Kingston Smith, founded in the 1920s, is one of the UK's top 20 accountancy and auditing firms, with clients in a wide variety of sectors, including media, sport, manufacturing and medical, as well as charities, educational bodies and private individuals. Among its better-known clients are the advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the Professional Rugby Players' Association, and the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer. A separate string to the firm's bow is Willott Kingston Smith, an arm of the business based in the West End, which acts as adviser to more than 180 creative, communications and consultancy businesses and individuals. Kingston Smith is part of KS International, a global network of independent accountancy firms, with members in 10 countries, including China, Australia and Argentina.

Vital statistics:

In the UK, the firm has 45 partners and 400 staff, in a network of six offices in London and around the M25.

The office:

The head office is in the City of London, while the four Home Counties locations are Hayes, Redhill, Romford and St Albans.

Is this you?

Every year, 20 graduates are recruited for training as chartered accountants. You'll need a 2:1 to get past first base, and be a numerate, logical thinker and a good communicator.

The recruitment process:

You can apply via the website,, at graduate fairs, or just send your CV to The selection stages, including online tests, an assessment centre and two rounds of interviews, are usually completed in around three weeks. During the three-year trainee scheme, recruits train as general practitioners, with exposure to the professional demands of auditing, accounting and tax matters. Trainees also spend a three-week spell in the personal tax department, and have the option of getting experience in other areas, such as corporate finance or litigation support.

You'll be working in a small team with at most half a dozen others, which will give you frequent contact with senior figures within client businesses. All trainees are encouraged to think about, and recommend, improvements to businesses as a whole, not just the accounting systems. Throughout your training, there'll be plenty of tuition and time off to study for professional exams.

Top dollar?

The salary is up to £23,000 in the first year, £25,000 in the second and £30,000 in the final year of training. Other benefits include health and life insurance and a season-ticket loan for those working in central London.

Beam me up, Scotty?

After qualification, accountants can stay within general practice or move to a specialist department. Either way, after two years, the position of manager is within reach, and after five, some have even made it to partner.

Who's the boss?

Michael Snyder has been senior partner since 1990. He joined the firm straight from school, as an articled clerk, in 1968.

Little-known fact:

The rock band Primal Scream have their accounts and tax affairs handled by Willott Kingston Smith.