Financial Services Careers

Life at EY

Why I work in external audit

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Over the past number of years I’ve worked in a variety of jobs. As a student I was a trainee broadcast engineer with a local radio station, a service mechanic at a chain of petrol stations, owner of an online sports retailer and graphic designer for many college societies and small businesses.

One thing I really enjoyed about all of this was the variety of work it presented me with and the associated challenges. From fixing transmitters on mountains to discussing car maintenance with customers, no two days were the same.

After college I wanted something that would provide  a similar level of variety, and worked for five years in corporate restructuring. There my role provided me with a great variety of engagements, from construction companies to retailers and even a small airline. However, all of this was carried out in the rather negative situation of insolvency, which can be distressing for all stakeholders.

This led me to a career in external audit. Since commencing my audit career I’ve enjoyed a wide variety of clients and engagements which keeps me on my toes at all times. I’m afforded both a bird’s eye view and a microscopic focus on client’s financial affairs which allows me to see both the best and worst of financial and accounting situations.

Every client is different and what one does quite well can be disastrous in another. As an external auditor, we can’t tell a client what to do with their accounts, but we can help them realise better ways of managing their financial affairs, which makes them more successful in the long term. We also can help them keep on top of changes in law and legislation, bringing them peace of mind and giving us great job satisfaction.

Would I recommend getting experience in external audit? Absolutely. No matter what way your career goes from here, whether it’s inside EY or not, a career in audit is an excellent foundation to help businesses perform at their best. You can take your expertise anywhere and use your experience to help any type of business or organisation.