Niamh Fox, Audit Senior, EY
What’s your name, job title and employer?
My name is Niamh Fox and I’m an audit senior with EY.
What are the main tasks you do in your job in a normal week?
Each week in audit is very different but there are three set things I do every week. One is a weekly catch-up with the client and the administrator, so we'd have a weekly call where you'd have to set the agenda and bring up any issues that arose in the audit. Second would be to keep your managers and your partners updated on the audit so you're the go to person that has to keep everyone updated on the status and also to escalate issues that arise. Third would be coaching. You have associates and seniors that are coming to you, that you're teaching skills to and in turn that allows me to develop my people skills and my delegation because as a senior it’s the first year that you’re reviewing work which you've given instructions on.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
I think there are quite a few skills but first would be organisation and time management. For an audit there is a specific timeline, so you have to be organised from the start to the finish and know your plan. You need to be ready for any issues that arise because obviously things don't go straight forward all the time. Second would be people skills. It's a training firm so you are constantly providing ongoing training and giving people your knowledge so you want to be an approachable person that people can come to with issues whether it be on engagement or whether it be issues in work in general. Third would be Excel skills. Excel would be a tool that I use every single day so coming in with the basics gives you set-up and then you can develop a lot as you progression with the firm.
What do you love about your job?
What I love about EY is firstly I'd have to say the people that I get to work with. The intake that I joined with I'm really close to them we’re a great group and I've definitely made friends for life. Like every level in the firm from the interns and associates come in straight up to partner, everyone is really friendly and so approachable, and everyone wants to spend time to sit down and build your knowledge and teach you their skills that they've developed over their time in the firm. Also, there's lots of people in the office from different parts of the world so you're learning from different cultures too. Secondly, I'd say the different jobs and clients I've got to work on and with. I've worked on big hedge funds in Europe, but I've also got to work on small funds or in Dublin City where I've met the directors face-to-face, I've done the audit start to finish in detail so that was a good experience. Also, just the benefits in EY like flexi hours which is pretty handy. If you come in on a normal day 9 to quarter past five or it could be an eight until a quarter past four or you come in 10 to quarter past 6 so they work around you as long as you're getting your job done. There's a gym membership which is pretty great too.
What advice would you give to a college student?
I had the opportunity in DIT (TU Dublin) to become a mentor. I mentored a student who was the year below me but in the same program so they could come to you with any issues they were having, or I could sit down teach them certain topics and stuff the they were having issues with. Being able to pass on my knowledge from an early stage helped me come into a role with EY where I'm passing on knowledge to associates.
How did you get into your job?
I studied accounting and Finance in DIT (TU Dublin) and I guess I've always had a love for accounting and maths and Finance even through school. When I finished in DIT (TU Dublin) I applied for graduate positions, so I went on the EY website and I applied for the graduate program which I then in turn got an interview and we were invited to Radisson hotel where everyone who was going to do the interview was invited. I guess it was kind of personal because it allowed you to meet managers and partners who may have been the people's interview or like people that might be your colleagues in future and I think that was kind of personal because it was introducing you to the firm but not throwing you in the deep end. If you were successful in the interview you went for an interview with the managers and I got to chat with a partner. I think the EY process for the interviews was more down-to-earth in a way, the questions are very technical so they are more getting to know you as a person to see if you would fit into the organisation.