As Head of Audit at BDO, I am frequently asked by clients, colleagues and friends why I chose auditing as my career. In truth, I knew at an early stage that the accountancy profession appealed to me. I grew up in a family business and was immersed in the details of running a business: the numbers, strategies, deadlines, and some of the frustrations too!
While many quality college courses are available, I chose the BComm in NUIG which set me on the right path. The structure of the course allowed me to gain a wider knowledge of business, which I wanted, while also allowing me to specialise in my chosen field.
There are many aspects of being an auditor that appealed (and continue to appeal) to me.
A Career that Offers Mobility
The skills you learn as an auditor set you up for virtually any career path - from corporate finance to consulting to academia. In my early career, it was my intention to obtain post-qualification experience as an auditor within a reputable firm and ultimately make a move in-house to industry. Twenty years later, I am still with BDO and have recently been appointed as the Head of Audit. I have clearly enjoyed working as an auditor in practice more than I had imagined at the outset!
My career has afforded me the opportunity to work abroad, to travel to all continents and work with people of different cultures. This experience has been invaluable both from a career and personal perspective.
A Clear Sense of Purpose
An auditor’s purpose is very clear. At a micro level it is to ensure that financial records are accurate and to help ensure that an organisation runs effectively. At a macro level, it is to help promote transparent financial reporting which is an important element of our highly integrated and global economy. This clear sense of purpose suits my personality.
A Strong Network
Auditors are often thrust into different companies every few weeks which means you are always meeting new people. At BDO, we work with some of the most innovative companies in the world across virtually every industry. Business is rarely about one person - it is about people pulling together with a common goal. From my first day as an audit trainee I have been meeting new people and have made many strong business connections and friends along the way.
You Get to See the Mechanics
From my early days as a trainee, I have had the opportunity to learn about the workings of various types of business ranging from start-ups to large listed multinational companies – across a variety of sectors. This has given me a great insight into how organisations of different sizes operate. I enjoy dealing with the potential / real issues that businesses face on a day-to-day basis and helping find solutions to issues where possible.
You are Always Learning
Auditing is a dynamic and changing profession, which continues to keep it interesting for me. There have been significant changes within the audit market in the last ten years, particularly with the introduction of the EU Audit Reform Legislation in 2016 and the ongoing changes in financial reporting standards. The challenge I set for myself is how best to improve my effectiveness in business and stay ahead of the curve in a constantly evolving accounting and business environment. My own business education continues and I take great personal satisfaction from that!
If you are interested in applying for a position in Audit at BDO, please click here for Graduates or here for Experienced Professionals.