This month we’re chatting to instructor, Nick Auer about his career path, and life during the last year. Nick delivers training on a wide range of topics and so you could find him in a classroom teaching on IFRS, IPSAS and UK or US GAAP.
Hi Nick, it’s great to hear from you. Tell us where you are just now.
I’m based in Oxted, Surrey, just south of London.
What topics do you teach?
I cover Financial Reporting (UK, IFRS, IPSAS, US) and anything else to do with Finance and Commercial (e.g. investment appraisal, contract management, budgeting). I teach a lot for UK public sector as well as private clients and also do some soft skills training.
Tell us a little bit about your background and career.
I started out as an auditor with Binder Hamlyn and then Coopers & Lybrand. I got more and more into Learning and Development once Coopers & Lybrand had become PwC and started doing a lot of internal training and training for Clients.
I’ve continued to do that in a variety of employment models since leaving PwC.
Did you set out to be an instructor?
Certainly not. The opportunity presented itself whilst at C&L and I enjoyed it immediately. I was lucky that they had a team that was focused on training Clients which was a viable proposition. I did realise fairly quickly that I wasn’t cut out to be an Auditor long term, although my qualification as a Chartered Accountant and my time as an Auditor have been invaluable.
How has your professional life changed over the Pandemic, and what have you had to do to adapt?
The Pandemic has massively reduced the amount of training being done generally, so I’ve had to do other things like consulting work to keep busy. I’ve massively missed not being able to go to Clients and do great training with them.
Thinking about how you have adapted, has anything changed for the positive?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised about how the technology has stood up to online training, and in the main we’ve achieved outcomes pretty well. Albeit in most cases it would be nice physically sit with people.
Do you think that the training landscape has changed forever, and if so, why?
Yes. Many clients will want some learning delivered virtually forever now as their staff will be much less office based.
Is there a city/training venue that you have particularly missed visiting?
I have done sessions in Miami and Cape Town which were great. I typically spent a lot of time at various UK towns and cities, all of which I miss particularly Lincoln, Bristol, Swansea, Belfast and Edinburgh.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
A lot of my time is taken up by my kids now, but I used to love playing football and cricket. I will play a bit of golf this year and I love holidaying in new locations.
Have you discovered any new hobbies, or talents, during lockdown?
I’ve written a bit of poetry during Lockdown and found it therapeutic.
What are you most looking forward as the UK opens up?
Getting out of my office and going to see people.
What do you think will be the hot topics in financial reporting this year?
The impact of covid and sustainability on financial reporting
Thanks Nick, do you have any final pearls of wisdom for us?!
What ever it is you do, do it with enthusiasm.