Life as an Audit Trainee at Godfrey Wilson

👋 Meet Will.

Will is one of our Level 7 Accountancy apprentices. He is working towards his ICAEW ACA qualification. He is in his 3rd year of the apprenticeship having started his training contract in September 2021. We interviewed Will as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2024 to hear his thoughts on training as an auditor at Godfrey Wilson.

Why a career in accountancy?

After my degree in Biology, I was unsure of which career direction to take. I had friends who had started ACA training contracts, and after discussions with them I realised that a finance role might be a good fit for me. I had adaptable skills and an eagerness to learn. Taking on a level 7 apprenticeship towards my ACA qualification seemed like a great next step.

Why Godfrey Wilson?

I spent a long time researching the different training providers in Bristol – a mix of ‘The Big 4’ and corporate firms. I knew the ACA was the right choice but none of the firms really resonated with me. That was until I came across Godfrey Wilson. The team looked friendly and the culture inviting, with a number of perks not found with other training providers. The flexi-time 35 hour week and focus on charities really stood out to me. I wanted a role that was rewarding and helped me contribute to my community in Bristol. Auditing and advising charities really ticked this box. The initial interview confirmed my thoughts about the friendly nature of the firm, and I was set on getting the role here!

What’s the apprenticeship like?

The apprenticeship is hard work at times, but it’s definitely worth it. There are 15 exams to pass over 3 years, with regular college courses to work towards these. In between the courses we attend skills days, run by our training provider, to improve our real-world skills. Alongside the number-crunching, the skills days teach soft skills, developing our communication, critical thinking and business acumen. I’ve found these courses really help in the workplace, giving me confidence to tackle complex challenges and develop strong client relationships.

It can be tricky to juggle study alongside the day job, but I’ve found the team at Godfrey Wilson make this as easy as possible. We are given periods of study leave to attend college courses and we have an individual exam pathway which is tailored to us. When generating my pathway we realised my wedding clashed with an exam sitting, so my pathway was swiftly updated! In addition to this we have regular calls with our tutors at college to review progress. This structure helps make the apprenticeship manageable.

What would you say to any aspiring auditors?

When looking at graduate ACA training contracts, I had no idea that you could do it through the apprentice route. It’s both rewarding and challenging, but I’ve found the Level 7 Apprenticeship has been a great way to start my career as an auditor. Despite not starting out in a finance background, the apprenticeship has taught me the skills required to succeed in the role and I’ve never looked back. Keep an eye out for our September intake as it’ll be the best decision you’ll make!