Get your head down to get the work done

May 01, 2019
Mark McGranaghan, Audit Senior in EY, describes the life of a student about to take his FAEs.

My alarm goes off and after a few slaps of the snooze button, I get up. I’m well known among my audit team as being an early riser.

I walk into the gym as the doors are being opened. If I leave it until after work, I won’t go!

I arrive in the office. This is my first week back in the office in a few months since busy season started. I spend most of my time on client site, with the exception of the summer months where it’s more office-based. I have a quick catch up on the daily news and look ahead at what I need to get done. I have a few meetings today, mainly relating to the planning of upcoming audits.

I have spent the morning closing down the odds and ends left over from an audit on which field work concluded last week. I am a creature of habit so when the clock strikes 11, I can be found going to the office coffee machine.


It’s lunchtime. It’s good to be back in the office as you see people that you haven’t seen since the start of busy season. We gather around for lunch and compare our war stories from the previous months!

It is back to work again after lunch. Before the weekend  can begin, I have a few meetings to attend around planning for audits coming down the road, revisiting the risks in the prior year and assessing whether or not they are still applicable, and seeing if there are any new risks which have come into focus in the current year.

I’m now looking at the team booking for an audit in late 2019/early 2020. The 2019 audit has only recently concluded, but it’s important to have the team in place early. I have found in my first year as senior that my job includes a lot more of the project management side of things than previously. 

I have spent the last bit of the afternoon helping an audit assistant. Being able to help those who are newer to the firm is an aspect of the job I really like. When I was in their shoes, people really helped me with work and I am very conscious that I need to do the same.

It’s home time…except it’s not today. I am staying in the office for a little bit longer to study. The FAE audit elective is fast approaching and I need to get the head down, which will mean I can do less over the weekend. I think it’s really important to be organised able to set aside time to do things you really like, especially during busy season.

I am back home and, like clockwork, my mother rings for the weekly phone call. It’s the usual tale of births, deaths and marriages along with trying to remember the names of the people she met during the week that were asking for me.

It’s now time to sit back and relax because there’s more study to be done in the morning. Luckily, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. One big push and the FAEs will be finished.