Smith & Williamson is a leading independently-owned accountancy practice, investment management business and private bank.
We offer a breadth of services which make us unique in the industry as we provide award-winning services to a variety of clients such as start-ups, high-net-worth individuals, corporates, professional practices and non-profit organisations.
We have 13 offices located around the UK, Ireland and Jersey, and we are a member of Nexia International, a top 10 global network of independent accounting and consulting firms. This means we’re well-connected to thousands of colleagues around the world, exchanging knowledge and professional expertise daily.
We offer a number of different entry-routes for Trainees joining our firm. From Apprenticeships for school-leavers completing A-levels, to formal paid internship programmes over the summer for undergraduates.
We have developed a structured training programme for Apprentices, which combines practical work experience, internal training and technical studies. All of this is designed for you to earn a professional qualification and make the strongest possible start to your career.
As an Apprentice you’ll join one of our departments (Assurance & Business Services, Business Tax or Private Client Tax Services). No matter which department you choose, you will enjoy first-class training and develop the skills you need to become a trusted business advisor. You will also undertake placements in other departments and be granted valuable networking opportunities.
The qualifications you’ll study towards during your Apprenticeship will depend on the department you’re in. These qualifications include: Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CBAF), Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA), Association of Tax Technicians (ATT), or Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA).
I joined Smith & Williamson’s assurance and business services department as a school leaver in August 2013. Joining a large firm straight out of school was a daunting prospect. But the support and guidance Smith & Williamson has given me has been brilliant, and has enabled me to quickly and confidently build my accounting knowledge.
Passing up university wasn’t an easy decision, but I felt I had the maturity and skills to be able to contribute to the firm straight away. And with university fees rising, the chance to earn a professional qualification with no personal expense was too good an opportunity to miss.
I have been lucky enough to work on a wide range of clients, from cricket clubs to record labels, and the different challenges each business throws up is what makes the job unique. It can be challenging too, but there is an active social side to the firm as well, with regular Friday drinks and department socials. Smith & Williamson promotes a strong work-life balance, something I have made the most of, still playing football multiple times a week and managing to keep up with my friends who have decided to take the university path.
Going into my new role at Smith & Williamson I had little idea of what to expect beyond the research I had done for my interviews. But since I have started I have been surprised by just how much I’ve learnt.
In my role as Tax Trainee it is my job to understand the ethos of my clients’ businesses and offer the best possible service based on this understanding. Day-to-day interaction with clients and colleagues means I am always taking on board new information and developing a variety of skills. While I have my own responsibilities, help is always available from more experienced team members to help me complete tasks to the level that Smith and Williamson insists upon. Currently I’m involved in preparing tax and VAT returns for a varied set of clients, from horse racing stables to property developers.
The office atmosphere is both friendly and welcoming, while maintaining a professional environment. Since joining Smith & Williamson in July 2013, I have grown in confidence both in the technical side of the job as well as improving my interpersonal and social skills. Working here has allowed me to keep playing the sports I love in my free time, cricket and rugby, which offers a nice balance to my job.
I joined Smith & Williamson in January 2014 as a higher apprentice. I didn’t really know what to expect but I knew it would be a steep learning curve. After just two weeks training I was sent out to work with a client. I was surprised at how much I had learnt during those two weeks and how friendly and eager to help the rest of the team were.
I chose Smith & Williamson because of the opportunity it offered me as a college leaver - not many firms offered the opportunity to get a globally recognised qualification and get paid at the same time! It was the earning and learning aspect that drew me more towards a higher apprenticeship rather than university.
I have developed in confidence since starting at Smith & Williamson. I think this is down to meeting new people, having to adapt to new situations, both on site with clients and in the office, and the level of support given by my colleagues. The training Smith & Williamson provide has prepared me for the work I am expected to perform, and helped me develop my own style of working, allowing me to complete tasks efficiently and to the high standard required.