A day in the life of a Business Advisory Graduate at BDO

Zoe Morrell, Business Advisory Services, BDO Christchurch 

My career with BDO started in November 2021 as an Intern. I really enjoyed my internship and I was fortunate enough to get offered a Graduate position after that. I stayed on part time until I finished my degree and then started as a full-time Grad in July 2022 in the Business Advisory team.  

No day is ever the same 

One of the best things about working in BAS at BDO is that no day is ever the same. I have the opportunity to work with a range of different clients, starting with sole run businesses all the way through to big companies. Because of the large range of clients, I’ve seen a lot of diversity in the business world and how lots of different organisations are run. No client is the same and it’s been interesting getting to know what they do and being able to get more and more involved in their businesses.  
It’s really amazing what I’ve been exposed to at BDO. Each day can see me doing a wide variety of work, from preparing annual accounts to meeting with clients. I also prepare a lot of tax and GST returns for different businesses. 

Annual accounts form the bulk of my work at this point. This involves using work papers to pull numbers together and find where money is coming from, checking everything adds up, reconciling GST, and ensuring the amount in a client’s bank account agrees with what the bank says they’ve got. Depending on the size of the client, a set of financial statements can take anything from a couple of days to up to a week to complete.  

Everything goes to my manager for a final review – it’s handy having an expert pair of eyes double checking my client work is of a high standard. Every graduate at BDO also gets assigned a buddy who has a couple more years’ experience than us – I love this as I can ask my Buddy anything along the way to help my understanding and ensure what I send through to my Manager is accurate.  

Zoe has loved the open, relaxed culture at BDO. 

Learning in an open, relaxed culture 

The amount of training we’ve had at BDO has been great. My first few weeks as a grad was pretty much all training, which was great to get us up to speed quickly and give us confidence around the work we carry out.  

We also have BAS training once a week for all the grads and second years. This is always a really useful session where we’ll go through different aspects of what we do in BAS. The person leading it is a senior accountant or a manager and will always use an example so we can see how what we’re learning about works in practice.  
The culture at BDO is awesome. Everyone is very welcoming and inviting. We have an open plan office so you sit next to your managers and the senior accountants, and you have access to the Partners at all times. We have a lot of sports teams like touch and indoor netball and generally do a lot of things together as a team. It’s fun and makes for a great team environment.  

We have a dress for your day policy which means we can match our dress depending on whether we’re seeing clients or just staying in the office. It’s also nice how flexible everything is – we have flexi work times depending on what we’ve got going on in our personal lives, and we can easily go to appointments during work hours if we need to. 

My career goal is to become a Chartered Accountant and I’ve already started that pathway with BDO. It’s an awesome place to be doing this and fulfilling my career goal. They’ve been really supportive, and I have a big team around me of people who have already completed their CA or are doing it with me, so I have all the resources I need. The work that I do day to day has also fed into my studies.  

Be your best at BDO 

If you’d like to learn more about working as a grad in Business Advisory at BDO, or any of our other service lines, visit our student careers website today