Updating Results

Grant Thornton

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

Lauren Helin

I think the great thing about Audit is that you get exposure to and the opportunity to learn so much about so many different industries and therefore it gives you an opportunity to choose what industry you wish to specialise in. 

What's your job about?

I work in the Audit and Assurance service line at GT.  What is Audit & Assurance?  Our service line involves looking at financial statements and testing the line items to conclude if they comply with the regulatory frameworks. As an Associate, on each engagement you are allocated certain sections of the financial statements and are then responsible for liaising with the client, determining how to best test the items and forming a conclusion on the balance as presented in the financial statements.

We work as a team so it is important to maintain contact, ask for help where necessary and provide assistance to other members of the team if you have the capacity to do so. Audit work is quite cyclical, with busy periods consisting of fieldwork taking place after the end of the financial year (July) and at the end of the calendar year (December).

In the periods prior to the EOFY or calendar year, we focus on planning and assessing the risk of the audit for our clients so that we can ensure we have a solid plan heading into fieldwork. As you spend more time with the firm you will move on to riskier cycles and eventually be able to take the lead on audits.

What's your background?

I grew up on the South Coast of NSW moving to Sydney when I was 15. I have been fortunate to have lived abroad twice.  My first experience living overseas (which was also my first time travelling overseas!) was for 6 months in Spain during a high school exchange program.  The second time was in University where I spent 18 months in China learning mandarin. Since then, I have spent a lot of time backpacking and travelling as much as possible until stunted by the pandemic.

In my later years of university, I started working as a Trainee Accountant at an aged care facility and then progressed to Financial Controller when I graduated university. I decided to move to GT, a larger firm, within Audit to gain exposure and experience across different industries, the work is also more dynamic. I started as an Associate in June 2020 during COVID lockdown so onboarding was definitely interesting! I think this actually strengthened the bonds within my cohort as we went out of our way to organise social events and are now really good friends.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, accounting frameworks in Australia are closely linked to the International Standards, which makes it easier for others with an accounting background to transition to Australia. The concepts of accounting are also pretty universal, accounting knowledge is essential for the role. For Audit having good people, skills are important as you need to maintain a relationship with your clients and be able to effectively explain what documents and information you require from them.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

I think the great thing about Audit is that you get exposure to and the opportunity to learn so much about so many different industries and therefore it gives you an opportunity to choose what industry you wish to specialise in.  It is also really dynamic so if you happen to be working on a client you don’t particularly enjoy at least you will be a new one in a month. The social aspect is also really great, everyone is so friendly and down for a chat and after-work drinks.

What are the limitations of your job?

The cyclical nature of the work can be quite draining at times. What I mean is sometimes you might not have as work during the off period and then during the busy period, the workload is very high and can become overwhelming.  You really need to stay motivated and organised in order to stay on top of everything.  During a busy period, extra hours are generally required to meet the client’s deadlines.

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

  1. Do what you enjoy, not what you think is going to be a stable career with money – if you don’t follow your heart in your university choices you may regret it later, or end up studying again.
  2. Travel as much as possible – nothing shapes you and opens up your eyes to world like travelling and experiencing new things
  3. Keep active – whether it be the gym or other sport, physical health helps with your body functioning into the future and keeps you strong as well as feeling good physically and mentally.