Name: Jo Burke
Employer: Direct Peak
Apprenticeship level/title: Level 3 – Assistant Accountant
Job title: Xero Bookkeeper
Q) Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?
A) I chose to do an apprenticeship to further my knowledge and understanding in the accounting world after working as a bookkeeper for two years. It was the natural progression for my career.
Q) Were you always interesting in a career in bookkeeping/payroll?
A) I originally trained in the catering business before children. When I returned to work, I trained as a bookkeeper to help my partner set up his own business and found I enjoyed bookkeeping and was good at it. I also know several people in the accounting profession.
Q) Was securing the apprenticeship difficult?
A) Having already sat my Level 2 ICB Certificate in Bookkeeping, I arranged my apprenticeship with my existing employer and it was very easy to secure the place.
Q) How did you get the job in the first place?
A) I interviewed for the role as a bookkeeper at Direct Peak after working for a larger accounting firm because I wanted to join a firm closer to home and with a staff-focused attitude.
Q) Has becoming an apprentice helped make you more confident about your abilities?
A) Becoming an apprentice has helped further my knowledge within accounting and my role has changed significantly from this learning; I now do a lot more detailed work within my role.
Q) How have you juggled your learning and work effectively?
A) There is a lot of studying and work involved in an apprenticeship, I am lucky my team and firm support me with time within the working week to study, I do study in the evenings and at weekends too.
Q) Tell us about your job role and what you like best about it (remember your employer might be reading this!)?
A) My job role involves VAT Returns and month end processes primarily, I also complete bookkeeping tasks, and provide client training on Xero.
I enjoy working within a small, friendly team and enjoy interacting with clients and providing Xero training.
Q) What do you think are the top three benefits you have experienced, thanks to your apprenticeship?
A) I would say the main benefits are a deeper understanding of the accountancy processes and theories, and seeing how this is applied to my work on the Xero software we use at Direct Peak, it has also helped with problem solving.
Q) Where do you see your apprenticeship taking you in the future?
A) I would like to continue with my studies and, once I have completed my apprenticeship and undertaken the ICB Level 3 Bookkeeping and Accounts, I would also like to complete more specialised exams within accounting. I see myself staying with my current employer and as the business grows, taking on bigger responsibilities and running a team.
Q) What advice would you give to anyone considering an apprenticeship?
A) Anyone considering an accountancy apprenticeship, I would say go for it. If you have a thirst for knowledge, enjoy working with numbers and the drive to study while working and gaining on-the-job experience, it is the perfect avenue to getting into accountancy.
Quick fire round
What are you reading at the moment: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
Favourite TV show: The Chase, and I can’t help but say You’ve been framed.
Pub or club: Pub with an open fire and good food.
Favourite website: Rightmove! as I’m looking for a house.
How do you relax: I do a lot of sport and love playing Rugby with the Deeping Devils, I also enjoy spending time with my children, dog and partner.
Who is your hero: Just one? The people that get up and get on with things, the unsung heroes of this world.