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July 2015

Small firm structure adds up to career success for Chartered Accountant Louise Smith of Hall Morrice LLP

Accountancy is a numbers game and for one Chartered Accountant who has quickly progressed up the career ladder, it's the small ones that count.

Louise Smith credits her success to being part of a mid-tier firm where graduates are exposed to work at the coalface from their very first day.

Just eight years after joining independent Chartered Accountants Hall Morrice LLP, Louise (32) has risen through the ranks from trainee to newly promoted senior audit and accounts manager.

But it could have panned out very differently for Louise, who initially joined an international accountancy firm after graduating.

"Like so many other students I was excited to secure a job with a well-known global brand. I enjoyed it and learned a lot, but firm had a dozen graduates and sometimes it did feel like you were just a number - quite ironic for an accountant".

"I was able to join Hall Morrice LLP mid-way through my chartered accountancy qualification and I have never looked back. My skills and abilities have developed immensely here, purely because of the structure and support that graduates receive."

Hall Morrice LLP has offices in Aberdeen and Fraserburgh and has a proven track record of supporting graduates on the path to successfully achieving chartered accountant status. The firm takes on at least two work placement students, along with three graduates each year.

Due to the size of the firm, students and graduates get to play an active role in client work and are given meaningful tasks to complete. Some graduates have even been seconded to undertake client work in-house in London and Dubai.

The firm retains around 90% of its graduates and has a preference of promoting internally.

Louise, who qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2009, says she was never left to sit on the sidelines or spend time simply observing. She now manages clients from a wide range of industry sectors, ranging from oil and gas to fishing.

She adds, "Hall Morrice is big enough to have real experts on the team, but small enough to have a family feel. There is a huge emphasis on graduate development, and I am incredibly grateful for that as at one time I feared I would never qualify".

"From talking to friends who graduated at the same time as me, it is clear that Hall Morrice LLP has a much wider knowledge and understanding of graduate development, particularly in relation to CA subjects".

"I was able to get real, practical work experience of those subjects on a day-to-day basis and not just read about them in text books. I am sure that was the difference between me passing my final CA exam instead of failing".

"I am grateful to have been able to progress so much, and so quickly. I'm now I am in a position where I am able to support our latest batch of placement students and Chartered Accountant trainees".

"When I was a student I was certainly impressed by the idea of working for an internationally known brand and there is always quite a scramble to get one of the coveted graduate posts. It could be the right move for some, but I would definitely urge students to dream big and think small".

Formed in 1976, Hall Morrice offers accountancy services across major sectors including oil and gas, construction, retail and service industries, with offices in both Aberdeen and Fraserburgh. Hall Morrice is based at 6 and 7 Queen's Terrace in Aberdeen and can be contacted on 01224 647394 or at

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Hall Morrice LLP
Chartered Accountants

6 & 7 Queens Terrace
Aberdeen AB10 1XL
tel +44 (0)1224 647394
fax +44 (0)1224 639541
© Hall Morrice 2011