22nd September, 2020, Melanie Harriss
Both are now based at the firm’s Fakenham office, but started their careers as trainees at the King’s Lynn office and have grown and developed within the firm to become fully qualified managers.
Mike was 19 years old and fresh from completing his A-levels at Swaffham school when he applied for the trainee accountant position at Stephenson Smart in King’s Lynn, he said:
“I knew the university route to further education wasn’t for me, so applied to an advert I saw in the paper for a trainee accountant at Stephenson Smart in King’s Lynn. Mike Andrews, who is still a partner, interviewed me and gave me the job.
During my career here I have been supported by Martyn, the managing partner at Fakenham, to evolve and develop my role. I like the varied clients we work with; from helping individuals with their tax returns to supporting large companies, and the personal interaction we have with them.
I feel like I have been given opportunities to keep my job fresh, such as attending events like Xero Con in London and becoming the lead on introducing Xero software to the firm. I am also an ATOL qualified accountant.
I also take a keen interest in supporting our new trainees. I know what it is like to be new and have limited knowledge and I think it is important to give them the time and extra help, as was given to me when I first started.”
Sean joined the firm as a graduate trainee after completing a degree in Economics at Leeds University. He said:
“I had a summer job at Adrian Flux and Clive Dodds’ son recommended I applied for the trainee role. I now, in turn, like to support our trainees when I can to give that back. In helping them I also find that it develops me.
I had planned to go travelling after university and wasn’t sure about a career in accountancy, but I have found that I enjoy the work. There is a good atmosphere in the office, and I feel I have the freedom to develop my role. Martyn, the managing partner at Fakenham, is very supportive and lets us establish relationships with our clients. I like the autonomy and the client contact; I like helping them and giving them peace of mind.”
Martyn Benstead, Managing Partner at the Fakenham office added:
“Mike and Sean are a valuable part of the team and I am very proud to have seen them both develop as accountants, and individuals, during their time here.”