Perspectives on CA training
Are you an aspiring Chartered Accountant wondering where to launch your career after graduation? In this interview with 2nd-year ICAS trainee David Curley, discover how his first year of CA training has been filled with personal growth, exam successes and invaluable support.
David, you started with Consilium as a Graduate trainee in August 2022. How has your first year of CA training been?
It has been a great experience. The last year has been so quick!
What have the highlights been so far?
Passing my first two TPS (Test of Professional Skills) exams has been a highlight. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing for them. You start around February and then sit the exams in June, so it’s a quick turnaround.
It has also been satisfying to be able to put what I’ve learned over the past 12 months into use. Especially as I’ve been able to support the 1st year trainees, as my peers supported me last year.
Aside from practical knowledge, what has been your big learning takeaway from the year?
I think interpersonal skills are the big thing. As an auditor, you are out interacting with clients face-to-face in different industries and sectors. The hands-on experience has certainly developed my people skills and I feel a lot more confident now compared to a year ago.
You mentioned passing both your TPS exams first time. How have the Consilium team supported you in your CA training so far?
Consilium offers great flexibility. Flexi time and hybrid working* have allowed me to better manage my work, and study time and still have space for a social life. Missing out on the commute each way increases your study time as it’s a bit hard to study on the bus into Glasgow!
The culture here at Consilium is great for students. There is always someone you can put questions to or get help from. There are three years’ worth of people within the company who have been through CA training, plus all the qualified seniors. Even if you only have general queries, there is always someone available to help.
You’re also allocated an ICAS mentor from within the company. Andy (McKay) is my mentor and has been very helpful with both my studies and my day-to-day roles and responsibilities. Andy and I have regular catch-ups and like everyone else here, he is always approachable if I have questions or need a bit of help.
Consilium specialises in owner-managed businesses. How does that influence the clients and projects you work on as a Graduate trainee?
I have worked with a variety of clients in various industries such as transport, manufacturing, and retail. Alongside this, I have also worked on charities and co-operatives. The diversity is good for exposure to different scenarios, and you can often see examples of ICAS study topics in practice when you are on a client project. The diversity also keeps things interesting day to day. One week it could be an engineering company, the next week a charity, the next week a tech firm!
How does your CA training experience with Consilium compare to fellow ICAS students you are studying with?
Definitely more flexible! A lot of the other students I have spoken to do not have as many benefits or as much support as we do.
Looking into the future, where do you see yourself in three years?
Hopefully, qualified as a CA and acting as a Senior on projects. I want to progress in my career with Consilium and I see a pathway for me here. You can see where senior colleagues have progressed and moved.
*Flexi-time and hybrid working options are available to graduate trainees upon satisfactory completion of their probationary period.