Volunteer Mentor
The Prince's Trust

Volunteer Mentor
The Prince's Trust

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David P

00:00:03 Okay, I’m David P. I work for the Prince’s Trust. I have worked for them for about five years as a mentor, in various capacities. I spent all my working career as an accountant, having started in nineteen seventy-two. I spent most of that time in the financial services sector and had roles ranging from chief accountant to managing director of various businesses.

00:00:41 I went to a grammar school in Marlow. For A levels, I did an arts-based background, which was French, German, and history, and that’s partly based because the structure was very limited as to what you could or couldn’t do. So although maths was probably one of my strongest points, science was my weakest, and I couldn’t therefore mix maths and languages together. Now, these days you probably can in most schools but in those days you couldn’t. I recognise that that was just a means of getting me to university, and I decided that I wanted to go into a business degree, from which I chose the accounting option and then became an article clerk at a firm of accountants in London, qualified, and then moved on from there.

00:01:35 My father was an engineer and my mother was a housewife. My father was not really focussed on accounting; although he did run his own small business. And so for me, going into accounting, I was probably one of the first in our family that had done something like that, so it was a bit of a departure, but that was good. I was actually quite happy to do something different. I suppose what I’ve used is my accountancy background as a stepping stone to general management, so, you know, you don’t just stick to running an accounts department if you’re a finance director; you get involved in any aspect of the business, and then I used that as well to do certain other roles in terms of managing change in organisation and doing project management work and so on. So accounting has been a way to do lots of different things and a basis that I could always fall back on.

00:02:46 The lowest point was probably being made redundant. I think that’s probably a low point in everybody’s career if and when it happens to them because you take it… however it’s dressed up you take it as a personal problem. But, no, I think I’ve been relatively lucky that jobs that have come my way, I’ve always enjoyed doing, and they’ve always, by and large, worked out for me, and that’s probably another reason why I feel it useful for me to help people who haven’t had that luck.

00:03:27 I enjoy most things to do with sport, I guess. So for my sins I’m a season ticket holder at Wycombe Wanderers, I play a lot of golf. I’ve recently been trekking in Nepal, which was one of the great experiences of my life, I think. So whilst I’m able to try and take advantage of all the outdoor activities that you can is actually an important part of how I see, you know, my life panning out.

00:04:00 End

David P is a Volunteer Mentor for The Prince's Trust. He spent all his working career as an accountant, mainly as a chief accountant or managing director in the financial sector. So he's in a good position to give young people some good advice.

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average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

51%  male  49%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment?


Jobholders in this unit group provide accounting and auditing services, advise clients on financial matters, collect and analyse financial information and perform other accounting duties required by management for the planning and control of an establishment’s income and expenditure.


Entrants usually possess a degree or equivalent qualification. To qualify as an accountant, entrants must undertake a period of training within an approved organisation and successfully complete professional examinations. Exemptions to some professional examinations are available to those with appropriate academic qualifications.


  • Plans and oversees implementation of accountancy system and policies;
  • Prepares financial documents and reports for management, shareholders, statutory or other bodies;
  • Audits accounts and book-keeping records;
  • Prepares tax returns, advises on tax problems and contests disputed claim before tax official;
  • Conducts financial investigations concerning insolvency, fraud, possible mergers, etc.;
  • Evaluates financial information for management purposes;
  • Liaises with management and other professionals to compile budgets and other costs;
  • Prepares periodic accounts, budgetary reviews and financial forecasts;
  • Conducts investigations and advises management on financial aspects of productivity, stock holding, sales, new products, etc.
Employment by region?
Top 10 industries for this job?
Legal & accounting 46068
Head offices, etc 14512
Wholesale trade 13999
Retail trade 13827
Health 11691
Membership organisations 11337
Services to buildings 8665
Agriculture, etc 6243
Sale of motor vehicles 5999
Computer programming, etc 5835
Employment status?