Audit Manager
The Audit Commission

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Kelly J

I’m Kelly J, I’m currently an audit manager with the Audit Commission in the south west of London. We audit the accountants. I mean I’m trained as an accountant, so I obviously have to have the same level of understanding, but I’m not in the day to day business of doing accounting. I ultimately look at what they’ve produced and therefore certify that that is an accurate representation that they are completing their jobs properly.

00:00:31 I initially set out to be an architect, and then the A levels I chose to do were very varied. I had conflicting ones – artistic ones with science-based A levels. They led naturally towards doing an engineering-based degree, but they also seemed very exciting. It sort of brought in the creative elements, as well, and actually at the complete stage you’d have a finished product, being a large bridge or a dam, and to me that was very appealing.

00:01:03 I went and did a degree in civil engineering. At the end of that I’d enjoyed the experience but I wasn’t convinced it was the career for me so I stayed on for another year and did a Masters in construction management. I suppose, for me, the most life changing event probably was going to university. I felt very young when I went, and at that point I was very nervous about what I was going out to do, but that soon changed within a few weeks of being there. I definitely enjoyed the social life, and I learned to become more independent. You’re very closeted, in a way, when you’re living at home with your parents, and actually to be out there on my own for the first time was daunting, but it was easier than I thought it would be.

00:01:50 Leaving university was petrifying, yes. I was quite nervous at that point, but I needn’t have been. With hindsight, it was absolutely fine.

00:01:58 I realised at that point that I wanted to work as part of a large organisation, and I was keen to get into a graduate scheme that was well structured and it had a definite career path. At that point I applied for a number of graduate positions and the Audit Commission was the one I decided to accept. Other roles I actually applied for weren’t in the public sector. One was with Chorus Steel, another was with Boots to do logistics, so they were very different type of roles. I think, like I say, I wasn’t entirely clear at that point which route I wanted to take, but I was very fortunate that it worked out. I think once I’d had the interview and gone through the assessment process with the Audit Commission, I was even more convinced that that was the right thing for me to do.

00:02:43 It was a very structured career path, and it was quite clear that I would actually be getting another qualification out of this which appealed to me. And then moving forward there was a definite promotion route. There were lots of positives.

00:02:59 Every day is a new challenge. I’m still learning. I’ve obviously just started in a new role, but even towards the end of the last one there were still things that I was learning. It’s a challenge, and I like that challenge.

00:03:12 If I was to do an alternative career it would be completely different to what I’m doing now, but that’s not to take anything away from what I’m doing now. One of my hobbies and one of my interests is probably interior design. I do see things quite visually, and I’ve always been quite creative, and I think since I’ve bought my house that has become even more so. So, yes, I enjoy doing the decorating, but also I do paintings that I put up on the walls and I refurbish bits of furniture. I just really enjoy it, but I suppose that’s going back to my roots, maybe with the engineering, as well, and the actual project-based sort of physical objects. ENDS


Kelly J is an Audit Manager with The Audit Commission. She wasn’t sure what to do after leaving university with a degree in civil engineering and a masters in construction management. She applied to several organisations with graduate schemes and clear career paths. Once she’d been interviewed she was convinced that The Audit Commission was the right place for her.

More information about Finance officers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

35%  male 
65%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Finance officers oversee book-keeping, general accounting and other financial and related clerical functions mainly within local government and a variety of public sector organisations.
Entrants will normally possess GCSEs/S grades (including maths), a finance-related qualification at an appropriate level and have relevant work experience.
  • Oversees the recording and checking of daily financial transactions, the preparation of provisional balances and reconciliation of accounts;
  • Prepares or arranges the preparation of financial reports for managers;
  • Plans work schedules and assigns tasks to financial clerks;
  • Coordinates the activities and resources of finance departments.
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Membership organisations 1558
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