Figuring it out: accountancy apprenticeships

When school leaver Natasha Fenner considered her next move, an apprenticeship at Chartered Accountants Moore Stephens really added up

Many school leavers head off to the bright lights of university after finishing their A Levels. What made you choose an apprenticeship instead?
I knew that university wasn’t for me as I wasn’t sure what degree I wanted to do that would make going to university worthwhile. I knew I wanted a route that would leave me with options for the future, and the business administration apprenticeship at Moore Stephens offered just that. I got to work within an environment where I could make a real difference rather than taking on a parttime job and probably getting into debt!

So why Moore Stephens?
If I’m totally honest I didn’t have much of a clue about what the company did until I did some research. Reading up on the company inspired me to believe in myself and that I could be an asset to the team. Accountancy was an area I’d previously considered – I like numbers and problem solving. The admin side of it helped me to gain an understanding of accountancy basics.

“Our work can be challenging, as we have to support all the teams in the office. Natasha has learned how to support everyone, from our tax team to our marketing manager, from partners to the audit staff. She has now moved into the business support team, where she has quickly learned bookkeeping skills. Her manager, Michelle Watson, is very pleased with her progress.”

Natalie Ellis, office manager

What have you learnt so far?
Taking on an apprenticeship has helped me to become more independent and a fully-fledged adult! It’s shown me the values of working in an office role and the results that can be achieved by working within a team. I’ve also developed my skills through the admin role, from basic essentials such as using Microsoft Office to building my confidence on the phone. Crucially, working in admin proves just how important the department is to the smooth running of the business!

What are your plans now you have your apprenticeship?
I completed the Business Administration Apprenticeship within a year and wanted to continue working at Moore Stephens. I’d decided I wanted to push myself further and start to learn the basics of accounting. When I expressed my interest in becoming a professional staff member, our Business Support Team was in need of a new member of staff. They had trained people with bookkeeping experience in the past but they wanted to try someone in the team who already understood the clients. I have now started another apprenticeship with Kaplan working through the Association of Accounting Technician (AAT) qualification. I get trained in-house as well as going to the Kaplan centre in Cambridge to complete exams. I am really enjoying working with clients on their bookkeeping and VAT returns. My colleagues are very supportive and help and advice is always available.

That’s a really impressive start Natasha! What are your plans further into the future?
To continue through the levels of the qualification to become a professional member of AAT. This will show that I’m committed to my career.

Staff partner Mick Lumsden explains why he decided to employ an apprentice
Our office manager, Natalie Ellis, had worked with apprentices in the past, so when we needed another staff member in our admin department Natalie asked if she could employ an apprentice. Natalie worked with Learn Direct to find a suitable candidate. We liked Natasha from the start and it’s been great to see our expectations met. Working with Natasha has increased our confidence in recruiting apprentices. We now have two more – one who has replaced Natasha in the admin team and another in our accounts and audit department. We have found that given the right training and support they quickly become very useful to us and often bring an added dimension to the office. We believe passionately in the importance of training and development and are committed to lifelong learning for all of our staff. We have held the Investors in People award since 2015.

Moore Stephens
Rutland House, Minerva Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6PZ
01733 397300


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