My experience joining Perth’s BDO corporate tax team

This article was originally published 16 March 2020. Charlotte is now Senior Consultant, Corporate and International Tax, at BDO in Australia. 

I started studying Accounting and Finance at Edith Cowan University in 2015, and I graduated in June 2019. I always knew that accounting was the path I wanted to follow, but initially, I didn’t know tax was where I would want to work specifically. It wasn’t until I completed a vacation placement while still at Uni that I knew this was the area for me.

As a graduate, you have to be open to as many opportunities as possible and dedicate yourself to any opportunity that comes your way. For me, that opportunity was a graduate role in BDO’s Tax team. So, when I saw the opportunity advertised online, I jumped at the chance.

Daily life in BDO Perth’s corporate tax team

Why did I choose BDO in Perth? It’s the fact that it isn’t one of the Big Four firms. Instead, the culture has a family feel and is very cohesive and there is collaboration across service lines and divisions, from graduates right up to Partners. But in saying that, at BDO you still get the perks of a larger firm. There is vast client reach, with exposure to a range of clients across a multitude of industries, which is one of the key factors that drew me to BDO.

No day here is the same. I was surprised at how much exposure I had to clients from very early on. I complete a range of company tax returns - from consolidated entities to smaller companies. I also undertake a lot of research to assist in tax consulting and advice, and I’ve had exposure to fringe benefits tax, other employment taxes, and more. The variety of work has really helped me learn so much in a short period.

Did you have previous work experience prior to joining BDO that helped your transition to full-time work?

Prior to joining BDO, I worked as a Ward Clerk for five years. As I was balancing part-time work and university studies whilst I worked as a Ward Clerk, my time management skills translated straight across to my role at BDO. Additionally, as a Ward Clerk, I worked out of hours (4 pm to midnight), so I always had to work autonomously and use my initiative. These skills helped me to settle in and prove myself at BDO. Showing initiative and having the confidence to take the next steps by yourself, without needing to ask too many questions, is really valued here.

Have you spoken to your friends in other firms?

When friends I studied with ask me what it is like to work at BDO I tell them I’m only in my first year and already I’m working on company returns, and not just small returns. I am proud of the work I am undertaking, of everything I am learning, and how I am contributing to the great team I am part of.

To find out more about opportunities at BDO, visit our careers website.