Don’t be intimated by internships! It is a great opportunity to get first-hand exposure to a company before commencing full-time work
What's your job about?
I work at a chartered accountancy firm. They offer Advisory, Tax, Audit and Assurance, Insolvency, Outsourcing and, many more services. I work in the Business Advisory department.
A typical day consists of preparing financial statements, tax returns and, resolutions. This involves corresponding with the client, Manager, Inland Revenue Department and sometimes even the clients’ lawyer, banker or realtor. We have a wide variety of clients ranging from individuals and family trusts to partnerships and trading companies. Most of our work is carried out in the office, however, some clients come in for meetings or require on-site visits.
What's your background?
I grew up in West Auckland and attended Massey High School. Strangely enough, I only picked up Accounting as a subject in year 13 but was fortunate enough to have a good teacher who helped to get me up to speed and inspired me to pursue a career in the field.
I went straight into university study after I graduated from high school. I continued working part-time retail jobs to cover my rent and other expenses while I studied. I applied for the graduate program at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway at the start of my second year of study and went to career fairs where I got a chance to speak to people from the firm. I went through the hiring process and was offered a position within the Business Advisory team. In 2019, I graduated from the University of Auckland, started working full-time at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway and embarked on my post-graduate study to become a Chartered Accountant.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
It really depends. When working at a CA firm, it is expected that employees are working towards becoming or already are Chartered Accountants. CAANZ has specific prerequisite papers that need to be taken during your studies, however, CPA is more flexible and both providers now offer foundation courses for people who haven’t met the prerequisites
Some good attributes to have if you are considering entering the accounting field are interest in continuous learning and upskilling (accounting standards and IRD regulations are always changing), critical thinking and good interpersonal skills.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I am lucky to have a very supportive manager who has given me the opportunity to work on a larger client. These larger clients often have complicated structures, involving several companies, trusts and individuals within the group. When you can see how everything is related and get to know the client, their family and their business in more detail, it really puts all the numbers into perspective.
What are the limitations of your job?
Accountants face strict deadlines imposed by the IRD and/or your managers for things such as terminal tax and GST. This can cause fluctuating periods where workloads (and stress levels) are quite high. However, you always have support from your manager and our team is good at checking in with one another to ensure no one is feeling too overwhelmed.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
Don’t be intimated by internships! It is a great opportunity to get first-hand exposure to a company before commencing full-time work.
Try and build healthy habits now. This role is a typical Monday-Friday desk job, which means being seated for around 8 hours a day. It’s important for both your mind and body to part-take in regular exercise, but even more so if you work a sedentary job.
Work on honing your excel skills! I use excel every single day, however, in university I don’t think I had a single assignment in excel. I would recommend taking an online course or even just reading up on the basic formulas and shortcuts, it will make your life so much easier.