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University of Queensland
Graduate Accountant (Audit & Assurance)
Jasmine studied Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) at University of Queensland
What's your job about?
Grant Thornton is a a world-class professional services organisation providing independent assurance, tax and advisory services to mid-size businesses. Being a growth adviser, the firm helps dynamic organisations unlock their potential for growth by providing meaningful, forward looking advice.
I am in the Audit and Assurance team in the Brisbane office. The team provides assurance on a set of financial statements prepared by clients and reports audit findings and recommendations to improve clients’ business. As a graduate, I was client facing from day one. For example, I worked for a client who is a property developer. During the planning visit I toured around the client’s office (a tour in the highly secured IT facility centre was quite memorable), performed walkthroughs and had conversations to understand client operations, internal controls and information. At our final visit (fieldwork) we executed the audit tests on each of the financial statement items. My job involves many analytical reviews and corroborations, and every time I find it interesting to discover the stories behind the numbers.
What's your background?
I was born and raised in Taiwan. My family moved to Australia in 2004 where I finished my secondary education. I enjoyed accounting in high school and continued in the same field at university. While completing my degree I worked as an assistant accountant at a small accounting firm. Apart from looking after the accounts in their Brisbane branch, I also administering the reception, delivering presentations to new interns and helping out the marketing team. The partners were great mentors and I am grateful to have started my accounting career there. [NS1] In addition, I worked as an undergraduate accountant in the tax & business services division at another boutique firm. I built up many of my technical skills there. Being responsible for multiple tasks has greatly helped both my personal and professional development. The training and experience from both firms laid a good foundation for my role at Grant Thornton.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
As part of my role during an audit I need to understand the client’s business and its activities performed throughout the year. This provides me with the opportunity to see the whole picture and to gain an in-depth understanding of an organisation and the way it functions. Another cool thing is stocktaking. Some of the interesting stocktakes include counting medical supplies, colourful polyethylene powder, and quartz slabs. Finally, the most unforgettable experience was the one-week long national graduate training held in our Sydney Office!
What are the limitations of your job?
The industry itself is seasonal. During busy season (July to October), auditors may work 10+ hours per day and sometimes even on the weekends to meet deadlines. However, at Grant Thornton, FLEX APPEAL provides all its people with the opportunity to work flexibly such as working from home, early access to long service leave, and 26 weeks paid parental leave.
As we visit our clients to carry out fieldwork, we are out of the office most of the time and sometimes do not see our desks for months, but that’s also a fun part of our job.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
- Get Work Experience: You won’t know what it’s like until you get closer to the action.
- Travel: Traveling abroad helps with personal, academic and professional development so take the priviledge of having long breaks and hop on a plane. This is the best time to learn outside of the classroom, see the bigger picture, gain new inspiration, and meet new people. The exposure to new cultures also teaches you new values and perspectives and you’re more likely to build rapport or strike up a conversation with your colleagues and clients.
- Stay Fit and Healthy because you’ve got a long way to go!