Graduate Case Studies

Tessa Conway, 1st year trainee

I joined Barnes Roffe straight from university where I studied for a BSc in Mathematics with Economics. I primarily chose a career in accountancy with this firm as I knew that its Top 50 status would provide me with a respected qualification whilst giving me a wide exposure to clients from a vast range of industries.

The biggest advantage of working for Barnes Roffe compared to one of the big four is the amount of client contact that I receive. Within the first month of working for them I was sent out on my first audit where I was given responsibility to various parts of the file. At larger firms juniors tend to be stuck with one part of the file for the majority of their three years of training; however, I have already gained experience on most parts of an audit file, allowing me to put to practice the skills that I have learnt at college.

Studying for the ACA can be tough at times. It is a very intense and fast paced course which requires self-commitment to studying outside of office hours. My colleges at Barnes Roffe are all very understanding of this having completed the same course themselves. They are all willing to help me on the trickier topics and try to test my understanding on the principles whilst on audits. I find that this support really helps with my progression through the course and ultimately makes me a better accountant.

br-image-2Sinead Kingswood, Audit Senior

My degree in maths and economics showed me early on that my future career lay in finance, and I knew that accountancy would provide me with a secure and highly regarded career.

Barnes Roffe has given me all this and more! Their graduate training scheme is fantastic, giving both hands on training and the support needed to obtain a professional qualification. Within just a few weeks of starting at the firm, I was sent out on my first audit to learn first-hand. Less than 4 years later, I am a fully qualified chartered accountant and manage audits for some of our biggest clients. We audit such a wide variety of companies, from haulage to wholesale, that each week is different and never gets dull!

I would love to become a manager and even a Partner one day, and with Barnes Roffe I know I can achieve it.


Duncan Stannett, Partner

After completing a degree in accounting in 1991, I trained at Barnes Roffe to gain a qualification in ACA accounting, and by 2000 was made a Partner. I know this may appear rapid, but the training, experience and support I received from the Barnes Roffe team, made this intense training programme worth enduring. I wouldn’t change a thing.

My colleagues provide a great support network, and I know that with their help we can achieve great things for our clients. At the moment I have got a lot of plans in motion to help build up Barnes Roffe’s clientele, and the great thing is even though I am now a Partner, the firm is still 100% behind my goals. My biggest ambition is to grow the South London Office to a £5m turnover, win us bigger and better clients and develop an offering in Forensic accounting. Above all, I would like to help graduate accountants to experience the same successes I have achieved, a task which I feel Barnes Roffe can easily help them with.

Matthew Brown, 1st year trainee

Having graduated from university with a degree in economics, my subsequent 5 years were split between travelling abroad and working domestically. Upon my most recent return my attentions turned in earnest to my career and after advice from friends and family I made investigations into a career in accountancy.

It soon became clear that such a move could potentially prove very fruitful. Training with the ACA provides me with the knowledge and tools to develop myself and Barnes Roffe is the perfect setting. As a growing, medium-sized firm with dynamic aspirations, Barnes Roffe affords trainees the opportunity to work with a broad range of clients and gain experience across all areas of accountancy in a manner perhaps not offered by a Big Four firm.

From day one you will learn by osmosis and though it may seem like you are being bombarded with new information, before long you will realise how much you’ve learned and how far you’ve come in such a short space of time. My first 6 ACA exams were passed barely 4 months into the training scheme and I soon found myself preparing accounts independently as well as providing audit support for some of the firm’s biggest clients. This rapid rise and steep improvement in my skills leaves me optimistic about my future with the firm and what I can achieve going forward.


Tracy Cushion, Senior Tax Manager

When I first qualified in 1985 with a Business Studies degree, I initially wanted to work in marketing and advertising. Yet thinking back on those times I have to admit I always had an interest for figures.

I suppose the real turning point for me was when I met some of the Barnes Roffe team at a career’s fair near my home. After experimenting with a few jobs and experiencing little satisfaction, I got a really positive feeling from them and began to get excited about the opportunities their accountancy firm could offer me.

It has been over 20 years since I first qualified as a Chartered Accountant, but I am still as fascinated by tax accounting.

Over the years, I have explored a variety of roles with Barnes Roffe, and the breadth of knowledge I have acquired has been intense. Yet the best part has to be being able to balance my work life with my family life. Working as an audit manager until 2007, I was able to transfer into tax accounting following the birth of my first child and continue developing my experience. Barnes Roffe has been fantastic in their support. As my family has grown, I have been able to reduce my hours to just 21 a week and work my hours to suit my children’s need. They have truly been a god-send, enabling me to balance my 2 loves equally: being a senior tax manager and being a mother.

Laura Cook, 1st year trainee

Barnes Roffe is a growing accountancy firm, meaning I can get just the right amount of client responsibility whilst increasing my knowledge base. Their teaching strategy is completely flexible and accessible to all graduates. If you want to take on more responsibility you can, but if you are struggling with your new role you are given the time to adjust. Their course is designed to support you at all stages. There are 9 trainees on the graduate course at the moment, but this small number has truly enabled us to bond and take on greater responsibilities which we would never have been able to at a bigger firm.

I particularly love the intensity. I do not think there are many firms who would allow a junior to become so involved in an account at every stage of its production, yet Barnes Roffe do and the experience alone has made such a difference to my progression. One thing I am sure of is whatever specialism I choose Barnes Roffe will give me the opportunity and support I need to pursue it.

Talk to Barnes Roffe today Barnes Roffe – Clever Accountants for BusinessBarnes Roffe has tried to ensure that the contents and information it provides in its website is accurate at the time of posting. Unfortunately it cannot guarantee the accuracy of contents or information contained in its pages and any person choosing to act on this information should contact a Barnes Roffe partner prior to taking any action
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