Staff Case Study - Lucy O’Donnell

Education – where did it all start?

I studied for my GCSEs at Park High School in Colne, before going to Skipton Girls’ High School where I successfully passed A Levels in Maths, Physics and Business Studies, along with an AS Level in Physical Education.

Following my A Levels, I went to the Northumbria University where I studied for my degree in Business with Financial Management, graduating in 2014.

At this stage I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to follow, although I knew I wanted to do something in finance. After leaving university I worked in retail management for a year, before being introduced to Wilkinson and Partners.

Wilkinson and Partners – the early years

I started with W&P during the summer of 2015. My first role was as a Trainee Accountant and Administrator, which involved me carrying out a range of admin-based tasks, along with bookkeeping and assisting with basic payroll duties.

Soon after joining the firm I started my Association of Accounting Technician (AAT) Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting. I successfully completed this in January 2017 and then went on to study for the AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting, completing this in June 2018. As a result of passing these exams I became a qualified Accounting Technician.

How has Wilkinson and Partners helped with your studies?

W&P has covered the costs of all my accountancy qualifications. They have also given me time off to attend college on a day release basis, plus additional time off for exam study leave.

In addition to that, they have been very proactive in making sure I had plenty of ‘on the job experience’ to help put my studying into practice. This has helped me to develop the skills and experience that I need to be a good accountant.

What are your current roles and future ambitions?

My current role is as a Junior Accountant. As well as preparing accounts and calculating and submitting tax returns for our clients, I am also involved in training the next intake of trainees. I also have my own portfolio of clients to manage.

Alongside working full time, I am now studying for my Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales exams (the ACA exams) and hope to become a qualified Chartered Accountant by the end of 2021.

Going forward with my career, I want to focus on providing an efficient, timely service to my clients, helping them to run their businesses effectively and profitably.

What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in accountancy?

Go for it! But you have to work hard and study hard. Accountancy is not a 9-5 job, especially when you are studying, but it can be very rewarding.

W&P have given me the support and experience I need to develop my career. On top of that they are a friendly, positive bunch of people to work with as well!