A Day in the Life of a Public Finance Trainee Accountant in the NHS

An Economics graduate from the university of Westminster, 25-year-old Amin Choudhury is working as a Finance Management Trainee Accountant as part of the finance department at Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He studies for the CIPFA qualification too, which will mean he will qualify as a Chartered Public Finance Accountant. Here’s what he gets up to on a daily basis…


During my commute into the office I’ll read any new articles on the King’s Fund website. This is a think tank which helps shape health policy in England and is a really good go-to place to get the latest updates and viewpoints from senior people within the healthcare industry.


I check emails and prioritise my workload for the day. If it’s the beginning of the month then each day would have a list of tasks that needs to be completed by the end of the day. An example of this would be reconciling control accounts, analysing expenditure of the previous month to see if any VAT can be reclaimed.


The financial controller (my line manager) likes an update to see how we’re progressing on our monthly reporting responsibilities as he would need to report to the Director of Finance and the regulator, Monitor (if it’s the end of a quarter). I also raise anything I am finding difficult or if there’s an area that I’d like to work on or learn about, and more often than not this is accommodated for and I’ll sit with someone who can show me how it works.


One of the benefits of working in London is that there are really nice places to eat or if you have your own food there are nice scenic places to go for a walk. The canteen is also a really good place to meet other people from different disciplines and it is common to see clinical staff in their scrubs digging into a well-deserved lunch.


Back at the office, I will usually meet someone from another department; Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable about their positions and if I am waiting on information from them I’ll ask about the timescales of this. I am also helping with the Agreement of Balances, which is a task that all Trusts engage in every month as required by the regulators to see how much money everyone owes each other.


A meeting with a senior director at the Trust, and it’s the first time I’ve met her so that she can help me get involved in more operational activities. Contrary to popular perceptions about directors, she’s extremely enthusiastic and keen to help me get involved with some of the initiatives in her areas. She invited me to come and see how operations are done, how different clinical disciplines meet to discuss a patient’s case (also known as an MDT meeting), and how we discuss with commissioners and quality inspectors.

At the end of the day…

My working day typically finishes around 5-6pm – closer to the latter if it’s a reporting period. After that, I have plans to meet some other trainees at a nearby pub as we’re attending an NHS event hosted by the Guardian. Meeting with the other trainees really helps get some breadth on all that is NHS as other trainees work in different organisations and specialisms that sometimes are quite different, for example some work with commissioners and others in community Trusts.