10 years at Moore - Balancing career and family

Gemma Roger, Client Manager at Moore’s Peterborough office looks back at her first 10 years with Moore.

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“As I approach my 10-year anniversary with the firm, it’s cathartic to look back at what has changed in the office and at home!

My journey into accountancy began 11 years ago at university – as a masters of maths student, careers fairs guided me towards two main career opportunities; teaching or accountancy. My patience, tolerance and resolve were not enough to teach, and so I looked towards a career in accounting organising a work placement with a local firm in my summer break from university.

In my final year, I began applying for jobs – writing to local firms asking if there were training placements available and after a number of interviews and offers, I decided to take the opportunity to train and work at Moore (formerly Moore Stephens).

I began training for the ICAEW qualification in September 2010 – commuting to Cambridge to complete my studies and exams. I worked hard. I’ve always been an anxious examinee and I would put in (probably too many!) hours of revision to go on to pass each exam as they came along.  By August 2013, I had bought my first house with my fiancé, got married and finally qualified!

I found qualifying as an accountant a strange time. I’d worked hard for three years, passed all the exams, completed and documented all of the work experience and now I was at the ACA ‘peak’ and I didn’t know what was next. On the one hand I had my certificate on my desk and I’d achieved what I’d set out to do, and on the other I was still going to the office, preparing accounts and completing audits exactly as I had been doing the week before. Everything had changed, and nothing.

However, a couple of months later, in the December of 2013, I was excited to find out that we were expecting our first baby.  He was born the following August and I took 10 months maternity leave. Returning to the office after so long away was nerve-wracking and leaving my new baby with a childminder was gut wrenching.  The baby took to his new routine with ease but it was a particularly difficult time for me. I was lucky enough to be given the flexibility at work to go part time; I went down to working 4 days a week and, as best as I could, I had the best of both worlds. It took time to get used to this new balance but within another year I was focusing again on my career and development.

By the end of 2016 an opportunity had come about for me to work as a Partner’s Assistant, working closely with one partner and his clients.   I continued to lead Audits and prepare Accounts but increased my leadership responsibilities and client facing presence. The experience gave me insight into the roles and responsibilities of being a partner, and over the next three years,  with changes in management, more experience, a job title change and even a company rebranding I was able to develop the role to suit my strengths and the needs of the firm.   During this time I was also able to revisit my passion for education (whilst remaining firmly away from the front of a classroom!); I refocused my audit experience on to Academies and built a specialism in the Education Sector.

As I approach my 10th Anniversary with Moore, I am once again on maternity leave after the birth of my second little boy and I have the time to reflect on what I am thankful for, how much I’ve learnt and everything I’ve achieved…and so, 10 years, 15 exams, two homes, two sons, a wedding and a pandemic later I am privileged and proud to have had the opportunity to grow my family whilst remaining loyal to the firm I trained with. Along the way I’ve learnt to appreciate that progress isn’t always instant or obvious and that we need to take time to look back on how much we’ve changed and how far we’ve come (both at home and at work!).

 I look forward to the next stage of my career and the experiences and opportunities that the next 10 years will bring…hopefully I’ll be writing my 20th Anniversary post as a partner!