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Our people: Ronan Fogarty

Associate in Audit & Assurance

For any trainee Chartered Accountant beginning a training contract or working through one, there are some key skills that one should focus on developing. Here Ronan Fogarty, an audit trainee with Deloitte, offers his advice based on his own experience ‘on the ground’…

Make a good first impression: When starting a new contract, you will meet so many new people - fellow trainees, managers, partners and clients. And this will continue right throughout your training contract. Given the nature of professional services firms, the dynamic can change very quickly - you will find yourself working with different teams on various clients and projects, new trainees will arrive and new clients will offer new opportunities. A good first impression goes a long way in developing yourself as a person, your career, as well as the firm you are working for.

Communicate: You hear it and read it all the time, but it is true that communication is one of the most important skills that anyone can develop. Be confident and informed about what you are saying and say it in a manner so that you are heard. Whether it is a meeting, a phone call or an email, be prepared. Introduce yourself properly, be polite, be aware of the facts and know what you are looking for.

Be adaptable and flexible: Each day, you will be met with a new challenge and you must be ready to face it head on. You will be completing several sets of exams on your journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant while working full time. Therefore it is vital that you are adaptable to situations you may find yourself in, whether it be in front of a client, or in front of a book for that exam next week. It is also important that you are able to manage your time efficiently. Being prepared and organised will stand to you, whatever the situation. Where possible, it is also important that you learn to apply your knowledge from exams in work and vice versa. Doing so shows that you have a drive to succeed.

Be confident in your ability: You would not be at this career path if didn’t have the proven ability. All trainees should strive to be confident (but not cocky!) about what they are doing and become well versed in the areas in which they work. You should take initiative to do more and stand out from the crowd. There are always opportunities to voice your opinion and make a difference. Trainees are encouraged to bring new ideas to the table and innovate. That is the way of the future.

Be organised: As a training contract focuses on both work and education, it is important that both are well organised. It is important to show that you can work efficiently and productively, and manage your time well. Whether you are a trainee in audit, tax or corporate finance, it is important to take responsibility for areas that are assigned to you and understand how your work fits into the overall deliverable for the client. It is also important to learn how to ask questions and prioritise tasks in order to meet deadlines.

Be a team player: Working as a trainee accountant in any firm will undoubtedly require you to be able to work as part of a team. This is where all of the above come together. Any team is only as strong as its weakest member, therefore, if you do your part and are adaptable, flexible, confident, organised and are able to communicate well, the team will benefit.

And just one final piece of advice – embrace it! A training contract offers so many opportunities – working with clients in exciting and fast-paced industries, learning from colleagues with great experience and expertise, and getting involved in firm activities - be it CSR initiatives or the firm’s clubs and societies. Make the most of it and get involved. It’s only going to stand to you.

Read more about our programme in Audit & Assurance