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Grant Thornton

  • #5 in Accounting & advisory
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Emma Zeibari

Find your passion in your studies and the career you want to be in. Remember a job takes up a lot of your time, you want to have fun while doing it!

What's your job about?

I work at Grant Thornton (GT) Perth as an Audit Associate. As an auditor, our role is to assess clients’ financial accounts to ensure completeness and accuracy.  I am part of an engagement team that will be placed on a client for 1 – 4 weeks depending on the scope of the works.    An engagement team will generally have an Associate, a Senior Associate, a Manager, and Partner. Our general working day will be spent out at the client’s office so we can interact with the client and understand how their business works and if there are any queries that we have, it makes life much easier.

We have the opportunity to travel to around Perth which makes every day different. Generally speaking, you will have a senior on your engagement team that is in charge of delegating the tasks of the whole engagement and assisting associates in the right direction with their work papers. As a first-year associate, our paper cycles are generally testing Cash, Accounts Payable, Operating Expenses, Capital Assets and Equity. A lot of the time we also get to expand into other work papers such as Accounts Receivable, Employee Comp and Provisions, Exploration and Evaluation and Journal Entries. We complete work papers from start to finish, where in most cases we test accounts by selecting samples from the client and making sure they match to their accounts. Each work paper is different from the other depending on the type of testing to be done.

What's your background?

I was born in Zimbabwe. I moved to Australia with my family when I was 9 and initially lived in QLD. At age 11, we moved to WA and it’s been my home ever since. As have been to many different primary and high schools over the years, I think has given me great skill in being able to adjust and adapt quickly. I started uni a few years later out of high school as I decided to travel and work before starting a full-time career to get some life experience.

My journey with GT began when I applied to GT’s 2020/2021 Vacationer’s Program for the summer break. From there, I was offered a part-time undergraduate position as an Audit Associate during my last semester of University up until I graduated in June. I then started full-time as a Graduate in late June of 2021 (right at the start of the busy season!). I think this was a great way for me to enter the industry. It really helped to compound my learning and prepare me for the work in busy season.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes absolutely! That is the great thing about working in a team. Having a diversity of backgrounds comes with a different range of skills. Within our team, we might have someone who is great in analytics and someone else who has stronger customer skills. We all learn different things one each job from each Associate, Senior, Manager or Partner that we work with and carry those new skills onto our next client.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

Every day is different, as you meet new people and get to travel to new locations. This means we get to check out some great coffee shops and food locations before we start work or during our lunch breaks! You also get to change teams for every client, so you’re constantly working with different people on every job and this helps to get to know more people in your service line.

The firm in itself has so many benefits. We have our office in the heart of the city which makes it so convenient for transport. There are always social events popping up throughout each month and we are provided with a large support network from all levels of the firm.

Within the Audit space, we get so much exposure to different companies and businesses very quickly so you are constantly learning. You also get a great overview of how each business runs its day-to-day procedures.

What are the limitations of your job?

Busy season! During the July – October period it is non-stop working on clients and comes with a little bit of added pressure. However, this is where I have learnt the most and laid the foundation for the future.  Having to also juggle your CA study with full-time work can be challenging. What I try to do is to save a day on the weekend to set aside for getting study in and also get myself to do at least an hour after work when I can.

Sometimes travelling to different clients each week can shake up your routine a little but it helps to be super organized to stay on top of this. Sitting at a desk all day can be challenging. I make sure I go for quick walks to grab a coffee or snacks with colleagues and also making sure I leave my desk to eat my lunch helps to keep me active throughout the day as well.

I have established a good routine myself in the morning, where I get up early to attend a gym class each morning and get a quick brief walk in before I get ready. This helps me get into a good mindset for the day and get a lot of my personal tasks out of the way for me to focus on work for the rest of the day.

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

  1. Find your passion in your studies and the career you want to be in. Remember a job takes up a lot of your time, you want to have fun while doing it!
  2. Work backward from your goals (i.e. I want to be partner one day – how do you get there?)
  3. Make the most of all the resources that your university gives you or the CAANZ networking events/programs they have! Also, it’s never too early or too late to start using these.