Stephen Horgan - Center of Excellence Q&A

Stephen Horgan

Name and position at EY

Stephen Horgan, Senior – Global Reporting Center of Excellence (COE)

What did you study in college?

Bachelor of Economics and Finance

With this programme, are you now working in your desired industry?


What drew you to EY when you were seeking work as a graduate?

I studied finance in college so I was always going to end up in this field. The main reason I chose EY was the COE. It was a brand new department and it sounded really innovative and not the standard audit. I had heard that the firm had a very good internal support structure for the professional exams so this was also another factor that drew me to EY. I had also attended an “audit academy” day in EY in my final year of college and o got to see what it was like to be in the firm. The people and culture were fantastic and that was also a factor in my decision to join EY.

What expectations did you have before you began the programme?

The COE was a brand new department when I joined so I didn’t know too much about it if I’m being honest but the concept was very intriguing. I expected to work hard especially as the department was new and also work hard in relation to the professional exams. The support internally for both of the above has been fantastic from the firm.

What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?

One of my first clients I was assigned in the COE was an audit client so I was involved in the audit process both group and statutory. This was a very valuable experience as it closely aligns with what we do here in the COE and allowed me to have a greater overview of the whole process. I was also given some tasks in relation to Financial Reporting Transformation. Involvement in both of these has certainly benefited me in the long term.

Has the scope of your work changed as the programme progressed?

Yes, as you progress you are given more responsibility in the firm. As you progress especially in the COE you will be given more facetime with the client and the opportunity to build a professional working relationship. The scope of my role has changed since I started, from being the initial preparer of work you are now a reviewer and responsible for the work prepared by others.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

No two days are the same here! Every-day presents fresh challenges and that is one of the aspects I like about working in EY. I usually start the day by making a list of tasks that need to be completed for the day. I usually have a call or a meeting in the morning with other members of the team where we discuss what needs to be completed today and anything that is on the horizon that we should be aware of. After that I will spend most of my day in contact with local EY teams around the world or in contact with the client.

How do your responsibilities compare to more experienced employees’?

I work closely with senior employee’s every-day and this has been a great experience. My responsibilities are not too dissimilar to more experienced employees. I may be involved in preparing documents for senior review but I also review documents that are sent to me. I have a lot of interaction with some of my clients similar to the more experienced members of staff.

What skills have you improved since you started on the programme?

I have learned a lot in my time in EY. Project management is probably the biggest skill I have improved on. By being on multiple client engagements it really makes you learn how to complete tasks simultaneously to ensure all of the client deliverables are met. As you progress in EY you will find yourself becoming responsible for the development of junior members of staff. This has improved my delegation and analytical review skills by reviewing the work performed by others.

Why should someone apply to the graduate programme at EY?

The graduate experience at EY is a truly fantastic experience and it can open so many doors for the rest of your career. It will take you out of your comfort zone and challenge you. The friends and colleagues you will make in the graduate programme will last a lifetime. The firm also has the internal support structure to ensure you have a successful graduate programme and set you up for a career in the professional services industry.

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