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Baker Tilly Staples Rodway

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Harry O'Connell

As a graduate, you are eased into your role and are mostly kept to the graduate sections of a file

What's your job about?

The role of an auditor is to make sure that information reported on financial statements is true and accurate and that the financial statements have been prepared according to the correct standards.

For me to complete my role as an auditor, Baker Tilly Staples Rodway provides a framework for my colleagues and myself to complete testing, accessing the truth and the accuracy of financial statements, as well as a good support system in and out of work.

As an auditor, you will work in teams with a range of clients often changing week to week or every few weeks, dependent on the client’s size or time allocation of the job. As a graduate, you are eased into your role and are mostly kept to the graduate sections of a file. These sections typically include Expense, PPE, Cash, Creditors and Debtor testing. As part of this testing, you will be required to obtain supporting documents from the client and be a point of contact with the client.

Finally, as an auditor, you need to take responsibility for your work and communicate with team members and client to provide assurance.

What's your background?

I’m originally from Auckland but moved down to Dunedin for university. When I moved to Dunedin, I decided to study Law and Commerce, majoring in Accounting.

The choice of deciding to study accounting allowed me to go on a semester abroad to the University of Minnesota. Here I was able to get a firsthand look at the two different principles of accounting: GAAP and IFRS. I would strongly recommend taking a semester abroad studying accounting as it is a universal language and provides many opportunities!

I came into my current position at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway via their internship program and was later offered a graduate role. Without this invaluable experience, I am unsure whether I would have gone down the accounting pathway. If you are looking for a role, regardless of industry, I would recommend applying for internships as it helps prepare you for what is required as a graduate.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

The principles of accounting are not overly complex, but I would not recommend being an auditor without an accounting degree or a good understanding of accounting. The role is demanding as you work with many different clients during the year and need to understand how they function on a basic accounting level before starting your work. Without this core understanding, it is sometimes not easy to understand how the accounts relate to each other and why the client has done what they have done.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The best thing about being an auditor is that you are not always in the office. As you work with various clients you often visit their offices and are often on the move week to week. An additional benefit is that you gain a deeper knowledge on various industries as your clients are not normally in the same industry!

What are the limitations of your job?

A limitation as an auditor is that you can be working long hours. This can be due to the “busy season”, as a lot of companies in New Zealand have March financial year ends or tight deadlines. 

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • If you think accounting is for you, practice your excel skills!
  • Enjoy your time at University as you are only there once!
  • Do as much travel as possible broaden your view on the world!