A Day in the Life of Lisa Ru
2019 Audit Graduate in Auckland, University of Auckland
The alarm marks the start of the day.
As the CBD is a bit far from home, commuting begins at 7:15am. Lucky for me, our Auckland office and our client’s office are right beside the Britomart train station, so the walk is only 2 mins!
Arrive at work. Nothing better than grabbing a coffee fix to start the day off right. Here in audit, coffee is our best friend. The day starts with checking emails to ensure those received outside business hours are read. This is very important as they can include internal updates, client requests or emails that require urgent responses.
Start of the working day officially begins. The engagement team meets up and together we walk up Queen Street to Turner’s head office space (our client), where field work happens. Each engagement team usually includes a Graduate, Intermediate, Senior, Manager and Partner. Although not everyone is there every day, there is always someone to answer my questions.
A daily catch up is held to discuss progress and aims for the day. It is a chance to learn about the other areas of the audit as well as increase understanding of the client. A to-do list is created from the morning catch up, and testing begins. Testing involves a range of required work, including generating samples, vouching those samples to supporting documentation, updating narratives and creating walkthroughs. As a graduate, the best thing is working as part of a close-knit team where no question is invalid. Asking questions has become second nature. I have found this to be the most valuable and enjoyable part of work.
A huge part of auditing is interacting with the client. After gathering all my questions, follow up queries and further requests, it’s time to make my way to the client. It is fascinating to learn from corporate professionals and understand their perspective on the business. During the time with the client, I note down the discussion we have and any points that could affect our audit testing. Any potential issues I bring back to discuss with my team.
Time for team lunch! I have the honour of choosing workplace lunches. Another perk of being the graduate! The restaurant is within 5 mins walking distance and lunch never fails to liven the mood. It is the time to really get to know your teammates and talk about things outside of work.
After lunch, I head back to the office to meet with the Manager and Partner for my scheduled development meeting. We go over the progress I’ve made since the last meeting and since starting at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway. We go over any accomplishments and difficulties, as well as general talk about life outside of work. I raise any issues I’ve come across as well as provide my views in working for the company. It always feels good coming out of the meeting knowing what I did well, what I can do to improve and knowing Baker Tilly Staples Rodway will continue to support our growth.
After the development meeting, I roll into a planning meeting. This planning meeting is held prior to field work for another client situated in East Auckland. All engagement team members are included in the meeting from Graduates through to Partners. While the Senior and Manager run the meeting, I take the minutes. In this meeting, background of the client is provided, the testing approach is laid out and we discuss potential issues. I make sure to pay close attention here, as it lays the groundwork for the field work about to happen in the coming weeks.
Once a month, announcements are held over work drinks. This is a firmwide event and is the best time to interact with co-workers. It is a chance to meet up with those who you haven’t seen in a while or to meet new faces. Being one of the newer employees, I like learning about other departments and meeting new people.
As the event ends and everyone begins making their way home, I check my emails one last time. For the next workday to run smoothly, I draft a to-do list noting down any tasks that are yet to be completed.
A few of us head out for a movie night. Graduates, Intermediates, Seniors, everyone is invited! We book seats and choose any movie showing that night. It is a time to relax, clear the head and eat as much popcorn as we want! It’s a night I always look forward to.
Back to the office to pack my things and begin the commute home. Of course, not forgetting to pick up a bubble tea for the road!
A Day in the Life of Winston Stanley
2020 Business Advisory Graduate in Auckland, Massey University
Our cat Gigi helpfully lets me know it is time to get up by scratching on the bed!
Heading to the gym before work begins which means a 6:50am bus followed by a brisk walk from Britomart up Queen Street.
After arriving at work, the day starts with a strong coffee while I check my emails and update my workflow tracker. This is important to keep up to date with internal announcements, the BAS graduate training schedule and to prioritise my tasks for the day, the aim being to improve our efficiency.
My work day officially begins. Today I am working on a group of entities that are a part of a larger group of Companies which other team members are also working on. The other, more senior team members have also worked on the same entities I am working on in previous years. This means the job is quite a team effort as we check related party transactions and balances across the group match, with any questions I have referred to them as a first port of call. Working in a team is a part of the job I really enjoy, having had a previous career in professional rugby before starting in this role.
An email goes out at 10:25am advising that we have some treats in thse ‘breakout space’ to celebrate a team member’s birthday. This is a chance to have a break and a chat. This is an all too common occurrence and I am hoping I won’t need to buy new pants next year.
During lunch we have additional training aimed at accelerating our development as Graduates. Today’s topic is taxation of land transactions. It is an interactive, discussion-based session where we discuss various hypothetical scenarios and what we believe the outcome would be. A bonus of lunch time trainings is that we get fed!
After lunch/training, I head out for a walk to get some fresh air with some of the other Grads. When I return, I have my six-weekly Manager catch up. We go for a coffee at ‘The Lunchroom’ café which is on Level 1 of our building. We discuss the feedback my Manager has gathered from other Managers about the work I have done for them recently. This is an opportunity to identify areas where I need some further training and to discuss what I feel is going well or, not. It is nice to have feedback from someone who is well established in their career and who offers insight based on their own experiences.
As is clear from the day so far, there is a big focus on our development as Accountants which I really value. In fact, it is a very similar to the incremental improvement cycle that I was used to in sports – ‘plan, do, review’.
After my Manager catch up, I get back to work on the workpapers I was working on earlier in the day and begin to format financial statements for these entities in Xero. I am aiming to submit these for first review tomorrow morning.
Once a month, staff announcements are held with drinks and nibbles. This is a firmwide event and it is a time to socialise with co-workers, especially those who work ‘upstairs’ on the Audit, Tax and Management Services floor who we don’t get to see every day (we’re on Level 9, they are on 11). Being one of the newer employees, I enjoy meeting people from other departments and getting a better understanding of the activities, challenges and ‘wins’ the firm has had in the past month.
With summer here, it means summer sport is back on the cards. I am a part of both the touch rugby and soccer teams. It is a good way to keep fit and enjoy the longer sunlight hours. Today it’s touch in the mixed competition at Victoria Park, a very social level of competition, good fun and once again a helpful way to get to know more people from around the firm.
I head home to relax! Work-life balance is much better than I had expected it would be as a Graduate, only in exceptional circumstances would I be required to work beyond standard work hours.