My first experience working at BDO was as part of the vacation program while I was at university. This was a four week placement where I was able to work in both the Business Services and Audit divisions. Once I graduated from my Economics and Commerce degree, I joined the graduate program as an auditor. Since then, I've moved up to an assistant manager role in the Audit division.
During my time at university, I was heavily involved in the Financial Management Association of Australia (FMAA) student association which provided me the opportunity to meet employees from a range of Big Four and mid-tier professional services organisations, including BDO. The BDO employees provided me with some insight into what it was like to work there, so I felt I knew what to expect from the beginning.
I found that the vacation program was a great opportunity for me to experience working at BDO across multiple divisions. It confirmed audit and BDO was where I wanted to begin my career. From there, it was a straightforward process to apply for a graduate role as I had already experienced working in the firm and BDO had been able to assess my ability within the role and fit for their organisation.
When I started my full-time role, I worked with a variety of clients across industries to find my niche, landing on construction, property development and manufacturing. My day-to-day role involves leading a small-to-medium size team and dealing directly with clients, helping them meet their reporting obligations. The exact tasks shift from day-to-day, and involve engaging with the clients' own finance teams. While audit busy season is intense, BDO supports its people during this time where workloads are high.
The benefits of working at BDO
Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, some of my BDO colleagues and I were able to spend some time working abroad. I completed a secondment at BDO's London office which I found to be challenging, but rewarding.
BDO has also provided assistance to help me through my Chartered Accounting (CA) qualification. Peers, partners and managers are always willing to help, so the tough exams became easier to prepare for. BDO offers classes and specialist info sessions, and gives employees time off specifically for the CA exam.
Applying for a role at BDO
As for what it takes to join the Audit team at BDO, I'd recommend that you come in with a willingness to complete real client work. If you don't fully understand an issue, you should be comfortable asking about it. Entering with no preconceived expectations is valuable too, and so is being flexible.
If you're wondering whether the graduate program is right for you, make sure you speak to one of the BDO representatives. BDO has a very social environment, and the people are friendly. Organise a coffee with a current worker and see if the environment sounds like it suits you. The vacation program is also perhaps the best way to see for yourself whether a long-term role is in your future.
Learn more about BDO opportunities for graduates and vacation students today.