AG Integrate helped Lily Dou combine living in beautiful canterbury with quality forensic accountancy work. 

When Chicagoan Lily Dou met her English husband and moved to Canterbury, she looked forward to combining life in the historic city with her role as a forensic accountant in London. "I imagined I'd get the best of both worlds" says Lily "but in fact, I found the commute to London just too much". With a four hour round-trip five days a week, Lily found little time to enjoy her new home and see her husband. "Although he has some flexibility because he owns his own business, he still works long hours so we found we had hardly any time together during the week. To be honest, it wasn't how we imagined married life.

So Lily resigned her senior role at a major accountancy firm to look for work that suited her circumstances better. It was while on this search that a Legal Director in Addleshaw Goddard's Litigation team (with whom Lily had previously worked) suggested she try AG Integrate. "His team needed more resource in forensic accounting and we had worked together well in the past, so he suggested I give it a go". 

After progressing through the selection process rapidly, Lily joined AG Integrate's pool of consultants. She quickly agreed a placement at Addleshaw Goddard, working in partner Nichola Peters' team. Lily works five days a week: two from the London office, three from home. "Just because you're not physically in the office most of the time doesn't mean you can't get stuff done" says Lily. "I have to prioritise and communicate clearly, but then everyone has to do that. I'm in the office on Monday for the team meeting at the start of the week and then come in again on Wednesday or Thursday to answer queries and ensure everything is on track. If there's a client meeting when I usually work at home, I re-arrange my plans to ensure I can be there - I can be flexible". Flexibility, according to Lily, is the key to making an arrangement like this work.

"There has to be trust and flexibility on both sides. I get judged on my output - the work I produce - and that's refreshing."

Nichola echoes Lily's amphasis on measuring output, "It's easy to be connected to the office from anywhere so location is much less of an issue than it used to be. Lily is a talented forensic accountant, who works as an integral part of our team. The fact that she operates from home three days a week is not important - we're only interested in her contribution". 

"AG Integrate has provided us with a valuable way to obtain the skills we need on a flexible basis and we're delighted with the results."

Gun Judge, Head of AG Integrate, is delighted with the way Lily's placement has worked for everyone involved. "This is exactly what we set out to do when we established AG Integrate - connect talented people who want to work differently with high quality placements. Lily's experience demonstarted the variety of skills we offer - from legal through to accounting and project management."

For Lily, who loves forensic accountancy for its puzzle-solving nature and variety, the placement has delivered everything she was looking for. "Without the daily four-hour commute, I am fresher and more alert, not to mention happier" she says, adding "it has been great for my work/life balance and I am able to focus those commuting hours on being more productive. The lawyers in Nichola's team have been very welcoming, so I still feel part of a community supported by my colleagues. However, I get to combine London-quality work with a life in Canterbury. What could be better?" 


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