A fast-paced environment with work-life balance

Meet Kieren Connolly, a Supervisor in Accounting Solutions at Rayner Essex. We caught up with Kieren to find out more about his career journey, and his life at Rayner Essex.

Tell me a little bit about yourself, what makes you tick or ruffles your feathers?

I am originally from Zimbabwe but born in Australia, and moved to the UK in my teens. I’m a very active person, who loves all sports such as cricket, hockey, rugby, football and cycling and I’m very social and love to travel.

I am really laid back, so very rarely are my feathers ruffled, as I go with the flow, but always with goals in mind.

What would you like to share that perhaps people may not know about you?

I’m training to be a qualified rescue diver, being a keen sportsman, this appealed to me, as well as me wanting to do something that makes a difference to people’s lives. I am really enjoying it!

So why did you choose an accountancy career?

When I was younger I wanted to be a pilot or farmer. I love planes and travelling and I also come from a family of farmers and we have quite a family history in farming and agriculture. However I decided to do a business admin degree, thinking it would give me good foundations, but I found I had a strong dislike for HR and marketing and really liked accounting and law. I wanted to take up an extra module in finance law, so I opted for Accounting and Finance instead. I was always a practical thinker, so working with numbers was enjoyable. Working in accountancy straight after university was a natural next step, as I had already decided that accountancy was going to be my chosen career.

What did you do prior to joining Rayner Essex?

After graduating, I initially started working in a small local accountancy practice in Radlett, where I received my initial experience in the field. I liked the varied work and enjoyed solving client issues, whilst expanding my knowledge in accounting.

Why did you join Rayner Essex and why is it a good fit for you?

When contemplating my career move, I wanted to find a firm that met my dynamic ambitions, and Rayner Essex ticked all the boxes for me. It has the fast-paced environment and we have an opportunity to work with knowledgeable and experienced peers. The experience of working with such a diverse team in various service areas, gave me the support and career progression that I was looking for. There are many opportunities to be had, and a focus on personal development whilst working. There is also a respect for work-life balance which is important to me, enabling me to pursue my sporting activities which I enjoy, and spend time with friends and family.

These company ethics really agree with me, and I enjoy my work and find that I’m more productive and refreshed when handling work everyday challenges.  I can push myself to my limits and pursue new heights, as I love to challenge myself. I joined Rayner Essex as a Semi-Senior and was promoted to Senior in my first year, then a couple of years later, was further promoted to Supervisor.

Describe a typical working day and what you like about your work

Day to day duties vary, as a Supervisor I help train juniors, and love making a difference and seeing them grow their knowledge and experience. I allocate and plan work for my team, and also review the work to ensure that it meets the Rayner Essex quality approval.

I also love working with many clients, assisting them with a wide range of accounting and bookkeeping issues, offering sound and reliable advice in compliance, accounting and advisory projects. Being client-focused is something we really value at Rayner Essex, so getting to know my clients and building a strong working relationship with them enables me to get to the heart of their business and individual needs, offering solutions that meet their specific requirements and adding value to their business. This gives me huge satisfaction, seeing the appreciation from clients makes all the difference for me.

What has been your biggest challenge and what motivates you?

My desires and ambition to achieve as much as possible. I love pushing myself beyond my limits, and this is my greatest challenge. I am very inspired by my grandfather and my father, seeing their humble beginnings and how far they have come, and this keeps me pushing my boundaries and excelling in all I choose to do.

What is your best achievement so far?

My greatest achievement is qualifying as an ACCA qualified accountant!

Where to next in your career?

I am happy with my chosen career and employer, and I’m really looking forward to achieving many more milestones and my aim is to work my way up the management ladder, so watch this space!

What would you say to someone who is looking to embark into a similar role in accounting?

If you’re willing to put in the effort and work hard, the rewards will come. Overall, accounting can be a challenging and a rewarding field, and it’s essential to be prepared, knowledgeable, and committed to ongoing learning and development. It’s also really important to find an employer that matches your values and ethics, a workplace where you feel comfortable, that nurtures an environment to thrive in. Good luck in your career!

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