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Real Business : Autumn 2008
REAL BUSINESS AUTUMN 2008 5 A new year, a new opportunity It's March, which means you're poised at an exciting part of the academic year: nothing has happened, so anything is possible. In this issue of Real Business we'll be providing plenty of info about where all your efforts in the classroom can take you. What's the best advice we can give you? In a new department, "Mentor as anything", Jason Cunningham CPA, who has grown his consultancy business from start-up to an employer of 25 in 10 years, says studying for the CPA Program separates the professionals from the also-rans. That's a pretty solid tip. Each issue in this column we'll feature a chat between senior CPAs and someone who aspires to be where they are. Our cover story this issue focuses on Origin Energy, one of Australia's leading energy providers. Recently voted Ethical Investor magazine's sustainable company of the year, Origin is at the forefront of implementing Green energy. Yet Origin's good intentions would amount to little without a strong financial team. It's here you'll find CPAs playing a key part. Of course, you'll also find CPAs working in the Australian public sector (see page 12), whose enormous scope presents more opportunities than any private sector employer. From federal departments to local government you'll find CPAs performing pivotal strategic roles. Elsewhere we find out what employers really think of Generation Y (that's you). We also predict what the finance profession will look like in the year 2030, and spend an exciting week with a globetrotting Shanghai-based CPA. Margin lending sounds complicated, but we give you the real facts. That's Real Business. THE CPA PASSPORT TEAM email@example.com ExpEriEncE works Tell us a little about where you were placed Operating in more than 30 countries and employing over 80,000 people across the globe, Capgemini offers consulting, outsourcing, technology and local professional services. In the Adelaide office, Capgemini focuses exclusively on business process outsourcing, undertaking many of the back office responsibilities for their main client in Adelaide: BlueScope Steel. What were the highlights? It was evident from the start that Capgemini had a very strong focus on total quality management, highlighted by the extensive opportunities for professional and personal development. While I was there I was able to join in a training program run by BlueScope Steel Corporate Tax elaborating on the changes and complexities of the FBT (fringe benefit tax) system. I did find this quite interesting and gained an admiration for the individuals that must deal with this area of accounting and law. Thankfully from this experience I am now aware that taxation is probably not an area of commerce I want to go into. Troy Merchant participated in the cpA Australia work Experience program with capgemini Business ser vices Australia in Adelaide. He has almost completed a Bachelor of Management and a Bachelor of commerce degree at the University of south Australia. The best part of my work experience was being able to work side by side with tr ue profession- als. Team leaders and members in each depart- ment spent their valuable time explaining their role and importance in the bigger picture. This insight has really aided me to distinguish between the areas of accou nting that I would and would not like to work. What did you think of the work culture? It was great to experience the culture of a larger organisation. Within large organisations, unlike small business, concepts such as leadership, teamwork, strategic planning, process management, six sigma, statistical process control, professional development and performance measurement all tend to have a strong foundation. The staff at Capgemini demonstrated a real com mitment to their work and to the objectives and goals of the company. It seemed working at Capgemini was more than a job but something they sought to do, which I think is something we should all aspire to find. What will you do when you graduate? I finish in the middle of 2008. Until then I am spending two months in Sweden studying financial markets and institutions at Umea University, then returning to complete the rest of my degrees. After studying for nearly 18 years since primary school, I plan to take a year off to travel the world. Not only is it a break but I believe it'll be a great way to broaden my horizons and to develop a deeper understanding of different cultures and societies. While I call it a year off, independently backpacking the globe will provide a type of real-world experience that I am confident will help me in my future career. The great thing about studying accounting is the number of doors it opens, provid- ing nearly limitless career opportunities. Capgemini made it evident to me that there are many different areas in which CPAs can work. On top of that, there is an extensive array of other areas in which financial skills are valued outside accounting. I suspect during my travels I will need to obtain some work overseas. Using the skills and abilities I have gathered over the years I envisage working in London in the finance or banking industry and hopefully being paid more than at the pub! n PUBLIC DOMAIN When you think of the public sector, it's natural to think of the big ministries that help governments work. But in our article about CPAs in the public sector (see page 12) you'll see the astonishing scope of careers available. Take Nathan Morsillo CPA (above), finance manager for the Central Land Council in the Northern Territory. "I originally made the move from the corporate world to make a difference," he says. "Believing in where you work is a must for me."