Life at Deloitte

Ben Holton

Assistant Manager, Banking and Capital Markets Audit

I am a Brightstart within the Banking and Capital Markets department within the Audit group. This means that I joined straight out of school, having given University a go and realising that it wasn’t the path that I wanted to take. I then looked to see if there were any opportunities within industry wherein not having a degree would not hold me back. I was lucky to find this, as it means that I could drop out of university without worrying about the lack of opportunities that this may cause. I have now spent 3 years within Banking and Capital Markets looking at a varied assortment of clients within the financial sector, from small financial technology companies to multinational investment banks.

What work do you get involved in on a day to day basis?

At the moment I am managing the audit of a group of 6 companies. The services that they provide all differ, however they all provide these services to the financial sector and therefore fall under our remit. This means that I am responsible for liaising with the client to ensure that expectations are met and co-ordinating and reviewing the work performed by junior staff to ensure that the audit is delivered on time and at a good quality.

What do you like most about the office and region that you work in?

London is the financial capital of Europe and therefore it is a great place to gain experience on a multitude of clients with international presence. It means that I can work on multinational investment banks and really get involved in understanding their operations and the industry that they operate in which I would not be able to do so much if I worked on clients in the regional offices. London is a brilliant and varied place with plenty going on every day of the week and so I feel as a young individual it has a lot to offer me at the moment.

Why your industry?

I think that banking and capital markets is an inherently complex and varied industry. The large scope of work that we can perform for these clients, from statutory audits to advisory work on valuations of complex financial instruments, means that there is always something to learn. I enjoy learning new things and I like problem solving and I think that there is no better department in Deloitte Audit to be able to have the same opportunities.

What is your top tip for working in your industry?

Always be prepared to learn as there is always more that you can know which means a better delivery for the client and it means that you can constantly improve and learn which I think is a very important thing throughout your career and stops you stagnating doing the same things every year.

What differentiates your industry from other industries?

I think the variety of work is much greater and I think the industry is more complicated which means that if you like a challenge then it is the place for you. I think that the financial industry has got a bad name in the press recently which means that there is ever increasing regulatory pressure to deliver an audit in which quality is the main focus. This means that there are always ways to deliver a higher quality audit and developing these ideas in line with what the regulators are interested in gives rise to the opportunity for creativity and problem solving whilst applying the technical skills you have learnt thus far, which I think you get less of in different departments. Plus no stock counts!

Which personality traits or skills aid success in your industry?

An inquisitive individual who likes a challenge and is always willing to learn would do well in banking and capital markets. 

What do you enjoy most about your industry?

I love learning new things and being able to apply technically difficult concepts in practice is definitely something I enjoy doing. The banking world has an ever increasing media focus and has got a bad name recently in the press and being able to deliver a service that increases the confidence that the public have with regards to one of the most important sectors in the UK ensures that there are always interesting things to do.

Talk us through the most exciting project that you have worked on

I have been involved since my first year in a client based in New York, which has meant that I have been fortunate enough to work out there for about 6 weeks out of the past 3 years. Being able to travel to the financial hub of the US and meet people (Deloitte staff and external clients) has been a definite highlight of my time here.

What social, society and corporate responsibility activities have you been involved with at Deloitte?

I am part of the B&CM forum which means that I represent the Brightstarts within the department and ensure that their voices are heard and any problems or comments that they might have filter through to management. I have also partaken in the JP Morgan run to raise money for charity and gone to several recruitment events to try to meet future talent that would fit in with Deloitte.

How has Deloitte played a role in your long term career goals?

Deloitte are responsible for giving me my first proper ‘career’ job and are training me to be a qualified accountant, which is a big investment for which I am very grateful. They are always happy to discuss other opportunities within the firm outside of Audit which means that there is a variety of opportunities that you wouldn’t get in industry.

 

 

What advice would you share to others considering a career in your industry?

Think hard about which department you want to join as I think you have to be interested in the industry that you want to work in in order to make the most out of your experience here. If you want to pursue an ACA and get the job security that this holds, I don’t think there is any better place, but you need to be sure that this is what you want to do as there is a lot of work involved. If you have any questions and doubts, never be afraid to ask questions as I think the people here value honesty and are always very prepared to help guide you and give you impartial advise as I can guarantee you won’t be the first person in a given situation. Think about where you want to be in ten years and it is important that you realise that it is a journey in terms of your career but Deloitte have a vested interest in making sure you are happy with where you work so bilateral communication is paramount.

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