Article:

My career in Tax at BDO

21 March 2022

Matthew Keefe, Senior Consultant, Tax |

What is your career to date?

I studied Law and Commerce at the University of Queensland, and graduated in 2019. I started at BDO as an undergraduate in August 2019, before working full-time as a graduate in February 2020.

What is your role at BDO and your duties day to day?

I am a senior consultant in the corporate tax team. My role is quite broad, and consists of both compliance and consulting work. My day involves completing work such as income tax returns and tax effect accounting calculations, or I could be working on writing advice to a client regarding a corporate restructure or tax residency.

What do you value about working for BDO? 

I really value the culture at BDO. There is a positive firm-wide culture which prioritises the wellbeing of employees, and this is reflected within each team as well. 

What attracted you to BDO and what really stood out about BDO over other firms?

I decided on a graduate role at BDO over other firms because I was attracted to the values and approach of the partners I would be working for. There can be a lot of separation between juniors and partners at other firms, but that is not the case at BDO.

Do you think BDO lives its values? 

I certainly do think BDO lives its values. In particular, I think HUMAN is evident, as there is a real effort to put in personal touches for client work, and develop deep personal relationships.

Which of your personal values aligns to BDO's values? 

The BDO value of ONE is the value I relate most. ONE is about working collaboratively, I’m a team player by nature and benefit from collaboration and communication with my colleagues.

How would you describe the BDO culture? 

The BDO culture is the most valuable component of working at BDO. I’ve made a lot of friends through work, and we have a great dynamic both as friends and working in a team. I think there is a real emphasis on providing high quality work, but this is supported by a team approach to problem solving. No one is thrown in the deep end on their own, and everyone takes responsibility at every level for the work. There is also a great social element to the Brisbane office.

How does BDO support you to achieve your career goals?

BDO has a few good systems in place for achieving career goals, such as counselling managers and training. The partners and managers are very supportive of junior’s upskilling in the areas they are interested in and taking on different types of work to learn more.

Does BDO offer postgraduate study support and what does this look like for you? 

BDO offers postgraduate study support by financing my Chartered Accountancy. Additionally, we receive paid study leave when needed, and my CA study is prioritised over everything else. If I have an exam coming up the team will always find a way to move the workload around to help me.

Has working at BDO provided opportunities you wouldn’t get working elsewhere? 

I certainly think I have been provided a work environment that isn’t found in other workplaces. There is also a clear pathway with ample opportunity to excel in my career with advancement and promotions just waiting to be taken when I am ready.

What do you do to ensure you deliver exceptional client service?

The key to ensuring exceptional client service at BDO is to work as a team. From start to finish, team problem solving delivers better quality work at all levels, and helps develop a better relationship with the client. Even as a junior, I’m involved directly with the client which is a great learning experience.

What support does BDO provide to ensure that you maintain a work life balance?

There is a real culture at BDO that promotes work-life balance. There is no expectation of working ridiculous hours, managers and partners make a lot of effort to ensure juniors aren’t bearing the brunt of busy season. There will always be times that are busier than others, but the social club does an excellent job of providing events to look forward to.

If you could give one piece of advice to graduates considering a career in Corporate Tax, what would it be?

My advice is to prepare to work as part of a team. A positive attitude is critical to be able to cooperate with your colleagues. Enthusiasm is rewarded as well, be willing to take different projects, and take on the opportunity to work in conjunction with other teams. It’s really handy to have contacts in different divisions and teams you can turn to with questions.