Posted: 17 Feb. 2021 5 min. read

Apprenticeships – Paving the way to a career in accountancy

Chloe Moxham, who joined Deloitte’s BrightStart apprenticeship programme in 2016, talks about her experiences and how her role has progressed since she first started.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I knew if I went to university, I’d want to study maths or accountancy. I did some research into how to qualify as an accountant and found that an accountancy degree isn’t enough to actually qualify you to be an accountant. There’s more to it than just a degree. I did further research into the qualifications you’d need and realised that Deloitte’s BrightStart apprenticeship programme, or similar school leaver schemes with other accountancy firms, would enable me to gain the relevant qualifications. Plus an apprenticeship would save both time and money – I would qualify sooner and I wouldn’t have the expense of university.  

What appealed to you about Deloitte’s BrightStart apprenticeship?

I chose Deloitte because I realised that their BrightStart programme would pave the way for me to complete the ACA/CTA qualifications in four years, rather than five or six years with other top accountancy firms. In addition, I got a real friendly vibe from the Deloitte people I met during the recruitment process, which was important to me too.

There are many areas in accountancy - I chose corporation tax as my field. I have always enjoyed working with numbers and the travel opportunities that audit offers didn’t really appeal to me as I knew I’d prefer to be office based.

What I like about the apprenticeship is the training - I enjoy it, it’s consistently challenging and relevant to my job. And the people I’ve met along the way are extremely friendly which means I feel supported and makes it very easy to ask questions. I am a firm believer that it doesn’t matter what job you do, it is all about the people you work with and in my team, the people are brilliant.

What type of work do you do and how has this progressed?

My day-to-day role involves managing engagements with well-known, multi-national clients and advising these clients on complex corporation tax issues and preparing their corporation tax computations and returns.

The type of work I am involved in is roughly the same as when I joined, but the major difference is how my role on these projects has changed. For example when I first started as an analyst in tax, I would assist an engagement manager on tax compliance engagements without having much direct interaction with the client or more senior members of the tax team who led the work. Nowadays, I am the engagement manager on all of my clients, which means I am the main contact for the client, I work directly with the partners and directors in the team and more junior people are assisting me. So I’ve come full circle.

I had my first experience of client work during my first week of my apprenticeship, back in September 2016, and even joined a few client calls or meetings within the first month. People are generally very keen to get you involved in client work and help you build a relationship with the clients.

After my first year, I began leading parts of client meetings and have gradually progressed to leading full meetings with complete confidence. Of course, at the moment, these types of meetings are virtual rather than in person.

A high point of my second year was when I became an engagement manager for a well-known high street brand after we won a tender to supply their professional services. Being their engagement manager involved managing the tax, accounting and legal services provided by Deloitte to the client in around 30 countries. 

I am particularly proud that I have been the engagement manager on a global compliance and reporting client for over two years now. It’s an important client for us and I have built up my relationship with our local teams through the Deloitte network, and also with the contacts at the client. It was initially a bit daunting but I feel like I have really grown into the role and am now extremely comfortable managing the engagement and ensuring we’re delivering a great all round service to the client.

What’s next for you?

I am now four years into my apprenticeship. Unfortunately, my exams have been slightly delayed due to the pandemic so I still have the last few to do this year but once I have finished them, I will be ACA and CTA qualified.

Throughout my apprenticeship, I have seen my career progress and in September 2020 I was promoted to manager, or ‘experienced consultant’ in Deloitte terms. As for my aspirations for the future? I want to settle into my new role as a manager and then I aim to work towards becoming an associate director. And after that? Onwards and upwards.

The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2021 is “Build the Future”.

Deloitte is a supporter of National Apprenticeship Week. By sharing our stories, we would like to encourage other employers to consider how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and at the same time help them build a workforce ready for the future.

#NAW2021 #BuildTheFuture #AskAnApprentice

Explore Deloitte’s virtual Spring careers festival, a programme of virtual events that potential applicants can join, as well as parents, teachers and careers advisors. These range from discovery sessions, where people can chat online with our student recruitment team or current apprentices, skills workshops as well as ‘Meet Deloitte’ sessions.

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