My first experience working for BDO was as part of the vacation program which I undertook in the summer holidays of my penultimate year at University. During this time I worked alongside two senior accountants at an ASX listed exploration company and a managed property investment fund, for four weeks. It was great to be able to work with clients right from the get-go, and the high degree of client work even during the vacation program showed me that working in Audit would be the best way to gain diverse skills while building technical knowledge.
At the end of my vacation program I had the opportunity to express an interest in a graduate role with BDO to commence after I finished at University. I was very excited when BDO offered me a graduate role in Audit and it was a relief knowing that I already had a graduate role organised so I could focus solely on study in my final year.
I then started working full-time in BDO Brisbane's Audit division in March 2016, after completing my final year of my Bachelor of Business Management and Commerce at University. Since commencing with BDO I have had the opportunity to work on a large variety of clients, visiting them on-site on a regular basis.
I have travelled all over Queensland for work, and have acquired a broad range of new skills, including getting to the final stages of my Chartered Accountant (CA) studies. It has been a satisfying experience so far, and I continue to learn invaluable technical and interpersonal skills that have given me a great business grounding.
The two years that I've been working full-time at BDO have been fulfilling. Although it's easy to think of audit as just being about numbers, you do need to understand many facets of the business in order to validate the financial statements. This means getting to know how the business operates, including its management, its processes and everything in between.
Learning from the busy season
There are also challenging aspects of my role in Audit and the busy season (July through October, when most company audits are due), is definitely one of them. However everyone has different ways to get through the Audit busy season. For me, a few months before last year’s busy season started, I thought back to my first busy season and worked out what went well, what I needed to improve on, and where I needed to boost my knowledge. This meant I could upskill in the areas that were necessary, and my next busy season went a lot more smoothly.
One thing that can be difficult is trying to continue your CA studies during the Audit busy season. To make it easier I make sure I focus a lot on time management. I have clear deadlines in my calendar and work towards those assessment pieces while managing my workload.
I am fortunate that BDO provides extra support to help employees through the CA program. They pay for regular masterclasses, which are run by a CA representative who understands what the institution is looking for. BDO also organises regular internal training for their staff. As Auditors are often out at clients, BDO books a division wide Audit training week to ensure that we are all able to attend and complete the appropriate training together.
Audit at BDO has equipped me with the skills to understand a multitude of different businesses, build technical knowledge and have the opportunity to foster relationships with my clients. Not every firm gives their grads or seniors the chance to do this, and I am very grateful that we have the opportunity to do so here at BDO.
To find out more about starting your career with BDO, visit our careers website today.