From Student to Forensic Accountant

As a student at University, important things consisted of 1) having at least 1 bag of pasta in the cupboard 2) having a solid Spotify playlist – in case circumstances demanded it and 3) making a morning lecture, no matter what time you actually went to sleep. Now as a professional at RGL Forensics, those priorities have changed significantly (even if the playlist hasn’t…).

Working in the City of London was a huge change from studying at a University campus. So, six years ago, when I started as a graduate recruit at RGL Forensics, the prospect was daunting. The firm had an excellent reputation in quantifying complex financial losses in the legal and insurance arenas and the expectation of its graduates was to maintain and even exceed these high standards.

Despite the standards being high, the initial vibes were immediately positive. For example, when studying for our ACA accounting exams, I and fellow graduates were surrounded by qualified professionals who had gone through the exact same process as us – and crucially, made it through the other side. They offered encouragement, advice and at times, sympathy when it was required. Alongside this, when learning the ropes of the day to day forensic and investigative accounting work, those same professionals were patient with any questions and understanding with any queries we had about the job. Those professionals were a key support system in our development.

Outside of the office, the social aspects of work were similar to those University evenings with fellow students. We were actively encouraged to go out into the market to speak with new intakes at insurance, legal and other professional services firms. Whether this was at events, quizzes or just down the pub, speaking to other young professionals was a huge confidence boost as we could see they were going through similar life changes. Feeling part of a young professional network gave us a sense of belonging, similar to that of being a student at University or at School. There was, of course, the added bonus of drinks and food with colleagues and peers!

So six years on, RGL still have the same high standards and now I am one of those professionals offering encouragement and advice to our new intake. I have worked on numerous complex and wide-ranging cases and been lucky enough to live in New York City for six months by taking part in our Worldwide Office Exchange programme. This programme is available to all qualified RGL professionals and it was a huge factor in my personal and professional development.

Having developed a deep understanding of accounting practices and implications across many industries and sectors, I along with our fellow professionals have the confidence and the resources to tackle any situation that has a complex accounting and numerical aspect to it.

Although Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys are still ready to play on my Spotify playlist, the days of eating plain pasta in front of Countdown are behind me. Instead, I am reaching for the next complex and intriguing case to analyse before reporting to the client with the answers they need.

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Last week, I reflected on the novelty of the concept of marketing and business development for a new accountant fresh out of school. Here, I want to address how I approach these topics in the business world and make them work for me as a forensic accountant.

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