Our clients deserve and expect different – so do our trainees

Written By Fran Reid

Our style is to avoid convention, whilst always upholding the highest standards and maintaining compliance. We hire and train differently and new team members are handpicked for excellence, talent, and individual flair.

At Ashcroft we take extensive pride in our learning and development approach which ensures that we can offer a high quality of service to our clients. The support and training we provide empowers our employees to advise clients holistically. We purposefully avoid a silo-style training approach from the outset, many firms train this way to focus their staff on one aspect of accountancy. However, we think this method limits trainees and ultimately how we advise clients. We believe that by providing an all-round training programme, taking in tax, accounting, and audit, that our trainees will naturally find their niche or may prefer to remain a General Practitioner. In our experience this different approach has developed talent, encouraged individualism, and helped us retain some of the best accountants in the area.

On joining us, our trainees are presented a variety of assignments providing them with exposure to the differing aspects of the business. We look to make a significant investment in the personal development of every team member, and we recognise everyone for their unique contribution to delivering a first-class service to our clients. As they become General Practitioners, they can have meaningful discussions with our clients about their business and personal financial affairs. Whilst they may not be able to answer every query that arises, they will have sufficient experience within Ashcroft, having worked across all services areas, to direct clients to one of our experts.

As an ICAEW accredited trainer and ACCA Platinum Approved Employer, our trainees are guaranteed the best technical training throughout their finance career with Ashcroft. What makes us different is that they will also have opportunity to be mentored by some of the most talented and successful individuals in the area.

We know that our focus on providing our clients with the best advisory services, not just compliance, guarantees that the training and experience every trainee acquires is the most stimulating and comprehensive it can be. To help us achieve this aim we choose an apprenticeship route. The programme includes technical skills (demonstrated by passing the relevant exams) and so much more.

Adam Newman, Trainee Accountant says “At Ashcroft the tools to craft your own path within the firm are given to you, providing a robust, well-rounded foundation from which a successful career can be built. On the trainee programme you get the opportunity to work closely with partners and clients alike, giving a strong insight into how financials interact with business operations. Progressing through the trainee scheme provides a comprehensive financial and business knowledge which can be applied to fully understand each client and drive real benefit for them. Both professional and personal development are strongly encouraged. Regular informal meetings with personal mentors and more formal appraisals identify any strengths and weaknesses you have, these are then addressed through individualised training.

Every trainee completes a minimum of 20% “off the job” training meaning that not only does the student attend exam led courses, but they are also offered a variety of soft skills and team building opportunities. For us, this is as important as the technical training it teaches individuals the importance of collaborative team working and provides the start of understanding commercial awareness and running a business.

Throughout their training the students will have regular catchups and mentoring sessions with their managers and also the partners. We are invested in individual development and want to ensure that each individual attains their potential and chosen career path.

Development continues beyond the qualification. Ensuring that our team is up to date with changes in accounting and tax legislation is paramount, but we also focus on a holistic approach including mental health and wellbeing together with a great office environment. Our hybrid working suits those looking for a more flexible working approach and the office offers a very modern and spacious work environment that allows us to work as a high performing team. This encourages collaborative working where our trainees continue to learn in an open and friendly environment. Access to Senior Managers and Partners is readily available during training and beyond.

With our different approach to training, encouraging growth and the consideration we give to wellbeing and work environment we aim to recruit and retain the best accountants in East Anglia. Ultimately this facilitates a creative and premium standard advisory service.

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