Finding the right path for you
In this team story we hear from Lucy Norton, who recently pivoted from her role as Audit Manager to start a new role in our Business Services department.
What did you do before you worked at GE?
I joined GE as a graduate, although I had worked for a year in an architect’s practice after leaving university. The work I was doing was very different from working in an accountancy practice, but it still helped me develop a lot of soft skills from interacting with clients to time management.
What was your journey to becoming Audit Manager?
I trained at GE for three years whilst studying for my ACA exams. Just before I qualified, the Covid pandemic hit, so my day-to-day work life changed dramatically as we went from being in the office five days a week to being at home 24/7 and it all happened overnight. It was quite surreal and when we finally did return to the office, nearly 18 months later, my role had changed and evolved quite a bit and the team was different too, with some people having left and new people I had never met face to face being part of the team. I became assistant manager within one year of qualifying which felt like a huge jump in responsibility, alongside adjusting to a hybrid work model, so finding a routine took me a while. I felt like I did manage to find my feet, and this was because I have never been afraid of being thrown into the deep end. The transition from assistant manager to a full manager was not as daunting as my portfolio size had gradually been increasing and I had already been taking on more responsibility within the team naturally.
What motivated you to make the transition from Audit Manager to Business Services Manager?
After working in the audit department for six years, I felt I was ready for a new challenge and to work alongside a new team which I felt would help me learn and develop my own skills. It also offered me the opportunity to be exposed to new aspects of our clients’ businesses, particularly in an advisory capacity which is something that really appealed to me.
What are some of the key responsibilities you’ll take on in your new role?
Managing a new portfolio of clients, operating in a wide range of sectors. Typically, these clients will be smaller in size to the audit clients I was dealing with, but we get more involved in some of the operations of these businesses such as overseeing the preparation of management accounts on a regular basis. I will also be able to become involved in some special project work; this has already included looking at intercompany debt rationalisation and starting to support a business through a regulatory investigation.
What are three things you’re most excited about for your new role?
- Building relationships with new clients
- Exposure to new businesses and scenarios
- Working alongside different partners that I have not worked with before
Are there any similarities between Audit Manager and BSD Manager?
I think there are a lot of skills that I have utilised and developed as an audit manager that will be transferrable to my role as a BSD manager. Over the six years I have built on my own technical knowledge as well as understanding the importance of having a clear structured approach to my work. I have also developed my leadership skills which are vital when managing a team, to ensure I am able to coach, support and inspire individuals.
Part of your new role will also be acting as the ACA Student Councillor, what are you most looking forward to about this role?
Having progressed through the graduate scheme at GE myself I feel like I know some of the key challenges that the trainees face and I am therefore well placed to help advise and guide them. I am also a good listener and can be a good sounding board for the trainees when they feel like they need someone to turn to. As I will no longer be part of the audit team, it will also be nice to retain some relationships with the new audit graduates through this role. It is always rewarding to see people develop and progress throughout their time as an ACA trainee, and know you played a role in their development.