When she’s not relaxing at the beach, catching up with friends or discovering a new restaurant, Sophie Gallagher loves nothing more than working with numbers as part of a dedicated accounting team supporting the wealth management goals of thousands of Australian families.
Tackle the important tasks first
For Sophie, a typical day starts at 6:30 AM when she wakes up before walking in to work.
She says: I’ll buy a coffee from the lobby downstairs and might grab a quick breakfast from the kitchen, before settling in to start the day. The first thing I do is check my emails and tasks for the day in order to make any necessary changes to my schedule and to-do list, as something usually pops up overnight. Then I look to tackle the biggest or most important task on my list first. After that, the rest of the day seems to flow more easily.'
Sophie explains that what she does on a day-to-day basis can vary, but a particularly important period involves finalising clients end-of-year accounts and allocating transactions to ensure clients have a clear and up-to-date view of their self managed super fund (SMSF). This process involves taking client queries over the phone as well as attending client meetings with an account manager.
'I’ll break for lunch around 1.00 PM and either eat something I’ve brought from home in the staff kitchen or pick up a meal from one of the many places close to the office. The afternoons then tend to fly by as I continue to check off my list and tackle any tasks that may come up at the last minute,' says Sophie.
Sophie then updates her managers on what has been completed and what requires more work, before she heads home.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Sophie says the best thing about her job is undoubtedly the people i.e. those she works with and her clients.
She says: 'From the very first day you’re made to feel part of the team. There’s a culture of positivity and teamwork that makes it easy to put your hand up to try new tasks, while the office layout also means you can learn from the most senior accountants, who are always friendly and eager to help.'
'But on top of working with great people, I also get to work with great clients,' she adds.
For Sophie, one of the best parts of her role is the communication she has with clients on the phone and in meetings.
She says: 'I particularly like assisting them with their questions and problems, understanding the critical role I play in their finances. There’s a feeling of satisfaction in helping remove the burden of running an SMSF so they can just focus on working towards or enjoying their retirement.”
Sophie explains that the managers and directors are very hands-on in supporting the career development of graduates. This includes weekly catchups to go through workflows and discuss anything new that she might like to learn or gain exposure to.
She adds: 'There are also regular casual and formal reviews which are constructive and positive. These provide an opportunity to discuss the course of our careers within E&P. What I like is that E&P is big enough to provide the resources for a structured graduate program, while also being able to offer us autonomy and responsibility for our work.'
In regard to formal career development, Sophie has also commenced studying for the Chartered Accountant program under the mentorship of one of the directors. She says the firm has been supportive and proactive in allowing this by providing study leave and helping to pay fees.
What the firm offers
According to Sophie: 'Driven people who like working collaboratively will enjoy working at E&P.'
'If you can hit the ground running and like to learn as you go, you’ll thrive within the Graduate Program. In particular, a desire for continued learning is also important as the accounting and SMSF industry is constantly changing, so you need to be both nimble and adaptable,' she adds.
What tips or advice do you have for future applicants?
Sophie says: 'Do your research, be prepared and stay organised. The more you know about where you’re applying, the better your understanding about whether or not it’s the right work environment for you ― and if it is, you need to determine how you may be able to add value to the company.'