November is national career development month and to mark the occasion, we interviewed our audits and account manager, Adam Rostance, to reflect on how his career has developed at Clayton & Brewill since he joined the firm 10 years ago.
Hi Adam! Can you tell us a bit about what drew you to a career in accountancy?
Like a lot of young people leaving 6th form, I didn’t really know what career path to take. I therefore delayed going to university and worked in the local pub for a few months after leaving education. During this time, I started looking into alternatives to university and stumbled upon the AAT higher apprenticeship route into accounting. I had always been good at maths and problem solving at school, so it felt like an accounting career path would be a good fit for me.
When did you start working at Clayton & Brewill?
I first joined Clayton & Brewill back in June 2012. After working at the firm for a year and a half, I took six months out to travel around Australia, before returning to my role in June 2014 – and I have stayed here ever since!
How has your career developed since you started?
When I joined the firm as an AAT apprentice, I had very little exposure to working within an accountancy practice.
Initially, I worked on small accounts jobs and manual bookkeeping to help build up my experience. From here, I worked in the compliance department full time, preparing accounts and tax returns for small companies and sole traders.
I then transferred into the audit department as an audit junior, working my way up to the role of accounts and audit manager. In this role, I now oversee a portfolio of fantastic clients ranging from small sole traders to large group companies.
If you had to describe the Clayton & Brewill team in three words, what would they be?
Down to earth (I’m sure that counts as one word), approachable and driven.
What does an average day at work look like for you?
My day-to-day role varies significantly based on client requirements. I currently sit in a hybrid senior manager role that includes managing a diverse portfolio of clients. This involves overseeing accounting and tax compliance, preparing regular management accounts, and managing a number of statutory audits.
Having been at the firm for almost 10 years (excluding the Australia jolly!), I have established and developed strong, lasting relationships with our clients. Therefore, ad-hoc tax and company structure work also arise from time to time.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
My favourite thing about working at Clayton & Brewill is the relationships I have with the rest of the team and with our clients.
Within the team, a good level of trust held has been built up over the years, which means we have increased flexibility with our working day. A perfect example of this is that I am able to take extended lunch breaks to visit the gym, as this is an important part of helping me keep a healthy mindset.
What challenges do you think the sector is facing at the moment?
I feel that the audit sector in particular has faced large levels of scrutiny over recent years due to numerous high profit companies going into administration following a clean audit report. Because of this, the perceived value of the audit report and the audit function has greatly reduced.
I think that there is a requirement for the industry as a whole to build back trust and transparency following the historic errors.
There is also the government’s plan to move all record keeping and submissions electronically with ‘Making Tax Digital’. While it will be a challenge for the industry to ensure that all clients are ready for the switch, it will also be a good opportunity for enabling firms to grow their client base.
Finally, what advice would you give to an accountant starting out in their career?
The advice that I would give to an individual starting out in the world of accountancy is to really stick with it. The beginning is tough; there is a huge level of information to digest, and the early work can sometimes feel a bit on the tedious side. But as you progress through your career, the rewards are definitely worth all the hard work!