The Accountancy Apprenticeship route was definitely for me  – It’s a clear career path from the get go!

In a recent interview we caught up with Semi Senior, Euan Gelling who is now on track studying for his ACCA to become a fully qualified Chartered Accountant.

Euan has been working with Rayner Essex for over five years and shares his story about his career journey and what attracted him to joining as an Accounting Apprentice, excelling in his career and now going on to make his mark within accounting and finance.

Why did you choose to get into an accountancy career?

It was only during my last year at school that I decided I wanted to take up a career in accounting. After discussions with my family and school teachers and exercising all options I found that I could become an apprentice and gain valuable experience whilst studying towards my accounting qualification. I’ve always had an interest in business and had a passion for numbers. This ultimately set my mind to this career path.

What did you do prior to joining Rayner Essex?

Prior to joining Rayner Essex I was in sixth form at Sandringham School, doing A-levels in Geography, Business and Maths.

Why did you choose Rayner Essex? – Why is it a good fit for you?

I first found out about Rayner Essex through an apprenticeship event put on at Barclays bank. Rayner Essex was one of the businesses attending and I got chatting to a couple of employees. I was told about the apprenticeship scheme as well as what it’s like to work for the firm. I enjoyed the interaction and this inevitably led to me applying for a role.

As well as this I wanted to stay local within St Albans as I knew the study requirements that came with an apprenticeship and took travel into a factor.

Progression was really important for me, and very much attracted me to the apprenticeship scheme. From the get go, I was informed as to the clear career path, in choosing the apprenticeship route. What hugely appealed was that I could go from apprentice, to semi senior, and then to becoming a fully qualified accountant, whilst earning,  gaining practical experience and studying, all at my own comfortable pace. I have now been working with Rayner Essex for over five years and haven’t regretted my choice to go the apprenticeship route, I still enjoy it as much as I did when I first joined and have a happy work life balance, and also work with an amazing team.

What is your current role and describe an average day at work  

My role is Accounting solutions Semi-Senior. I work with several clients on a day to day basis and this mainly involves the preparation of Year End Accounts, Management Accounts and VAT returns. As I’ve now passed my apprenticeship I work closely with other apprentices at Rayner Essex and enjoy passing on my knowledge and experience to assist them in their role and guide them on their apprenticeship career path.

I have a number of clients which many of my colleagues also work with, we often collaborate to ensure that all deadlines are met and that we address all our clients’ needs. The importance of good team work and communication is extremely important in my role and allows us to deliver on our deadlines.

My peers are very helpful and approachable, and have shared valuable insights assisting me with progressing in my career path. They are all very open to you asking questions and open to giving you advice, which adds to your confidence and practical on the job experience. They are always on hand to answer any questions you may have, and you are not limited on who to ask, sometimes also utilising the expertise of other managers in other areas of the business too. The work culture at Rayner Essex is of teamwork, and helping each other, providing excellent client support in the process.

What has been your greatest challenge and what motivates you

My greatest challenge so far was passing my AAT level 3 & 4 apprenticeships. Having to balance my workload with studying for exams was a tough challenge. However, the support on offer within the firm helped me manage this. Rayner Essex, actually cares for our wellbeing and work-life balance, so ensure that we study at a workable pace, and our managers are always there to offer extra support during tight deadlines. We even make time for social events, during busy work periods, so the focus is correct, and keeps us motivated, working in a happy environment.

What is your greatest achievement

Passing my AAT Level 3 & 4 has definitely been my greatest achievement to date. However, as a Judo and Swimming sports enthusiast when I was a teenager, I gained over 30 Judo awards and also excelled in swimming, gaining numerous medals and life saving, which is a great to have.  I was also a keen footballer, however as an aspiring Accountant nowadays, I tend to enjoy watching sport more so than playing and keeping fit at the gym.

Where to next in your career

I’ve started my first ACCA exam in January 2024 with view to becoming a fully qualified Chartered Accountant, following my clear goal that I had in mind, since joining the firm.

What do you like about working at Rayner Essex?

I love working with the people here at Rayner Essex! Working together with a number of clients, really does bring us closer, and we accomplish deadlines together, we have great teamwork and fun at the same time.

I find myself interacting with both offices, and enjoying social events which seem to have increased over the last few years, and are real fun. I think that the strong team environment and down to earth colleagues, has enabled me to form strong relationships with various teams whilst working with various departments, but I’ve also had the opportunity to grow relationships with teams in both London and St. Albans due to lots of social events run by Rayner Essex in both offices.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love going to the gym, and also going to watch Chelsea play, being an avid Chelsea fan and watching other football games and various sports, as well as socialising with friends. I also love traveling and can’t wait for my upcoming Columbia trip!

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

Accounting is one of the most valuable apprenticeships you can start, as you gain invaluable work experience, whilst on the job, and also gain qualifications at the same time, while earning money.  If you were to go University you would be studying academics and doing the exams, and would not have the opportunity to get to know the practical skills or side of the job gained by experience. I personally think it provides a better balance and gives you clarity early on, to see if you would enjoy the work within the accounting sector. The practical experience gained early on within an accountancy apprenticeship gives you a real gauge as to whether is the right career for you.  So don’t underestimate the value of an Accounting apprenticeship, It was definitely the right career path for me.

If you’re contemplating a career in Accounting and would like to consider becoming an apprentice, feel free to get in touch with us and we will be happy to have a chat with you about it. Also feel free to take a look at our brochure for more information to ‘Your Guide to Becoming an Accounting Apprentice’.

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