Beginning your career

For those taking their first steps in an Accountancy career

Whether joining through our graduate program, as an apprentice or studying for higher qualifications

As I progressed through my training I've been given more challenging work, trusted with more responsibility, and had an opportunity to really contribute to the team.

Sean Busby, Audit and Accounts Senior

Every year, a number of apprenticeships and postgraduate placements are available at Shorts, through our program of continual recruitment.

We are an ICAEW and ACCA approved training employer, but our placements do not only apply to those looking for a career in accountancy. We also provide training for careers in payroll, administration, IT, Tax, and Private Client.

Trainees and apprentices are fully supported throughout their training, with access to;

  • Assistance with administration paperwork
  • Guidance with the scheduling of examinations and payment of exam fees
  • Quarterly meetings with one of the support team, the trainee, and skills coaches to maintain and monitor progress
  • Six-monthly progress reviews
  • A central hub where they can raise any queries or concerns

As part of our celebration of National Apprenticeships Week 2004, we spoke to a selection of our team, to hear their first-hand experiences of studying through the Apprenticeship route.  A big thank you to Jake, Helena, Connor and Justina for agreeing to take part, and allowing us to share their thoughts.

What our trainees say

In their own words, some of our recent trainees share their experiences.

Kelly McCubbin

"I joined Shorts three days after finishing my postgraduate exams and was welcomed into a healthy and supportive environment."

"From day one, I was given specialist training full of knowledge, expertise, and experience, and have always felt like a valued member of the team. Since joining Shorts, I have progressed from Adviser to Manager whilst being surrounded by support and encouragement from my Private Client family and wider colleagues."

Visit Kelly's full team profile

Craig Lucas

"I joined the IT department at Shorts just after finishing at university."

"The IT department began building applications to help improve some internal processes and I’ve had opportunities to lead and play a large role in some of these projects, which is not something that I would have the opportunity to do in many companies. This is something that I’ve seen across all departments demonstrating the firm’s willingness to help to build the skills of its team members rather than just sticking with age and experience"

Korresia MacGregor

"Personally, I decided to study through an apprenticeship as I felt it gave a better balance of practical and theoretical experience.”

"Throughout my study so far, I’ve received so much support. From Shorts, my manager has regular check-ins with me, I have multitudes of support from my colleagues who have already completed the apprenticeship, from ICAEW, I have in-person meetings where they provide information and help, and from my education provider, I have received so much quality teaching and the ability to ask questions and request extra support if needed.

In their own words, our team share their thoughts

What our graduates say

I am a graduate Junior tax advisor at Shorts and currently studying towards my ATT qualification. I am part of the tax compliance team, and my role consists of working alongside tax managers in managing a client portfolio where I process self-assessment tax returns for a wide range of clients including directors, sole traders, partnerships, and landlords. I studied for an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and a Postgraduate degree in Accounting and Finance.

The application/ recruitment process was very organised and well-structured. My favourite part of the recruitment process was the assessment day as it really gave me a feel for what it would be like to work at Shorts. Shorts held a networking event after the assessment day where we could talk to current employees, and I found everyone so friendly and easy to talk to which made me feel comfortable and as if I could fit into the team. The induction process was well structured as I was given a training buddy from my first day. This allowed me to feel comfortable with any questions I had about the job or even about the company. From the moment I started, I felt very welcomed by everyone at Shorts.

During my first 6 months, I have trained in personal tax where I am part of the tax compliance team. I have been shown different processes and have contributed to meeting targets. I have also started my ATT qualification and feel I have developed my knowledge and can’t wait to continue progressing in this field. I have really enjoyed my time at Shorts, especially the social side as throughout the past couple of months, I have attended various social events including the Christmas party, the summer social, the first Friday of the month drinks, and various junior networking events which have allowed me to talk to people from other departments.

I found the graduate recruitment process challenging as there were a few different stages to work through, but it was obviously very rewarding in the end. It was good to go into the office and have the networking section so that you get to meet people who actually work for Shorts and get a feel of what the company is like and whether you think it’ll be the right fit for you or not.

The induction process for me went really well. You’re given a “buddy” on your first day who will give you a tour of the office, tell you all the important bits that you need to know and get you set up on the systems. There was also a welcome lunch on my first day which was a great chance to get to know the team. Joining Shorts as a graduate meant that there were also other graduates starting on the same day as me, so it was nice to have them by my side and help it not feel as daunting.

For me, it was definitely the work/life balance and the no overtime policy that attracted me to Shorts. From working in customer service retail jobs whilst at university I found that they wanted me to work so much overtime that I was always either working or at university and I had no time for my friends and family. Therefore, the fact that I can work, study, and still have time for a social life is something that I really love about Shorts. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Shorts so far. I got stuck into accounts prep jobs straight away but was never expected to just know everything. I had a member of the team training me and sitting with me whilst we worked through my first couple of jobs together. Everyone at Shorts is so welcoming and you can ask anyone for help and they’ll be happy to give it. I also started studying towards the ACA qualification after just a month of joining so it was great to get straight into that and start working towards becoming qualified.

There’s also the social aspect of Shorts too. Since I started, I have been to a range of different events which is a great way to get to know people from different teams that you might not always speak to directly at work. And it’s a great chance to get to know people who work in the other office.

One piece of advice I would give is to research the company and make sure that they’re the right fit for you. When recruiting, employers obviously want to see if you’ll be the right fit for the team but you have to also make sure that they’re right for you as this is where you’ll be spending the majority of your day. Also, I would really recommend a graduate scheme to anyone leaving university as it’s a great way to learn and you receive great training that will really help you to progress in your career.

In their own words, our team share their thoughts

What our apprentices say

Completing training within an apprenticeship scheme is increasingly popular and we thank Connor Marshall, Justina Bhandal, Jake Furniss and Helena Flatters for sharing their thoughts.  Each being at different stages of their apprenticeships; Jake started his fairly recent, Justina and Connor are progressing through theirs, and Helena recently completed hers in 2023.

We asked our apprentices, what it was about training through an apprenticeship that had really appealed to them?

What came through the most, was the ability to learn within a working environment with the opportunity to also acquire new skills.

 

We talked to our apprentices, to learn more about what they had found the most challenging aspect of their apprenticeship?

It was interesting to learn how time management was high on everyone’s list, but also good to hear how they worked to overcome those difficulties.

We asked our apprentices, to talk a little bit about the support they had received during their apprenticeship

Skills coaches, additional study materials, support within the working environment and additional flexibility around exam dates to ensure that all work was completed with minimum stress.

We asked our apprentices to talk a little bit about their achievements whilst studying for their apprenticeship?

We’re really proud of our apprentices and the hard work they have put into their studies. They deserve to be proud of their achievements.

We asked our apprentices to talk about the skills that they had learned whilst completing their apprenticeships.

Alongside the technical knowledge required for the professional qualifications, our team talked about learning about leadership, teamworking, negotiations, leadership, and communication skills – all valuable and transferrable skills for their future careers.

We asked Connor, Helena, Justina and Jake whether they would recommend apprenticeships to others as a method of study.

Their enthusiasm shows through, and all three of them definitely would.

Life at Shorts

  • Career Progression
  • Healthy life balance
  • Enjoying our work
  • Charity
  • Employee Benefits
  • Team News
  • Working at Shorts
  • Career Opportunities

Career Progression
and development

For many, completing professional qualifications is only the beginning of their journey.  Understanding how to achieve a promotion or climb the career ladder is the natural next step.

So, our Management Development Program is designed specifically for those individuals wanting to understand, plan and navigate their route to promotion.

Through a program of structured courses, mentoring, and training we continue to support our team throughout their development journey.

Healthy life balance

Healthy life balance

We look after our clients really well, but we also look after our team, because we know that their welfare and development are equally as important.

For everyone, personal time when we are not working is extremely valuable, and it is for that reason, that our zero overtime policy was created. Fundamentally, we do not expect any of our team to work more than their basic weekly hours.

Although this practice is quite unique within the accounting industry, we are proud to consistently see average overtime at less than one hour per employee per month.

Hybrid working, core hours, and zero overtime policies mean that our team manage their time better – both in and out of the office.

Enjoying our work

Enjoying our work
Time and space to enjoy what we do

Image of the team relaxing during a break

We don’t work to unrealistic timescales and never accept client work that we are unable to fulfil.

We aim to manage our employee levels to ensure that our team is always around 15% over capacity at any time, meaning that they should never feel overwhelmed or under undue pressure.

Consequently, our team have the appropriate time to focus on their work – time to think, time to analyse, and time to bounce off one another with ideas. Not only does this lead to improved job satisfaction, but also results in higher levels of client service.

Charity

Charity
and volunteering

Our team regularly takes part in local and national fundraising events and all team members have the opportunity to take part in one volunteering day each year. There is an opportunity to get involved in

– sporting events, tournaments and challenges
– cake sales
– Christmas events
– Local charity collections

Employee Benefits

Employee Benefits
What's in it for you

Those who work for Shorts can expect all the stuff you would normally expect from a really progressive form, and lots more besides.

Team News

Team News
What we've been up to

We work together, celebrate our successes together and always share our team news.

To find out more about what’s been happening recently, visit our LinkedIn page.

Working at Shorts

Working at Shorts
and what it's really like

We have created an environment where our team feel supported, developed and happy.

We provide our team with a blend of interesting and challenging work with time to contribute their own ideas, concentrate on personal development whilst ensuring a healthy life balance, both in and out of work.

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities
Current vacancies

Interested in working at Shorts?

Visit our careers pages for details of our current vacancies.

Career Progression

Team News

Our recent Team News

Xero Award winners - Large Firm of the Year

We are delighted to confirm that once again, Shorts has been announced as winners of the Large Firm of the Year category at the 2024 annual Xero Awards. 

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On the shortlist: 3x Insider South Yorkshire Dealmakers Awards (2024)

The Shorts team is excited and proud to have been shortlisted once again for the 2024 Insider South Yorkshire Dealmakers Awards. Following on from our four category wins at last year's event, we are thrilled to have been shortlisted for three awards this year.

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Football Shirt Friday – The Bobby Moore Fund

  The Shorts team joined in with 2024’s Football Shirt Friday, a wonderful initiative supporting Cancer Research UK’s Bobby Moore Fund. This event not only raises awareness but also provides direct support to vital research in the fight against bowel cancer. Set up in memory of legendary World Cup-winning England captain Bobby Moore, who sadly died of bowel cancer in 1993, the fund enables pioneering research dedicated to early detection and diagnosis, improved treatments, and reducing inequalities in cases.

Read more

We’re always open to talking to great people. If you feel that Shorts would be a great fit for your next career move, then why not send us your contact details; we’ll give you a call and maybe meet up to chat over coffee? (If you’d prefer to send us your CV, you can add that too) As part of our commitment to promote diversity we ask that candidates remove any personal traits such as name and date of birth as part of our initial screening process thus enabling us to make talent decisions based on skills and experience.