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Article:

Combining postgraduate study with working at BDO

05 July 2018

When I started studying a Bachelor of Laws and Science at University of Queensland, I hadn't expected to end up working in Indirect Tax at BDO. However, after a friend began working at the firm and told me how much she enjoyed it, I decided to apply, and haven't looked back since. 

I commenced at BDO in 2015, initially working as a Consultant for two years until I was promoted to Senior Consultant in July 2017. My commercial background has been really useful in working in the Indirect Tax team. It's been one of those unexpected opportunities that I would never have picked, but that I've loved - I certainly don't plan to move any time soon. 

Rewarding work with not-for-profits

My role is great because no two days are the same. We do both internal work (we get a lot of referrals from other departments), as well as working closely with clients.

I've particularly enjoyed helping not-for-profit organisations. Recently, I did some work for an NFP that helps children in the local community. The charity had found out it hadn't been remitting GST correctly on their grant payments. It wasn't that they were being deliberately non-compliant, they just hadn't been aware of how they should be treating these payments.

We managed to step in with the Australian Tax Office and through ongoing discussions stopped penalties and interest being imposed. This was great because charities often have limited cash flow, and we were helping an organisation that had a great cause behind it. 

Opportunities to learn and develop

One of the things I've loved most about working at BDO has been the learning and development opportunities. We've had the opportunity to attend frequent internal training, including a trip to Sydney for intensive tax training, as well as attending external conferences that the Tax Institute organises.

I have also had the opportunity to undertake a Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales, specialising in Tax. It's a part-time, online course that I've been balancing with work. Although it can be challenging having to study after a full work day, BDO has been amazing at providing me with the necessary support. BDO provides paid study leave, and whenever I have any technical questions the Partner and Managers' doors are always open.

The study and work has gone hand in hand. One particular highlight was receiving a High Distinction in the Principles of GST Law module. This was reinforced by all the technical knowledge I'd learnt on GST matters at BDO, and it was a moment where all my academic understanding and work knowledge married up perfectly. 
I'd say to anyone starting at BDO never to be afraid of taking up the training and development opportunities that the firm offers. Not all firms offer the same level of support or assistance with staff education, and it's definitely something people should take advantage of. 

For more information about starting a career with BDO, no matter what your background is, visit the careers website today.