Real Life Career Stories: Kameron Balaggan, Audit Assistant at Azets UK
Kameron Balaggan, Assistant in the Audit & Assurance team at Azets based in Wolverhampton discusses his Audit career journey so far and what advice he would give to someone looking to study a professional qualification.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I studied BSc Accounting & Management at Queen Mary University of London, graduating in 2019. It was here was where I first got a glimpse of the Accountancy industry through insight days and introductory events held at University and around the City. Two and a half years later after graduating I’m now ACA part qualified, with my previous Audit experience being at a Big Four firm. I joined Azets in March 2022 where later this year I’ll be sitting the final 3 ACA exams. When I first started my training agreement in 2019, I was working 5 days a week between client sites and the office. It was then 2 years of working from home throughout the pandemic, to the present model now of a hybrid working environment – which is the best of both worlds! When working full time and studying, I think the key tip is time management and planning your days out in the run up to the exam dates, which is what I found has helped me so far overcome the first 12 exams.
What stood out to you about Azets when applying for opportunities?
I was approached on LinkedIn by one of Azets’ Talent Acquisition Specialists. We had an introductory call where they briefly explained the history, the culture and future plans for the firm. What stood out to me was the hybrid working approach where I’ve got the option to start and finish earlier (or later), and a great balance of working between the office, client site and working from home. Having the option of working flexibly around the traditional 9-5 working hours really benefits me in my private life outside of work. I enjoy playing football and going to the gym in the evenings after work and having a company which supports me in doing this is something that really stood out - promoting a healthy work-life balance.
What do you enjoy most about working as an Audit Assistant?
As an Audit Assistant, I’m in a semi-senior role supporting the Audit team throughout the stages of the Audit. I enjoy working with the Partners, Directors and Managers as well as delegating work to the Associates, offering coaching and guidance every step of the way. I really enjoy the coaching aspect, passing over knowledge to help Associates understand areas of testing that they’ve not previously performed before. My client portfolio consists of businesses from a variety of industries, sectors and size and I enjoy speaking directly with the client, which can often be the owner of the business which gives me an understanding of the business from their point of view. I like that every day is different with clients having different business operations, there is always new areas to consider and test within the Audit.
What piece of advice would you give to someone studying a professional qualification (ACA)?
The main piece of advice I would give is being able to manage your time well. I’m sure you probably hear this often from people who work full time and study, but it’s so true! The ACA is a challenging qualification where each of the 15 exams need a considerable amount of time. Firstly, learning the course and then being able to apply this knowledge to answer exam style questions. I do believe that you get out what you put in. What is beneficial being in Audit is that the experience you gain on the job does help with a fair few of the ACA exams. It’s worth it in the end!
What’s your experience been like working in a top 10 firm?
My experience has been very positive working at Azets. I’ve been working here for 3 months, I’ve settled in well which in most part is due to the friendly and welcoming culture here. I’ve worked with different Azets offices across the region which has been great getting to know more people outside of my home office. Having a top 10 firm who adopt flexible working alongside promoting a positive work life balance is a breath of fresh air, which I benefit from daily and am able to have an optimal work life balance as a result.
Interested in what a career at Azets could look like for you? Take your audit career to the next level and explore their current audit opportunities here.
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