Baines Jewitt News

Successful careers in accountancy, with or without a degree

Two of our employees are proof that you can build a successful career in the profession, with or without a degree.

Ashleigh Smith, 27, from Stockton and Hilary Bevan, 38, from Darlington both have professional roles with Baines Jewitt, but each chose a different career path to achieve their specialist status.

Ashleigh joined Baines Jewitt in 2013, having gained a first class degree in Accountancy through the University of Northumbria.  Earlier this year Ashleigh obtained chartered status from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), which involved three years of additional study alongside her full time job.

Ashleigh is also studying for accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), the leading professional body in the UK for advisers dealing with all aspects of taxation.  This involves a year of study in addition to her full time work.

As testament to her hard work and dedication since joining Baines Jewitt, Ashleigh was awarded the prestigious ‘Charles Urie Peat Prize’ in 2016 and again in 2017.  The award - named after former Darlington MP Charles Urie Peat - recognises success in the Institute of Chartered Accountants qualifying exams.

“As well as gaining practical, hands-on workplace experience, such as accounts preparation, audit work and corporation tax queries, I’ve received additional tuition on a block release basis with specialist financial and taxation training providers.  Baines Jewitt has also given me time off work for study and to take my exams,” explains Ashleigh.

VAT Director Hilary took a more vocational route into the profession. Having joined Baines Jewitt in 1998 as a school leaver, Hilary is proof that a degree is not a necessity to build a successful career in accountancy.

Having excelled at her professional training, Hilary is one of the few people in the UK who hold professional qualifications as an Accountant and a VAT Specialist.  As well as becoming a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a Chartered Tax Adviser and an Associate of the Institute of Indirect Taxation, Hilary has worked her way up within Baines Jewitt.  She was appointed Director of VAT in June 2015.

Hilary’s role involves supporting businesses of all sizes and sectors with everything from VAT registrations and tax queries, to advice on land and property transactions.

As well as her work for Baines Jewitt, Hilary is Treasurer of the VAT Practitioners’ Group and a member of its North of England Chapter.  Membership of the group includes specialists from the VAT profession, leading law firms, major retailers, industry and commerce, who meet regularly to share VAT knowledge.

“I started at Baines Jewitt when I was 18, straight after my A Levels. I feel lucky to have secured a job with such a forward-thinking company, which rewards hard work, dedication and promotes from within.

“There is a really supportive training and development culture here. Everyone is encouraged to fulfil their potential and I am continually learning and improving my knowledge to keep on top of new legislation, changes in VAT policy and its interpretation.

“For people who don’t want to incur the burden of university debt, I am proof that you can become a qualified accountant without a degree. Whether you chose the academic or vocational route to enter the profession, you can enjoy career success if you are willing to invest the time and energy into your personal development. As a result, your employer will also reap the rewards of motivated and highly qualified employees,” explains Hilary.

For more information, contact Baines Jewitt on 01642 632032

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Baines Jewitt Chartered Accountants, Barrington House, 41-45 Yarm Lane, Stockton on Tees, TS18 3EA.

Tel: 01642 632032 - Fax: 01642 632034 Teesside & North East Chartered Accountants