Alanna Tomlinson

Alanna Tomlinson

Deakin University
Alanna studied Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance major) at Deakin University

What's your job about?

Pitcher Partners is a medium tier accounting and advisory firm. Specifically I am an analyst in the Private Clients division which has given me exposure to a range of different clients and types of work as our focus is client service and providing clients with whatever they need.

An average day could start with me compiling a set of financial statements from start to finish, then completing the tax reconciliation and pushing through a tax return. This could be done for a small entity that takes a couple of hours or large entities that may take a week. Every day is interrupted with emails asking where tasks are at, if I have capacity to take on something new, can I quickly do this ad lib work for a client? In my division we may also complete management reports, do some book keeping in our role as outsourced CFO, complete Business Activity Statements, the list goes on.

The work is as interesting as you make it and if you have a passion for numbers and making them work then accounting is for you. Every day my learning is challenged and I grow as a professional. It’s a very rewarding job for someone who is intrinsically motivated and enjoys being challenged.

What's your background?

I did the traditional 13 years of schooling and went straight into university for the next three years. For me I knew not continuing on to uni straight away wasn’t an option as I have always strived for independence and knew a taste of the real world too soon might stop me from being as proactive as I wanted. I did straight commerce so my degree took three years. Ever since the age of 15 I have been working casually to earn myself money. At one point I had three jobs at once, I like to keep busy and I really like money. After uni and before starting as a graduate I got to spend two months travelling Europe which was incredible and I am eager to do more travel whenever possible.

I started out by going through the vacationer program. From there I was offered my graduate position. I’ve now been working as a graduate for nine months.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, though very beneficial to have an accounting background it is not mandatory and anyone who is eager to learn could do it! I know people in my division who have come from civil construction/engineering backgrounds and are excellent at what we do.

For this job I think you have to be confident but never arrogant. You need to be curious and sceptical and not afraid to challenge the information given to you. A good team player, an excellent communicator and as clichéd as it sounds you do need to be hardworking as it is not a job where you can skate by, no matter how naturally intelligent you are.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The part I love most are the moments where you do something with ease that previously would have challenged you and you realise just how much you’ve learned and how far you have come. Also the moments when you pick something up that has been missed by others or in prior years and you get to celebrate that small internal victory of noticing something no one expected of you. My favourite tasks are those that are slightly beyond my capability – I get to challenge myself to see how far I can run with it and you always learn so much in the process even though it may not feel like it at the time.

What are the limitations of your job?

The biggest limitation is time – finding enough time to fit everything into the day that you want to is a real struggle and if I’m being honest gone are the days where I could socialise on week nights. I now come home after spending at least 12 hours out of the house (2 hour+ commute), attempt to go to the gym on occasion, then by the time I eat dinner and shower it’s almost time to go to bed if I want to be functioning the next day. It is also the mental strain you come home with, after a particularly long day you are so mentally tired that you can barely hold a conversation.

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

  • Make the most of the free time that you have!! Life hits the accelerator once you start working and you will not have that kind of freedom again until you retire.
  • Go to university more and make studying easier on yourself
  • Fake it until you become it. (That one came from a partner of the firm so listen to that one)