• First year trainee

A glimpse into the working day of a first year trainee

BDO has offered its trainee programme since 2011, and in the autumn of 2015 we appointed three new trainees, Sondre Gullord, Martin Brekko and Lasse Andersen. The first two weeks they spent in Kitzhbühel attending an induction programme along with all the other recent recruits to the firm. The programme included a basic course in auditing and consultancy taught by experienced lecturers drawn from the different discipline areas of BDO.

In addition to training sessions involving theory, case solving and presentational techniques, a range of social activities were also arranged. On some days the trainees tackled sporting challenges such as cycling and climbing; on others they took part in quizzes or enjoyed some sightseeing in Kitzbühel. By bringing together all of the firm’s new employees in Norway, we can give them a unique opportunity to build their own BDO networks across office locations and business areas.

Having completed the induction course, the trainees were each placed in an audit team where they worked for the next seven months. This is the first of up to six secondments over a two-year period. They were allocated their own varied client portfolios which consisted of major stock exchange listed companies, where the trainees formed part of a bigger team, to smaller clients where they got the opportunity to carry out the entire audit themselves. This mix of clients meant that they had a steep learning curve during their first year. It also ensured that the trainees gained some really valuable insights into the entire audit process that consists of   planning, interim audit, and annual accounts audit with all the challenges one needs to tackle underway.

Lasse Andersen: “As a trainee I’ve had the opportunity to gain experience in both audit and accounting, in addition to working closely with the firm’s management. No two working days are alike, and I feel that I’m learning something new every day.”

After their stint in audit the trainees moved onto the accounting department, where they were able to learn a great deal about the wide range of services BDO delivers to both Norwegian and international clients, such as accounting, payroll, invoicing, reporting and systems. In this department the trainees were each placed in a different team where each had a dedicated contact and mentor. The latter were responsible for tailoring the trainee’s programme so that they acquired as much knowledge as possible during their three months in the department.

It’s exciting and educational to work as an accountant and an auditor, and this combination gives the trainees an excellent understanding of a broad spectrum of challenges.

Sondre Sande Gullord: ‟It’s clear that the knowledge we acquire can be applied across departmental lines and it’s great to join a department and feel that you can make a worthwhile contribution.”

As well as spending time in the various departments, the trainees have at their own request been able to take part in number of in-house projects. In addition to the specific tasks undertaken in accounting and auditing, the trainees participated in strategy work, they produced market analyses and helped develop presentations BDO’s management. In the future, there will also be competitor analyses and new key indicators for trainees will be developed.

Thanks to the inter-departmental projects, the trainees became acquainted early on with the different business areas of BDO. This meant that they were constantly able to challenge themselves professionally. Good follow-up from managers, mentors and a dedicated coordinator ensured that the trainees always received the guidance and support they needed in order to tackle the many challenges of their hectic working day.

Martin Brekko: ‟It’s been incredibly exciting to start as a trainee, and it’s going to be equally exciting going forward. They’ve looked after us very well, and you gain the confidence already from day one to participate on some exciting professional tasks and strategic projects in addition to one’s job as an auditor and accounting consultant. With all this valuable experience on board, I’m looking forward to getting to grips with my second year as a trainee.”