Laura Horsburgh

BSc (Hons) CA


  • Degree
  • Mathematics and Financial Economics at University of Dundee
  • Location
  • Dundee

Like the weather, there can be everything and anything in a day from assisting with audits of multi-million turnover companies to preparing tax returns from a shoe box of paperwork.

Why did you choose a career in Accountancy?

I wanted to use my degree but also gain further qualifications. Accountancy was a perfect fit.

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

I applied because the offices were local to me and EQ has a good reputation. I had applied elsewhere but once I had met the people there was no way I wanted to go anywhere else. Everyone was so friendly and I am yet to find a stereotypical ‘accountant’!

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

That’s a pretty difficult question as it’s always different. Like the weather, there can be everything and anything in a day from assisting with audits of multi-million turnover companies to preparing tax returns from a shoe box of paperwork. After a year or so, you have your own portfolio of clients to deal with, supported by a Manager and Partner. This gave me more experience in learning how to support clients with their businesses and take on more responsibility for preparing their accounts. There is also plenty of training available, both internal and external.

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

I enjoyed the amount of client contact during my time, both in terms of emails and phone but also the time out of the office supporting with audits or preparing accounts with clients. You will also be invited to client meetings, where possible, which helps give a much more rounded training experience, allowing you to see the process from beginning to end.

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

I found the amount of support you get from everyone at every level the most surprising. There is organised training such as an induction from HR regarding the ICAS process, the ICAS bookkeeping course which you attend within the first couple of weeks and junior technical meetings which cover specific topics that would come up throughout the year, such as changes in accounting rules or trickier areas of preparing accounts which are requested by trainees or other members of staff. What I found more surprising was that every member of staff from other trainees, support staff to Partners, are more than happy to help with anything: finding where things go, explaining a topic to you or providing ongoing mentoring to see how you are doing.

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

Enthusiasm – just to get stuck in! You don’t have to be from a ‘relevant’ background as you can learn the technical parts. It’s much more important that you want to learn and are willing to deal with the shoe boxes of receipts and can communicate both with clients and other members of staff.

Responsibility – getting to CA level is about being able to balance work and study. It’s not easy to go home from work after learning all day to get your books out and keep going but that’s what is needed. There are breaks between courses but you have to dedicate the time and effort both at work and studying.

Integrity – you will very quickly have to manage your own workload as well as help with out with your colleagues work and deal with ad-hoc work as it comes in. It is important that you can manage this fairly and ensure everyone gets what they need. Above all, it is important that you are seen as a trusted part of the clients’ team as this is an essential part of being a CA.

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

Take some time to think about what you are looking for when you are completing the application. Good grades are important, but it’s about you as an overall person too so think about what experiences make you a good candidate. If you are invited to a meet and greet just be yourself! It’s not a formal interview, this is more about having a chat to find out more about you. There will be people from all different levels for you to talk to and ask questions, so don’t be shy.