The variety of work and the wide range of skills you learn is what first drew me to pursue a career in Audit. While at University, I wasn't sure of the direction that I wanted to take my career in. Having studied a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting, this meant I had a number of options available to me.
After spending 18 months, working within a team for a smaller tax firm whilst still at University, I found that I lacked the relevant high quality insights, know-how and understanding of the processes that would best help me progress in my career. I desired a broader and more fundamental understanding of a variety of businesses and their operations. This is beyond what can be taught from a textbook and within the walls of University. It was then that I began reading into Audit and Assurance and decided to apply for a graduate role at BDO.
Learning time management through work experience
My time working within Tax, although a slightly different service line, did prove to be very useful for my role in Audit at BDO. I was working four days a week whilst also balancing a full-time degree. Although this could be difficult at times, it gave me valuable time management skills. In particular, it taught me the importance of setting goals and communicating with my seniors and managers, which is something I took forward with me into my first Audit busy season at BDO.
With the Audit busy season running from July through until September, I certainly found aspects of this to be challenging. However what made this easier was the culture at BDO, and knowing that I had support whenever it was needed. I found that everyone is so helpful, and if one person is struggling with their workload, someone will always be on hand to help out. There's a lot of understanding, and the added bonus of BDO providing free dinners and a paid trip home definitely takes the burden away if you have to work back a little late!
Variety and client interaction in Audit
There isn't really a typical day within the Audit division, which is why I enjoy it so much. I'll be out visiting clients about 70% of the time. This isn't something new starters in other service lines or other graduate roles will always get to experience. I personally really enjoy the client interaction side of things and it is great to mix it up and not to be sitting in the same office every day.
One of the most challenging aspects about starting as an Audit graduate is that there is quite a steep learning curve. There are a lot of new systems and processes to learn, however, what I found was that my colleagues at BDO didn’t expect me to be able to get everything right from the beginning. They were realistic with my knowledge and I was assigned a buddy when I commenced with the firm to help me settle in and to learn these new systems and processes.
My advice to future graduates would be to make sure you ask a lot of questions and seek help when you don't quite know or remember how to do something. As a graduate no one is going to question your willingness to learn and gain an understanding. In fact, they’ll love that you're enthusiastic and looking to progress in your career.
For more information on BDO's grad programs, visit our careers website today.