Service: Audit and Accounting 

The truth about audit

22 Jan 2021

You could say audit is like marmite, you either love it or hate it. Some see it as unglamorous, whilst others love the variety that comes with working with so many different kinds of business and playing a part in making a difference. 

We caught up with Scott Newmark, who is an Audit and BSD manager at Gerald Edelman, to see how he finds the role, what motivates him and the advice he’d give to others looking to pursue a career in audit services.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

As clichéd as it sounds, I enjoy the fact that every day is different. Although my role primarily focuses on the reviewing of audited and non-audited financial statements, I also get involved in a variety of other value-added services such as tax planning, cash flow management and business plans.  

Yes, when you start out you may eventually find it tiresome travelling to different client premises to review files and conduct an audit, but you also learn how different businesses operate; knowledge which you can use when advising other businesses. The compliance side provides such useful information on clients which really acts as a springboard to offer advice. Getting to know the characters behind a business and handling a variety of personalities.  It’s so much more than just the compliance side of the work.

Internally, I am responsible for staff recruitment and training. There’s a real buzz in seeing employees develop their skills and you can play a valuable part in helping others build their own careers.

Have you always wanted to work in auditing? If not, what motivated you on to your current career path?

Let’s be honest, when was the last time you asked a child what they wanted to be when they grow up and they said an auditor?!  

I’ve always enjoyed maths and numbers so knew I wanted to work in this sort of field when I was older.  I studied Accounting and Finance at university and particularly enjoyed the auditing aspect.  I wanted to put my degree to good use and started working for a firm of accountants and the rest is history.  The qualification was a great starting point for a professional career.  On qualification, some decide to move into industry.  However, I stayed in Practice because of the variety it brings to each day.  It’s not just the work itself. Working with some great people, both colleagues and clients, and a variety of industry sectors.  You never stand still and are always challenged.  

Why did you choose GE?

Technically GE chose me! I was working for a firm of accountants in North West London at the time and this firm merged with GE in 2016.

What do you enjoy most about working at GE?

I think it’s a testament to GE as a firm that the vast majority of employees that merged with GE in 2016, in addition to myself, are still working here and enjoying what we do.  The firm is big enough to offer you experience in a wide range of sectors and has specialist departments offering so much more than the traditional services one expects from traditional accountancy firms. At the same time, GE is small enough that everything is just so personal; it feels like a family. GE doesn’t want clones; it thrives on the different personalities that come together to make the whole so much better.

Being a parent, I’m also grateful that GE has always offered flexible working hours and the ability to work from home.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

There hasn’t been one big challenge as such, more a series of smaller challenges in meeting clients’ expectations and statutory filing deadlines. This is part of our job and with good time management skills and a great team around you, all these challenges are easily overcome.

What has been your biggest achievement?

I think this is more of a collective effort, but I would say the fact the team I work in have all been working together for many years and are more like friends than work colleagues. Due to the growth of GE, we have had to take on additional employees during this period and each new team member has fitted in seamlessly and enjoys being part of our team.  

What are your goals for the future?

To continue helping clients I work with to develop their business and add value wherever I can. 

What advice would you give others that are seeking to pursue a career in auditing? 

It’s an extremely rewarding profession and not as boring as people think!  

I would follow the traditional route of studying for your professional qualification whilst working at a firm of accountants. This will give you the greatest foundation of knowledge that you need to develop your career. You can then gain exposure to audit and decide if it’s something that interests you.

To learn more about audit, why not read our related post: Four Factors To Consider When Choosing An Auditor

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