I’ve been a full-time auditor at BDO for just over a year, but before that I completed a two-week internship here through CAANZ, and then moved to a part-time internship in my third year of uni. I guess you could say that audit chose me because that’s what that initial internship was in - but I’m so glad that it did, because I love the work I do.
Developing client relationships from day one
Audit is all about problem solving which I find very rewarding. Essentially we have to look at a business’ financial statements and reports and work out if they’re correct by asking the client questions and checking we agree with the client’s logic and reasoning. This involves a lot of time spent at client sites which is great – for larger clients this can be up to a week, for smaller clients a couple of days. We ask the clients how they came to the conclusions in their report, whether they have supporting documentation, and why they’ve done their statements in a particular way, and then use our problem-solving skills to validate what they’ve done.
This is one of the best parts of audit because you get to build a rapport with clients really early on in your career – it’s also super interesting because you get exposed to a lot of different organisations and get the opportunity to really understand how their business works. In audit, we are put on engagements from the first day, including going to client sites, so it’s very practical right from the beginning.
When I’m not at client site I’m in the office planning the next audit and getting various pieces of admin done – it’s always nice to go back into the office and reset.
Building leadership skills on the job
I’ve been really impressed with the learning and development opportunities at BDO. Now that I’m starting to get a bit more senior I am leading jobs, which is giving me a lot of new leadership skills, things like coordinating with clients, figuring out timelines, and working with less senior team members to help them through any issues they’re having. I’ve also been involved in trialling new audit software, and it’s been great to learn how we can innovate and amend what we’re already doing to improve work flow. One day, I’d like to be a CFO or hold another similar leadership role and all the skills that I’m currently learning (things like problem solving, decision making, management skills) will all be essential for that.
In addition to on-the-job training, we have a few formal trainings throughout the year on specific accounting and audit standards and methodology that have come out. I’ve also been doing my CA and have found BDO really supportive throughout this. We get paid study leave and because there’s so many grads doing it at the same time we can bounce ideas off each other and work through problems together.
The Partners are also really supportive – their doors are always open to ask questions and they are more than happy to sit down with us for 20 minutes and help us work through a problem.
It’s such a great team environment here. Even in that first two-week internship at BDO through CAANZ I saw how helpful everyone is, so from there it was a no-brainer to choose audit for my grad programme. We all spend time with each other outside of work as well. Just the other day we went out and met the next cohort of grads that will be starting in a few weeks’ time - it was really great to get to know them better. In the past few months we’ve also gone go-karting and rock climbing which has been a lot of fun. Because on an audit assignment you’re often just working with three or four other people, you get to know others in your team really well – I definitely consider the other people I work with as friends not just colleagues.
If you’d like to learn more about working as a grad in Audit at BDO, or any of our other service lines, visit our graduate careers website today.