A week in the life of Laura Myles

Laura is an audit & assurance senior associate at PwC CI LLP

Lives in:         St Helier, Jersey
Family life:     Boyfriend - Scott McIntyre
Loves:            Travelling, cooking and spending time with my friends and family
Hates:
           The washing up after cooking!

“When working in audit it is important to always remain flexible as things can crop up at any time, so I can find myself working later during the week but always try to keep my weekends free to spend with friends.” 

Monday 

Must make sure... I prepare for my audit team planning meeting

In my diary...
09.00  Prepare for audit team planning meeting
10.00  Attend audit team planning meeting
11.30  Head to the client’s offices with the team
15.00  Meeting with Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”)
17.00  Prepare for meeting in London tomorrow

How it went...
Mondays are often very busy as new challenges begin after a restful weekend. I have a new audit starting today so we are having a our audit team planning meeting first thing to make sure that the whole team has an introduction to the clients business and understands our audit approach and their roles and responsibilities. As a senior associate, it is my responsibility to lead this meeting so I take time to prepare. The meeting with the audit team goes well and the time I took to prepare paid off as I was able to answer any questions that the team and the Partner had for me.

We pack up and head out to the clients offices to start the audit. I spend the day making introductions to the client’s key members of staff and after delegating tasks to the team, I am also available for coaching to ensure they’re on the right path. Delegation and coaching are a vital part of my role which I absolutely thrive on as I love to encourage people to achieve their best and support them in doing so.

One of the most interesting aspects of my role is the opportunity to meet new people and have direct contact with senior members of the client staff, so I am looking forward to my meeting with the CFO. This is the perfect opportunity to get a better understanding of the client’s business performance over the last year and current position. It is also the perfect opportunity to establish a strong working relationship with the CFO and develop an understanding of his expectations of the team during the audit. The meeting lasts most of the afternoon and I make my way back to the office to prepare for my day in London tomorrow.

Tuesday 

Must make sure... I make the “red eye” to London

In my diary...
06.00  Leave home to head to the airport
10.00  Meetings at client offices in Mayfair
14.00  Lunch with my Senior Manager and Partner
15.30  Train back to Gatwick for flight home
19.00  Arrive back home

How it went...
What I love about working within PwC is the opportunity to travel, even if it’s just for the day! Today I am attending a valuations meeting in London for a Real Estate Fund client – this means a very early start to catch the “red-eye”. I have been asked to attend with my Senior Manager and Partner in order to build client relations and for my own development. This is a great opportunity to meet the client in person and get involved in some important discussions.

The meeting was well structured and informative and we got a lot out of it. My Senior Manager, Partner and I take the chance to de-brief and talk things over a quick lunch before heading back to Gatwick for our return flight home. I take the time on the train to write-up the minutes from the meeting, I find it’s best to get minutes written up while it’s all still fresh in the mind.

A quick call in the evening back to the rest of the team to check that all is ok helps to reassure me that everything is going to plan, but it also helps to reassure the team that I’m there to support them.

Wednesday 

Must make sure... I catch up with a friend for lunch

In my diary...
09.00  Catch up with coachee
10.00  Go to client’s offices to check status of the audit
13.00  Lunch with friend
17.00  Complete online training
19.00  Yoga & a walk on the beach

How it went...
Today is another varied day. I begin by spending some time with one of my coachees to discuss their appraisal and performance. This is a key part of my role and I always find it beneficial to take the time to provide constructive feedback in order to praise their key achievements and provide guidance on areas for development. Personal development is something that PwC takes very seriously and I really enjoy making a difference to other members of staff. I then head to the client premises to see how the team are progressing – things are moving at a good pace!

Although I am having a busy week I take the time to meet with one of my friends for lunch which is a great opportunity to catch up and enjoy the sunshine. The location of the PwC office is perfect – a two minute walk from the beach – so we sit there and catch some of the summer rays! During January through April, when time is less of a commodity, I will often grab a quick bite in the staff kitchen, but for now let the good times roll!

PwC are passionate about the continual development of their staff and keeping at the forefront of industry insight, I spend the early evening completing some training which is due by the end of the week. Personal development is extremely important to me and as I am relatively new to the firm I take every opportunity to learn as much as possible in my role.

To unwind in the evening a bit of yoga and a relaxing walk on the beach, this is Jersey after all!

Thursday 

Must make sure... I prepare for the Audit Committee meeting

In my diary...
09.00  Prepare for Audit Committee meeting
11.00  Client Audit Committee meeting to approve financial statements
13.00  Food shop!
14.00  Client meeting
19.00  Cook dinner for Scott

How it went...
This morning I’m attending a client Audit Committee meeting as the board will be approving the financial statements. This is really exciting as it is not part of my every day, however, as I played a key role in leading the team at the client, I asked the partner if I could attend for part of my own development, and he was happy for me to come. The Partner, manager and I prepare for the meeting by running through our audit findings and the financial statements. The meeting is insightful and helped me to see the completion of the audit process and how all the work that we as a team had performed comes together.

The Audit Committee meeting overruns so I make a quick dash to the shops straight after to grab some food for dinner – it’s my turn to cook tonight!

I spend the rest of the afternoon back at the client that started this week, I spend time with the rest of the team and start to review some of their work. After a quick catch up with my manager, I finish up around 6.30pm and head home to make dinner for Scott and I. Moving away from living with my parents in Scotland has given me the chance to brush up on my cooking skills – Scott is impressed!

Friday 

Must make sure... I book my holiday!

In my diary...
07.00  Run along the beach
09.00  Coffee with my coach
10.00  Send report to PwC Geneva
16.00  Team meeting with Audit Manager
17.30  Social Committee Event – dinner and drinks

How it went...
I have scheduled in time in my Coach’s diary to meet for a discussion over my performance. I really look forward to these meetings, it’s a great chance to reflect on performance and contemplate how I can develop further. The meeting is very constructive and finishes by agreeing my objectives for the next few months.

I have recently been liaising with my colleagues in PwC Switzerland, Geneva office who we worked with on a recent audit in Neuchatel, Switzerland – another fantastic opportunity to travel with the firm! Today I send them the final report as agreed by the Partner. A significant amount of time has been put into this so it feels good to have it finalised it and been given the opportunity to talk it through with my colleagues in Switzerland – luckily their English is better than my French!

At lunch I meet with Scott to book our summer holiday - Barcelona here we come – I cannot wait!

In the afternoon I have a meeting with my manager of the job we started this week at the client, and together with the team, we provide him with an update on the progress we have made . We take stock of matter arising and together work on a plan to address them next week. At the end of the meeting we give the client a courtesy call to update him on our progress and make sure he’s happy.  I always try to leave at 5.30pm on a Friday and today is the perfect excuse – the Social Committee have arranged dinner and drinks for the office. We all go to different restaurants in tables of 10 and then meet up at a bar afterwards – a great way to socialise and end a busy week!

My weekend...

Saturday
11.00  Go for a run on the beach
14.00  Meet with some friends for lunch and hit the sales!
17.00  Drinks and dinner with Scott

Sunday
11.00  Go for a run on the beach
13.00  Take a drive to the west coast and walk along the beach
17.00  Skype with family and friends back in Scotland
20.00  Check emails and diary for the week ahead

How it went...
I am training for the Race for Life 5k so I take some time out at the weekend to go for a run both days along the beach. Fortunately, PwC have entered a relay team so the girls who are taking part train with me keeping me motivated! PwC is passionate about supporting charitable events and really encourages the staff to get involved. I also use my free time to explore the Island and Scott and I take a drive on Sunday afternoon to the west coast and walk along the beach at St Ouens – it is beautiful!

After all our exploring, I spend my evening catching up with friends and family back in Scotland over Skype – they love hearing about my busy week!

Before settling down to Sunday night television, I find it beneficial to spend an hour to check through e-mails and run through my diary for the week ahead so I am raring to go tomorrow...