We spoke to Sam Evans, audit manager at DSG, about his return to the firm following time at one of the Big Four. He shares what brought him back to DSG, and advice for those considering starting a career in the accountancy and advisory space.

What brought you back to DSG?

Prior to leaving, I’d been at DSG for five years. It had always been a personal goal of mine to spend time at a Big Four firm, so when the opportunity arose, I had to take it. Whilst I certainly learned a lot, I soon realised that the culture in such a large firm is very different to that I’d experienced at DSG. I missed the close knit, family-like feeling at DSG, as well as the quicker progression opportunities the firm has.

How would you describe the work culture at the firm?

I’d describe the culture at DSG as family like. Partners have an open-door policy, meaning that when you’re in the office, you can easily ask questions or receive support, and everyone feels like they can go to anyone. At larger firms, my experience was that I could be working on a job but for a partner in another regional office, so we had to communicate virtually which isn’t as smooth as face-to-face. Whereas as DSG has the Liverpool and North Wales office, it’s much easier to have those direct lines of communication.

There’s also a great social culture at DSG. We have quarterly events, regularly socialise outside of the office together, and there are opportunities to get involved in charity events, too.

What stands out to you most?

Aside from the culture, which I believe makes DSG stand out, are the opportunities for further learning and development that DSG provide. We’re part of a wider group called DFK International, which is a global organisational of accounting practices worldwide and provides training and development opportunities. As part of this I got the chance to do a young professionals conference which was a great opportunity to speak to other colleagues at my level from across the network.

What are your priorities in your current role?

As audit manager, I’m part of the audit and accounts team, which focuses on commercial awareness and sector specific knowledge. I’m also the first point of contact for the client. From the start of each audit, I build strong lines of communication and roadmap our plan for the year. I regularly meet with the rest of the audit team, relaying information as to how they will direct the audit. A priority for me is making sure I’m visible and accessible to the client, and by this, I mean that if the client ever has any queries throughout the year, they can come to me direct, and I’ll be there to provide support. My clients come from a variety of sectors, from pharmaceuticals to music bands, so it’s important that I’m adaptable to all needs based on individual client preferences.

If you could give one piece of advice somebody considering a career in your space, what would it be?

If I could give one piece of advice, it’d be that when you first start out, the need to balance work, revision, exams, as well as personal life can be challenging. But, if you are committed to getting into accountancy, it’s something you have to manage. Be visible, raise any challenges, and ask all the questions you can. No question is a stupid question, and although it may seem tough, persistence and perseverance are key.