CarineAudit Assistant Manager
Audit Assistant Manager
l'm a fourth-generation Chinese Mauritian, and I came to the UK in 2005 to sit for my ACCA finals. I decided to stay in the UK after I obtained my first job at a Greek Cypriot accountancy firm in Southgate. I learned how to use accounting software and gained experience in preparing income tax, corporation tax, accounting and was involved in 3-5 audit assignments per year. It is a small world that my former colleague Dimitrios Chioureas is currently an audit partner at Grant Thornton Cyprus.
I quickly started to love aspects of the British culture, like sending Christmas cards, tasting different treats in the office when people had been on holiday, going to cafes and pubs with my colleagues and discovering international dishes.
I'm a big foodie and always know the latest food hotspots in London, what street food to eat, and what restaurants to go to.
As a new hire, the company is very supportive and patient to help you get started and learn the Grant Thornton methodology. Everyone has been extremely nice, which is particularly helpful with the 'virtual onboarding' lockdown has required.
I've also found that the company is very accommodating, which is important as a parent of a young child. When I first joined, I was impressed with an email signature that said you can do agile work, and if we receive an email outside of office hours we aren't expected to reply at that time. I start early and finish early to collect my little one from her nursery and spend the evening with her. This empowers the staff to provide our best work, upholding Grant Thornton’s commitment to quality.
We have Yammer, too, which is like a social platform where we can talk to colleagues with similar hobbies and join groups around our interests. It was also nice to see Ethnicity Group in there, as it helps people who come from a smaller minority background to see that they're not alone and it really is a diverse workplace. We also have an Inclusion and Advisory board and a recently launched London Audit Ethnicity Network newsletter.
After sharing my story on Asian Hate in ‘Pass the mic’ article on our intranet, I created a new Yammer group, Asian Heritage Network, for all Asians including south Asians, south-east Asians, people of mixed heritage and people who want to learn about the Asian culture.
Going beyond expectations
I'm really proud to be working at Grant Thornton because I remember when Ramadan started and our Head of Audit, Fiona Baldwin, asked people to be considerate of people who are fasting, for instance to maybe avoid having a coffee meeting. I've worked at other accountancy firms before and nobody has put that level of communication to colleagues to be considerate of people's faith and religion.
There are active groups on LGBTQ and diversity, and I think the education from this can benefit a lot of people in their personal lives, as not everyone is from places or families that are so tolerant.
I enjoy improving my soft skills and Grant Thornton prepares us for accommodating colleagues with mental health difficulties, or who have different faiths and lifestyles. Everyone is able to offer support and help people.
I've had colleagues at previous jobs who were really good at their work, but weren't good at talking to people with consideration to things like disabilities or hidden disabilities like autism. That isn't a problem at Grant Thornton.
Although I primarily focus on Commercial Technology Media and Telecommunications (TMT), I get to help audits in other sectors too. I've worked recently with the Capital, Consumer & Consulting (CCC) and Real Estate audit clients, so my portfolio is already quite broad. What's really exciting is I started in audit quality review (AQR), which has publicly listed companies, so it's a big client that I started working on.
Being remote also hasn't stopped people getting to know each other, or taking a break from work. We have an app called Coffee Break, where we meet colleagues outside of the audit department. We get to know other employees, and hear about other services that Grant Thornton provides.
Something else I'm pleased with is working in an international team with no borders, as I work in two time zones: either with GT India, who are four hours ahead, or GT Philippines, who are seven hours ahead. I enjoy learning from other cultures, and that's definitely an opportunity here.
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