Baker Tilly

Baker Tilly
#1

Is there a way I can find out who BT’s clients are??

Cheers

#2

HI badger,

I’m afraid I don’t know where you could find information of all their clients.

But are you applying for a role at the moment? If so and its within audit, then don’t worry too much, as knowledge of clients is definatly not as necessary as it would be with a top4.

When I went through the process (for a grad role in Audit), I wasn’t expected to know any of their clients. As most of them are owner managed and not as large as the ones the top 4 deal with it isn’t such a focusing point. Plus their audit teams don’t specialise as much as the top4 so from what I could tell they like you to be able to adapt and think about any type of business.
As far as I know one of their biggest clients if Bloomsbury Publishing, but most of the others are smaller. In fact they’ve recently merged with Slater Maidment in London and now have a whole office dedicated to dealing with OMB’s.

From an investment point of view, the partner that did the presentation at my initial assessment day said that they work with the majority of the FTSE - AIM 100 market.

I’m sorry I can’t give you any more info to help you, but I’m sure someone on this site will be able to give you more of an insight!

Good luck

#3

yeah i’m applying for audit so thanks for that info embee16! how did you find the assessment day??

#4

no worries at all.

The assessment day was fine, although we were left in reception for over half an hour after we were meant to be seen, so nerves definatly grew!!

it started with a partner presentation which really is them selling Baker Tilly to you. They’re very proud of what they do (rightly so) and like to explain how they really do differ to the other companies around. There’s a chance to ask questions too… so maybe prepare some, although to tell the truth most of my prepared questions were answered in his presentation, and most of the questions related to what we were told then. But the good old…‘how has your career with Baker Tilly progressed’ always goes down well. Most of the group were scribbling notes as he was talking but although I wondered whether I should be, I actually didn’t. I listened to him and made eye contact, and occasionally jotted a few notes and names, but mainly listened and responded and I think that was good (I had him for another interview on the interview day and he remembered me for being professional and listening well!)

Then, just as your brain feels alittle frazzled, the written assessments start! the numerical are slightly harder that the ones online, in that they often requires a few calculations per question, but I actually found they both had a much nicer structure.
Before you start you have 15mins(i think - somewhere between 10-20mins!) to read through a booklet of information. All the questions then relate to the booklet, and I found this much better as I could remember whereabouts in the booklet that information was and check it straight away, so I normally dont like verbal but found it MUCH better. And the numerical…like I said, involve a few calculations per question but nothing tooooooo hard [… lots of percentage change and trends as far as i remember, eg. you have a chart of information and they’ll say, growth remains the same, what will it be in 3years time…things like that…although obviously might be different for you so make sure you practice everything!]

Then…as your brain is COMPLETELY frazzled I had the group exercise…think theres some info on that somewhere else on here, but it aparently hasn’t changed for years. A theatre thats doing badly, and there are three options to improve it, advertising, stocks and shares, and refurbishment. Theres a set budget, and also debts to be paid off.
As with all exercises like these, it doesn’t necessarily matter which option you choose as long as you can back it up. Give your views…but if everyone decides something else don’t fight until you’re blue in the face! Most of the options take the whole budget so its really what you feel is best. my group went for the refurbishment…assuming there was already a client base that would provide word of mouth advertising to begin a boost, and then once profits began rising, we could take out the full advertising campaign if still needed.
Of course just because thats what we chose doesn’t make it right!!! You have to be able to argue the pro’s and con’s of everything.
Keep an eye on the time throughout, and if no one else does it…be the one to call at maybe 3minutes to go…name the main points you’ve discussed and call for a decision…put your own choice in…or call for a vote if it seem majority are happy with one thing but one person is being arguementative…and call it to a close!

Good luck, and if you have any other queries give me a shout.

#5

Thank you very much, that’s very helpful. Sounds like a gruelling day though! I think I’ll need to sharpen up my maths.

How long is the group exercise for and how many people are in the group? Also, what were the interviews like? Is there much commercial awareness stuff? I believe one of the interviews is in connection with the written exercise, correct?

Thanks again!

#6

Yeah, the interviews are arranged once you’re thru the A/C, so definatly focus on that for the moment!
but I found them fine, and yes they’re with the written case study thingy! The final interview is actually based on your decisions from this. I’ll give you more info later on if you want?

It is abit of a gruelling day, but it was all finished by 2pm when i was there, so at least you can go and relax afterwards! There was a kind of buffet lunch thingy with the current audit trainees and I really enjoyed getting to ask questions, although remember not to let your guard donw completely, just be friendly as they will let HR know if they didn’t like anyone!

As far as I remember the group exercise had about 10-20minutes reading through the information in silence…maybe calculate expenditures…think about pro’s and cons to all, and have an idea of what your choice would be. Then it was only 20minutes to discuss as a group which is actually really short when you’re trying to reach a decision!! There were 7 people on my assessment day, and the group activity was with all of those, so it was really big. I personally let others try to lead to begin with, but after people had gone round in circles for a minute or so, I started to direct the discussion…but as always you just have to act as you normally would in a group, and with each individual group you just have listen well and lead if needed!

Good luck, and let us know how you get on. If you want more info on the ints let me know and I’ll run through how i found them.

#7

Oh my god, i have my assessment centre next week but we have the partner interview on the same day…it’s going to be horrific!

embee, could you give a bit of information about the partner interview for if (fnger crossed) i get to that stage in the day?

Thank you

#8

Ooooh that sounds like fun!! I’m sure you’ll be fine though, and you’ll be in the right frame of mind from the morning to have the interview, so don’t worry.

I had two interviews, both with partners, one competency based, and with a couple of relaxed commercial awareness type questions, and then the second regarding the casestudy exercise…will you be having this?

If not, I will assume it will be a compentency based one. It was very much all about my application form, with questions like:

  • Why I chose my A-level, degree and university?
  • how do you feel your studies so far could have prepared you for the role?
  • What do you think the key qualities of an auditor / accountant are?
    [I said accuracy/attention to detail, professionalism and communication…my interviewer said that as far as he was concerned it was all about the communication.
    I imagine this would depend on your interviewer though, as I went to a pwc one a few bays before where they had said professionalism was the key quality!!
  • Tell me about a time you have worked in a team…and how did you find it?
  • Have you ever been in a conflict situation?..what did you do?
  • What could you bring to a team?
    The usual competency stuff really, like the interview info on here goes into in a bit more detail. I was asked if I was applying anywhere else and was honest and told them yes, but explained why I would choose Baker Tilly over them all.

It can’t say it was either informal or formal, as it was quite mixed. The interviewer was quite laid back and talked around my answers, sometimes asking extra questions, but the overall interview style was quite formal, with set out questions.

Just remember to relax and be personable, I was told it was my friendly nature and professional style that was the big plus.

Good luck and let us know how you get on…or if you have any more questions.

#9

Thanks! That’s really helpful. Thhe competency interwiew is similar to what i have already had for other firms so i’m not too worried about that one, i think i have some good examples prepared that i can use. What kind of questions were you asked on you commercial awareness stuff?

Could you give me a bit of information about the case study interview? I’ll be having both interviews on one day which will be pretty stressful i think!

this is what the email said:
The day will consist of three sessions, paper based numerical and verbal reasoning psychometric tests and a group exercise, a first interview with a manager, and a case study and a 2nd interview with a partner. We ask that you keep the whole day free as you may be required to attend all three sessions.

so i’ll be having everything in one go, assuming i pass each stage.
i’m just worried that i will panic and not come accross well, or just completely forget. i’m ok on general questions but when it’s industry specific stuff i tend to freeze and forget everything because i get so nervous, which is very frustrating!

I also got an email telling me to know the aca qualification like the back of my hand in case it comes up in the interview, so at least i know to prepare that!

Thank you so much for all your help, it’s incredibly useful and reassuring.

Which office did you apply to if you dont mind me asking?

#10

Oh ok…its exactly the same as I did… but I had the assessment side one day, and then the two interviews about a week later. What position are you applying for and when to start?

Like you say, if you’ve had other competency based interviews you’ll be absolutly fine, they are all very similar. Do you know who your interviewer is?
I didn’t really have any specific commercial awareness stuff at that interview…a couple of times I brought it in myself to let him know I knew a few bits (obviously only when it was relevant!! ) and the interviewer did jot a few notes down everytime so I think it was good.

The second interview comes after the case study, and is kind of linked to it, but is mainly a starting point I think. You are left for…can’t really remember but somewhere between 20-40mins I think…to read through a document and prepare some answers to questions and think about some of the issues involved. It was pretty strange a tough actually, the case study I had was for a family business. the owner had started a small company some years ago and developed it to become quite big. He had two sons, one which didn’t want to join the family business and when off to some well paid job in business somewhere, and the other dropped out of school, took no interest in the management side of the company, but worked in the warehouse.
The owner was looking for someone to replace him, and the business son walked back into the company.
He had loads of big ideas…but the other son didn’t like them.
There were big family feuds.

The questions to answer were along many different lines.

  • The business proposals brought forward by the business son were to be discussed… so I gave my ideas of pro’s and con’s and what would need to be done to make each idea successful.
  • How Baker Tilly could help with the company
  • How you would go about chairing a meeting with all family members to stop argueing and would you side with any of them?

Then the partner comes in to discuss it with you. It was quite relaxed though, and although focused on the casestudy, it did branch out to wider commercial questions to. For example what might the risks facing this company at the moment be? what do you think the risks in general are at the moment?
There were also alot of questions regarding tough situations, how far do you go to mediate a meeting? is this within your role?

I personally am not from an accountancy background, and one of the ideas was to rebrand the company. I was completely honest, and said that personally I did not know alot about rebranding, and unless there was a bad reputation linked to the name, I couldn’t see the financial benefit of spending 10’s of thousands to rebrand. But I said that although this was my view at the moment, when faced with a situation like this I would use the network of colleagues within Baker Tilly to find the answer for the client. The partner said that that was a good answer as it showed that I could use my initiative when faced with a query i didn’t know about.
There was also a question as to whether I though a financial director was a necessary asset to a company.

Again there were a couple of questions like; why Baker Tilly? Why do you think that the Smaller Owner Managed businesses are you ones you’d like to work with, etc.

But it was generally quite laid back. Do you know who your interviewer is for this part?

Good luck and any other questions let me know.

#11

Thanks for that, was very useful!

I went to an open evening last night. I’ve applied for Audit at the Newcastle office. It was really useful and i got some good hints and tips about what they’re looking for etc so i’m feeling fairly relaxed about it now. I just hope i remember everything on the day and don’t panic. i think now that i’ve met a fair few of the staff that will be there on the day and seen the offices, it won’t be too unfamiliar to me on the day which is nice.

I don’t know specifically who my interviewer is but it could be one of the partners that were there last night. but they still don’t know how many people are going to be there. at the minute it is 7 but they’re trying to get 12 by wednesday which seems a little tight to me!

I just want it to be wednesday and to go and do it now, i’m sick of waiting, it’s been 4 weeks since i got invited!

#12

oooh 12, lots of people to bounce off in the group assessment, there’ll be ideas flying everywhere!!

I’m glad it seems good. I applied for the London office with Audit, and there wasn’t an open evening, but sounds like a good way to prepare. I must say I found Baker Tilly really really nice.

4weeks is a long time. I had the same, and had to wait almost 3weeks…very annoying!! But you’re almost there now, and you’ve prepared so much you can reread stuff and relax, which is always the best way to approach an interview!!

Good luck hanhan and let me know how it goes next week, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

#13

Hey Embee,

Just wanted to say all this info you’ve provided is really useful, thanks so much. I got an e-mail today inviting me to an AC next friday, seems like they do everything in one day (tests, group exercise, interviews, case study) so it’s going to be a bit hectic! I’ve only ever been to one AC before though, and that was far less formal and structured than this, so really had no idea how to prepare but this is going to help loads. thanks again mate.