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As I’ve (probably) mentioned in one of my previous posts, unlike most of the other bloggers on here I work in the Newcastle office rather than in London. I chose to join the Newcastle office when I applied because it’s an interesting location and it’s closer to home for me. What kind of difference do […]

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Life in the Newcastle office

Posted on April 25, 2014 by

As I’ve (probably) mentioned in one of my previous posts, unlike most of the other bloggers on here I work in the Newcastle office rather than in London. I chose to join the Newcastle office when I applied because it’s an interesting location and it’s closer to home for me. What kind of difference do you think there are between the two locations?

As you might have guessed, it’s a smaller place up here – when we’re all in the office there’s only about 90 of us compared to the hundreds that work in London. Our building doesn’t quite have the same history behind it as the London office which was mentioned by Lis in her post, but it’s quite pretty and modern. We share the building with other companies as we only occupy the majority of the fourth (and top) floor. This means you can meet lots of different people just on your way up!

We’ve recently moved offices in Newcastle which means we’re now nearer to the train station but still quite close to the shopping centres (Eldon Square) and high streets (Northumberland Street) of the city centre. This means it’s a great location for those that commute from further afield like me and also for grabbing lunch and snacks when you’re hungry.

In the Newcastle office, we’re responsible for a number of large audits such as the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions Resource Accounts as well as smaller audits such as the Joint Nature Conservation Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The range of organisations that we audit – large and small – helps in developing different skills, and for more experienced trainees this can mean more opportunities to take on responsibility, such as leading audits.

As well as audit work we can also be involved in value for money studies, with work on the Help to Buy equity loan scheme and Personal Independence Payment: early progress being published recently. However, I should also point out that we’re a fluid organisation and many of our projects and audits combine both Newcastle and London staff. For example, I quite often talk to colleagues in London to discuss my audit work and I work as part of a Newcastle and London team on the internal work I’m involved in. We regularly use communication aides such as video conferencing to hold meetings and training sessions, which allows us to collaborate as one office.

Although being away from London (and being so far away from other colleagues!) can be a negative point at times (like trying to arrange meetings), there’s a lot of good points to the Newcastle office that I’d like to highlight too:

  1. There’s always cake in the kitchen (it’s quite unusual for there not to be cake!);
  2. Everyone works on the same floor and knows each other;
  3. Most of our audit clients are within two hours; and
  4. It’s easy to get to the airport as there’s a direct metro train that runs from the train station (which is practically outside the office).

If you have any questions about either of our offices, please let us know!


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4 responses to “Life in the Newcastle office”

  1. Gemma says:

    Thank you for your comments Laura.

    You mentioned that the intake is small and I know numbers will vary between years, but how many new trainees are generally recruited to Newcastle?

    Gemma

    • Laura Wright says:

      Hi Gemma,

      Thanks for your comment. The Newcastle graduate intakes in recent years have ranged between 6 and 8. There also tend to be school leavers joining at the same time, of which there are about 3 or 4.

      Hope that helps.

      Laura

  2. Gemma says:

    Hi Laura,
    It has been great to hear about your point of view from the Newcastle office.
    I am currently undecided about which office to take. I am originally from Leeds so the Newcastle office seems like it would be better for me. But I have a few concerns.
    In regards to training at the Newcastle office, approximately how many trainees are present during training sessions?
    Is the scale of work at Newcastle much different to London? I.e. does the London office get better work projects?
    I’m assuming leeds may be too far away for me to travel to work in time for Newcastle.

    Thanks for your post!

    • Laura Wright says:

      Hi Gemma,

      Thank you for your comment!

      I have provided responses to your concerns below.

      Training sessions: In respect of the college sessions for the ACA qualification, you will normally be in a small group consisting of your intake with the potential of 3 or 4 people from other firms. The size of the class therefore averages at around 10-12, though in London I believe it can be higher. For internal training sessions, the size of the group depends on the type of training being provided and the size of the room available. Most of the time the training courses held in Newcastle are around 10-15 people, but this can be more now that we have moved offices and have bigger training rooms!

      Scale of work: The Newcastle office audits the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health, two of the largest Departments in Government. It is also worth bearing in mind that we are a fluid organisation, for example even though I work in Newcastle, I can work on audits that are typically carried out by the London office. Whilst the office can try to allocate you to audits that you are interested in, the needs of each audit has to also be considered. If there is something you would like to work on in particular, you can discuss this with the relevant managers and they will try to help as much as possible.

      With regards to the commute, Leeds to Newcastle is about a 90 minute train journey and would therefore require getting a 7am train to arrive for 9am. It is a personal choice with regards to where to live, although there are colleagues that live further afield such as York (myself included!). We also tend to be based away from the office on local audit for significant periods of time.

      If you have any other questions please let me know.

      Laura

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