From Gaugin to governance, my journey to become an auditor

I joined Chiene + Tait’s audit team as a trainee in May, after following a rather atypical path.

I came to the field of accountancy following almost a decade in London working in the creative industries; after studying Art History and English at University, I went on to complete a master’s degree in Modern and Contemporary Art. With my background in research and a reputation for attention to detail, I found myself a job at an auction house and later a gallery, where I became a market expert.

There were certainly things I loved about working in auction houses and galleries. The art world is a vibrant and exciting industry, and I found that there was always something more to learn—from my colleagues, from the collectors we worked with, and of course from the artists themselves. But it wasn’t long before I started to feel like the skills I had weren’t best suited to the jobs that were available to me.

It was actually the experience of a friend that first made me consider retraining as an auditor. He had worked for several years as an opera singer but had recently completed his accounting qualifications. Whenever we spoke, it was clear that he was thriving in his new industry, and I was curious— could it be a good fit for me too? After researching the qualification process and speaking to every accountant I knew, I decided to make a change.

My first months in audit have confirmed exactly what I hoped. While I don’t have a typical finance background, the business and client experience I’ve developed in my previous roles have proven to be great assets. Everyone at Chiene + Tait has been so welcoming— I’ve loved being part of the team and helping to deliver a high standard of service to our clients.

While I know I still have a long way to go with my qualifications, I love that I get to learn from my colleagues and from our clients every day, and I hope that my experience shows that there is more than one path into this industry.