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Accounting and Advisory Graduate Careers Advice

This guide provides valuable insights and advice to help accounting graduates navigate the job market, prepare for interviews, and understand the career landscape in Australia.

Graduate Accountant Job Description

What is a graduate accountant?

A graduate accountant is an entry-level position for individuals who recently completed their bachelor's accounting degree. It is a pathway to more advanced accounting positions, providing foundational experience in financial management, auditing, and tax preparation.

What do graduate accountants do?

Graduate accountants are responsible for assisting in preparing financial statements, conducting audits, managing accounts payable and receivable, and supporting senior accountants with various tasks. They ensure compliance with financial regulations and help to analyze financial data to support decision-making processes.

Read more: A quick intro into graduate careers in accounting

A day in the life of an accounting graduate

A typical day for a graduate accountant involves working on financial reports, attending team meetings, liaising with clients, and learning from experienced colleagues. The role requires strong attention to detail, analytical skills, and a willingness to learn and adapt to new challenges continually.

Prosple features real-life day in the life and graduate stories describing the accounting graduate experience at top organisations. Below are a few examples from accounting graduates;  

Why Choose a Career in Accounting?

A career in accounting offers stability, various career paths, and growth opportunities. Whether you're interested in public accounting, corporate roles, or specialized fields like forensic accounting, the skills you acquire as an accountant are in high demand across industries.


Top Career Paths for Accounting Graduates

Public Accounting

Public accountants provide auditing, tax, and consulting services to clients. This path often involves working for accounting firms and can lead to becoming a partner.

Corporate Accounting

Corporate accountants manage financial records and reports for businesses. This role involves budgeting, financial analysis, and strategic planning.

Government Accounting

Government accountants maintain and examine records for government agencies. They ensure compliance with regulations and proper use of funds.

Nonprofit Accounting

Accountants in nonprofit organizations focus on fund accounting, ensuring that financial practices align with the organization's mission and donor restrictions.

Forensic Accounting

Forensic accountants investigate financial discrepancies and fraud. This role combines accounting expertise with investigative skills.

Management Accounting

Management accountants help businesses make strategic decisions by providing financial insights and performance analysis.

Read more: Which accountancy specialisation is right for me?

Applying for Accounting Graduate Jobs

Resume Advice

A standout resume is crucial for success when applying to accounting graduate programs. Highlight your educational background, relevant coursework, internships, and accounting software skills. Emphasize your attention to detail, analytical skills, and teamwork abilities. You can find some useful resume/CV templates here.

Read more: How to write a winning CV and cover letter as an accounting graduate

Cover Letters

Your cover letter should complement your resume by elaborating on your interest in accounting, specific skills, and how you can contribute to the organization. Personalize it for each job application to show genuine interest and effort. Check out our cover letter templates for fresh accounting graduates here.

Sample Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for accounting graduate interviews with common interview questions. Practice your responses to showcase your problem-solving abilities, teamwork, and knowledge of the accounting profession.

Some common accounting graduate interview questions include:

  • "Why did you choose accounting?"
  • "Can you describe a time when you solved a complex problem?" 
  •  "What accounting software are you familiar with?"
  • "How do you stay updated with accounting standards?"
  • "Can you explain a complex accounting concept to someone without an accounting background?"

Answer these questions confidently by highlighting your technical skills, ongoing learning habits, and ability to communicate complex ideas.

Read more: Top interview questions for accounting internships & grad jobs (and how to answer them)

Find Accounting Graduate Jobs by City in Australia

Perth

Perth offers a variety of opportunities in both public and private accounting sectors.Browse open accounting graduate jobs and programs in Perth.

Adelaide

Adelaide's accounting job market is diverse, with positions in corporate, public, and government sectors. Utilize job search platforms to find suitable roles. Explore open accounting graduate jobs and programs in Adelaide.

Melbourne

Melbourne is a hub for accounting jobs, with numerous openings in large corporations and accounting firms. Networking events and job fairs can provide additional opportunities. Find open accounting graduate jobs and programs in Melbourne.

Sydney

Sydney's vibrant economy offers extensive opportunities for accounting graduates in various industries, including finance, consulting, and technology. Browse open accounting graduate jobs and programs in Sydney.

Brisbane

Brisbane provides a growing market for accounting professionals, with opportunities in both the public and private sectors. Local job boards and career centers are good resources. Browse open accounting graduate jobs and programs in Brisbane.

Graduate Accountant Salary

Graduate accountants in Australia typically earn between AUD 50,000 and AUD 75,000 per year, depending on the location and size of the company.

In addition to a competitive salary, accountancy graduates can expect benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and opportunities for professional development.

Read more: What salary and benefits can I expect as an accountancy grad?

Accounting graduate salary in Melbourne

In Melbourne, accounting graduates can expect to earn between AUD 55,000 and AUD 70,000 annually, reflecting the city's higher cost of living and demand for skilled professionals.

Accounting graduate salary in Brisbane

In Brisbane, salaries for graduate accountants range from AUD 50,000 to AUD 65,000, depending on the employer and level of experience.

Accounting graduate salary in Sydney

Graduate accountants in Sydney typically earn between AUD 60,000 and AUD 75,000 per year, with higher salaries offered by major firms and corporations.

Average graduate accountant salary at the Big 4

Salaries at the Big 4 accounting firms (Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG) start around AUD 60,000 to AUD 75,000, with additional benefits and rapid career advancement opportunities.

Read more: What graduate salary can I expect at the Big 4?

Career Advice for Accounting Graduates and Students

How to get a graduate accounting job

To secure a graduate accounting job, start by building a strong resume and cover letter, gain relevant experience through internships, and network with professionals in the field. Use specialised job search platforms like Prosple to find programs and jobs specifically for graduates.

Read more: How to break into the accounting industry as a graduate

How to build a successful career in accounting

Building a successful career in accounting involves continuous learning, obtaining certifications like CPA, networking, and seeking out mentorship and professional development opportunities.

Preparing for a career in accounting

Prepare for a career in accounting by completing relevant coursework, gaining practical experience through internships, staying updated with industry trends, and developing technical and soft skills.

Read more: Five essential steps before you apply for an accountancy job
 

Top Graduate Accountant Employers in Australia

Top employers for accounting graduates include the Big 4 firms (Deloitte, PwC, EY, KPMG), large corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Research these employers and tailor your applications to align with their values and requirements. 

Every year Prosple announces a list of the top 100 graduate employers in the accounting and advisory industry amongst other sectors based on reviews from actual graduate employees.

Learn more: Top 10 Graduate Employers for Accounting Students

Tips to get hired at a Big 4 accounting firm for graduate accountants

Below is some insider advice from Prosple Employers for getting hired at the top accounting firms including the Big 4.

Accounting & Advisory Industry Trends and Future Outlook

Accounting and advisory is a dynamic industry, constantly evolving with technological advancements and regulatory changes. Staying informed about industry trends, such as the integration of AI and automation, can help you stay ahead in your career. 

Professional organizations and industry publications are excellent resources for ongoing education and networking.

Read more: Accounting and advisory industry overview

Technological Advances

Technological advancements like AI and blockchain are transforming accounting. Staying updated with these trends is crucial for career growth.

Job Market Projections

The demand for accountants is expected to remain strong. Understanding market trends can help you align your career goals with industry needs.

FAQs

How can accounting graduates find their first job?

Accounting graduates can find their first job by leveraging job search platforms like Prosple, attending career fairs, networking with professionals, and utilizing university career services. Internships and relevant work experience can significantly enhance job prospects.

What skills are crucial for success in accounting?

Key skills for success in accounting include proficiency in accounting software, strong analytical abilities, attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and a solid understanding of financial regulations. Soft skills like teamwork and problem-solving are also essential.

How much do graduate accountants make in Australia?

Graduate accountants in Australia typically earn between AUD 50,000 and AUD 65,000 annually, depending on the location and size of the company. Salaries can vary based on factors such as city, employer, and level of experience.

What are the top industries for accounting jobs?

The top industries for accounting jobs include public accounting, corporate accounting, government, nonprofit organizations, and forensic accounting. Each sector offers unique opportunities and challenges, catering to different interests and career goals.

How do accounting graduates stay current with industry changes?

Accounting graduates can stay current with industry changes by pursuing continuing education, attending professional development workshops, and joining professional organizations. Keeping up with industry publications and regulatory updates is also crucial.

What are the benefits of joining professional accounting organizations?

Joining professional accounting organizations offers numerous benefits, including networking opportunities, access to continuing education resources, industry news, and forums for discussing trends and challenges. Membership can enhance your professional development and career prospects.

How do I get a graduate accounting job?

To get a graduate accounting job, build a strong resume highlighting your education and relevant experiences, write personalized cover letters, network with professionals, and prepare thoroughly for interviews. Utilize job boards like Prosple to find job openings.

How do you build a successful career in accounting?

Building a successful career in accounting involves continuous learning, obtaining relevant certifications (like CPA or CMA), networking, and seeking mentorship. Stay updated with industry trends and be proactive in pursuing professional development opportunities.

How much do graduate accountants make at the Big 4?

Graduate accountants at the Big 4 firms (Deloitte, PwC, EY, KPMG) typically start with salaries ranging from AUD 60,000 to AUD 75,000. These firms also offer comprehensive training programs, career advancement opportunities, and attractive benefits.

How do I prepare for a career in accounting?

Prepare for a career in accounting by completing relevant coursework, gaining practical experience through internships, staying updated with industry trends, and developing both technical and soft skills. Pursuing certifications and joining professional organizations can also be beneficial.

What are the top graduate accountant employers?

Top employers for graduate accountants include the Big 4 firms (Deloitte, PwC, EY, KPMG), large multinational corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Research these employers and tailor your applications to align with their values and requirements.

More articles related to accounting graduate careers

Essentials

Accounting and advisory industry overview
An enormously popular profession with grads, the sky’s the limit if you have good problem-solving abilities.
The pros and cons of a career in accountancy
Learn about the pros and cons of working as an accountant, from salary and job security to stress and workload.
What salary and benefits can I expect as an accountancy grad?
After years of living frugally as a student, exactly how much will your circumstances change when you land that a full-t…
Accounting and advisory industry overview
An enormously popular profession with grads, the sky’s the limit if you have good problem-solving abilities.
The pros and cons of a career in accountancy
Learn about the pros and cons of working as an accountant, from salary and job security to stress and workload.
What salary and benefits can I expect as an accountancy grad?
After years of living frugally as a student, exactly how much will your circumstances change when you land that a full-t…

Specialisations

Which accountancy specialisation is right for me?
Service line, business area, division… whatever it’s labelled, your potential future employer will ask you where you’d l…
Embezzlement and fraud: a career in forensic accounting
Forensic accounting might be the right graduate career for you, especially if you're inquisitive, analytical and have to…
Next level accounting: assurance and audit
Take your graduate accounting career to a new level by specialising in assurance and audit – perfect if you have an eye …
Which accountancy specialisation is right for me?
Service line, business area, division… whatever it’s labelled, your potential future employer will ask you where you’d l…
Embezzlement and fraud: a career in forensic accounting
Forensic accounting might be the right graduate career for you, especially if you're inquisitive, analytical and have to…
Next level accounting: assurance and audit
Take your graduate accounting career to a new level by specialising in assurance and audit – perfect if you have an eye …

Getting hired

Five essential steps before you apply for an accountancy job
Preparation will make all the difference once you get to the starting line for your accounting graduate job search.
Top interview questions for accounting internships & grad jobs (and how to answer them)
Discover real questions students & grads are actually asked in accounting interviews and how to answer them like a p…
Insider tips to land a graduate job at Deloitte
Emma Taylor, the senior manager for national graduate talent acquisition at Deloitte Australia, has a few tips for stude…
Five essential steps before you apply for an accountancy job
Preparation will make all the difference once you get to the starting line for your accounting graduate job search.
Top interview questions for accounting internships & grad jobs (and how to answer them)
Discover real questions students & grads are actually asked in accounting interviews and how to answer them like a p…
Insider tips to land a graduate job at Deloitte
Emma Taylor, the senior manager for national graduate talent acquisition at Deloitte Australia, has a few tips for stude…

On the job

Gaining the tick of approval from accountancy bodies
There’s more to advancing your accountancy career than just acquiring the relevant uni degree. Here are the other stamps…
Why did three superstar grads choose KPMG?
When it comes to attracting outstanding talent, KPMG is one of the best in the business.
Gaining the tick of approval from accountancy bodies
There’s more to advancing your accountancy career than just acquiring the relevant uni degree. Here are the other stamps…
Why did three superstar grads choose KPMG?
When it comes to attracting outstanding talent, KPMG is one of the best in the business.