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Grant Thornton UK LLP Audit Manager Reviews

Updated 5 October 2017
6 reviews

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Audit Manager

4.1
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Employee Reviews

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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 21 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great firm to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Audit Senior Manager
    Current Employee - Audit Senior Manager
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton UK LLP (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Able to develop quickly through the ranks. Agile firm where partners are close to the rest of the team

    Cons

    Salaries are mid to lower end of the spectrum


  2. "Limited exposure to variety"

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

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

    Pros

    Small company so get to know individuals you work with and friendly colleagues

    Cons

    Poor support for experienced overseas hires; lack of transparency with promotions


  3. "Audit Manager"

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

    I have been working at Grant Thornton UK LLP full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I love working in a vibrant company, with like-minded people who can provide support and teamwork in a friendly atmosphere. I have always felt valued and progression through my career has come naturally and at a pace led by my own ambitions.

    Cons

    With any audit practice, the moving of staff on a regular basis can cause discontent and murmurings across the department, however the regular drive to recruit great new people who fit into our team ethic has had a great effect on morale.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up with the forward looking management, keep working hard on our people and our future people,e and giving both ourselves and our clients the greatest experience we can.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Great platform for future career, but if partner is not your goal get out before you get stuck!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Audit Trainee - Assistant Manager in Milton Keynes, England
    Former Employee - Audit Trainee - Assistant Manager in Milton Keynes, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Grant Thornton UK LLP full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place to study for your ACA / ACCA. Having an intake who go through the same as yourself and can become very good friends is a real help in passing the exams which you do not have in industry. Equally the ability to review multiple companies for work gives a great platform for your future career in best, and worst, practices. The environment is fast paced and often a work hard / play hard attitude can result in very strong friendships being formed.

    Small teams and profitability pressures give greater responsibility earlier than you may otherwise receive in an industry position. Also the variety of clients to audit takes away the mundane 'same thing every day' feel.

    Work life balance is as publicised, hours are not 9-5 and some weekends are worked but within this people vary, in my time there I probably averaged 45 hours a week, I'd say this was about average for an auditor at GT.

    Cons

    The structure of any professional service firm works on the principle that an intake of say 8 will result in, roughly, 1 senior manager / partner, 1 manager and over time the other 6 will move on into industry or another professional service firm. In reality intakes tend to stay longer if there is a bond or all leave if there is no camaraderie. This can lead to the firm bringing in mid level staff which can be difficult to assimilate in the latter case and in the former make working life uncomfortable for certain individuals making them leave (often then resulting in a mass exodus as social groups are broken up).

    Where promotions are quick due to vacancies above this can lead to being effectively unemployable in industry as your pay / position is such that with your lack of experience actually doing an accounting role you are considered a risk in industry.

    If becoming a partner is a career ambition then GT is a good place to work, learn and play the game. Due to the limited availabilities for individuals post qualification promotions can be very varied dependant on number of vacancies ahead and reputation / alliances within the firm. To a degree this is expected everywhere but due to the nature of the job, working for different managers / partners weekly it does become a bit of a popularity contest as it is very difficult to compare staff due to the differing jobs worked on.

    That said my eventual reason for leaving was the feeling that I was not contributing to anything, as an auditor you check others work and in a professional services firm your end motive is to generate profit for partners, while this is the motivation for most commercial companies there is normally the production of a good or service with greater social significance along the way.

    Advice to Management

    Remember to treat trainees and low management as individuals rather than groupings of whom many will fall and move on. Line management in particular was of very poor quality when I left the firm, less about encouraging and helping the line manages and more a box ticking exercise.

    This is not so much a criticism as an observation but while at GT being a qualified accountant was the norm, outside of the firm my ACA has been treated with respect and almost reverence, while junior staff at GT may be less experienced they are nevertheless qualified / part qualified accountants, too often managers or partners would treat staff as naughty school children.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Big 4 hours, without the pay, prestige or calibre."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Audit Manager
    Former Employee - Audit Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are some friendly, helpful people dotted around. As a Manager, the working can sometimes be flexible - e.g. working from home or an alternative office. The range of courses on offer at the dedicated training house in Bradenham is excellent - if you can take the time to attend one.

    Cons

    For me, this was a horrible experience and a terrible career mistake.

    I joined from a Big 4 background, as I was led to believe that there would be a better work-life balance, and the chance to focus on small to medium tech companies, in the early stages of their life-cycle.

    The audit software is clunky, counter-intuitive and used improperly. Work-paper standards are extremely poor. When I tried to improve testing and documentation, I was shot down because it would add too much cost to the code.

    Most of the clients are not worth the fees, and this is because the fees are set far too low just to win the work.

    There are Directors around, who have made Director status by accumulating a large portfolio of extremely tiny clients - fees which are not even worth picking up, given the size that GT has grown to. These are also the type of clients that run into problems and take a long time to audit, as their finance function is often poor or non-existent.

    Focus is Sales Sales Sales. At the expense of good leadership, and audit quality. Those who schmooze and make wins (no matter how small) are being accelerated even though they are poor leaders, and fail to manage their own portfolio as allocated.

    Progress is unfair and biased - there are no standard forms for job appraisals, and when it comes time to make a decision it is down to who you know. As a specific example, I witnessed a meeting where all the managers voted against promoting a certain individual with an attitude problem - but the Director went against them all and promoted the individual, because they are drinking buddies.

    With regards to work life balance - I can honestly say that I was under more pressure, and worked more hours at GT than I did at the Big 4, despite all the trendy propaganda on social media about GT being different. At least working long hours at the Big 4 was for a reason - high calibre clients with tight reporting deadlines. At GT, the clients are tiny outfits nobody has heard of - and the reason for the long hours is just incompetence, on both sides.

    At one point I was under so much stress I had to leave the audit room for an anxiety injection at the Doctors - then come back and continue auditing until midnight.

    The IT department is also a joke - if you are locked out of your laptop, or your phone isn't working etc, their SLA is 4 working days. And yes, I have been in and also seen others in a situation where they just have no laptop to work with while they wait.

    In the end I found it so awful that I simply left with no onward employment.

    Advice to Management

    GT has grown to such an extent that the compliance costs in place, now mean that a lot of the tiny audit clients are really not worth picking up - ditch these, hire more people, revise your audit fees and stop under-cutting to win clients, focus on audit and leadership quality vs. sales and schmoozing. This will make a much happier environment, rather than meaningless leadership blogs from Partners and Directors about who started their day the earliest.


  7. "Amazing - following my passion!"

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

    I have been working at Grant Thornton UK LLP full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lovely people, flexible working hours, work-life balance, opportunity to take on responsibilities, challenging work, entrepreneurship culture.

    Cons

    Pay and benefits could be better and more competitive. As senior management qualified staff, I could earn at least £20,000 more in industry, excluding bonuses.

    Advice to Management

    Think and design ways of ensuring people follow their passion!