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Session 1 2019

ASA & You | Building Your Career Pathway | Work Experience & Job Opportunities | Accounting Accreditations | International & Postgraduate Students

EDITOR Jaclyn Ling CONTRIBUTORS Teo Long Fa Collin Serena Johnson Nirvan Dave Akib Qurashi Jessica Liesure DESIGN Jaclyn Ling Jessica Liesure SPECIAL THANKS TO Chartered Accountants ANZ, EY, Grant Thornton, and ShineWing whose support made the production of this guide possible. DISCLAIMER The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the Accounting Students Association or Macquarie University. Although the Editors have taken every care in preparing and writing the Guide, they expressly disclaim and accept no liability for any errors, omissions, misuse or misunderstandings on the part of any person who uses or relies upon it. The Editors, Accounting Students Association and any persons related to this publication accept no responsibility for any damage, injury or loss occasioned to any person or entity, whether Accounting Students Association members or otherwise, as a result of a person relying, wholly or in part, on any material included, omitted or implied in this publication.

CONTENTS Editor's Note President's Welcome SECTION I: ASA AND YOU pg 6 ASA: Who We Are and What We Do pg 8 Sub Committee Recruitment pg 10 Executive 2018/19 SECTION II: BUILDING YOUR CAREER PATHWAY pg 12 The Importance of Being Well-Rounded pg 14 Interview with Paulina Tang pg 15 Networking and Personal Branding pg 18 Interview with Henry Chinchen pg 19 Job Seeking pg 20 The Recruitment Process pg 24 Interview with Jerome Ramos SECTION III: WORK EXPERIENCE & JOB OPPORTUNITIES pg 26 Internships, Cadetships, & Graduate Roles pg 29 PACE for FBE Students pg 31 Interview with Dylan Sutrisno pg 32 Interview with Lauren Hoggard SECTION IV: ACCOUNTING ACCREDITATIONS pg 36 Accounting Accreditations pg 36 CA Program pg 37 CPA Program pg 38 ACCA Program SECTION V: INTERNATIONAL & POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS pg 40 Opportunities for International Students pg 42 Opportunities for Postgraduate Students pg 44 Interview with Teo Long Fa Collin

Editor's Note University can be challenging to say the least. Students often face the predicament of trying to maintain a decent GPA, while navigating the world of work, and attempting to enjoy the university experience in its entirety. Having said that, it’s not all so bad. Your time at university offers many unique opportunities, extending beyond just getting a job at the end of it. Most importantly, it allows you to connect with all kinds of people, from student peers to professionals, who can assist you along the way. Sometimes it still feels like you have to dive in head first. But have no fear, as ASA is here to help. Indeed, this publication is designed to give guidance on a range of relevant topics. These include becoming a well-rounded

individual, networking and personal branding, gaining work experience, job seeking, the recruitment process, and much more. The ASA team has done its best to bring you tips and resources in all these areas, from our experienced alumni and elsewhere, so you can make the most of your time at university. Plus, as is discussed from pages 6 to 7, ASA can also help you to actively achieve your goals through the events we run and the recruitment opportunities we offer. Overall, I hope you find the following articles to be useful and enjoy the read. Here’s to your future success! Jaclyn Ling | Marketing & Publications Director Accounting Students Association

President's Welcome It is with great pleasure that ASA presents to you our university and careers guide for 2019. This publication was created and compiled through the hard work of our 2018/19 Marketing & Publications team led by Jaclyn Ling, to assist you along the way as you become an employable and sought after Macquarie graduate. While we, in essence, are an Accounting Students Association, our events and functions have always been aligned to students beyond just the accounting degree. This can be seen in our 2019 guide where we address areas relatable to any Commerce student. From career building tips to work experience and job opportunities, this guide holds relevance to students at any stage of their degree - especially those in their

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penultimate and final year of study looking to break into the industry. I thank all our sponsors and interviewees, including ASA alumni, for their involvement with ASA and this student guide and in reminding us of all the opportunities available as a Macquarie Commerce graduate. We hope that this guide serves as encouragement to reach your own professional goals and that we have also introduced you to new possibilities to capitalise on. From our Executive team to you, we wish you all the best with your endeavours this Semester. Linus Poon | President Accounting Students Association

Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

1. ASA AND YOU pg 6 ASA: Who We Are and What We Do pg 8 Sub Committee Recruitment pg 10 Executive 2018/19

ASA: WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO By Jaclyn Ling In short, the Accounting Students Association (ASA) at Macquarie University is your local commerce and accounting student society. But what does this mean? And how can it benefit you?

A Student Community For starters, we are a community of students looking to engage with like-minded peers. Out of this group of 1400+ people, our executive team and committee of 30+ students work to enhance the university experience of all our members. Indeed, whether you are domestic or international, undergraduate or postgraduate, or even studying a non-commerce degree, ASA has something for everyone!

ASA members at our annual Charity Event.

Events One of our key offerings includes our social and professional events and workshops to aid students in achieving their personal and professional goals. Most of these events are

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Group activity at our interactive workshop with CAANZ.

run in collaboration with external organisations ranging from ‘Big 4’ to mid-tier accounting firms and accounting accreditation bodies, such as EY and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA). In this way, we connect our members not just with fellow student peers, but also with recent graduates, job recruiters, academics, professional accounting bodies, and industry professionals who can help you to gain new knowledge, skills, and opportunities to help you on your career and life journey. In 2018, ASA hosted many notable events. Our bi-annual meet & greets brought together students for free food, fun games, and speed friending at the beginning of each semester; while our charity fundraiser exchanged hot pancakes & waffles for gold coin donations to the worthy causes of Lifeline, Share the Dignity, and Buy a Bale. We also hosted interactive workshops with BDO and CA, on acing the recruitment process and developing key professional skills, respectively. Other collaborations included our networking BBQ and ice-cream events, hosted with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Macquarie Association of Computing Students

Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

(MACS), and with Ernst & Young, respectively. In addition, we hosted numerous industry panels over the year with our sponsors, such as with ACCA in regards to the important topic of personal branding. These kinds of events illustrate what kind of events you can expect from ASA in 2019, plus more!

Publications ASA also publishes helpful resources for students on relevant topics. For example, our Careers Guide in partnership with ApplyGrad Inc focuses specifically on potential career paths for commerce students and guides them through key stages in the recruitment process. This current publication supplements this guide by discussing how to build your career pathway before you even apply for jobs, as well as work experience opportunities, and making the most of university as an international or postgraduate student.

Join us now! Overall, joining ASA opens up a wealth of opportunities for all kinds of students in terms of our event offerings, publications, and sub-committee recruitment. To gain priority access to all of our events and resources, simply sign up at O-Week or on and then pay the $5 membership fee at O-week or one of our events. To keep updated on sub-committee recruitment and everything ASA, you can also talk to us in person at these events or ‘like’ our Facebook page. We’l l see you soon!

Sub-Committee In addition, ASA offers all students the opportunity to contribute to our work by joining our team of executive and committee members. By joining our sub-committee, students can further their personal development, add to their CV, potentially progress to an executive or committee member role, and make deeper connections with student peers, sponsors, and other stakeholders. To find out more about recruitment and reaping the benefits, see p. 8.

ASA's networking BBQ with PwC and MACS.

Industry representatives at our CAANZ event.

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SUB-COMMITTEE RECRUITMENT By Jaclyn Ling Keen to maximise your university experience? Join ASA’s sub-committee team! Find out why and how here.

But First, What is the SubCommittee? Our sub-committee generally comprises of ASA members who help to plan, promote, and run ASA’s events and the society in general. When applying for a sub-committee role, students have the opportunity of joining one or more of our Secretary & Events (S&E), Marketing & Publications (M&P), Human Resources (HR), or Treasury (T) teams.

What Does This Involve?

The T team manages all financial matters of ASA. Members maintain the financial stability of ASA and ensure all revenue and expenditure is accounted for.

Why Should I Join? Becoming a part of ASA’s sub-committee team offers a wide range of benefits to students. A fantastic opportunity for personal development, sub-committee members can enhance their skills and knowledge in a number of ways. Becoming a team player, clear communicator, and savvy problem solver are some of the key attributes which ASA can help you to improve upon. Such skills are of

The role of a sub-committee member varies based on what team they join:

The S&E team plans and executes both professional and social events. Members brainstorm and develop new event initiatives for ASA, ensuring that our sponsors’ needs are met efficiently and effectively. The M&P team promotes ASA’s events and operations. Members regularly update our social media, publications, and website, as well as photographing and filming events. They also frequently create graphic designs on Canva and may assist with lecture bashing for ASA. The HR team maintains team morale and cooperation among ASA’s team members. Members assist with recruitment activities, team inductions, performance reviews, conflict resolution, and plan internal events. 8 | ASA+

Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

great value to employers. As such, your time at ASA is an experience which you can add to your CV to differentiate yourself from other candidates when applying for jobs and internships. The potential to progress from being a subcommittee member to either a committee or executive member after one semester also provides the opportunity to further develop your leadership skills. Executive members in particular play a significant role in leading the S&E, M&P, HR, and T teams. Notably, elections for executive positions run in July of each year at our annual AGM. To see a list of our current executive members, see p. 10. Joining ASA’s sub-committee also allows you to give back to and be more engaged with your community. By frequently collaborating with others, members are able to befriend and more closely connect with student peers as well as industry professionals, job recruiters, sponsors, and other stakeholders related to ASA.

Any Requirements? No experience? No worries! The only requirements for sub-committee members are: Be a current Macquarie student Have at least 6 months left on your degree Be able to spare a minimum of 2 hours per week

How Do I Join? ASA typically recruits sub-committee members at the beginning of Sessions 1 and 2 each year. Information about when applications are open is usually advertised on our Facebook page and in various Facebook groups in weeks 1-2 of these semesters. When applying, you will need to fill out a short online application and may also be required to do an interview. ASA lets all applicants know about the final outcome at the end of the process, with successful candidates being given an offer to join our team.

Have More Questions? For any other queries about our recruitment process, we encourage you to talk to one of our friendly ASA executive or committee members at O-Week or at an ASA event. Otherwise, feel free to contact us through our Facebook page: simply search ‘asamq’ on Facebook to find us.

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EXECUTIVE 2018/19 The executive team plays a crucial role in running ASA, by leading the Secretary & Events, Marketing & Publications, Human Resources, and Treasury teams. Below are the current members for July 2018 to June 2019. Not pictured: JAMES PARK, Marketing & Publications Director.

LINUS POON President

JESSICA LU Vice-President

JASON YU Vice-President

REBECCA HSIEH Secretary & Events Director

SARAH-ANN SUA Secretary & Events Director

JACLYN LING Marketing & Publications Director


NICOLE CHENG Human Resources Director

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Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

2. BUILDING YOUR CAREER PATHWAY pg 12 The Importance of Being Well-Rounded pg 14 Interview with Paulina Tang pg 15 Networking and Personal Branding pg 18 Interview with Henry Chinchen pg 19 Job Seeking pg 20 The Recruitment Process pg 24 Interview with Jerome Ramos

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WELL-ROUNDED By Serena Johnson and Jessica Liesure University is a path to improve yourself academically, but your GPA is not the only thing that an employer looks for when you're applying for that coveted position. This article will give you some of the many opportunities and services that Macquarie University provides to help you hit your target and excel beyond the classroom.

Global Leadership Program

Lucy Mentoring

The GLP differentiates you as a graduate by making you socially aware and helps you develop an understanding of international issues. It is available for anyone in their 1st session onwards. A lot of the activities mentioned in this article go towards your GLP points, so, read on for more information here and get started today.

Calling all ladies! This program aims to encourage the development of women who, given the right opportunities and support, will become our future leaders. 'Cause who run the world?! GIRLS!

Macquarie Mentors Macquarie University Mentors help new students transition into university. It is a great way to make new friends, develop teamwork and leadership skills, and learn all the ins and outs of the university. After being a mentor, you can also become a mentor team leader to further develop your skills. It is available to those in their 2nd semester onwards (or 2 terms for MUIC students).

FBE First STEP Mentoring This mentoring program is specifically designed for students in the faculty of business and economics. As a FBE First STEP mentor you will be the peer mentor to a group of first year undergraduate students and liaise between them and an academic mentor. It is a great way to develop organisation, communication, and leadership skills. 12 | ASA+

LEAP Mentoring Broaden your perspectives, open your minds, and start your path to becoming a global citizen! This mentoring program enables university students share their experiences and knowledge with high school students from refugee backgrounds.

Unit Representative A number of units offer the opportunity to become a unit representative. This is a great way to make friends, engage with unit content, and develop communication and leadership skills. It is not a time consuming role and can lead to further representative roles within the department.

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Student Representative Committee The SRC work closely with students and staff. Their aim is to advance the education, culture, and wellbeing of the student community. It is a great way to develop skills such as communication and leadership. If you're interested, and in your 2nd year or above, check it out.

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) or Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) Leader As a PAL/PASS leader you will structure sessions and facilitate students in the collaborative learning of a certain unit. The aim of the leader is to use their knowledge to build confidence, provide support, and develop learning strategies for those who are currently attempting the unit which they are teaching.

International Exchange Students can go on short-term or fullsemester exchange. It enriches your university experience, allows you to travel to different parts of the world, and make new friends.

Careers and Employment Service The Careers and Employment Service is a great place to start if you want to get support, advice, and find tools to help you in your career. They provide workshops, seminars, fairs, and one on one appointments. It is a great place if you need help with your resume.

CareerHub This Macquarie University website gives students access to helpful career events and resources, as well as internship and job listings.

Student Societies

Further Information

Social and professional student societies are a great way to develop your skills, make new friends, and gain insights about university. They provide a peer support system which is helpful for those who are transitioning into university. Being part of a society is also a great way to gain an advantage when applying for future jobs and shows commitment.

For more details on all of these opportunities search

Sport Clubs Keeping physically healthy contributes to greater wellbeing overall. Doing team sports is also a great way of showing community involvement and teamwork and leadership skills. Macquarie has a wide variety of sport clubs including cheerleading, Quidditch, swimming, soccer, and table tennis clubs. No doubt it's time to get fit, make friends, and have fun!

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INTERVIEW WITH PAULINA TANG Paulina Tang, Associate at PwC Australia ASA President 2016/17

How do you personally define a ‘well-rounded’ individual? I believe a ‘well-rounded’ individual is someone who has been able to be exposed to a broad range of experiences. These experiences aid in critical thinking which is essential when you work in a business environment. You’l l be able to come up with our own ideas but also incorporate other people’s ideas even when you disagree with them. What are the best ways of becoming a well-rounded individual?

subjects, so I wasn’t behind on the content which saved a lot of time when it came to studying for the final exams. It can be difficult to strive to be well-rounded while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. What do you think is the best way to manage this? I believe the best way to manage this is being able to manage your time efficiently. Sometimes, it could be just be saying ‘no’ every now and then and not having too much on your plate all at once. This will allow you to maintain a healthy balance between work and life. This is something that I’m still trying to work out after starting full-time work, trying to balance between seeing my family and friends, meeting busy season deadlines and studying for my CA.

The best ways to become a well-rounded individual is to get out of your comfort zone and have an open mind by doing things that you would never usually do.   A key example of what I’v e done during my time at uni was running for the president role in ASAMQ, being an introvert and having a fear of public speaking, this was something that I never thought I would do. I graduated uni with many long-life friends whom I met through ASA. I also applied for internships and have failed several times but after learning from the experiences, I scored a vacationer role at PwC which has led me to where I am today.    To help boost my grades, I made sure that I attended as many PAL classes for all my

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Accounting Students Association Macquarie University



is an important tool which all students can use to secure their future career prospects. It is the process by which professionals establish meaningful relationships with each other, creating communication chains or ‘networks’ to exchange advice and foster connections. These networks often develop through an individual’s education, employment, industry or colleagues. Through the growth of these networks, it opens up more opportunities for individuals. The more diverse your network, the more unique insights you can gain from others (and the more doors it can open career-wise)! The first step to networking is to have an effective personal brand to convey who you are to the connections you wish to develop and continue.

Personal Branding conveys your identity XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and distinctiveness as an employee, by showing what value you can offer to others. This is often done by your workplace performance, LinkedIn and your mannerism and elevator pitch when interacting with others. A strong personal brand allows yourself to be noticed by others in your network both within and outside of your workplace. It becomes the image you want to present to others in the professional world, especially potential employers who would be envisioning whether you would fit their team based on only a limited understanding of what you are like. To have an effective network of people you can communicate with requires that they can see what value you can bring and what your identity is, as shown through your personal branding.

HOW DO I DO IT? For effective XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXiiXx, networking consider these 5 key tips: 1. Consider your VIPS (Values, Interests, Personality, and Skills) and determine your personal brand (see more on this below) 2. Based on your VIPS and personal XXXXXXXXXXX brand, create an ‘elevator XXXXXXXXXXXX pitch’. This involves devising XXXXXXXXXXX a positive, truthful, 30-second XXXXXXXXXX self-promotion speech for when XXXXXXXX you are meeting someone for the XX first time, especially a potential employer.

3. Research companies and find out the skills they are seeking. Look in the business pages which companies are expanding? Read articles about employment trends and current news topics. 4. Be confident, introduce yourself. And help others: seek out a guest standing on the sideline and introduce yourself; invite others into your groups' conversation. They may return the favour. 5. For more information on networking, see step 1 ‘The Recruitment Process’ on p. 20.

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For XiXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXiiiXXXii, effective personal branding it is important to consider the following:

peers. For example, being independent, deliberate, collaborative, innovative, resultsoriented, and strategic.

1. Personal Goals: Individuals should think seriously about what they want to achieve during their lifetime, in the short and long term. Essentially, you need to ask yourself ‘what major results do I want to deliver in my life over the next 12 months? 5 years? 10 years?’ and ‘how do I define success?’

3. How You Define Your Identity: Combine your 6 attributes into 3 two-word phrases that reflect your desired identity. This enables a more complex description of yourself but also indicates how you will act to get the desired result.

Developing SMART goals - that is, personal objectives which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based - can be helpful in this regard. In doing so, consider what you are passionate about.

4. Leadership Brand Statement: Using the two-word phrases, write a sentence that conveys your leadership style and test it with peers and mentors to see whether it is effective and memorable.

2. How You Want to be Remembered: Determine 6 attributes that best capture what you want to be known for. Make sure you include traits you know you can exhibit, which uniquely distinguishes you from your

5. Use Your Brand Identity: Use your brand statement when speaking with other professionals to effectively network and make connections with others.

WHEN AND WHERE? Realistically, we are developing networks and conveying a personal brand every single day when we interact with others. Whether it be your neighbour, barista, a fellow university student, lecturer, a family friend, or work colleague, you are continually shaping your reputation in the community when forging relationships with others. As such, you should always be conscious that how you act inperson and online around others can impact how third parties perceive you and whether they want to include you in their networks. However, there are particular times and places where we can focus primarily on using our personal brand when networking to create career opportunities for ourselves.

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Examples include at: University career fairs and professional development programs, which are usually announced in your student emails Accreditation body events, such as CA’s Employment Evening and CPA’s International Student Forum Big 4 firm programs and events such as EY’s Game Changers Club, which enables students to network with members of the business and to develop their professional skills at the firm's offices

Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

FURTHER RESOURCES A key resource in this area is Macquarie University’s CareerWise, which is available online for MQU students. In general, it consists of several modules that explore your career options, looking into your selfdevelopment and exploration and career ideas. CareerWise also provides a module on improving skills that will get you ready for work through success boosters, tips on work experience, the advice of employers requirements, and networking. Finally, it helps students take the final steps of achieving a job by providing students with CV/Resume tips, advice on selection criteria, tips on cover letters, provides testing, job interview tips, and knowing your workers’ rights. For further help from the Career and Employment Service, students may participate in in-person workshops or book an appointment with a careers advisor through Macquarie University’s CareerHub. However, students should note that such assistance is only available upon completion of the CareerWise modules. Other resources include PwC’s Career Advisor networking tool, which provides users with a numerical way of assessing your current networking status and to identify areas that require improvement.

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INTERVIEW WITH HENRY CHINCHEN Henry Chinchen, Assurance Associate at EY Australia ASA Vice-President 2017/18

Do you think networking and personal branding are important? If so, why and to what extent? I do. Academics and professional record are very important, but at the end of the day when you are applying for a job you are sending your resume into a pile of potentially thousands of others. Unless you are a 7.0 GPA student it’s going to be hard to distinguish yourself from other candidates in that kind of hiring process. Even past that first graduate role, networks open you up to new opportunities that may not have been open to you otherwise. Technical skills can be taught, what employers want is someone whom they want to work with and someone who shows the drive and passion to continually develop and learn. These are qualities that are hard to convey in a cover letter, but much easier in person if done well. Personal branding is a tool to strengthen your networking ability, the stronger your brand, the more often people will want to seek you out, as opposed to the other way around. Very important, especially as you enter the workforce. In your past experience, how effective was ASA for networking with others? 18 | ASA+

ASA taught me so many essential networking skills, but also general business skills. The ASA networking events really allow you to interact with employers on a regular basis, building that confidence needed to successfully develop professional networks. These are experiences and skills that students outside of ASA would rarely get. I’v e made many important contacts through ASA, and that includes fellow students. Those long term relationships are as important as ever. What are your key tips for effective networking and personal branding for university students? A common mistake people make during networking events is to treat them as if it was an interview, asking for a job and pushing their successes. Networking isn’t just about business, it’s establishing a relationship. During networking events or in an environment where you may want to network with someone, I would recommend asking that person about what they do and show genuine interest in their career and their company. Especially in a university networking event, employers know you’r e there looking for a job, it doesn’t need to be said, so just be genuine, be yourself and be respectful. In regards to branding, a strong LinkedIn profile is always a great place to start, but personal branding has a lot to do with consistency and presentation. Make sure you’r e always dressed well and well presented, always smile and be polite. Once you get into the workplace this will be important too. Especially if you’r e going into a large company, having a positive and consistent brand is one of the best ways to set yourself apart. Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

JOB SEEKING By Nirvan Dave Job searching can be one of the most daunting tasks for university students. Every year, thousands of accounting students graduate from universities across Australia. In such a competitive environment, looking for jobs is not easy. To help you in this process, we suggest some tips which can help you be more proactive in the job seeking process.

University Services (CareerHub, Career Zone, and MQ Careers service) Macquarie University provides some really good resources for job search. CareerHub can be really helpful to keep an eye on jobs within the accounting/finance function. It has various listings including full-time and part-time jobs, graduate roles, internships, volunteer roles and also contract-based roles. It is a good idea to explore all these options, especially for students looking for their first break in the industry. CareerHub also lists professional and networking events, which are a great way to network. MQ Careers Zone is also a great resource, which has employability tips, and an integrated job search engine. Lastly, it is advisable to leverage the services of MQ Careers Service. They can provide valuable guidance to students.

Job Search Websites and LinkedIn Job portals such as Seek, Indeed, etc. are a good source of seeing listings. Apart from these, it is useful to use GradAustralia, GradConnection, Glassdoor, and to get more information about the graduate programs or similar intakes. Lastly, the job search option in Linkedin can be quite handy, saving time as applications can be submitted in a single click.

Recruitment Agencies If none of the other methods works, it might be a good idea to connect with a recruitment agency. They have contacts within the industry and provide a way to land your dream job. Depending upon the agency, there may be no cost involved for the applicant or alternatively, a certain fee to be paid.

Job Listings by Professional Bodies It is advisable to keep an eye on the job portals of accounting professional bodies such as CPA Australia, CAANZ and ACCA. They usually have a number of job listings on their platforms. All that is required is to become a student affiliate (which is generally free).

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THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS By Teo Long Fa Collin Your accounting journey starts from the day you look for a job, an internship and even during your studies. As it is a strenuous and lengthy process, success hinges on your career hunting strategy. While every accounting firm sets its own recruitment process, we present a typical recruitment process commonly set by accounting firms in Australia and explain what it takes to succeed in every stage of this process.


Once a cordial relationship has been established, seize the opportunity to ask for their permission to add them via LinkedIn because this creates a longlasting connection between you and your prospective employers.

LEARN FROM THE INDUSTRY The recruitment process does not start from the day you apply online, but from the first impression you give to your prospective employers at career events. Before the event: Do your homework by researching the industry, the company and the service line you’r e interested in. Prepare your LinkedIn account and make sure it is up-to-date. Prepare a set of questions you want to ask them.

After the event: Send them a thank-you note to express your sincerity. If possible, discuss any latest industry development to show that you’r e interested in the service line. When the application phase is nearing, express your interest directly to them via LinkedIn.

During the event: Dress appropriately for the event Introduce yourself with a firm and confident handshake. Start with a casual but professional conversation to develop a cordial relationship Show them your interest in the industry by chatting about the latest developments of the service line (e.g. audit, tax or advisory). Ask relevant questions about the industry, the company, and the interested role. Avoid asking questions about matters which you can find in their website.

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This is the stage where you prepare all the paperworks for your job application. Here are some important tips you can do before, during and after each online application. Before you apply: Always go through the recruiter’s website thoroughly to understand the required submission documents such as cover letter, CV, academic transcripts, written references, and visa documents. Prepare your cover letter and CV tailored to each recruiter’s hiring requirements. Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

For resume writing skills, you may want to view a sample of the graduate resume by logging into your CareerHub MQ portal at ty_careerhub_1/exk164qe1gOqoDvyE2p7/ss o/saml, hovering around “Profiles”, and clicking “Resume Builder”. Always prepare at least three truly certified copies of all your required documents. Lastly, book an appointment with a career counsellor from CareerHub MQ to proofread your cover letter and CV.

compute accounting figures, and solve real-life problems. They usually come in the form of abstract reasoning, verbal reasoning, numerical, and/or even scenario-based questions. Here’r e some important tips you can do to better prepare yourself for the aptitude tests: Keep a relaxed mind before the tests. Make sure that your computer is strongly connected to your home wifi system on the test day. For the abstract reasoning, verbal reasoning, and numerical tests, try to familiarise yourself with the questions under time-based conditions.  You may try practising them for free at Free-Aptitude-Tests.asp. For the scenario-based questions, be yourself and use your own conscious to answer those questions.  For a past situation question, try to use the STAR technique. For scenario-based question, place yourself in a hypothetical situation and think how you would have reacted if you are faced with a particular scenario. Always check your answers before submitting.  Just like an exam, your answers are irreversible once submitted.

During online application: Upload all your required documents in the application portal. Be sure to answer all the questions. For scenario-based questions, it is recommended to use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) technique. Always do a final check of all the application sections before you submit.  Once submitted, it might be irreversible. After online application: Immediately inform your recruitment leads via LinkedIn about the submitted status of your application.  Networking also plays a part in your recruitment success apart from merit. For interstate application, it is important to let the HR know of your preferred interview arrangement so that they can understand your travel limitations.  For instance, if you’r e applying for accounting jobs at Melbourne, Victoria, ask if it is possible to conduct a phone or Skype interview. Chill and wait for their online test and/or interview invitation.



The main purpose of the online psychometric tests is to assess the abilities of applicants to identify complex patterns, reason logically,



This stage is the best opportunity for recruiters to assess your abilities in depth at the assessment centre before making a decision to invite you for the interview. In such a setting, they will usually place you in groups to discuss and solve real-life problems and require you to present your solutions to a panel of interviewers, ranging from managers to partners.  The purpose is to assess your problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills.

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Here’r e some important tips you can prepare for physical assessment centre. Always dress up in full formal business attire to impress them. Make it a habit to arrive at the interview venue at least 15 minutes prior to the interview. Introduce yourself with a firm and confident handshake with your interviewers and fellow group members to build rapports. When being thrown a situation, discuss together how you can plan and approach the topic question. This may come in the form of a situational judgment or critical thinking tests. As you guys are in a team under timed conditions, divide the work among yourselves and work individually on your findings as efficient as you can. After 10 to 15 minutes, discuss and compile your findings as a team. Use the compiled findings to brainstorm for solutions. Present your work to the panelists confidently.  Be yourself during presentation because you shouldn’t be fearful of presenting your ideas if you and your teammates have done a considerable research on the topic question.



This stage is quite crucial as it is the last chance for you to convince the recruiters why you should be hired. Here’r e some important tips you can do before, during and after each interview and/or face-to-face assessment. Before the interview: Always do your homework by researching on the latest development of the industry and the company.  Try to find out more about the company from your recruitment leads of that company via LinkedIn.

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Try rehearsing the interview with a friend or a university career counsellor. Prepare your set of questions to ask the interviewers. During the interview: Always dress to impress in full formal business attire. Arrive at the interview venue at least 15 minutes prior to your interview. Introduce yourself with a firm handshake. Most interviewers would like to know more about you. When asked an introductory question, tell them more about yourself in a humorous but professional manner and explain why you have decided to embark on such a career. They would also be eager to know why you want to join the company as opposed to any other organisation. This is where your knowledge of the company comes in. Tell them truthfully why the company is your most ideal career platform. Conversely, they are interested to know why they should hire you out of thousands of applicants. This is the chance for you to differentiate yourself from others who are equally qualified for the job, by revealing your unique value to the company. For more information on this, see 'Networking and Personal Branding' on p. 15. Use the situation, task, action, result (STAR) technique when answering behavioural questions. Ask relevant questions about the role. Avoid asking about matters which you can find in their website or which you have already asked them before. Thank them for their time and effort at the end of the interview. After the interview: Send them a thank-you note to express your sincerity and reiterate your interest in the role. Chill and wait for the outcome of the entire application process.

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This could be either be the happiest or saddest stage of your application process. If an offer is made, they will usually call you but always check your email as they have their expiry date too.  In this case, go ahead to celebrate and party with all you want but don’t forget to accept the offer by the deadline.   If it is a rejection, do not despair but reflect what went wrong.  Remember that failure is the mother of all successes. Try contacting the interviewer to obtain their honest feedback of your performance during the whole recruitment process so that it prepares you for the next interview. Hopefully, the above article gives you a general guide of a typical recruitment process by the Big Fours.  But as all firms have their own unique recruitment processes, you need to go to their individual careers websites to understand their recruitment processes before applying. BIG 4 RECRUITMENT PROCESS

Below is a general guide as to what the recruitment process typically looks like for each of the big 4 accounting firms in Australia. For the most up-to-date information, be sure to check with the relevant employer beforehand.





Complete an online application, no CV required.

Fill out an online application, which also takes your resume into account.

Submit your application form, transcript and CV online.

Have your CV ready and fill out an online application.


Complete online aptitude testing.

20 minute online assessment.

Complete online testing.

2 online abilities assessments.


Record a video interview.

Phone interview with a graduate recruiter.







Attend a recruitment day, usually involving a group case study and an interview. Attend an Assessment centre, Offer is made. assessment centre. which may involve another interview.

10-minute video interview about yourself.

Offer is made.

Offer is made.

Case study with an interviewer, depending on the business unit.

Group activity and interview at the office you applied to.

Behavioural-based interview with a Partner. Offer is made.

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INTERVIEW WITH JEROME RAMOS Jerome Ramos, Cadet at Moore Stephens Australia ASA Committee Member

How would you describe your personal experiences with recruitment processes for jobs and internships? What parts were the most challenging or rewarding? In terms of the recruitment process, I have applied through too many vacationer and internships – especially in my second year of university leading up to my penultimate year. As you may know, the first step often is the online testing and questionaries in which you would need to fill out when applying for these roles. I did receive a fair few rejection emails from different accounting firms however in mid-June 2017 I got my opportunity as I made it through to the Assessment Centre for CA Achiever Programme. Upon being successful in the CA Achiever Programme Assessment Centre, I was able to land an Interview with Moore Stephens NSW in mid-November 2017 which went very well and I got offered an intern role a few days after the interview. I am still with MS NSW till this day. What do you think is key for succeeding in the recruitment process?

degree – being involved in societies, volunteering outside of the university, playing a range of sports, etc. It is important to show to recruiters that you are a balanced human being and that you are not just book-smart, but rather you are an all-rounder. Having a high GPA doesn’t always guarantee you with a graduate/vacationer role, accountants are no longer just number crunchers rather they are transitioning into financial advisors across the sector. Any further advice for students seeking jobs or work experience opportunities? My final advice to students looking for jobs and work experience in the accounting sector is to broaden your horizons – accountants are not only just in the big 4 but also in mid-tier firms, small-medium enterprises to other business sectors (such as professional, charitable, commercial) who need accountants. The Profession is such a broad industry, and there are many ways in which you can kickstart your accounting career. Finally, practice, practice and practice for each stage of the recruitment process. For example, be sure to prepare for online testing (psychometric testing), interviews (STAR technique, behavioural questions and answers) and especially video interviewing which is becoming more and more prevalent in the recruitment process.

To succeed in the recruitment process is important to differentiate yourself from other candidates applying for the internships and graduate programs. You can differentiate yourself by doing extracurricular activities that are both related and non-related to your 24 | ASA+

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3. WORK EXPERIENCE & JOB OPPORTUNITIES pg 26 Internships, Cadetships, & Graduate Roles pg 29 PACE for FBE Students pg 31 Interview with Dylan Sutrisno pg 32 Interview with Lauren Hoggard

INTERNSHIPS, CADETSHIPS, & GRADUATE ROLES By Jaclyn Ling There are many opportunities to undertake work experience during and beyond your time in university. However, what works best for you will depend on numerous factors, such as what stage of your degree you're in and what time commitment you can offer. This article will break down the key types of work experience for you: cadetships, internships, career development programs, graduate programs, and alternative jobs. It will also discuss the benefits of each, as well as prominent industry employers and resources for finding these opportunities.

Cadetships Also known as trainee programs, these opportunities typically combine full-time paid work with part-time study. This type of opportunity is generally available for those in the first or second year of their university degree. It often involves a significant time commitment of about 2-3 years. However, the wealth of practical work experience it offers is invaluable. Application dates typically open from February of each year. For some insight as to what cadetships are really like, see our interview with a PwC trainee on p. 32.

Internships More flexible than cadetships, internships can be long term or short term, part time or full time, paid or unpaid. While this kind of work experience opportunity is not always as wellpaid or immersive as cadetships are, it is suitable for those who cannot commit to a years-long cadetship. Internships are also advantageous as they can count as credit towards your degree: for more information on this, see ‘PACE for FBE Students’ on p. 29. Most internships are available at different times throughout the year, meaning the application dates will also vary.

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A common type of internship for students is vacationer or ‘vaccie’ programs. This typically involves full-time work during summer months for 3-8 weeks. Students will often gain exposure to various areas of the firm, with rotations between service lines during this time, such as from indirect tax to corporate tax. Students can usually apply for this type of internship during their penultimate year. Application dates for this often open in February and July of each year. For insight from a previous summer vacationer and current graduate at EY, see p. 31.

Career Development Programs Many accounting firms and other organisations run unique programs and events designed to assist with students’ professional development and exposure to the industries they operate in. Examples include EY’s Game Changers Club, Career Compass Program, and Finance Corporate Woman of the Year competition. Application dates for these programs vary but are often open from February and July of each year.

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Graduate Programs During your final year of university or sometimes even the year after, students are eligible to apply for paid full-time work at firms through graduate programs. These programs often offer rotations between different areas of the company, to allow individuals to gain experience in multiple service lines. Graduate programs are offered by all kinds of companies across multiple industries, with an increasing number of firms being open to ‘non-traditional’ educational backgrounds. Students with STEM experience are in particularly high demand by organisations typically seen as operating in different industries, which is something to keep in mind when planning your elective units and extracurricular activities. For more information on the range of industries which accounting graduates would fit well into, see ASAMQ’s Career Guide 2016 in collaboration with ApplyGrad Inc.

Alternative Jobs Gaining work experience in your chosen field of study can sometimes be difficult to achieve during university. Applications are timeconsuming, placements are limited, and the environment is competitive to say the least. While working in your dream industry may be a key priority, students should by no means entirely discount the value of working in alternative jobs in the meantime. Indeed, there are a number of advantages to gain from doing practical work experience, whatever the industry may be. Employers often look for ‘transferable’ and ‘soft’ skills which can be obtained from working in almost any job, including retail, hospitality, and other roles. Working in such positions can help you to develop valuable attributes including strong communication, time management, and teamwork skills. The experiences you gain while developing these skills can also be very useful in interviews

when employing the STAR technique, as mentioned in ‘The Recruitment Process’ on p. 20. Exposure to different industries and ideas can also be helpful for future roles. Individuals working in audit and assurance, which is often the division with the largest graduate intake for accounting firms, examine businesses in various industries. As such, having first-hand knowledge of how a clothing retailer operates can be useful when auditing fashion businesses for example. Indeed, no knowledge is wasted knowledge: a calligraphy class which Steve Jobs took in college led to the development of different typefaces for Apple’s Mac computer many years later, which was a wholly new innovation at that point in time. Finally, you never know what opportunities will arise from the networks you develop and new experiences you gain by being in the workforce. So even if you miss out on a role you really wanted, you should consider leveraging other opportunities to get to where you ultimately want to be.

Key Employers Typical employers for accounting and commerce graduates can generally be categorised as Big 4, mid-tier, and boutique accounting firms. In Australia, the Big 4 accounting firms include EY, PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG. Mid-tier companies include Grant Thornton, BDO, Crowe Horwath, Moore Stephens, RSM, while smaller firms include ShineWing, amongst others. However, work experience and job opportunities can also be found with employers across all other industries. Indeed, students may join in-house accounting teams for almost any kind of business. Alternatively, they may use their accounting knowledge to work in non-accounting roles like management consulting or investment banking.

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Finding Opportunities

Final Tips

Students have multiple options for discovering the types of opportunities discussed above:

Some key things to make note of: Many firms hire people on a rolling basis, meaning companies begin recruiting people as soon as application dates open, rather than waiting until the closing date to select all of their candidates. As such, applying early for opportunities is crucial as the later you apply, the more spots have already been filled. Be sure to double check the requirements specific to the firm you are applying for to ensure you are eligible and to plan your application. You should take the time to know your rights at work, paid or unpaid:

Chartered Accountants ANZ allows you to search for opportunities with hundreds of employers on Career expos such as Chartered Accountants ANZ Employment Evening connect students directly with employers to make the most of these events, see ‘Networking and Personal Branding’ on p. 15. Many firms have social media pages to promote career opportunities which students can follow - examples include ‘EY Careers Australia’ and ‘Macquarie Group Careers ANZ’ on Facebook Macquarie University also often sends notice of relevant opportunities to your student email address For more options, see ‘Job Seeking’ on p. 19.

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Finally, it has been said that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. While the last factor is out of your control, it is entirely within your power to prepare yourself for success using the tips and resources provided in this publication. So good luck, and may you land your dream role!

Accounting Students Association Macquarie University


What is PACE? Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) is compulsory for all new Bachelor degree students at Macquarie University to complete and essentially involves undertaking practical learning experiences in collaboration with industry professionals. Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) students may have prescribed PACE units, that is, a predesignated PACE unit which they must complete because of the particular degree they are doing. If not, students have a choice as to what PACE unit they would like to do to fulfil their course requirements. In addition to prescribed units, students can also undertake elective PACE units if they meet the eligibility criteria and have elective space.

Prescribed PACE units FBE students generally have at least one prescribed PACE unit, which they can identify by referring to their degree handbook online. Students may even have two prescribed PACE units if they are doing a double degree or double major. The compulsory, prescribed PACE unit for all undergraduate accounting major and BComProfessional Accounting students is ACCG315: Accountants in the Profession. This unit offers a unique opportunity for students to learn about how the accounting world functions and what is required to be successful in the field from the perspectives of numerous industry professionals. It explores the contextual factors that influence the competitive business world for accountants and demonstrates the views of current occupants on the occupation, culminating in the

completion of a major research project and presentation. It is required that students must complete ACCG200 and ACCG224 before applying in this unit. One of the main attractions of the unit is that students get the opportunity to not only learn from but also network directly with industry professionals from top companies including Deloitte, EY, BDO, Pfizer for example.

FBE PACE Electives Undertaking a PACE elective is beneficial in two key ways. First, you gain practical work experience, which employers love. Second, you also earn credit points that go towards finishing your degree. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Most notably, the main PACE electives for FBE students are FOBE200 and FOBE300. FOBE200: Professional and Community Engagement is a unit which helps students get placed in non-profit organisations, government agency, company, or with other industry partners to gain professional experience. It allows students to enhance their communication, discipline and relevant skills required in the corporate world. Students must have 24 credit points in order to apply to do this unit. Assessment tasks only involve reflective activities, final report, and presentation. The main focus of FOBE300: Student Leadership in Community Engagement is to examine leadership in the context of community engagement. It is quite similar to FOBE200 as students also get placed in a government agency, company, or non-profit organisation to gain practical knowledge and

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skills. However, it is unique in that it includes a special research internship stream available for those who meet particular GPA requirements. Students need to have 39 credit points or above or permission by special waiver to apply to do this unit.

Eligible students can also apply for PACE prizes. Successful applicants have the award recorded on their academic transcript and can receive up to $500 each.

For both of these units, students need to source an appropriate internship before making an application to do the unit. In order to do so, students should search online for ‘pace opportunities mq’, keep track of internships advertised in their student emails, and be proactive in pursuing internships through alternative avenues. For more tips on this, see 'Job Seeking' on p. 19 and 'Internships, Cadetships & Graduate Roles' on p. 26.

For further help and information on PACE, FBE students should lodge their enquiries through Ask @ MQ or email

Final Notes

Additionally, students should always confirm their eligibility for units using the most current handbook, as information may have changed since the printing of this publication.

Previous placement opportunities advertised in student emails for FOBE200 and FOBE300 include: Data analytics at Hitachi Business analyst at BT Financial Group Accounting at Strategic Advisory HR at PwC Marketing at Macquarie Group

Other Opportunities There is a range of other PACE units which FBE students can undertake, which are not necessarily specific to the Faculty of Business and Economics. An example of this is PACE360: Seeing, Thinking and Doing PACE Internationally. This unit allows students to experience cross-cultural contexts and enables them to acquire greater knowledge about different political, environmental and cultural dynamics in an international placement with an overseas firm. Students are challenged to critically consider their own views through numerous modules. The unit requires students to have 39 credit points or above, as well as permission from PVE Learning Teaching and Diversity.

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INTERVIEW WITH DYLAN SUTRISNO Dylan Sutrisno, Associate at EY Australia ASA President 2017/18

How did you secure your current position? What was the process? Get yourself out there. Grades are good but you also need to show future employers your social and soft skills. Get involved with university societies, be a team player through playing sport or group projects are just a few examples of how you can showcase your soft skills at interviews.   By far the most beneficial and rewarding experience, that has helped me become the person I am now and obtain a graduate role was being involved within university life/societies. In particular striving and committing to a society such as ASA and being able to go from a Sub Committee Member, the Vice President and then President. It was challenging indeed in many aspects, but it teaches you so much more about yourself and shows how much you can accomplish when you put your mind into it. My role within ASA, then also led me to become a Chartered Accountants Student Representative, which then further allowed me to expose myself to the corporate world.   Overall all these experiences allowed me to stand out when it came to the Assessment Centre and interview process by showcasing my leadership, problem-solving and team building skills.

All these experiences help define what your strengths and weakness are. By allowing yourself to be exposed to networking opportunities, this will allow you to meet highly successful individuals – ask them how their career journey was shaped and thus allowing yourself to utilise the lessons learnt to help shape your personal brand and development. Information is power, the more you know the better. What have you done as a graduate? What were the benefits? What was challenging about the experience? Tasks and roles will always differ from internship to internship and the varied graduate roles that are out there. The only defining factor that applies to all roles is your attitude. Through my internships at a small accounting firm and also attaining a vacationer role at EY, showing a positive and willing attitude is by far the best advice I could give anyone. This attitude will showcase your skills and thus allow you to gain many benefits such as meeting new friends, making networks, successful interacting with the client to build rapport. It will be challenging there’s no doubt about it, but with challenging experiences allows you to continually grow and better yourself.

What advice do you have for those trying to attain graduate roles? Get yourself out there, seek opportunities, be proactive, everything will eventually come around and trust your process. Most importantly make sure that you enjoy what you do and have fun with the journey that lies ahead! :)

Would you say that a focus on networking, personal branding, or professional development helped you to gain your position?

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INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN HOGGARD Lauren Hoggard, Associate at PwC Australia ASA Member

How did you secure your cadet role? What was the process? Throughout my senior years at high school and during the beginning of my first semester at Macquarie University, I had attended numerous events through the Institute of Chartered Accountants where I discovered a lot of accounting firms who had offered different cadetship programs for undergraduates. From here, I looked into the Big 4 accounting firms and heard about the PwC 2 year Traineeship Program, which led me to follow up on the firm’s website and apply in July of my first year at university. The application process was quite rigorous - it involved putting together my resume, various online tests (including a maths and psychometric exam), an online video interview, and the final assessment centre which involved a group interview as well as an individual interview with a partner and manager at PwC. The process took up to 3 months!

Would you say that a focus on networking, personal branding, or professional development helped you to gain your position? There was definitely a combination of networking and professional development which helped to gain my position. I gave myself opportunities to speak to some of the partners and senior managers at PwC to gain insight into the firm and the nature of work that the undergraduate accountants took on, including which clients the firm liaised with. Professional development was a longer process, gaining soft skills through part-

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time jobs through high school and in my first year at uni, leadership roles, and even teamwork skills through extracurricular activities such as sports. As my role in the traineeship involved me moving across different teams and working together, I definitely appreciated the soft skills I developed through the extra work outside of my studies. What have you done as a cadet? What were the benefits? What was challenging about the experience? My Cadetship was in the field of audit and assurance, which involved me liaising with senior partners and CFOs from various listed and nonlisted companies. As my role was predominantly client facing, this involved managing good relationships between our teams and the client, as well as managing and coaching offshore teams to finalise the workload before our tight deadlines that had to be met. I have been rewarded with so much exposure across different industries, including banking, sporting, fashion, even the alcohol industry! However, what was most challenging with my Cadetship role was balancing work with my studies at uni and a social life, which was hard to manage in such a deadline driven environment. What advice do you have for those trying to attain a cadet role? Be open to network with your peers and those in senior roles in your field of interest! Be actively involved in the PACE programs offered here at Macquarie, as these programs help to gain the soft and practical skills required for your field of study. Take any opportunities to gain experience, whether that be joining societies, work experience, or charity work. It all counts!

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4. ACCOUNTING ACCREDITATIONS pg 36 Accounting Accreditations pg 36 CA Program pg 37 CPA Program pg 38 ACCA Program

ACCOUNTING ACCREDITATIONS By Teo Long Fa Collin and Nirvan Dave

The Need for Extra Accreditation Government research reveals that 56.9% of Australian accountants possess a Bachelor degree, citing a common trend for accountants to graduate from a university before laying their hands on the financial books. This creates a need for an accountant to upskill himself through extra accreditations to gain a competitive advantage over his peers. By law, all public accountants are generally required to hold a public practice certificate in order to perform public accounting services, ranging from audit and tax to corporate advisory services in Australia or New Zealand. Such a prestigious title can only be attained through membership with organisations like CPA Australia or CA ANZ, thus distinguishing these members from other accountants in the field of public practice within Australia and New Zealand. This article will give a general overview of the eligibility requirements, length of program, and special features of the CA ANZ, CPA, and ACCA accreditation options.

CA ANZ The general eligibility requirements are that: Candidates must hold an accredited degree or qualification that has been assessed by CA ANZ as equivalent to at least an Australian or New Zealand Bachelor degree (level 7 or higher) with coverage of required competency areas. 36 | ASA+

Based on CA ANZ assessment of their recognised degree, candidates may be expected to sit for up to ten CA Foundation exams before being eligible to embark into the CA Program. Â These ten Foundation exams are: 1. CAF001 Accounting Systems & Processes; 2. CAF002 Accounting Information Systems; 3. CAF003 Financial Accounting; 4. CAF004 Accounting Theory; 5. CAF005 Management Accounting; 6. CAF006 Audit & Assurance; 7. CAF007 Commercial & Corporations Law; 8. CAF008 Economics & Quantitative Methods; 9. CAF009 Finance; and 10. CAF010 Taxation

The length of the program: Once accepted into the CA Program, candidates are expected to complete five Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting (GradDip CA) exams in order to be professionally equipped with the relevant accounting knowledge. Â These five GradDip CA exams are Financial Accounting & Reporting, Audit & Assurance, Taxation, Management Accounting & Applied Finance and a Capstone module. Before becoming a full CA member, candidates are also required to undergo at least 3 years of practical experience with an Approved Training Employer (ATE), a Recognised Training Employer (RTE) or a mentor who must be an experienced Chartered Accountant who is a current member of with Chartered Accountants ANZ or a similarly recognised overseas body (a member of the Global Accounting Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

Alliance) in order to be professionally equipped with the relevant accounting skills. These skills comprise two technical areas and all six non-technical areas. These six non-technical areas are teamwork, organisational skills, research & evaluation, decision-making, exercising ethical and professional behaviour, and communication & interpersonal skills.

& Disclosure, Strategic Management Accounting, Ethics & Governance, Global Strategy & Leadership, and two electives. These two electives can be chosen from a range of the following modules: - Advanced Audit & Assurance (Compulsory for candidates without an accounting degree) - Australia Taxation (Compulsory for candidates without an accounting degree) - Australia Taxation - Advanced (Optional) - Financial Risk Management (Optional) - Contemporary Business Issues (Optional) - Financial Planning Fundamentals (Optional) - Investment Strategies (Optional) - Singapore Taxation (Optional) - Superannuation & Retirement Planning (Optional)

Special features include: Pathway to a prestigious public practice career in Australia or New Zealand Conversion from ACCA with at least 5 years of post-qualification experience Conversion from CPA Australia with at least 10 years of post-qualification experience For the most complete and up-to-date information, see

Before becoming a full CPA member, candidates are also required to undergo at least 36 months of practical experience with a Recognised Employer Partner or a mentor who is a CPA, FCPA or member of an IFAC body in order to be professionally equipped with the relevant accounting skills. These skills comprise four technical skills, two personal effectiveness skills, two business skills, and two leadership skills. The CPA Program, including the exams and work experience requirement, has to be completed within 6 years of registration of membership.

CPA The general eligibility requirements are that: Hold a degree recognised by CPA Australia to be at least equivalent to Australian bachelor degree level (See CPA's accredited course search online for some of the undergraduate qualifications that are recognised as degrees). Based on the CPA assessment of their recognised degree, candidates may be expected to sit for up to six CPA Foundation exams before being eligible to embark into the CPA Program. These six Foundation exams are Economics & Markets, Foundations of Accounting, Fundamentals of Business Law, Business Finance, Financial Accounting & Reporting, and Management Accounting. The length of the program: Once accepted into the CPA Program, candidates are expected to complete six Professional exams in order to be professionally equipped with the relevant accounting knowledge.  These six Professional exams are Financial Reporting

Special features include: Unique Master of Accounting program with a specialisation in CPA with Macquarie University Pathway to a prestigious public practice career in Australia or New Zealand The exams can be completed in a number of locations throughout the world. For the most complete and up-to-date information, see

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ACCA The general eligibility requirements are that: Obtain two A Levels and three GCSEs in five separate subjects including English and maths (or equivalent qualifications in Australia). Based on ACCA assessment of their prerequisite qualifications, candidates may be expected to sit for up to 9 Foundation exams to grasp solid basic accounting knowledge.  These 9 Foundation exams are: 1. Accountant in Business; 2. Management Accounting; 3. Financial Accounting; 4. Corporate & Business Law; 5. Performance Management; 6. Taxation; 7. Financial Reporting; 8. Audit & Assurance; and 9. Financial Management. The length of the program: Having fulfilled all 9 Foundation exams as pre-requisites, candidates are expected to complete four professional exams in order to be professionally equipped with the relevant accounting knowledge.  They are the Strategic Business Leader, Strategic Business Reporting, and two electives. These two electives can be chosen from the following modules: -

Advanced Advanced Advanced Advanced

Special features include: Pathway to becoming a CA ANZ or ICAEW member with at least five years of postqualification experience. Can be enrolled almost anywhere in the world. For the most complete and up-to-date information, see

Final Note The above professional bodies are some of the most popular options with accounting graduates in Australia. There is a degree of similarity, but also some noticeable differences. Ultimately, it all comes down to which field do you want to be in. While the CA Program is focused more on core accounting, CPA Program is designed to prepare a wellrounded business individual. On the other hand, ACCA is one of the most global accounting bodies. All of these pathways are prestigious and can boost your accounting career. They provide professional development opportunities which can help you learn new skills and stay updated in the rapidly changing business environment.

Audit & Assurance Tax Financial Management Performance Management

Complete an Ethics & Professional Skills module Before becoming a full ACCA member, candidates are expected to undergo three years of practical work experience within a relevant role to be professionally equipped with the relevant accounting skills.

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5. INTERNATIONAL & POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS pg 40 Opportunities for International Students pg 42 Opportunities for Postgraduate Students pg 44 Interview with Teo Long Fa Collin

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS By Teo Long Fa Collin and Nirvan Dave International students comprise a significant majority of accounting students at Macquarie University at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Thus, this article aims to study the current opportunities available to international students in terms of careers and professional development.

Current Opportunities Many international students, especially from developing countries have come to Australia in the hope of getting a permanent residency through the two-year Australian study requirement and the post-study work visa. However, the future seems bleak for them in the area of accounting. Government research has generally revealed that Australia experienced no shortage of accountants in the fiscal year of 2017-2018. This result could mean a tight labour market for international students who wish to embark on an accounting career in Australia. This could be corroborated by the findings that there is an average of 21.6 applicants per vacancy. Of these 21.6 applicants, only 2.4 applicants (11.1%) are suitable for the vacancy. Employers have commonly cited interpersonal skills, communication barriers, and lack of organisational fit as reasons for candidates’ unsuitability. All of this points to how limited the career opportunities are for accounting students at the national level, let alone international students. At the micro-level, we have conducted research on the career opportunities available in three main circles of industries, namely the top 10 accounting firms, top 10 commercial companies, and 10 fastest-growing small-andmedium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Australia. A safe majority of accounting firms are 40 | ASA+

receptive to international students, with firms like PwC and KPMG considering candidates who meet stringent English Language requirements. A vast majority of Australia’s top companies are also presumably receptive to international students, including Woolworths and NAB. While SMEs seem to be receptive, the career future is still in uncharted waters because the majority of the 10 fastest-growing SMEs do not have a formal hiring process in their websites. This illustrates that English language proficiency, soft skills, and communication skills are crucial for international students to secure a permanent accounting career in Australia. The existence of three main accounting bodies in Australia has created a predicament for international students to plan their professional development. While the ACCA gives an advantage for accounting professionals to work in any country around the globe, the CA ANZ and CPA Australia are more prestigiously recognised in Australia. However, the current two-year post-study visa gives them limited room to gain the required three-year work experience as required by both CA ANZ and CPA Australia.  While CA ANZ is domestically concentrated in Australia and New Zealand, CPA Australia is located mainly around Southeast Asia. As such, international students may have more professional opportunities in pursuing CPA Australia and ACCA with wider support from Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

their regional branch offices. However, it is also notable that those who complete the ACCA program can get CA ANZ accreditation after five years of work experience and vice versa. Overall, it is evident that the best qualification for students to pursue depends on their personal preferences as to which geographical areas they want to practice in and what career path they wish to follow. Additionally, it is important for students to make comprehensive enquiries to determine what is best for their unique circumstances. Traditionally, young graduates have embarked on an auditing career for more exposure before moving onto the accounting career of their choice. This shows the great and longlasting value of an auditing career, directing many future financial controllers to start with auditing for the stepping-stone experience. However, the main dilemma is how international students can gain the required experience if they have difficulty in securing employment in accounting firms due to stringent requirements imposed by them in the first place.

Recommendations In our recommendations, we address how international students can take steps to increase their employability by improving their technical as well as soft skills. Ultimately, it is on the onus of the international students to take ownership of their own accounting career as follows:

Try to secure an internship (even unpaid can be a good experience) or consider doing a Professional Year program after graduation to gain first-hand working experience in Australia. Focus on improving soft skills such as communication, teamwork and time management skills. Getting involved in volunteering and meeting new people is a great way to do this. Try to achieve “Proficient English� in English language requirements. Some big firms desire this in job candidates. Tap on, Coursera and edx - to equip themselves with the introductory accounting software courses such as MYOB, SAP or Xero Consider working in a small or mid-tier accounting firm, a multinational commercial company or a growing SME in Australia. Search for jobs using multiple online job sites such as Linkedin, Australian Jobsearch, SEEK, and our university’s CareerHub. Also, make use of MQ Careers service for their advice and various resources. Accounting bodies also have their job portals which can be useful. Also, consider careers in other countries. Such career opportunities can make the way for a global career. Lastly, stay positive, confident and persistent. It can take some time to get the job you want but focus on skill-building to increase your chances.

Seize every opportunity to attend any career networking events organised by CA ANZ, CPA Australia or ACCA to grasp the expectations of the highly competitive accounting industry. Also, consider student representative programs offered by accounting bodies. These are a great way to network and meet people in the industry. Be involved in student clubs and societies on campus. They often have networking events. Moreover, it is a great way to gain leadership, coordination and team skills. Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

ASA+ | 41

OPPORTUNITIES FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS By Teo Long Fa Collin and Nirvan Dave Macquarie University offers a total of seven main accounting courses for both domestic and international postgraduate students, as shown in Appendix A. This article aims to study the current opportunities available to postgraduate students in terms of their courses, careers, and professional development.

Current Opportunities The seven main postgraduate courses are tailored to suit the specific career needs of Macquarie University students, with CPA Australia or ACCA streams designed for those who wish to pursue their accounting careers through the professional skills qualification path. Currently, the Professional Practice stream is the most popular course category designed for many who prefer to pursue accounting via the academic path. Even within each course category, there are three different course durations with the 2-year courses only covering the academic portion and the 2.5-year courses giving students an option to do a Business Internship module (BUS880). Overall, the university offers a flexible range of multi-layered courses for postgraduate students with different needs and abilities. The 2017 Macquarie University Graduate Destination Survey published that 89.6% of postgraduate students are employed full-time. Such an amazing achievement might be due to the design of its multi-layered postgraduate course structure which helps students to strive not only academically but also professionally. However, we should be mindful that such percentage might vary significantly by faculty. In the area of accounting, postgraduate students might face a tight labour market as Australia generally 42 | ASA+

experiences no shortage of accountants in the fiscal year 2017-2018. Among postgraduate students, international students tend to encounter more restrictions than domestic students in securing a full-time career in accounting firms. Indeed, many of the Big Four firms impose stringent English language requirements on international students and several mid-tier firms like BDO only accept domestic students. In Australia’s top companies and SMEs, there are not so many restrictions on international students. With Macquarie University’s multi-layered postgraduate courses, it is relatively easier for postgraduate students to plan their professional development with one of the three main accounting bodies in Australia. As postgraduate students on the CPA Australia stream are scheduled to complete their external professional examinations by the time of their graduation via this unique joint arrangement, they only need to fulfil the three years of relevant work experience with their potential employers. With regards to postgraduate students on the Professional Practice or ACCA stream, domestic students may have a choice of pursuing the CA ANZ, CPA Australia or ACCA paths whereas international students are generally restricted only to CPA Australia or ACCA path due to stringent visa conditions.

Accounting Students Association Macquarie University


Search for jobs using multiple online job sites such as Linkedin, Australian Jobsearch, SEEK, and our university’s CareerHub. Those on the CPA Australia or ACCA stream may consider utilising their student membership privileges to search for accounting jobs advertised in the career portals of these two accounting bodies. Utilise their past working experience to convince Australian employers of their transferable skills.

In our recommendations, we shall address how postgraduate students can work to get into the good books of Australian employers. Ultimately, it is on the onus of the postgraduate students to take ownership of their own accounting career as follows: Tap on the free online - a powerful online learning library to equip themselves with the introductory accounting software courses such as MYOB, SAP or Xero.

Appendix A The table below shows the seven postgraduate accounting courses offered at Macquarie University. For the most up-to-date information, be sure to check with the university.

Duration of Course

CPA Australia Stream

ACCA Stream

Professional Practice Stream

2.5 years

Master of Accounting (Advanced) with a Specialisation in CPA Program

Master of Accounting (Advanced) with a Specialisation in ACCA Program

Master of Accounting (Advanced) with a Specialisation in Professional Practice

2 years

Master of Accounting with a Specialisation in CPA Program

Master of Accounting with a Specialisation in ACCA Program

Master of Accounting with a Specialisation in Professional Practice

1.5 years

Master of Advanced Professional Accounting

Accounting Students Association Macquarie University

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INTERVIEW WITH TEO LONG FA COLLIN Teo Long Fa Collin, Residential Advisor at Macquarie University ASA Committee Member

How would you describe your experience as an international postgraduate student so far? As an international postgraduate student, I would describe my university experience as rewarding, culturally diversified and challenging. My Master of Accounting (Advanced) in CPA Specialisation is indeed a “three-in-one” postgraduate course package. Firstly, it equipped me with all the fundamental accounting knowledge during my first year.  Secondly, my second-year CPA component would build up my career brand in the eyes of my prospective employers. Thirdly, the Advanced portion of my Master program would give me an elective space for me to do an internship module.  Despite my tough times abroad, I have a pillar of moral support from my friends of different cultures. They are willing to lend me a sweet listening ear to my woes and offer me some useful tips from a different angle. Being an international student, I have to do a full academic load of four subjects per semester.  On top of this, we have to take on casual jobs to subsidise our exorbitant tuition costs of around A$53,800. Overall, the most positive aspects are the prospects of my CPA Master program and the multicultural environment whereas the downside is mainly the juggling between casual work and studies.

How have you overcome your challenges? To me, strong moral support, an independent mindset and good planning are the three most

44 | ASA+

important factors in helping me to overcome my challenges so far. As for family support, my parents have supported my exorbitant tuition fees with their abundant savings. This frees up my mind to devote greater attention to my CPA studies for the betterment of my future career.  As for friends' support, we sometimes gather together, listen to each other's problems and offer advice to one another. This helps me deal with social and academic problems more confidently. Whatever advice given by our family members and friends, we need a strong mindset to execute the advice effectively.  In my planning process, I have made a tough decision to prioritise my academic matters over my casual job for my long-term career prospects. This is what keeps me psychologically afloat during my overseas education journey so far. What key advice do you have for others in the same situation? My key advice would be to settle down and slowly get accustomed to the Australian way of life during your two years of study rather than sticking to the friends of your own nationality or ethnicity.  Making new friends from different cultures is the source of your main pillar of moral support in a foreign country. There are two platforms to do so. Stay in university accommodation and join a student group of your academic profession, for example, the Accounting Students Association (ASA) where you'll make new friends of many cultures, both international and domestic ones.  As for university and external resources, I tend to rely on a mixture of these resources in my job searching strategies because none of them has provided me with a perfect platform for job finding. Overall, I think we need to cast our networks widely and invest more time and effort deeply in order to successfully clinch a permanent accounting job in Australia.

Accounting Students Association Macquarie University


ASA+ 2019  

ASA is excited to release our new university and careers guide for 2019. To find out how ASA can benefit you and about making the most of e...

ASA+ 2019  

ASA is excited to release our new university and careers guide for 2019. To find out how ASA can benefit you and about making the most of e...

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