A Day in the Life of a Public Finance Trainee Accountant at the Home Office

Government work is just one strand of a public finance accountancy career. 26-year-old History and Politics graduate Precious Akinmoju is a trainee accountant at the Home office. Training through the CIPFA qualification, she gave us an insight into a typical day in the UK’s political hub…


Most days I arrive in the office between 8am and 8.30am. Most people are in the office slightly later so I use this time to prepare for the day ahead. This involves reading emails, going through my calendar and planning for any meetings that day. I also like to check the team calendar; this gives me a good idea of where people are located and what their day looks like.


I review grant agreement requests in my inbox. This can be a time-consuming task as these dictate our relationship with external parties. Once I have reviewed the agreements, I respond to the business units; either granting approval or requesting amendments or further information.  I also review challenges to agreements and negotiate to ensure propriety whilst maintaining flexibility to meet project requirements.  I enjoy this role as negotiating terms can be tricky and very challenging.


I review financial information. This can be a slightly tedious task but is essential to ensure the department has the correct information.  This involves completing reconciliations and sorting through lists of transactions.


Lunch is a social affair.  I usually meet up with another trainee and we grab a bite, either in the canteen or outside. One of the definite perks of working for the government is the fabulous location; this means that there are plenty of lunch options, although you do learn to weave in and out very swiftly around tourists around Westminster!


I attend meetings with stakeholders.  During the meeting we discuss the financial position; review any major capital spend programmes, and check we have the resources to cover it.


I write a follow up report on the meetings which is distributed to attendees and relevant senior colleagues. I also speak with other business units to resolve any queries/obtain clarification. At month ends, I compile and process accruals.

End of the working day

Although I have core hours during which I need to be at the office, the end of the working day can vary depending on the workload.  Flexible working is a huge bonus as it means that I can manage my working hours. Most days I leave at 5pm.