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Leigh Walsh

Trainee Auditor

I joined the office with an Accounting Technicians diploma, and partway through my ACCA qualification, with the strategic professional exams still to go.

Coming from a catering background of many years I was pleasantly surprised when I learnt of the varied backgrounds of my colleagues: Almost everybody has had a previous career before they joined the office, with a lot of different experience from various sectors.  I never thought my previous career would have helped in my application for this job but I was definitely wrong in that regard!

It’s great that the Office provides me with the support I need to be able to continue on with the exams including flexible hours, paid tuition, study and exam leave. Having these supports means I can structure my studies and work around my family needs. I’m now one exam away from finishing the ACCA exams and once I do I will be able to apply to step up a grade to Auditor and take on more responsibility.

The range of clients and sectors we audit is a lot more diverse than what I initially thought I was coming in to. So far I have worked on financial audits of Government departments and been involved in two very interesting but different value for money reports: One on prison catering which included site visits to the majority of the prisons around Ireland and one on Social Protection, which was conducted from home throughout the duration of the pandemic, both of these reports have required precise attention to detail as they had the potential to be high profile and may be examined in the public accounts committee.

I enjoy the high level of autonomy I am given when working on an audit or reporting topic, my daily workflow is up to me to manage. Though the team is always there for guidance if I need it.

Since working from home became more commonplace I’ve maintained a close connection with my team through video calls and instant messaging, and I have kept up friendships with my other colleagues in the same way, and through the activities the Office encouraged us to partake in: The walking challenge, office bake off and the odd delivery of burritos or burgers from the sports and social club.