Training Profile - Sam Humphreys
I joined Brebners when I finished university having decided to pursue a career in accountancy. I was attracted to Brebners because I felt that a medium-sized firm would offer me more variety of work as well as opportunities to develop personally. Having not studied an accounting/finance degree I was slightly apprehensive about the change, but I need not have worried - all our graduate trainees come from a wide range of degree subjects, with the transferable skills gained during university enabling a smooth transition into working life.
Brebners has clients in a wide array of industries – from galleries, theatre, and sports to consultancy, private equity, and shipping. I mostly work on audits and preparing accounts for small and medium-sized businesses, but there are opportunities to undertake secondments in tax, corporate finance, or work on Financial Conduct Authority regulated clients. This really allows us trainees to develop across many different areas that may not be available at a larger firm, before then having the opportunity to specialise within a certain industry/department that we are most interested in.
Brebners gives trainees responsibility early; while this may seem challenging initially there’s plenty of support provided. Working directly with clients during on-site audit work and leading teams has really helped me to develop transferable skills. For many jobs I’ve been involved at every stage, giving me a stronger understanding of both the statutory process and the client’s business. This has really helped me to develop as an accountant.
Brebners has an informal office culture and staff at all levels work together closely with someone always on hand to provide guidance and support, right up to partner level. One of the great things about the firm is the camaraderie between the trainees. Each and every trainee has gone through the same pathway; from joining, passing exams and eventually becoming qualified, and so there is always someone to speak to who can pass on their knowledge. Be it a good luck message before these exams or just a general catch-up, it is really reassuring to have people who have gone through exactly the same process as you.
There are great opportunities for career progression within the firm, with many of the managers and partners at Brebners having joined as trainees. These managers and partners are then personally invested in your development as an individual, with biannual reviews with a training partner, where career progression and future goals are a key focus (and how to achieve these).
The firm also encourages a good work/life balance, with many employees using this time to enjoy their hobbies outside of work. There are many social events throughout the year, such as the annual karaoke social, office quiz (a staff favourite), Christmas party, and of course the obligatory drinks celebrating the most recent set of exam passes. The location of the office also couldn’t be better with endless places to grab some lunch with the team, or even catching some live theatre being in the heart of the West End. All this has meant I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far at Brebners, and truly believe it is a brilliant place to work.