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Grant Thornton UK LLP Audit Associate Reviews

Updated 27 May 2017
20 reviews

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Audit Associate

4.1
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Pros
  • Good work-life balance encouraged (in 36 reviews)

  • Flexible working hours (if you put the work in) (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • Sometimes work life balance can suffer due to long hours (in 20 reviews)

  • Although the pay is slightly lower than the Big 4 (in 28 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Development and Training"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Manchester, England
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Manchester, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton UK LLP full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    We get to study the ACA qualification and will be exam-qualified within two years (provided we pass our finals as expected). There is a great focus on people with flexible working and good communication with line managers. Internal training and development is focal with a strong support network and the ability to ask questions to the central technical team.

    Cons

    Generally under-staffed, much more pressure is put on everybody to complete work to deadlines. Pay is a tricky topic and in audit, as I'm sure is the case with many other firms, people don't feel as though their pay reflects the work they are performing when they can find much better pay in industry or other departments/firms.


  2. "Audit Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Audit Associate in London, England
    Former Employee - Audit Associate in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Grant Thornton UK LLP full-time

    Pros

    The people you work with are all nice and it was a pleasure to work with them

    Cons

    Short staffed- partners don't want to recruit, they would rather overwork people to save money
    No work/life balance once you get to in charging a lot of people work on weekends.
    There have been instances of people being off due to work related stress and depression caused by working crazy hours and too much pressure due to not having enough time and staff on each client

    Advice to Management

    Recruit!!!


  3. "Overall good experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Audit Associate in London, England
    Former Employee - Audit Associate in London, England
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Grant Thornton UK LLP (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people I met, especially my manager, were amazing!! The experience gained was also top notch.

    Cons

    Long hours were necessary at times when work needed to be done before agreed deadline with the client


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Big 4 audit model without a Big 4 reputation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Liverpool, England
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Liverpool, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton UK LLP full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly, knowledgeable and approachable staff across all levels of the firm – I feel wholly confident approaching everyone to be treated with respect and patience. Some staff have been here for years but are still open to change and are very welcoming and willing to share their excellent knowledge of the sectors they work in.

    Great office facilities in the North West. Well provisioned, attractive and with good ICT facilities.

    Pay/benefits is only slightly below some larger competitors but the hours are significantly better. We’re contracted for 7.5 hours per day which, other than busy season, is broadly reflective of reality.

    Good training provision and a fantastic culture which supports time out of the day job to attend sessions along with encouraging other things such as secondments to internal departments and external organisations.

    Vibrant Economy appears to be a genuine effort by leadership to attract great clients and staff. It also has the potential to put in great foundations to grow the various business lines of the firm.

    Almost all clients are good to work with. An internal push to exit difficult/unprofitable/unethical clients should hopefully remove some of the stress inducing jobs – I really hope this materialises.

    Cons

    No responsibility taken by individuals for difficult decisions such as what jobs we’re bidding for/withdrawing from/staff recruitment. Questions enter the ether and emerge from some kind of committee that is never explained (despite the question being asked). This black box model makes me wonder who is actually making decisions? Is it HR, individual partners, or central office?

    Cost cutting over the last 12 months has resulted in some (not all) managers being very peculiar about approving expenses/TOIL. Eg not responding to requests and taking the time to google a mileage claim and asking why someone has gone a few miles above what google maps says. Is there so little trust/respect that people are trying to ‘earn’ an extra £3?! The idea that we should scrutinise our expenses as though it is our own money will be difficult to achieve when we have no incentive to do so. The Reward element of Shared Enterprise is obviously a joke – a pro-rated bonus after 3 years on all the superior profits above the already high targets – after taking out the 66% partner share.

    Trainees are explicitly treated as disposable on a churn and burn basis. The Big 4 style exam policy results in good employees being frozen out of progression and effectively (and sometimes overtly) being forced out the organisation by a very vocal HR department. This appears to frustrate the audit department who have to go through long processes to retain staff during busy season etc who have received good performance ratings and feedback. Nobody seems sure as to why they’re so keen to fire people when the department, at times, struggles to recruit high calibre staff.

    Performance reviews are based on expectation documents which are deliberately ambiguous/impossible to achieve in order to refuse promotions and keep payrises to a minimum in order to help prop up the department budgets. The reality that they’re clearly decided on more than this, including who you know, is a reality of big organisations but it’s embarrassing for the managers how obvious this is. Being ‘discouraged’ from discussing these decisions and pay furthers the lack of transparency around the (sometimes large) salary discrepancies between people at the same grade – eg removing the salary bandings from the intranet.

    Advice to Management

    Evaluate the impact of some existing HR policies on the firm’s longer term overall reputation.


  6. "Good culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Milton Keynes, England
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Milton Keynes, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton UK LLP full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company are very good at looking after their people. They're also making good inroads into raising their profile which means in future they will be a more well-known and respected company to work for. There are a lot of opportunities for progression within the firm, with a wide variety of secondments available. The firm are more than generous when it comes to exams and supporting you through your studies.

    Cons

    It is not a part of the Big Four and I worry that it may hamper career progress moving forward. The work/life balance can be difficult to maintain, especially in busy season, but there is a policy in place to counter this (TOIL), meaning that, in theory, you are compensated with extra time off if you have worked overtime.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on doing what you are doing to continue to grow the firm and gain recognition.


  7. "Great place to work for apprentices"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Birmingham, England
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton UK LLP full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great training programme for school leavers which quickly leads to becoming qualified at the age of 22.
    Flexible working hours (if you put the work in)
    Large amount of responsibility is given almost instantly when starting the job which is great for experience in the future,
    The people are great, really good social side of work,
    Lots of extra curricular activities to get involved with,

    Cons

    Initially there is a large learning curve when starting as a school leaver, there is a lot to learn in a short space of time, but if you're willing to work hard and put the effort in then you'll cope well.
    Start college quite late in the programme, so some of the roles within a school leavers job is hard to understand why you are doing it, but I know college will help me expand my knowledge. However I think it is good that we haven't started college yet as it means we gain great practical experience before learning the underlying theory.

    Advice to Management

    I feel that management do a good job managing clients and bookings, I would recommend allocating individuals to jobs a little bit more efficiently, as there sometimes could be individuals who live close to a client A and who are driving quite far to client B - when someone else lives close to Client B but travelling far to Client A.


  8. "My intial impression of Grant Thornton"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Audit Associate in Reading, England
    Current Contractor - Audit Associate in Reading, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton UK LLP as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent support
    Great people
    Entertaining yet challenging workload
    Constantly being pushed to improve
    Great promotion opportunities
    Everyday is different
    Meeting new clients
    High exposure to unique businesses thus improving business acumen
    Lots of opportunities to try something different
    Many social events
    Feel as though you can really make a difference
    Brilliant working culture

    Cons

    Tight deadlines during work with ACA exam revision in the evening can be exhausting


  9. "Glassdoor - Grant Thornton Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Ipswich, England
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Ipswich, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton UK LLP full-time

    Pros

    I feel very welcomed within the workplace itself and have felt very welcomed by the start which has allowed me to just jump into the role in a quick and professional manner. I feel that I am able to grow and express any issue I have to management in a formal or informal manner, that I believe will be resolved and respected. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to grow and develop within this firm and I know that I have many benefits available to me, such as secondments that I do wish to take advantage of. I know that I will be able to grow and take on more responsibilities when the time comes.

    Cons

    I feel that you have to be very goal driven and work orientated to work in this demanding business as I believe you need be motivated to succeed. You won't be able to balance your work life and social life if you didn't have some form of experience with it prior to joining, it might take you some time to adjust.

    Advice to Management

    I feel that our office is kind of an exception due to the amount of people leaving but it would be very beneficial if there was always contact available or some individual to attend on clients with you at a higher level.


  10. "Offers a fantastic School Leaver Programme!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Manchester, England
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Manchester, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great Buddy and People Manager system, always feel supported, lots of relevant training, encouraged to ask questions, very friendly atmosphere.

    Cons

    Started in August, honestly no Cons so far.


  11. "My experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Birmingham, England
    Current Employee - Audit Associate in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Grant Thornton stood out to me over competitors because of their unique culture. From starting the application, to current date having been an employee for a few months, I have received nothing but support and guidance from all involved. GT are one of the few firms who are very people focused and ensure that the employees needs are of the main interest of the firm. You are given responsibility early into your career and have the opportunities to make a real difference in the firm, something which may be limited to in the top 4 firms.

    Cons

    Though very competitive, the salary is slightly below those of the top 4.