day you will complete a range of audit tasks: testing various components of the financial statements, responding to clients via email or phone, and attending the occasional audit brief or meeting.

Coinciding with work responsibilities are our studies. Most evenings (especially around exams) are spent revising and working through countless exam questions, with the aim of achieving an ACA qualification.

HURST provides certain weeks as study leave, allowing us to attend sessions provided by Kaplan. (Kaplan Financial Ltd is a British company providing training in accountancy and financial services. It was founded in 1958. Kaplan Financial is part of Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company. Kaplan Financial has more than 48,000 students a year, both in the UK and overseas.)

As our educational provider, Kaplan provides the necessary material and support required to pass the exams and comply with the various requirement of the apprenticeship.  

What do you enjoy the most about your role? 

For me, dealing with such a diverse portfolio of clients is what I enjoy most. At HURST we have clients from a variety of different markets and some truly fantastic brands.

This ensures that each assignment is different, presenting challenges that keeps the role interesting and refreshing.

What 3 qualities do you think graduates need to have if they are to be successful at HURST?

1. Time Management – This is one of the most important skills of all. Being able to sufficiently manage your workload, studying towards exams, whilst setting aside time for yourself, can be extremely difficult. Managing and planning your time is essential to find the right balance between all these factors.

2. Teamwork – Each member of an audit team has a pivotal role to play in the completion of the assignment. We are in constant communication and supporting one another when presented with a wide range of challenges.  

3. Critical Thinking – As an auditor you will encounter errors, discrepancies, and inaccuracies between figures. Approaching situations critically, considering all the potential variable, whilst applying professional scepticism and judgement, is an essential quality for any auditor.

Do you have any advice for those interested in applying to join the team?

If you feel you have the necessary skills – GO FOR IT! You will be provided with a fantastic opportunity to begin your career with a great company that will support you every step of the way.

Our clients tell us that we are uniquely placed. With genuine Big 4 technical capability (which still sees us serving several leading global brands) and a smaller firm service ethos, our clients get the best of both worlds.

We may be a Manchester based Chartered Accountancy firm, but we operate throughout the UK and beyond.

If you are interested in applying to join our team you can find out more by visiting our HURST careers page.