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Lawrence Dang-Nguyen

The thing I love most about my job is the culture and people at SW. I think that’s the most important thing when working at a firm because you spend most of your time there so it would be nice to enjoy the people you are working with.

What's your job about?

SW provides clients with assistance on tax and accounting matters and my area of responsibility is helping clients with their payroll.

I am in the Business and Private Client Advisory division but my team specialises in payroll for clients. Our division consists of various tasks ranging from providing tax returns to all types of entities to doing financial statements and providing financial advice. My team, however provides assistance with the client’s payroll which consists of various tasks including assisting clients with their single touch payroll, assisting them in paying their employees including taking care of their PAYG withholding, superannuation, etc.

I am very fortunate to be in a team that performs different tasks every day and doesn’t do the same thing which can be very boring in my opinion. In certain days, I would help with the client’s credit card reconciliation for a number of their directors, prepare their payroll tax, working papers for their employee’s back  pay calculations, financial statements, tax returns, activity statements and consolidation working paper. The work that I do is really rewarding and I get to learn something new every day.

What's your background?

I was born in Melbourne and grew up here throughout my whole life. I went to Melbourne University majoring in Accounting and Finance. After graduating with a bachelor of commerce I took a gap year travelling with friends and family and learning a lot about different cultures. To me that year was one of the most memorable time because it gave me a new perspective on life especially when traveling to developing countries and seeing people that were not as fortunate as we are in Australia but still be able to have a fulfilled life.  

After the year, I started working in a small accounting firm which gave me a peek into the life of an accountant and gave me a strong tax foundation. I then went to apply for SW and went through a number of interview stages and was very fortunate to be chosen to be a graduate for SW in 2020. Due to Covid-19 we only worked in the office for 3 weeks and then started working from home which was challenging at first especially for us graduates who are just starting off and don’t know much. But eventually through the great support from SW, we were able to adapt working from home.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Of course. I think everyone through hard work have the ability to do my role because when I started off I had very little knowledge about payroll and financial statements. It was through the kind assistance and support from my team members and my fellow graduate colleagues that I was able to learn and pick up my role efficiently. I think with my role, you just need to be willing to learn and there will always be people in the firm eager to help you out.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The thing I love most about my job is the culture and people at SW. I think that’s the most important thing when working at a firm because you spend most of your time there so it would be nice to enjoy the people you are working with. My team especially is very approachable and supportive which has been very nice to be surrounded by people that are willing to help you.

What are the limitations of your job?

I think at the start, it was very overwhelming and hard as you are kind of thrown into the deep end with work but overtime you get comfortable with it and emerge as a stronger person.

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

  1. Join as many clubs in university because that is where you can make a lot of friends and can network with a lot of different types of people from different courses.
  2. Have a work life balance and work on your social skills because that is what firms are looking for these days and not just your score.
  3. Apply for internships when you are in university because a lot of firms prioritise experience when looking at applicants.