Heather Leighton

BAcc

Exam Qualified Trainee

  • Degree
  • BA in Accountancy from University of Glasgow
  • Location
  • Dundee

EQ gives you a lot of responsibility early on, across all areas of accounts, audit & tax. It really helps you get the most out of your training contract by pushing you to learn more and interact with clients to build relationships.

Why did you choose a career in Accountancy?

I wanted a career where there would be clear progression upwards and where I could keep learning new things. I think becoming a CA opens a lot of doors for the future in business as there are a lot of opportunities out there once you’re qualified.

Why did you choose to apply to EQ Accountants to complete your professional qualification?

I chose EQ because as a trainee I would have the chance to work in different areas rather than specialising straight away. Having done a summer internship with EQ, I knew they offered the chance to work in tax, audit and accounts prep as well as giving exposure to different client types from a very early stage. It was also the closeness of the EQ team and the great reputation they have that really encouraged me to choose them to complete my qualification with.

What is a day in the life of a CA Trainee like?

Everyday can be a little different as a trainee, one day you could be working on tax returns in the office and the next you could be out auditing a client. EQ gives you quite a lot of responsibility early on which helps you get the most out of your training contract by pushing you to learn more and interact with clients to build relationships. There is also a lot of support when you’re training, we work in engagement teams so you have a Manager and Partner behind you on every job to help when you need it.

What did you enjoy most about being a CA Trainee at EQ?

I think the people at EQ really make the firm, having a close-knit team makes the work more enjoyable and it’s easy to speak to anyone from Junior up to Partner. I’ve enjoyed having the mix of work, which has helped me decide where I want to specialise more in the future, and the exposure to clients has helped me build my confidence and see the more social side of accounting.

What did you find the most surprising during your training with EQ?

How supportive and encouraging they are to help you progress as a CA. Working full-time and studying on top of this can be a lot, especially when exams can cross with some of the busier periods so it’s great to have a support system in place to help you. To have people who are willing to help and even offer up some of their free time to assist with ICAS studies to help you succeed is more than you could ask. I’ve also found that EQ will do what they can to facilitate your personal goals for the future in terms of specialities and client sectors to make sure you get the most out of your contract as you progress through the firm.

What 3 qualities do you think a CA Trainee needs to have if they are to be successful?

Determined, enthusiastic and personable.

Do you have any advice for those interested in applying for our graduate training vacancies this year?

Think about what you want from your training contract and what qualifications are right for you. A traineeship offers a great foundation for your future career so choose one that you think will suit your work ethic and will help you meet your goals.