15th December 2016
Wise & Co has a well-established reputation for training accountants and one of the first faces new recruits see is that of Yvonne Harman - even before they've landed a job. Yvonne is part of the interview and selection process and then oversees trainees' progress as they start as new members of the Wise & Co team.
First, candidates who impress at interview are invited to prove themselves in the working environment.
Yvonne explains: "Usually we invite them for a day's work assessment. They do a job that I've devised - not a real one - and we see how they handle it. Then we make a decision on whether we're going to offer them a job and after that I see them through the initial stages of their career with us."
Yvonne joined Wise & Co in 1999 and handles a portfolio of clients as an accountant in addition to her responsibilities for trainees. "I'm a friendly face for them and I like imparting my knowledge and finding ways to explain things - I really enjoy that part of the job," she said.
At Wise & Co, junior staff are exposed to the full breadth of accountancy work rather than being pigeon-holed as they might be in a larger accountancy firm. They also learn on the job and from seeing what the senior accounts are doing around them every day. "They do get a good grounding," said Yvonne. "They learn how to be an accountant rather than just learning how to tick boxes. They know how the accounts go together rather than just looking at the final completed accounts. Although everyone does the same training it's the things they actually do at work that turn them into accountants."
The company currently has five trainees Tom Munford, Alexandra Barney, Martin Smith, Amninder Rai and Rhiannon Bowers-James working towards their ICAEW exams, and David Owen on a placement year from university.