Hi, I am Corelena, a second-year university student studying Business Management and Accounting and Finance. As a part of my degree course, I get an opportunity to spend 4 months in the real world of accountancy. Libra Wealth Management Limited have given me the fantastic opportunity to join them and support me during this period of my education. I hope to give you a little insight into Libra Wealth as an ‘outsider’ into the company and into the profession itself. I hope you enjoy my comments.
Firstly, I want to tell you a bit about what I did in my first two weeks at Libra.
After a lovely welcome, Bill (the Director) allowed me to overshadow four meetings with his clients (thank you again if that was you). Hearing client’s queries, situations and watching Bill use his advanced knowledge to express solutions that the firm can do for them, enable me to have first-hand experience from the get go, of the services Libra provides and the various needs of the clients.
Then I took notes of two team meetings, one being a ‘personal tax debrief’ and the other being a ‘quarter 1 debrief’ where the whole team here at Libra come together to review how well they did and set any improvements for the following year. One thing I learnt from both meetings is the team at Libra are constantly thinking of innovative ways to improve how they operate to make their job easier and, more importantly, services that benefit their clients. For example, how we here are really trying to push towards ‘paperless’ operations, or how we are helping our clients become more familiar with the accounting software ‘Xero’ and ‘IRIS Open-space’ by publishing a ‘how-to’ onto the website. Stay tuned for that!
What I have seen is continual teamwork and great support every single day within the team. I believe this has made me more comfortable coming to work every day, as a young person who has never worked in the industry or even in an office environment; this has been lovely. Just being a small part of the team for a short while has enabled me to understand why so many clients of Libras are long standing.
Throughout my first two weeks, I was introduced to personal tax and VAT returns, and management of accounts by my colleagues who explained every step to me in detail. I got multiple ‘mini projects’ to research the specific industries that our clients operate in, so my colleagues have a great understanding of their clients’ businesses. All these tasks and teaching have given me a good perception of the life, so far, of an accountant.
The only challenge I have experienced in this time, as an intern, is trying to quickly learn how to do things. Like using the Xero accounting software which Libra and their clients use as their online accounting software. The team have been great at guiding and supporting me. I feel being a small knit team has allowed me access to those with the knowledge and skills to enable me to become fully conversant with this software; I have completed the Xero certification and looking forward to using Xero more.
As a close-knit team, I certainly think this gives clients a better opportunity to gain a special and more tailored experience. I noticed that when/if a client calls about an enquiry, the Libra team get on with it straight away and always try and chase up clients long before any deadlines occur to make sure their clients’ needs are met in a timely manner.
What about my future? I am really looking forward to being here for the coming months and working with such a talented team. My aim is accounting in practice (which is what Libra does). Practice accountants provide professional and specialised financial advice to all types of clients – Libra works mainly with owner managers, property investors and international clients. From my previous jobs, I always liked building relationships with customers; I found it made my work much more enjoyable. Practice accountants and all the team at Libra encourage strong long-lasting relationships with their clients, which I love. What also attracts me to accounting in practice is every client has unique needs and you must use your knowledge to specialise solutions for each individual client. By having this uniqueness, I feel it promotes creativity which in turn makes the work more enjoyable.
To summarize, the first weeks at Libra and being part of the real-life accounting world has been great. I am continuously learning new things and gaining hands on experience, with guidance, which will help shape my future career. I am pleased to have been given this opportunity by Bill and Amber.
I hope this blog has given you a taste of life here, and I hope to update you all with my progress in the coming weeks.