From trainee to director

Jack Steer, who joined as an graduate in 2011, now serves as a director in the audit team. He talks about how his journey was not as you would expect.

Meet Jack Steer

Jack joined MHA Moore and Smalley as an apprentice back in September 2011 and has remained with the firm ever since. Today he is a director within the firms audit team.

We caught up with Jack to tell us his story since joining and his reflections over these years and how it has brought him to the position he is at today.

He begins by talking a little about his degree and time at university: “I studied International Business, Finance and Economics at the University of Manchester and graduated with a 2:1 in September 2011 and then joined the firm straight after graduation.

“I was attracted to MHA Moore and Smalley as they were a local firm who offered an excellent graduate scheme. I felt that the ACA offered a really good structure and a nice bridge from university life to employment.”

Jack continues by looking back on his years with the firm and how it has changed, grown and evolved over the years. He says: 

“In the decade or so that I have been with the firm there have been huge changes, in particular in how much we’ve grown.

“I remember when I joined there were just four of us as part of the graduate trainee apprentice programme. This year we welcomed 48 and year on year the numbers of young financial professionals choosing us as their firm of choice grows and grows.”

Jack elaborates and explains what it is about the firm that makes young people choose MHA Moore and Smalley.

“When you join the firm, you find that there are so many people who have joined as a trainee or apprentice and worked to more senior positions through internal promotions, this includes many of our directors and partners. This really makes our new young recruits feel that whoever they are speaking too and working with can relate to how they are feeling and where they are in their careers.

“Because of this insight we have at all levels, we are able to offer a more supportive approach to helping young people balance their studies with work. We don’t add adverse pressure, but rather nurture and develop our trainees, this even includes supporting through exams and often help if results don’t go to plan.”

As Jack continues, he reminisces more on what else makes us stand out as a firm.

“We offer an incredible quality of service to our clients, and for our people they enjoy working with a wide range of individuals and businesses, from across different sectors.

“We offer a wide range of expertise across the business and have a reputation for quality. All of our people from across the business play a vital role in this and as a firm we value and respect all of our people.”

But what brought Jack to the position he is in today where he is a director within our audit team having arrived as a graduate?

Jack continues: “For my first three years at the firm I was very much focussed on qualifying for my ACA which I did in 2014. It was an intense but very rewarding period of time.

“Once studying was over I really focused on my career and began taking on a portfolio of clients.

“The natural progression from there was to start line managing and I also became an ICAEW student councillor. From there I progressed to a senior manager role where I would take on a more operational position within the audit team.

“I worked at this level for around three to four years and then last year I was promoted to director level. It’s been a very busy but extremely rewarding period of time in my career.”

As the conversation concludes we ask Jack to share any key tips or advice he has for anyone thinking of applying to be a part of trainee intake for 2024. He says: “Grasp every opportunity that comes your way and learn from others.

“I’d also recommend researching and understanding the ACA study programme that you are on and what it involves.”

As we finish, Jack is asked to describe the firm in one word…


Outside of work Jack is a keen traveller, music lover and sportsman. He is as comfortable in a muddy field at Glastonbury as he is globe-trotting across the planet – having visited every continent except Antarctica! And when he’s not travelling or visiting music festivals, you can catch him at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium in Morecambe where Jack is a fan and trustee for Shrimps Trust, the supporters organisation for Morecambe FC.

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