“Making you more than just a number”. Ensors Chartered Accountants have a long standing history as one of East Anglia’s most respected firms of Chartered Accountants. For over 130 years, Ensors has been one of the region’s most trusted service providers within the accountancy sector.
What is it like to train there?
Even now, amidst a post pandemic skills shortage that has taken over the industry, Ensors Chartered Accountants continues to grow, offering a variety of training schemes and entry level pathways that are designed to foster and nurture the talents of budding accountants into the managers, directors and partners of tomorrow.
In this article, we will take you through the process of joining Ensors as a trainee accountant, and how you can set yourself up to begin studying for your AAT and ICAEW/ACCA qualifications. Alongside accounts from Chris Aniskowicz, Assistant Manager in the Corporate Services department at Ensors Chartered Accountants, we will give you some insights into the daily life of an accountant, demonstrate the ways you can turn the skills shortage towards your advantage, and provide advice on exactly how you can begin your career with Ensors Chartered Accountants.
Ensors Chartered Accountants – advice for a trainee
To help you discover if a career in accountancy is the right step for you, we asked Chris to tell us about his time training at Ensors Chartered Accountants and studying for his qualifications with the backing of one of the UK’s top Accountancy practices behind him. With his past experience as a trainee, alongside the knowledge he has gained along the way on his path to Assistant Manager, Chris has shared some noteworthy tips for those that may be looking to start a career with Ensors on one of their training pathways, as well as insights into his favourite things about working at the firm out of their new Cambridge office.
If you are anxious about needing to know everything ahead of time, Chris advises ‘You won’t be an all-knowing accountant overnight!’; You will not be a qualified and experienced accountant right from the word ‘go’, and nor do the firm expect you to be. There is a clear and distinct reason as to why a training scheme is called a training scheme; it is designed to train and teach you the skills you need for the job. Just because you may think you are not suitable for the role, or do not know where to start when it comes to accounting, do not let that sway you from applying. Ensors will help guide you as you study and learn the role, not just so you reach a level where you feel confident doing the job, but so you can feel comfortable asking, learning, and reaching higher within the company.
‘Working in accountancy is a career that continues to evolve and change; one that requires continuous learning and progression. Whilst the sheer volume of regulation, legislation and systems may seem daunting at first, the process of studying accountancy is like a jigsaw. At first it might seem difficult to connect modules, but through learning and assimilating, you find there are parts that link up and join together, and with work, the bigger picture is formed.’
– Chris Aniskowicz
If you are worried about being thrown in at the deep end, you will be happy to know Ensors ‘operates a mentoring system, whereby qualified colleagues support students throughout their journey, whether it be with specifics of exams and learning, or the administrative side of the process.’ Chris also states that, alongside support from Human Resources, the mentoring system ‘helps to facilitate a comfortable learning environment, one which enabled [him] to progress through [his] exams whilst working full time, carrying out chargeable work.’
Predictions and skill gaps at Ensors Chartered Accountants
Post pandemic, some of the best advice we can offer you to help you achieve your goal of securing a place on a trainee pathway is to apply. That may seem obvious, but in the ‘Mind the Gap’ report conducted by Search, it was revealed that 68% of hiring managers in East Anglia have been impacted by the skills shortage, with 29% struggling to fill entry level roles.
Another report entitled ‘Skills for Future Success’, released by PBSC in June of last year, explains that 28% of Financial, Professional, and Business Sector (FPBS) firms in the South East had reported vacancies stemming from the skills shortage. This number jumps up to 39% for the East of England. We can expect these numbers to have stabilised slightly over the past year, but these openings are still there, and your access to them is no longer blocked with as much competition as there previously may have been. In the eFinancial Careers ‘Hiring Trends Review for Q2 2022’, we discovered that the Accounting & Finance sector has seen a year on year decrease of 25% in average applications – a drop that results in one key takeaway; the time to apply is now!
Alongside the skills shortage, one of our predictions for the future of the accounting sector is to see further development and integration with upcoming technologies. Chris ‘[expects] artificial intelligence will be integrated further in accountancy, [such as in] increases in machine learning capabilities to process larger amounts of structured and unstructured data.’ Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and process automation have all been hot talking points within the industry when it comes to the sector’s inevitable digitalisation.
IT literacy is becoming more and more of an important skill that will soon be fundamental to tackling the most menial tasks. If you can demonstrate a flexibility and knowledge of IT skills, certain hiring managers may look at you more favourably. This will not be the be-all or end-all of any application, as the firm will aim to upskill their staff and trainees, but this may be a valuable edge against any competition you come up against in the hiring process.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK AT ENSORS?
All this information is useful for the application process, but you may be wondering one thing before you make that decision to send off your CV and apply; what is it like to work at Ensors?
Well, we have got you covered. Chris takes us through exactly what it is like to work within the Corporate Services department. He explains some of his favourite things about the working environment at the company, telling us that:
‘Working in Corporate Services, my week can be varied, generally working from either clients’ premises, the Cambridge office or from home. As an Assistant Manager in the department, I predominantly run statutory audits. My role has many client-facing aspects, where on a weekly basis I am speaking to clients from a range of industries, from Agriculture to Tech.
Most weeks seem to have some sort of event going on, whether it’s a sporting fixture in the way of netball, cricket or football, a team lunch, a fundraiser, or a networking event. We have been in our new Cambridge office since the start of the year; it is spacious, bright, and comfortable, and has plants throughout. Our meeting rooms “Crick” and “Watson” (named after the Cambridge based biologists who published ground-breaking work on DNA) have great views of greenery, a pond and plenty of ducks! The new office kitchen has an excellent “from-beans” coffee machine, which I am ensuring is vigorously tested on a daily basis.’
– Chris Aniskowicz
All evenings will operate on an informal drop-in basis between 16:30 and 18:30. Those who attend will have the chance to talk to current staff, including students. As well as the opportunity to meet the Ensors study provider. This will be a great opportunity to get to meet the people you will be interacting with. If you are interested in attending, please register your attendance in advance by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on current vacancies at Ensors, you can visit our landing page here: www.aj-chambers.com/current-vacancies
- Training Schemes, Ensors: https://www.ensors.co.uk/about-us/workingatensors/trainee-scheme/
- Mind the Gap, Search: https://www.search.co.uk/recruitment-insights/skills-shortage-report?source=google.com
- Skills for Future Success, PBSC: https://www.pbsc.uk/skills-for-future-success/
- eFinancial Careeers Hiring Trends Report: https://recruiterhub.efinancialcareers.com/rs/647-AFI-013/images/eFinancialCareers%20Hiring%20Trends%20Report%20Q2%202022.pdf