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Apprenticeships help North East accountancy company grow

ByJill Farmer

Oct 29, 2018

A Sunderland accountancy firm has taken on its eighth apprentice in response to an upsurge in work following the launch of a new cloud accounting service and preparations for the forthcoming HMRC changes – ‘Making Tax Digital’.

UHY Torgersens has been working with Gateshead-based Access Training to recruit and train two new apprentices – bringing their total number of apprentices to eight – who are all progressing well on their journeys to becoming chartered accountants.

The trainees are working closely with partners Paul McMahon and Alison Henshaw to help prepare clients for major changes to legislation requiring VAT-registered businesses to report to HMRC under a new digital reporting system from April next year.

The firm, which has offices in Sunderland, Gosforth and Jarrow, recently launched cloud accounting which allows its clients to reduce the amount of time spent on tedious, time-consuming accounting tasks.

UHY Torgersens is working with a number of third parties, including Barclays Bank, to host a series of information events on the topic.

The firm, which has been in business for over 50 years, now has 35 employees and works with Access Training, to recruit and train high-quality apprentices. The company also directly recruits university graduates.

David March, 25, from Lanchester, Daniel Ferry, 18, from Sunderland, Natasha Dalgarno, 19, from Hordon, Brandon Wilson 20, from Gosforth, and Ross Blackwood, 18, from Houghton-le-Spring are Level 3 AAT Assistant Accountant apprentices.

Zoe Brown, 22, from Peterlee and Louise Hepplewhite, 23, from Sunderland who both recently completed their Level 4 AAT studies with Access Training, together with Melissa Greenwell a University graduate, have all commenced their Level 7 apprenticeships. They are studying for the ICEAW exams to become qualified Chartered Accountants.

Paul McMahon, Partner, who is himself a former apprentice, said: “We have been recruiting apprentices for over 20 years. They’re great because we are able to train apprentices to the exact standard that our business needs.

“We are incredibly busy right now, moving clients to digital accounting packages and preparing them for Making Tax Digital which is the government’s initiative to deliver a modern digital tax system.

“We are proud to support apprentices and invest in their development – two of the six partners here are former apprentices.

“Working with Access Training makes the process easy, they know exactly what we look for in an apprentice and one of those things is a strong commitment to long term learning, working their way up to chartered status.”

Managing director at Access Training, Malcolm Armstrong, said: “UHY Torgersens are a shining example of how a firm should take on and develop apprentices. Every one of the apprentices is flourishing under their guidance.

“We support many North East businesses to recruit high quality apprentices – making the process quick and efficient, saving them time by screening hundreds of potential applicants.”