“I joined EY as an accountant as I thought it’d be a good thing to do. 12 years later and I’m still here.”
After joining EY in 2004, Neil became ACCA qualified and was promoted twice before deciding to take advantage of the global opportunities available – by working in New Zealand for two years.
“Moving overseas into a new office and with new people was quite interesting, although what I found enjoyable was refreshing my client portfolio, getting up to speed with different clients in a different country with a different tax system.”
During his time in Auckland, Neil was promoted to Senior Manager and had the opportunity to work on one of the largest IPOs undertaken by the New Zealand firm in recent years.
“It was the privatisation of a major energy company which made national news and caused a lot of debate. I never expected to be involved in working on something so high profile – the joy of working in audit, not to mention the sheer breadth of clients EY has that really takes you by surprise!
Neil cites the rotation of clients as one of the things he enjoys most about working in audit.
“In the case of EY, you’re working with various people across various industries. So if you learn from them and pick up what they have to offer, it makes you more rounded.”
Having achieved his ACCA qualification, Neil believes he has had the same opportunities as an ACA would have.
“Generally, I’ve felt no difference. The firm’s been very supportive and have treated me well as I’ve progressed. It goes down to them recognising and rewarding people who work hard regardless of your professional background.”
The support he received from the UK firm was a big factor in Neil’s decision to return to the UK, where he has held a dual-role between both the Cambridge and Luton offices.
“I think the regional offices create a very supportive, inclusive environment. There’s a close-knit group in the Luton and Cambridge offices, and the senior staff like to create a more family-like atmosphere which is great for new joiners in making them feel part of the team.”
So what advice does Neil have for any ACCA candidates wanting to be part of EY?
“I’d encourage anyone to see it as a place where you can to build on what you’ve learnt from your ACCA studies and progress. Whether you stay for a short time or for the long haul, it’s a great place to be and a great place to develop.
“I became an accountant because someone once told me that’s how successful people begin their careers. 12 years later and I’m still here –still learning and still very much enjoying it!”
To find out more about the opportunities for ACCA candidates at EY, click here.