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Dear Members, Where did I go wrong?!!!

AatAbiAatAbi Feels At HomeRegistered Posts: 47
I was made redundant from HBOS back in Oct 2009 and since then I was trying to find a job in accounts, as you all know the current situation, it is not easy at all to get a job in accounts if you don't have the experience, experience from banks can hardly get you a job in a call centres these days.
However, I decided to send my CV through to number of firms in the North Wales and Cheshire area, clearly stated that I have no experience in accounts and would like to work for any salary in order to get experience, luckily I got an interview the following day, someone phoned me up offering an interview in Llandudno, that's away far from Wrexham, 1 hour 30 minutes on the train, but I accepted it.
I went for the interview and it was perfect, he invited his father (not accountant) as it seems like he was unsure he run the interview on his own.

As I mentioned before, the interview went really well and were offered a second interview which turned to be a practical test, not sure why because I clearly stated on the interview and on my application that I don’t have actual experience in accounting.

I went for the second interview and I am not sure how it went. Few days later, he phoned me up asking me to meet somewhere in Wrexham, I said that’s fine, he suggested McDonalds.

On the meeting he put his offer on the table, part time training position for 4 weeks (3 days/ a week) at minimum wages, after the training my performance will be reviewed and based on that another contract will be issued.

I said yes, the start date was 8th March, I started on time, after going through all the policies and signing the temporary contract, I started the training.

They don’t use Sage, they use a cheaper software called VT, the plan was for me to do a whole year accounting for one of their clients, the year was from 4/2008 to 3/2009, he said it is better as they are already have the answers so it is easier to do the review.

I did not mind, he already decided which customer to start with, but his son (teenager) decided to change it to the customer (Y) as the customer (X) did not have a bank account (very weird).

(Y) had lots of paper work, and when I say lots I mean hundreds of bills and invoices every month, so his idea is to start keying what’s been paid through the bank statement on VT and then going through the bills and key them into a spread sheet as cash, therefore, the training was 10-15 minutes on VT but that was enough for me, I managed to finish every month on time, it takes 30-35 minutes.

The problem was that he wanted me to treat the customer as a new client, I did not argue, but I mentioned that this will not give him correct figures if he was going to judge my performance based on what he has on the actual books, it was not hard to find that the customer had some creditors, stock and loans, but no assets from the previous financial year.

Going through the bank statement was a nightmare, the customer uses the same bank account for personal stuff, and there is no way to tell but by asking the customer or at least by Googling , which we agreed to do so.
I don’t want to say what these payment for as it is embarrassing, but third of the transactions on the bank statement were for personal needs, however recording the transactions from the bank statement into VT were not a problem at all, all balanced.

On my third day, his son came over to me and said he will show me how to do a whole month. When he came he went through the bank statement, recorded it onto VT came up with different balance and was going to check every single transaction to see where he went wrong, he did not know that he can easily switch the setting to give daily balances and therefore he can compare daily balance instead of checking every single transaction and lose time, the point is I knew that with only 10 minutes training but he did not.

His idea is to spend 35 minutes on VT and 10 minutes on the paper work, which I believe 10 minutes is not enough at all, specially with such a customer.

Going through the paperwork, every month had it is own envelope (not a folder), hundreds of bills from 40p to £1000. Their idea is to check every single invoice, if it was paid by card or cheque then it is from the bank so you don’t need to key it onto the spreadsheets as it has previously been key onto VT, everything else will be treated as cash.

Going through these invoices to see what has been paid by cheque or card or cash will take more than 10 minutes, simply because some invoices were credit will need to be treated as cash in the month their cheques appeared on the bank statement most of them did not appear on the bank statement in the month I was dealing with, therefore I had to go through 2 months at the same time and that was time consuming. Not mentioning payment paid by different card, based on his rules that would be treated as bank payment, but surely the bank statement will not balance as some of them belong to a different bank account and even different card holder, unless I checked the bank statement you cant be sure, Remember, he did not show me how he can go through these invoices in 10 minutes yet.

So basically, the customer was messy, and the person who dealt with the customer before me was even messier (if the word exists).

Well, it is Wednesday, I finished the third day and a long weekend was waiting for me especially when I travel 4 hours every day.

Thursday was a nice day, Friday was not, woke up when the mobile was ringing, it was him, and listen to this.

Well, he said , he saw me browsing the internet, basically, he was observing me, he actually used the word (observing), well, yes I used the internet because that what has been agreed, Google the payment codes to find what it has been paid for, it was not for personal use for sure, I would not even think to use it for personal use even on my lunch, obviously, this did not work for him so he came up with the second reason straight away, I packed my paperwork away 20 minutes before 5, well, that was not right because I actually started packing 5 minutes before 5 and the reason why I was putting the paperwork I finished working with away is because he did not have a spear desk for me so he gave me the reception desk which was less ¾ a Meter length with nearly half a Meter width located by the front door not mentioning the stationary and the PC screen with the keyboard which took nearly half of the space, so technically, I did not stop working until 5 o’clock and obviously this reason did not work for him either.
Well, the third reason was the final, he said I was not quick enough, and I explained to him what slowed me down but he said they have done it before, therefore it will not work out so I was dismissed similar to 2 people were dismissed before me, he said a letter will be sent in the post, until this moment still not received plus no payments.

I am not sure were I went wrong, I waited months for such an opportunity and that’s what I get, logically there is no way anyone can get through this mess in 10 minutes or even 45 minutes.

I started doubting myself and that’s why I am telling you the whole story, if I was the one who is wrong and wasted the opportunity please tell me.

thanks for the time you spent on reading this.


  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954
    Sounds like a rough deal. What were the terms of your contract? Trial period?

    Not sure they can legally end the contract with you like that...

    Might be worth taking the paperwork you have to the citizens advice bureau!
  • slackdaslackda Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 460
    Certainly seems that you got royally screwed, definatley get down the CAB with what ever paper work you have. it seems the only way they could get through it in ten mins would be to cut corners and at the end of the day you don't want to be learning in that envrionment.
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    I got to agree with Slackda here. It sounds like this was not a good opportunity at all and I am not sure you would have learned a whole lot of useful things if you kept on working there. Don't doubt yourself on this one.

    It probably is for the best that you got out of there this quick!
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    Aatabi, you did nothing wrong.
    Agree with the others, lucky escape I'd say!
  • sammyd22sammyd22 Well-Known Registered Posts: 207
    I too agree with everyone! The bloke sounds like a right cowboy!

    From what you were saying above, on how he wants you to treat card payments with the bank etc... I sounds like the bloke doesnt know his **** from his elbow!

    Did your contract have a clause stating that they could terminate you at any time?

    As the others have said, Contact the CAB and get back the money you are owed.

    I have worked for quite a few companies most with really nice laid back atmospheres. Unfortunately you have had a rough time, however i wouldnt let that hold you back because companies like that are a minority! Keep Going...

    Register your self with a temping agency and buils up some experience. Im sure you could get some work as a data input clerk or purchase ledger etc.. I work for a plc and wever just employed a new Purchase Ledger with no experience because we feel like she has potential and im sure we will be proven right.

    Theres plenty out there just keep looking!
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    PGM wrote: »
    Not sure they can legally end the contract with you like that...

    In a probationary period - 1 to 6 months for most cases - an employer can do pretty much whatever they want to get rid of you as long as it's not illegal or discriminatory, however they must still pay you for work already done. Even if you feel you've done nothing wrong there's still no accounting for the lack of judgement in others and it'll sadly just become a life lesson for you. Onwards and upwards as they say.

    I do agree the guy sounds a right a55hole but not too untypical for a small family run company where family members are often nepotistically put in charge of certain business functions despite lacking expertise or knowledge of the functions or people they're supposed to be controlling.
  • anniemanniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,326
    I agree with everyone else .... and feel sorry that you've had such a nasty experience.

    Unfortunately, as Blobbyh says 'in his own way' you don't actually need any management experience to set up your own business and become a 'Manager' of those you employ - any idiot can then become a Manager that way!!!!!
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • AatAbiAatAbi Feels At Home Registered Posts: 47
    Thank you all for your nice words,

    slackda ,PGM:he denied issuing a contract but i remember pointing him to an error on it :), however , it was a probational period contract which was for 4 weeks, nothing stops them of terminating as long they pay 1 week notice which what exactly happened this morning after mentioning (legal action) on Friday.
    i received the cheque and the letter, the letter was really nasty, but after reading what wise man Bob wrote ( Even if you feel you've done nothing wrong there's still no accounting for the lack of judgment in others and it'll sadly just become a life lesson for you. Onwards and upwards as they say.) I believe there is nothing to do but to learn a lesson and forget about that shop which claims to provide accounting and tax services.
    It is very sad that I'll have to mention this experience on any interview as I received a p45 from him.

    sammyd22: I have been trying for 4 months now, 1 of the agencies wanted to charge me for a job search, this company was the only accounting firm to offer an interview out of nearly 70 application forms I put through.

    Jan ,Rinske : I believe i was not the first, he mentioned a lady and guy, he said it did not work out, the lady was experienced and the guy was qualified, he did not mention them nicely.

    now I have to go back to the job centre to declare the 3 days notice payment, what a life!!

    believe me guys, i only took that job for experience, part time job at minimum wages will leave me roughly with £300 after paying the train fair which is £208/ month, not mentioning the 4 hours traveling everyday and lunch.

    That was a nightmare.
  • AatAbiAatAbi Feels At Home Registered Posts: 47
    anniem wrote: »
    I agree with everyone else .... and feel sorry that you've had such a nasty experience.

    Unfortunately, as Blobbyh says 'in his own way' you don't actually need any management experience to set up your own business and become a 'Manager' of those you employ - any idiot can then become a Manager that way!!!!!

    he is a wise man Bob..
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    Well, I think you shouldn't mention it on your resume at least.

    I would suggest to start looking again and not to look back at 3 horrible days.
    As he was so negative about the previous 2, please don't ask him for a verbal reference, but if you need his reference, ask him to write you a letter instead of something alike, as he will most likely be saying the same about you.

    The money sounds like a nightmare, but at least you don't have to worry about 4 hours in the train for now, for hardly to no money...
  • AndypandyAndypandy Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 526
    You didn't go wrong anywhere, they're just opportunistic b*ggers that have caught on to how difficult it is for accounting students to get a foot in the door, & I bet they're onto their next victim already. You should do the right thing & leave a review about their business methods on google (anonymously of course!). Chin up.
  • shawn michaelsshawn michaels Feels At Home Registered Posts: 52
    I think its best your out of there. At least it happened and your experience can help you find a better job. You will know better than most now. I had a similiar experience as an accounts assistant where I was dismissed on a friday night with a small property company without any notice (I was temp mind)! Then they had the audacity to show my replacement around in front of me! I had the last laugh though as I found out the company went bust after a year so I'm the lucky one! I agree with the other views here. Register with agencies and get yourself some experience however difficult it may be. Temping is never easy and I always felt isolated - especially lunch hours lol and i still do lol - but you can get some experience and I guess your doing AAT as well. At least your making an effort and I suggest you keep going.
  • CJCCJC Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,657
    I've done my share of temping and while it has plenty of negatives I can think of at a few positives.
    • You can be glad you're not doing this tedious low paid-task on a permanent basis like those you're working with.
    • You can be out of the door as soon as your contracted hours are up with no danger of being asked/forced to do overtime.
    • You don't go to work you don't get paid hence guilt free sickies*.
    *Actually this still holds now I work for myself but these days I don't even have the time to be really ill.
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