Taking on the ETL Challenge

Nov 10, 2023 | Careers

At the end of October, Bethany Brown and Calum Lee, two of our trainees, swapped Harold Sharp HQ for a week at fellow ETL Global accounting firm Konings Maters, based in The Netherlands. The swap was part of the newly launched ‘ETL Challenge’ – an ETL Global initiative enabling staff members from across the group to experience how a fellow ETL member firm operates from another country.

Prior to Bethany and Calum’s departure, our office had played the role of host and welcomed Cristina, Bouchra, Cristina and Lucia from Spain and Bart from The Netherlands, providing them with a whirlwind tour of accounting and business advisory practice in the UK as well as a social view of life in Manchester. You can catch the highlights in the videos below!

The overall aim of the Challenge is to enable young professionals to gain experience of how ETL firms in different countries carry out their day-to-day operations, learning about how their strategies, accounting processes and regulations differ internationally.

Lessons from the Netherlands

“We were really impressed by the Konings Maters offices” says Calum. “The team were really welcoming from the beginning and had a great schedule lined up for us. We met with different team members from across different departments and it was great to get an insight into their processes and how they differ from ours. One of the biggest differences was that they have a corporate finance department – so it was interesting to hear about the types of transactions they work on.”

“Konings Maters was actually very similar to Harold Sharp in many ways – albeit a larger firm” comments Bethany. “Their teams are doing very similar work to us and are also committed to delivering technology-led solutions for clients. They strive to be fully cloud-based by next year. They don’t use Xero like us though. They work with Dutch cloud-based accounting software AFAS SB+ and Exact.”

Takeaways from the Challenge

“Harold Sharp joined the ETL network 2 years after I joined as an apprentice so I had never expected to have this kind of opportunity available to me. I really enjoyed taking part in the Challenge and managed to add on 24 hours in Amsterdam to the end of the week!” says Calum.

“Taking part has taught me a lot about the ETL Network and made me more appreciative of it” adds Bethany. “We talk about being an independent firm ‘bolstered’ by an international network but I hadn’t ever really thought about what that meant for me professionally. I would highly recommend that young professionals in the ETL network consider applying to take part in the future.”

Find out more

Are you interested in a career with an international edge? Take a look at our current vacancies here.

Or, to find out more about the ETL Group, visit www.etl-global.com/


What does 48 hours with Harold Sharp look like? 


What does one week with Konings Maters (Netherlands) look like?