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Australian National Audit Office (ANAO)

  • 100 - 500 employees

An accounting career with a difference: five things to consider before going private

Australian National Audit Office (ANAO)

So you’ve completed your accounting degree and looking for an exciting graduate opportunity. Your only choice is an accounting firm right? Wrong! The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) offers a number of exciting graduate opportunities for accounting graduates that we will explore.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is an Australian government entity, led by the Auditor-General. The ANAO’s purpose is to support accountability and transparency in the Australian Government sector through independent reporting to the Parliament and thereby contribute to improved public sector performance. The ANAO employs over 300 people across various disciplines, with at least one-third of these people being accounting graduates.

So what does the ANAO offer that sets it apart from accounting firms? Let’s explore that question.

  1. The opportunity to contribute to meaningful work

With the ANAO’s core purpose focusing on contributing to improved public sector performance, working at the ANAO will give you a unique opportunity to undertake meaningful work that will directly contribute to that purpose. And let’s face it, we are all impacted in our everyday lives by the performance of the public sector.

Within the Assurance Audit Services Group, we undertake financial statements audits across over 240 Australian Government entities and the consolidated financial statements of the Australian Government. The outcomes of each of these audits are then reported directly to Parliament and the Australian public, meaning that the impacts you will make as an ANAO graduate are easy to see and contribute to a much larger purpose – not something all accounting firms can claim!

  1. Auditing unique and challenging entities

As mentioned above, the ANAO undertakes financial statements audits across a large number of Australian Government entities and the consolidated financial statements of the Australian Government. This includes undertaking financial statements audits across well-known Australian Government entities including the Department of Defence, Australian Taxation Office, Services Australia and the Reserve Bank of Australia – along with auditing entities you may not typically identify as Government organisations such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Kakadu Tourism Pty Limited, NBN Co. Limited and Snowy Hydro Limited.

The variety of the entities we audit at the ANAO will allow you to undertake audit work across almost every possible sector – from the general government to tourism, retail, banking and finance, construction and many more. Due to the unique nature of the entities that we audit, you will also be able to experience accounting and auditing challenges and experiences at the ANAO that you will not typically be able to experience anywhere else. Because sometimes, what Australian Government entities do, no one else in Australia does!

  1. Access to a comprehensive learning and development program

The ANAO has developed a comprehensive learning and development program that will provide you with extensive support in both technical and non-technical skills. We recognise that your graduate year may be the first corporate work experience that you have had. So we don’t just focus on the technical side of the role, but also building your core skills across a number of other areas. This includes effective communication, stakeholder engagement, working in teams, problem-solving skills and many more!

The technical side of our learning and development program has been designed to support you, not just in your graduate year, but for many years to come. We have structured the program to provide you with the skills you need right here, right now – so that when you learn a new concept you almost immediately have an opportunity to put it into practice on your audit! This is supported by a strong coaching model that is applied across all levels of management within our audit teams. There is always someone available to help you put into practice what you have learnt.

At the ANAO, learning and development is a lifelong commitment, not just a first-year commitment, and it happens in your everyday work, not just the classroom.

  1. Working within a supportive environment

At the ANAO, we design our audit teams to provide you with the support that you need every step of the way. As a graduate, you will never be working alone. This does not mean that you won’t be working independently. It does mean that you will have a team to provide you with guidance, direction and support to challenge yourself and deliver high quality audit work.

Due to the public facing nature of our work, and the importance of what we do, our audit teams have a significant amount of involvement with senior agency leaders. This gives you a unique opportunity at the ANAO to work alongside the Executive team, sometimes even the Auditor-General and Deputy Auditor-General themselves!

At the ANAO we are committed to the values of respect, integrity and excellence — values that align with the APS values and address the unique aspects of the ANAO's business and operating environment. Values that our audit teams live and breathe.

  1. But wait, there’s more!

This article has largely focussed on the work that we do within our Assurance Audit Services Group, mostly because this is where a large number of our accounting graduates are interested in working. However, the ANAO undertakes interesting and challenging work in a number of other areas including performance audit and performance statements audits. We also have opportunities for graduates to work within our Systems Assurance and Data Analytics Group, Corporate Management Group and Professional Services and Relationships Group. You read more about each of the ANAO’s work groups here.

If you are interested in contributing to the essential and engaging work of our agency – whether in the Assurance Audit Services Group or one of our other work groups – then we encourage you to click the link to our website above and see what we do. And don’t forget, applications for our 2023 graduate program are open now!