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Louise Harden: A Day in the Life

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Louise Harden audit manager

How do you get ready to start your day?

I go for a walk every morning and listen to a podcast, usually something to make me laugh before I start work.

What’s changed about your typical day in the last five years?

I can control my day much less than I could five years ago! I started my training in 2014 so five years ago I was still a junior and had much less responsibility. I am a Rickmansworth Audit Manager now and so my day can take a significantly different direction than planned, depending on the calls and emails I get throughout the day from the team and clients.

Why did you decide to choose this career?

Interestingly, both of my parents are accountants and told me multiple times that I would not like accountancy and that I would find it boring. I studied business management and maths and university and as I was coming to my final year and trying to decide on a career path, it dawned on me that almost every decision I had made throughout my education lent itself to accountancy. I was reading the advert for the job and the application felt so easy to complete that it felt like fate and the rest is history.

What tasks take up most of your time during the day?

I spend most of my day reviewing audit or accounts work and liaising with clients to assist them in completing their statutory accounts. I am also the training champion in the Rickmansworth office, so a lot of my time is spent on the phone to trainees or planning training sessions which I run on a monthly basis.

What advice would you give your younger self/someone just starting out?

As a trainee, it is so difficult to get a good work/life balance, as not only do you have a normal job, but you have to fit studying in as well. Moreover, how you perform as a result of your studying impacts your job security, which creates a lot of pressure. I would say that it is important to make sure you give yourself a clear schedule so that you make time to do things you enjoy. For me, it made the studying I did do more effective and meant that when I was not studying, I did not have the guilt of not being in front of a book.

Which social media platform do you visit every day?

Instagram. My house needs some serious re-decoration and I use Instagram for interior design inspiration. I can also watch people do their hair and make up for hours on end and Instagram is perfect for this.

Tell me about how you manage your To Do list.

I was bought a “Things to do today” planner recently which helps me to breakdown my week’s tasks into daily priorities. It helps me to ensure that first thing in the morning I focus on the jobs I need to do, and then if I have time at the end of the day, I can sweep up the smaller, non-urgent tasks. By the end of a normal week, I have normally done everything I needed to, which lets me have time to plan for the next week before logging off and clears my mind for the weekend.

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