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A day in the life of a graduate accountant

Posted 1 year ago in Advisors by Murielle Baker
Posted by Murielle Baker

A graduate accountant at BDO, Emma Bell, takes me through a day in her life as a worker fresh out of university.

What does a graduate accountant actually DO at work? Three and a half years of studying a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in accounting, and I’m about to find out.

Waking from my alarm at 7.00am (after hitting the snooze button it several times!), my work day waits for me. After I get to work I do a quick check of the intranet for any news from within the office, and then dig into my emails where the work begins.

My first email is from a client I have come to know well. With exceptional client service being an important aspect of BDO, I’ve been shown how to communicate effectively and efficiently with clients, and have been given the opportunity over time to get to know clients and be an integral part of their business. With the recent shift for this client to Xero, I make contact via phone to provide support and talk them through their queries. A follow-up email also helps provide clarification of the process and ensures that the client fully understands Xero and is confident with this user-friendly system.

Having completed my degree at Southern Institute of Technology while being fortunate to work at BDO at the same time, I have had the opportunity to become a Xero champion. From training staff to clients, working at BDO has been a great experience and a huge learning curve. This experience has shown me the value that accountants provide and the appreciation that clients have for their accountants.

As my work is dictated by which day of the month it is (whether it is GST time, creditor processing or annual accounting work), I maintain my schedule with important dates set as reminders. With today being near the 20th of the month I get stuck into processing the monthly creditors for one of our dairy farming clients. Being able to provide services like this enables our clients to focus their own energy on doing the work that they enjoy and trust their accountants to provide high value services in supporting the client. Having this client on Xero and having access to live data lets us prepare and analyse accounts and provide valuable information to clients.

At 2.00pm where staff members convene for an hour and half webinar on Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT). This is one of the many training sessions that is organised for partners and staff to help further our skills and knowledge. One thing that we are never short of is the opportunity to learn: whether it is a new software, new regulations, or new clients. We are surrounded by change and always learning.

Having finished the training and group discussion, everyone is back at their desk to continue working for the remainder of the day. Returning to my desk from training I find files on my desk to be finalised for a client meeting to be held on Friday afternoon. After reorganising my afternoon work load I realise I have some queries regarding the job, so I seek advice from Diane, my direct partner. She is happy to sit down with me to discuss the issues and outcomes. After growing up in a small rural community in Southland and being surrounded by friendly, hard-working people, working at BDO is no different. From the partners to the staff everyone is willing to support and help you.

The end of the day is upon us and everyone is winding down from the work day with a mad dash to finish work and complete our time-sheets. However, with it being a Wednesday the team gathers at 6.00pm for a game of social netball, where we share laughs over our coordination skills (or lack thereof) and ability to get the ball down the court and into the hoop.

I finally get home around 7.00pm after a full day. I prepare tea and relax while catching up on tonight’s Shortland Street episode. 8.00pm rolls around and it is time to hit the books at I study for my CA qualification.

Emma Bell is a graduate with BDO Invercargill

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