7th February 2023National Apprenticeship Week – Q&A series with Harry Lane and Lisa Matthews

For National Apprenticeship Week, we’re celebrating the achievement of our apprentices’ past and present and the positive impact they make to our firm. Our well-respected and challenging training scheme gives graduates and school leavers comprehensive in-house training alongside exam studies. Hear from two of our apprentices about their own experiences starting out in accountancy. Harry Lane joined our Audit department as an ACA Apprentice in 2021 and Lisa Matthews joined the Corporate Tax team as an ACA/CTA Apprentice in 2020.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

Harry: With so much uncertainty in the world and having witnessed many people struggling with their careers, an apprenticeship provided the opportunity for a real career path. By training as an accountant it would not only provide future security but a gateway to a host of opportunities within the profession.

Lisa: When I graduated from university I knew that tax was the area that I wanted to work in, having undertaken an overseas placement working in payroll taxes/social security. I wanted to develop my tax knowledge whilst also having opportunities to develop and grow in the workplace, so I felt that undertaking an apprenticeship would enable me to achieve this.

What do you enjoy the most about HW Fisher’s apprenticeship programme?

Harry: Being able to put the theories that we are learning into practice for clients at all stages of their lifecycle. The firm is small enough to enable work on SME clients but large enough to provide experience on multinational companies as well all whilst making you feel a real part of the Fisher family.

Lisa: HW Fisher has a great training community, I like that there is a mix of abilities and a constant intake of new apprentices. Because of this, I feel well supported in my role and also in my studies – there is always someone that you can turn to for advice and support.   

What was your biggest surprise about starting out in accountancy?

Harry: How quickly I have learnt a whole new skill set! When I reflected on my first year, I realised that within 12 months, the amount of knowledge I have gained and the experience in such a short period of time was extensive, valuable and has helped me develop as a person.

Lisa: That although accountancy is highly regulated, there is so much grey area, particularly in tax, having to use my initiative and scepticism on a daily basis. Every day brings new challenges and opportunities, the work is a lot more diverse than I’d have imagined.

What would be your advice to people considering an apprenticeship?

Harry: You have to want it 100%. Juggling the exams and the work is only possible if you are totally committed and willing to give it everything to succeed. If you do, then it is a path that will open up opportunities for the rest of your life.

Lisa: An apprenticeship doesn’t only develop your on-the-job skills and abilities, it enables you to seek opportunities for knowledge development and networking from the communities it creates. An apprenticeship is a great way to enter the workplace if you’re starting out in your career. Jump at the opportunity if it comes your way, or seek it out if you’re considering a career change. The more you put in, the greater the returns, my advice is to jump in and put everything you have into it.

There are different avenues to get into accountancy for bright, ambitious individuals. If you’re a graduate or finishing university this summer, find out more about our ACA graduate trainee scheme, currently open for applications.

For school leavers looking to give your career a head start at one of the UK’s leading firms, contact Michael Fraser to register your interest in our AAT apprentice scheme which will open for applications this summer.


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Michael Fraser
Senior HR Manager

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