Meet some of our current trainees and find out about our approach to training:

Meet our traineesFAQs

Laura Braithwaite, HR manager

Laura explains our approach to training contracts at Cassons.

Laura Braithwaite

We have two entry levels for people joining Cassons on a general training contract.

The first is when the trainee will study for the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) exam and we discuss, usually in advance, whether we expect them to progress to training for the ICAEW qualification (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales).

The second is as a graduate when the trainee will start on the ICAEW training to become a chartered accountant.

We also have training contracts for staff who are specialising in tax. They will start with the Association of Taxation Technicians then may progress to study for the Chartered Tax Adviser qualification.

At Cassons we fully appreciate the commitment that is made by our trainees. We support them as much as possible with paid study leave and of course we pay tuition fees as well. We also help with on the job training and as much additional support as trainees require. We understand - and make sure that they understand – the amount of additional studying that is required, especially for the ICAEW exams.

All of our trainees are trained on the job and we are very proud of the fact that they can usually prepare a full set of accounts for a client within a short time of starting their training.

I arrange the external training for our trainees and ensure that everything is set up for them. The AAT trainees operate on a day release basis, the day varies each week, and the ICAEW is a block release programme.

It is important that we have the right people for the training contract! We want you to fit in and be happy with us so as well as an interview procedure we’d also expect you to undertake some psychometric tests. I’m sure you’ll find it useful to read about some of our current trainees and their experiences.

If you'd like to apply for a  training position please send me a completed application form.

Graduates - to read more about Cassons, see case studies and find out about our graduate training contracts, click here to download our graduate pack

meet our trainees

Lisa

I am a Payroll Administrator for Cassons. We provide weekly, 4-weekly, monthly and annual payroll services for our client base, which ranges from sole traders to businesses with 250 employees.

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Josh

I am a tax junior and work in Cassons' bar department, which specialises in looking after the financial affairs of over 500 barrister clients - it is non-stop, as you can imagine!

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Jonathan

I work in the accounts department, producing accounts and tax computations for a variety of business including sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.

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Lisa

Lisa

What is your role at Cassons?

I am a Payroll Administrator for Cassons. We provide weekly, 4-weekly, monthly and annual payroll services for our client base, which ranges from sole traders to businesses with 250 employees.

As well as payroll, we assist our clients with their auto-enrolment requirements, running around six different pension schemes to ensure they are compliant.

I have also completed my Sage 50 Payroll exams with Cassons, meaning I am now qualified and have the expertise to use Sage software.

What is a typical day like for you?

There’s lots of variety in my role, but I predominantly spend my days processing payrolls or responding to client queries. There’s lots of admin to keep on top of, too!

It is important for me to keep up to date with legislation and guidelines, so I also make sure I spend time reading up on or watching webinars about any changes that could that affect us.

Why did you want to work in payroll?

I’ve always had a knack for Maths. I studied it at A-level, along with Psychology and ICT and I have a higher certificate in Mathematics from the university of South Wales, so when I spotted an opportunity in the payroll department at Cassons, it seemed like a natural progression. My mum works in payroll too, and I used to spend a lot of time at work with her during school holidays, helping out where I could – I always really enjoyed that!

What’s the most interesting aspect of your job?

I love talking to clients and developing relationships with them. I really look forward to speaking to them!

What sort of support do you receive at Cassons?

My induction was brilliant; I shadowed Sarah, who has worked in the payroll department for a number of years, for three weeks to really get a feel for what the job would be like. I started on smaller businesses but quickly was given more responsibility.

I am also working towards a BSc Hons open degree in my spare time. Even though this qualification isn’t through Cassons, everyone is so supportive, encouraging me to ask questions and helping with me with my assignments where they can.

Tell us about your experience at Cassons so far.

Working at Cassons is great – I had my first interview and loved it from the moment I got here.

Everyone is lovely and it has a real family feel to it. There’s lots going on but what’s great is that you feel included in everything. It’s a big place, so it is also nice to have our own little department too where there is a great camaraderie.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

My advice? There are no stupid questions – don’t be scared to ask if you don’t know. That way, you’ll never stop learning.

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Josh

Josh

What is your role at Cassons?

I am a tax junior and work in Cassons’ bar department, which specialises in looking after the financial affairs of over 500 barrister clients – it is non-stop, as you can imagine!

What is a typical day like for you?

My days are varied, but mostly involve preparing accounts and tax or VAT returns for Cassons’ barrister clients. I also spend a large chunk of time speaking to my clients, explaining different things and answering their questions.

What qualifications have you done so far / what are you working towards?

I am currently working towards becoming ATT qualified. I should complete my qualification in June, and then hopefully I’ll start my CTA qualification to become a chartered tax adviser.

What’s the most interesting aspect of your job?

I enjoy organising client’s affairs and offering valuable advice to clients that struggle to understand the complexities of tax.

Why did you want to work in tax?

I studied economics, business and maths at a-level, they are subjects I have always been interested in and so going in to accountancy / tax seemed to be a good way of combining the three things. Most of my family are accountants too, so there was some heavy influence around me growing up!

Your experience at Cassons so far?

I really enjoy working at Cassons. With the help and support of my colleagues, I have developed confidence and professional maturity as well as more specific accounting and tax knowledge.

Everyone I work with at Cassons is so passionate about what they do, too. It is great to work alongside people like that as it creates a really positive environment. When applying for the role, the manager of the bar department, Andrew, was so passionate about his department and my role. He was really clued up about the qualifications I’d be doing and my career path, so it really re-assured me that I was coming to work for a great firm.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

Try to get some work experience – it will give you a better idea of what it is like to be working in an office and you’ll hopefully start to understand more about the type of work you would be doing in that role!

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Jonathan

Jonathan

Describe your role

I work in the accounts department, producing accounts and tax computations for a variety of businesses including sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.

What qualifications have you done so far / what are you working towards?

I am currently working towards becoming AAT qualified and I hope to pass my final exams in September this year.

Doing my AAT qualification through Cassons is fantastic; they are so flexible with my learning and I get to be very hands on and have a lot of involvement with the clients, meaning I really get to put what I’m learning at college in to practice in the workplace.

Once I have passed my AAT exams, I would like to move on to doing my ACA qualification so I can become a qualified chartered accountant.

What is a typical day like for you?

No day is really the same at Cassons. I spend some days speaking to lots of different clients to obtain the information that I need but on other days, I can be stuck into one job all day. There’s also lots of planning involved, so that takes up a lot of my time. I also spend one day a week day at college as part of my AAT qualification.

What’s the most interesting aspect of your job?

I love the variety of my role. Each job is different and it really is great getting to know lots of different businesses – something I didn’t realise would be such a big part of my role as an accountant before I started! There are some fantastically interesting businesses that I didn’t even know existed before now.

How did you come to work in accounting?

I did maths, further maths and history A-levels at sixth form. I quickly decided that university wasn't for me, so left college wanting to pursue a career in accounting. I am a self-proclaimed ‘maths geek’! I love maths and have always been into numbers, so accounting seemed like the obvious option for me. I found a site called getmyfirstjob.com, who put me in touch with Kaplan, my training provider, who then referred me to Cassons.

Your experience at Cassons so far?

The team at Cassons are a really close-knit group of people. You are encouraged to work hard but it is a very relaxed environment with open door policies for partners. Whether I need help with my work or studies, there’s always someone to ask. I have a mentor who I can go to with any issues, too, and that’s really helpful!

Lunchtime is when the fun is had! The atmosphere is great, as almost everyone heads for the recreation room at lunch. It gets a bit competitive around the pool table, but its all fun and games, really...unless I’m losing!

It has been great to be able to be involved in some community projects with Cassons, too. I took part in some maths lessons we did with pupils from a local high school. I really enjoyed it – there wasn’t a great age difference between us, but I had learnt so much since being their age, so it was great to share my knowledge and experiences with them, as I remember the questions I had back then!

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

By all means ask for advice on your future, however always make decisions for yourself based on what you feel is best for you as whatever route you choose to go down will influence the rest of your life!

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Cassons traineesFAQs

Do I need a degree to become an accountant?
No. We encourage a wide range of applicants and we will tailor your professional training accordingly. We tend to take trainees straight from school with A levels or from university when your degree has been completed.

Do you specify a degree discipline or grade?
We are interested in applicants who have studied accounting/finance as a significant element of their degree. It’s important that you can demonstrate the ability to study, as the route to professional qualification will involve significant commitment. Although we don’t specify a degree subject, we would prefer a grade of 2:1 or above.

Where can I find more information with regard to professional qualifications?
You can find all you need to know about training qualifications at www.icaew.com, www.att.org.uk and www.aat.co.uk.

How do I apply?
Please send your CV and covering letter to our HR Manager, Laura Braithwaite, on recruitment@cassons.co.uk.

Cassons traineesThen, assuming that we have a vacancy and that you meet our criteria, we will invite you to attend an initial interview. We may carry out some practical, work-based tests depending upon the nature of the position you’re applying for and there will be a final interview with at least one of our partners.

Will Cassons support my training?
Yes, we actively encourage all our staff to continue their training and will provide you with on the job training, tailored courses and a study package to support your professional studies (in the shape of course funding and study leave). We will also assign a mentor to help guide and support you all the way.

We are a recognised Investors in People employer and your personal and professional development are important to us.

We help you broaden your technical knowledge and ensure you have the relevant IT skills to meet the current and future needs of the business.

What are the opportunities for promotion?
Excellent - many of our partners started with Cassons as trainees. We believe in promotion from within wherever possible and advertise all vacancies internally. Cassons operates as a meritocracy and the opportunities are there for the taking.

How will I know how I’m doing?
All new starters are given a review after 3 months in order to agree a training plan and objectives for the future. You will also have a performance and development review on an annual basis to review your work, plan for the future and a training strategy to get you there. We try to give informal feedback on a regular basis and your mentor will be available to give you all the guidance and support you need.

Cassons traineesWhat kind of social activities do you have?
Our professional trainees are encouraged to actively participate in their local ICAEW student society. We want you to enjoy working as part of our team and we host a variety of events throughout the year including a summer event and a Christmas party.

Is Cassons a good company to work for?
We think so! Our salary structures are competitive and reviewed on a regular basis and our benefits package includes private health care and pension after a qualifying period. We also recognise the need for a healthy balance between work and family life and we operate a flexible working scheme.

What about the facilities in the office?
You’ll find them second to none! Trainees spend most of their time at our Lancashire office which is a comfortable, open plan building. We have a large and fully equipped kitchen together with a substantial recreation room with TV and pool table. At the back of the Lancashire office we have a large decked area which is an ideal location for lunch in the summer. It overlooks a smallholding so hens and ducks are regular visitors! If you choose to cycle to work we have facilities for keeping your bike safe at the office, and shower rooms and lockers so you can easily get ready for work. We also have plenty of car parking spaces at our Lancashire office.

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