Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton International is an umbrella organisation of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms, employing 29,000+ across more than 100 countries. The UK branch of Grant Thornton, generates the second highest profits after its US counterpart and is the fifth largest accounting firm in the UK.

7.9 / 10 31 reviews Overall Satisfaction

A great place to develop.

262 employee reviews - read more


  • Expect a lot of responsibility and challenging work from the start
  • Efficient, open and collaborative culture
  • Training is very good with lots of courses and feedback
  • The firm talks the talk and walks the walk on green policies and initiatives
  • Informal, friendly interview process


  • Some managers expect too much from trainees
  • Getting hired in London is harder than at regional offices

As a leading financial and business adviser, Grant Thornton UK LLP has offices in 30 locations across the UK, more than 25,000 individual and 15,000 corporate and institutional clients, and now regularly posts revenues in excess of the $1 billion barrier. Grant Thornton International is an umbrella organisation that encompasses 100 independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms worldwide, including Grant Thornton UK. This accounting network employs more than 2,400 partners in over 100 countries and over 29,000 people globally. The UK branch, Grant Thornton UK, generates the second highest profits after its US counterpart and it is the fifth largest accounting firm in the UK – a position it seems content to maintain, rather than attempt to break into the Big Four.

In 1924, 26-year-old Alexander Richardson Grant – then a Chicago based senior-accountant with Ernst & Ernst (now Ernst & Young) – left the relative comfort of an established company to pursue his plan for public accounting. He subsequently founded Alexander Grant & Co – a firm committed to providing services to mid-sized companies; this stance is still held by the firm today.

The 1950s and early 1960s were times of explosive growth and centralisation for the firm. During the mid-1960s the firm’s leadership decided it was the ideal time to expand internationally. In 1969, Alexander Grant & Co joined with firms from Australia, Canada, and the UK to establish the organisation of Alexander Grant Tansley Witt.

By 1980, Alexander Grant & Co had joined with 49 other accounting firms – most notably Thornton Baker in the UK, a firm with similar qualities, clients and values. These alliances culminated in the founding of Grant Thornton International, in 1986, when US firm Alexander Grant merged with UK firm Thornton Baker. Then in 2007, Grant Thornton UK merged with Robson Rhodes – the biggest merger in the UK since PricewaterhouseCoopers’ inception in 1998 – to become the fifth largest accounting firm in the UK.

The UK’s outpost has three main departments: audit, tax and advisory. It does however offer additional services, including corporate finance, business risk services, forensic investigation services, financial advisory, recovery and reorganisation, renewable energy and environment services, fraud insolvency and technology services. The firm provides these services to more than 40,000 individuals, privately-held businesses and public interest entities. And the vast majority of AIM-listed companies automatically look to Grant Thornton for their services – a situation reflected by a client list 40% greater than its closest rival.

Grant Thornton’s audit services are particularly commendable. The independent Takeover Panel that supervises and regulates takeovers and mergers recently named Grant Thornton UK as their new external auditor – a role previously bestowed to PricewaterhouseCoopers. This makes Grant Thornton the external auditor for three important regulatory bodies, as it also audits the Financial Services Authority and Institute of Chartered Accountants, in England and Wales. Additionally, Grant Thornton produces an annual review of corporate governance in the FTSE 350, which has become a standard reference document on the market.

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Grant Thornton takes on graduates in a number of departments, including audit, tax, recovery and reorganisation, actuarial and business risk services. It then offers successful applicants the chance to specialise within these areas. Applications are made through an online form; however, the requirements are tough. To secure a place on the graduate programme, you'll need at least a 2:1 in a relevant discipline, 300 UCAS points and a B or above in GCSE Maths and English.

If your application is successful then you’ll have to sit two online 20 minute aptitude tests – one verbal reasoning, one numerical. However, their website does offer applicants help and advice on preparing for both of these. If successful, you will be invited to a competency interview (or phone interview) with a member of the HR team. The questions asked will explore your academic and vocational decisions, including what attracts you to a career at Grant Thornton in particular and why you want to join the service line to which you applied.

Tick the interviewers boxes, and you’ll be invited back for an assessment. The assessment day at Grant Thornton is generally considered to be more laid back and relaxed than at other firms. It will last approximately three hours and consists of a 30 minute partner case study and, in some cases, a 45 minute interview with a manager. This will be followed by a lunch with the other candidates, before concluding with a company presentation from the HR team. You'll be please to hear that Grant Thornton don't mess around – candidates are normally notified of the outcome of the final interview within 5 working days.


Grant Thornton Graduate Recruitment Info

Application Deadline: 29 September 2013

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No. of UK employees: 4,000+
No. of UK partners: 240+
Graduate intake: Approx. 250
No. of UK offices: 28


£20,000 -- Audit, Entry level, Cardiff
£20,000 -- Audit, Entry level, Bristol
£20,000 -- Audit, Entry level, Bristol
£20,000 -- Audit, Entry level, Bristol
£20,000 -- Audit, Entry level, Bristol
£20,500 -- Audit, Entry level, Cardiff
£23,000 -- Tax, Entry level, Milton Keynes
£25,500 -- Tax, Entry level, London
£25,750 -- Tax, Entry level, London
£26,500 -- Tax, Entry level, London


Actuarial and Risk
Audit & Assurance
Budget Comment
Business Risk Services
Buying & Selling
Capital Markets
Competition Services
Corporate & International Tax
Corporate Tax
Corporation Tax
Employer Solutions
Entrepreneurial Advisory
Entrepreneurial Services
Expatriate Tax
Financial Services
Forensic and Investigation Services
Fraud Insolvency Division
Grant Thornton
HR Consultancy
Large Corporate Tax
Lead Advisory
Not for Profit
Operations & Post Deal Services
Outsourced Accounting and Payroll
Private Client
Private Equity
Project Finance
Public Sector Assurance
Public Sector Audit
Public Sector Consultancy
Public Sector Risk Management
R & D Tax Relief
Recovery & Reorganisation
Regulatory Outsourcing
Renewable Energy & Environment Services
Tax Investigations Services
Technology Solutions
Transaction Services
Transaction Tax
Wealth Management & Financial Planning

There is an internal site called 'Shopping Gateway' which offers exclusive discounts on a wide variety of high street shops and restaurants.

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Questions regarding how I, in my past experiences, have exhibited qualities that are promoted by my firm. Also asked questions on a specific case study.

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We recycle paper and have a container in the kitchen where you can donate old clothes and mobile phones to charity. We are about to move over from paper filing to electronic filing to further reduce waste.

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Promotion in the first three years occurs every October, as long as your year-end appraisal suggests that you deserve the promotion being offered. After that it is more difficult to get promotion as there are more limited opportunities with more direct competition from fellow colleagues.

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London Office:
Grant Thornton House
22 Melton Street, Euston Square
London NW1 2EP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7383 5100

No. of UK locations: 28

UK locations recruiting graduates:
Bury St Edmunds
Milton Keynes