Why should I choose Grant Thornton over other career options? What is unique about the firm? How is it different from other public accounting firms?
There are many reasons why people choose to start their career with us. These are the most common:
Our personal approach—the way we work and have fun together, while providing the personalized service our clients have come to expect
The satisfying work—opportunities to work on a variety of assignments for our diverse client base
Growth—our extensive national training program, first-rate on-the-job learning opportunities and firm-wide focus on continuous learning
What will a typical day be like at Grant Thornton?
There is no typical day at Grant Thornton:
- We work on a variety of projects across a broad range of service lines.
- We serve public and private mid-sized clients across industries.
- We offer the opportunity to work with practitioners who have industry experience.
How much time will I spend in the office versus on-site with clients?
Typically, 90%* of your time is spent at a client’s site. This much exposure on-site with clients ensures that you gain as much experience as possible working on files, learning to interact with clients, working in a team atmosphere and enjoying the fact that each new day brings new experiences!
*If you are working in the tax pool, you will spend the majority of your time during tax season helping the tax group in the office.
Will I need full-time access to a vehicle?
No. We don’t expect you to have full-time access to a vehicle. Our designated scheduler makes every effort to assign staff to jobs that are in their locale or to group people logically so that they can car pool. When you’re required to be at a client’s office and transportation isn’t available, taxi chits are provided.
What is the Grant Thornton dress code?
Business casual, defined by clothing that is appropriate for meetings with clients, is the dress code we follow during normal business hours. We are a professional office and must remember that our image impacts our credibility with our clients and potential clients. Depending on client engagements, regular business attire may at times be more appropriate than business casual.
What opportunities for continuing education and the pursuit of other designations does Grant Thornton offer?
One of our core values is continuous improvement. As a firm we encourage everyone, from the newest hire to the most experienced partner, to learn continuously. Our National Professional Development Program
- helps you handle client assignments and smoothes your transition from university student to accounting practitioner, and
- enhances the comprehension, diagnostic and problem solving skills you need for success on the UFE.
Later in your career, dictated by your interest and career requirements, we will further support the pursuit of other designations, e.g., CBV and In-Depth Tax.
What type of support does Grant Thornton give to students preparing for the UFE?
We’ve developed a comprehensive UFE preparation program designed to help you achieve your CPA designation. Over an 8 month period, we lead you through the process and reinforce the concepts necessary to ensure success!
There are four main components to our program:
- An orientation course to get you started on the right foot
- An early preparation component focused on study plan preparation and exam-writing strategies
- An intensive exam-writing workshop providing many opportunities for individual coaching
- A follow-up meeting to help you finalize your mental preparation
Does Grant Thornton provide support to other designations?
We strive to provide equivalent support to all students pursing CA, CMA and CGA designations.
What are the firm-wide pass rates? How do Grant Thornton hires fare on the UFE?
Our UFE writers consistently put on a strong performance, typically achieving a national pass rate beyond the CICA national pass rate. In addition to numerous medal winners and writers who made CICA Honour Roll, we are able to boast of three national gold medallists in the last several years.
How will my performance be evaluated at Grant Thornton? When can I expect to become a senior accountant?
Your performance will be continuously reviewed and evaluated by those responsible for supervising and managing your work assignments. Much of this feedback is ongoing and will be given informally on the job. Job specific performance feedback forms are also prepared periodically and will be discussed with you during feedback interviews.
You will be assigned a coach and will receive feedback on your performance throughout the year. We also encourage you to seek out feedback on an ongoing basis.
In addition, you will receive an annual performance review in June that provides you with an opportunity to discuss your career progress over the past year and set out goals for career development. Your annual performance review form is discussed with you during an appraisal interview. Your performance will be evaluated based on a set of competency performance expectations for your position.
Performance evaluations and promotions are driven by your achievement of defined competencies. As such, there is no defined timeframe for promotion to senior accountant.
What kind of industry-specific software does Grant Thornton use?
All of our offices have a full complement of PCs, including laptops and desktops, networked using Microsoft software. Communication and collaboration across the firm utilizes a sophisticated Knowledge Management (Intranet) tool. We have both internally developed and purchased specialized software programs for applications such as
- tax planning and compliance;
- internal control documentation and evaluation;
- audit planning, sampling and analytical review; and
- financial accounting and statement preparation.
How big is Grant Thornton, and do you have international connections?
Together with the Quebec firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, Grant Thornton in Canada has more than 3100 people in offices across the country. Grant Thornton LLP is a Canadian member of Grant Thornton International Ltd, whose member firms have over 585 offices worldwide and are represented in over 100 countries.
What do you do to help newly hired staff get settled in the firm?
We believe that the first few months in a new job are very important. We provide our new hires with an orientation program designed to get them off to a good start by introducing them to their colleagues, work responsibilities and the policies and practices of the firm.
The orientation period lasts several months. It begins with an entry interview or briefing session on the first day, followed closely by a series of training experiences and job assignments during which you receive special attention and supervision. The orientation period concludes with a formal performance review after approximately 4-6 months.
What qualities do you look for when recruiting new staff?
When recruiting new staff, we look for a wide variety of qualities that we believe to be critical to success in our profession:
- A solid transcript is evidence of "book smarts," but we also look for "street smarts"—a common sense approach to problem-solving and an understanding of how things work in the real world. We also look for people with inquisitive minds who love to learn new things.
- Motivation is also important. We look for people who set challenging goals and have a track record of self-discipline and commitment to achieving those goals.
- Equally important are interpersonal skills—the ability to communicate ideas, to be an effective part of a group and to take a leadership role when appropriate.
We’re looking for team-focused people with the desire and ability to support others as well as help them grow and develop.