My Story


Elana joined us in 2017 as an ACA trainee, after graduating from Durham University where she had studied languages. She is now a manager in our assurance team.

My route to BKL

I studied Spanish and Arabic at university and had absolutely no finance knowledge or business knowledge before joining BKL. I don’t think I had even touched a calculator since school!

  • Joined in 2017
  • Languages graduate
  • Studying ACA

Learning and support

I started with a lot to learn, but there is a lot of support in terms of study and work. You just have to be open to the learning process by asking lots of questions, being keen and ready to help and before you know it you’re coaching a new trainee!

People tend to have a negative stereotype of accountants being dull and the work duller, but I have found the complete opposite. Accountancy is an umbrella term for a lot of different roles and the variety of tasks we perform means the job is rarely the same day to day.

It is also much more people focused than I had imagined. This has enabled me to use an essential skill from my language studies: the ability to communicate with different people. Not all clients have a background in finance and they appreciate having advisers who can explain things to them in a way that they will easily understand, during audits and other jobs.

There is a genuine positive friendly atmosphere at BKL. If you have an idea, big or small, people are very keen to listen and see how this can be implemented. We have platforms for people at all levels to discuss and suggest improvements, be it the way audits are run, or outside work in terms of social or sporting events. For example, I organised a Christmas trainee event with another colleague and set up a mixed netball team. Before the first lockdown in 2020, we managed to get in several friendly games in a London league.

It’s rewarding at BKL to feel like you have actually made a difference in the process of carrying out an engagement for a client. Managers and partners are very good at appreciating the effort you put in.

Senior staff are also very good at helping people learn by putting trust in them. On only my second grant audit, I was solely responsible for the audit work carried out on site, reporting directly to the manager in the office.

Looking ahead

I’ve gained a lot of confidence in terms of meeting clients and feeling like I actually belong in the room with something useful to say. I’ve also enjoyed coaching new trainees a lot more than I thought I would and look forward to becoming more involved in. At BKL the opportunities are there.

Elana appears in our video for National Inclusion Week 2020:


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