Millennial interviews: the assistant manager

This week CCH Daily talks to Adam Soilleux, an assistant manager in BDO’s London financial services team, on why he decided to turn away from banking and go into accountancy, whether he has any regrets and what he believes his toughest challenge is

Adam Soilleux, 26, joined BDO as a trainee and was promoted to assistant manager in the firm’s financial services team in December 2017. He graduated in 2014 from Loughborough with a first in banking, finance and management.

Adam is also a keen cricketer, playing for Loughborough MCC University first-team in 2011.

What made you go into accounting?

As I studied banking, finance and management at university I originally thought I would work for a bank or asset manager. In my third year I took a year out to do a six-month professional work placement at M&G, an investment management firm, in its finance team where I worked alongside an accountant. I discovered that working in accounting played to my strengths so as well as applying for banks I also applied to several accountancy firms.

Some of the modules in my degree incorporated accountancy so therefore I knew that advisory roles within accounting appealed more to me more than audit or tax.

Do you have any regrets?

Accountants are typically very analytical people, therefore I will review the decisions I have made but tend to not hold any regrets. Instead I prefer to see what I can do to improve.

What has you toughest challenge been?

Studying for my ACA qualification alongside my day job was very challenging. The workload is very demanding. At a law firm trainees do a year of full time studying and then two years practical work but the ACA is different you work alongside studying. However I had two exemptions because of my university degree, which helped slightly.

From a work perspective my toughest challenge is time management. In advisory we do not have busy periods like in accounting where typically the first quarter of the year is very busy. We become busy when we take on a new client or are approached for advice, which could be at any time therefore I cannot plan my week. The forward planning aspect is a difficult part to crack.

What is your dream role?

I thrive off of multitasking and working with a range of clients. Being at BDO is ideal for me because we have a range of clients from the FTSE 100 down to small limited companies. In my role I only work with financial services firms but these can be across a range of sectors such as banking and insurance. I think the dream role for me is within consultancy and if I am being very ambitious I would say partner of a consulting firm or an advisory team.

What is the most important skill for accountants to have?

Analytical skills are key, whether it is with quantitative or qualitative data and at all levels from junior up to partner. You must be able to look at a document and be able to identify where the key points of interest are and be able to summarise a large document to find the key message. 

Report by Amy Austin

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