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Graduate Pensions Trainee Chartered Accountant

Salary: Competitve

Location: Bristol, Bristol

Application Deadline: 31-08-2019

Job Type: Graduate job

Contract Type: Permanent

The job

Summary of the job role

At Smith & Williamson we recruit high calibre people with the skills, knowledge and commitment to meet the demands of the business. The graduate programme is a structured training programme combining practical experience with technical studies, as well as offering numerous opportunities to increase your skill set with internal courses ranging from time management to personal impact and negotiation skills to delivering presentations.

Many businesses need to reassure investors and other stakeholders about their financial performance, even where a full audit isn’t necessary, appropriate, or required by law. We offer wide-reaching financial advisory services to international clients across a number of industries and a diverse client base, ranging from small businesses and family enterprise start-ups to not-for-profit organisations.

Most of our audits last just one or two weeks, which means you will quickly gain exposure to a variety of businesses. You will also build valuable client experience, honing the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective auditor and trusted business adviser. Alongside your work, you will receive first-class professional training as you study for the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification, which will enable you to gain a full understanding of the technical aspects of audit, accountancy and additional financial advisory services.

Purpose of role:

To audit pension scheme annual accounts, in line with statutory requirements and under the supervision of more senior staff. In accordance with statutory requirements Pension Schemes are required to prepare audited accounts. The purpose of which is to:

- Display that the trustees of the pension scheme (a legal term for a holder of the pension scheme assets on behalf of the pension scheme members) have demonstrated how they have discharged their duties and ensuring that they have properly met their responsibilities.
- Convey to all pension scheme members information about the security of their pensions, investment performance, information about the progress of the scheme to meet future financial commitments and basic information about the pension scheme.
- Provide information for the participating employer about the trustee’s stewardship of the pension scheme, the development of the scheme and security of the assets.
- Comply with pension scheme and accountancy regulations
- Provide clear and reliable information about the scheme’s transactions (including unusual transactions) and about the current position, activities and policies of the pension scheme.

How you'll expect to spend your day

As part of our Assurance & Business Services team you could be working directly with clients’ Managing and Financial Directors, checking that numbers stack up with fact. This means you will be providing advice and solutions that really make a difference.

As a pension scheme auditor your role is to ensure that the pension scheme Annual Accounts show a true and fair view through the carrying out of pre-determined audit tests.

Responsibilities of the Pensions Trainee Chartered Accountant position could include:

- Working as part of a team to undertake a variety of audit and accountancy tasks
- Obtaining information and explanations from clients
- Establishing professional, polite and friendly relationship with clients
- Resolution of queries whether of a pension audit or accountancy nature
-Developing an understanding of our clients and their businesses
- Completing audit programmes and forming conclusions on each individual test and section completed
- Understanding from your manager the scope of tasks allocated and objectives to be achieved
- Keeping senior team members and managers fully informed of any issues and problems, ensuring work is completed to a level agreed with the manager and recording clearly and concisely work done
- Becoming familiar with our audit and accounting software
- Prioritising tasks whilst monitoring time against budget

In this team you will be given responsibility from an early stage. By your second year in the role you could be taking on a more senior role with smaller clients and helping to supervise the new intake of trainees.

The candidate

Required Education

- Must have (or be on course for) at least an upper second-class (2:1) honours degree in any discipline
- 300 UCAS points (or equivalent) in your top three A-levels (excluding General Studies)
- GCSE English and maths (or equivalent) at a minimum of grade B

Continue reading to learn what it's like to work at Smith and Williamson

Life at Smith and Williamson for graduates

Graduate Trainees joining departments across assurance & business services, business tax and private client tax services pursue one or more of the following qualifications: Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA), Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). Our investment management trainees work towards the Investment Advice Diploma (IAD) and the Masters in Wealth Management (CISI).

No matter which area you choose, you’ll receive first-class training and will develop the skills needed to become a trusted business adviser. In addition, placements in other departments mean greater insight into our business and the chance to expand your networks across the firm.

We can offer you much more responsibility than you might expect. You’ll be working on real projects and liaising with our clients from the start — it’s our approach to clients that makes this a more fulfilling place to work.

A career here means having more personal time than you might get in other firms. We believe in getting your work/life balance just right because it’s not just good for you, it’s good for us too.

If you’re looking to get more out of your future, we think you’ll love life with Smith & Williamson.


Life assurance valued at four times annual salary

Permanent health insurance

Flexible benefits package

An interest-free season ticket loan

Full financial support for the completion of relevant professional qualifications

Overtime payments or compensatory time off (selected business areas)

Pension scheme and discretionary bonus

Market-comparable salaries

23 days’ annual holiday allowance

Case studies


Business Tax

"The firm has much better hours and far less pressure than many other firms of the same calibre, but the same quality of work and clients."


Assurance & Business Services

"You get the chance to work on a wide range of clients in different business sectors."


Private Client Tax Services

"The best thing about working here is the responsibility."


Investment Manager (London)

"When it comes to training, Smith & Williamson is encouraging and supportive."


Private Client Tax Services (London)

"I have always felt like a valued member of the team."

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