• Date

    11 Feb 2022
  • Category

National Apprenticeship Week - Paul Clifford's story

Paul Clifford shares his inspiring career journey from starting his career as an apprentice to becoming a Partner.

“Having left school at 18 after not knowing what career path to take (like many people at that age) I was fortunate that a small local firm took me on as an apprentice and provided me with training, qualifications and experience. 

I was successful and became ACCA qualified before my 22nd birthday and was fully committed to the accountancy world! What I did not realise at that time working at a local firm was that there was so much still to learn after passing the exams. 

At the age of 27 I decided I wanted to learn more as well as grasp new opportunities and joined Baldwins (which became Azets) as a partner to run a new acquisition in Ashby De La Zouch. My career has since then taken in setting up a business development department, running several successful offices, assisting with a number of new acquisitions and to today as the Regional CEO looking after over 300 staff and 13 offices.

Through my experience was the start of a successful career, I look at the opportunities we are offering at Azets for people in my situation and wish I had that wealth of opportunity at 18. I truly believe that Azets’ place in the accountancy market specialising in SMEs, offers a unique insight to accountancy that no other firm can offer. The larger firms will be focussed on specialist areas with a very focussed learning on that area and a small firm like myself will be limited in the experiences and opportunities available. At Azets, your path could take you into any industry or client type as well as into the main different areas accountancy in the modern world covers.

One piece of advice I give to someone looking to start an apprenticeship with Azets is to ask lots of questions! There is so much to learn in the accountancy world (I am still learning everyday after 24 years) and you will need the support of lots of people during your career so ask them lots of questions and never be shy to say I don’t know or I don’t understand. It can be the hardest thing to say for some people but trust me it’s the best advice I ever got given.”

Want to find out more?

At Azets, we are committed to offering development opportunities to all of our staff. Whether you’re seeking an apprenticeship as a school leaver, graduate or simply looking for a career change. We offer trainee routes in audit, tax, forensics or corporate finance and have developed a first-class training and development programme to support you. Find all of our current opportunities here: Early Careers Current opportunities | azets.co.uk

About the author

Paul Clifford Photo

Paul Clifford

UK Head of Client Service Tamworth
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