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Real Business : Issue 3 2012
HOW TO BECOME A CPA WELCOME REAL BUSINESS ISSUE 3, 2012 Your network More than 139,000 accounting professionals in 114 countries to help you throughout the CPA Program and your entire career. CPAs drive business; they combine technical accounting skills with business, leadership and personal-effectiveness skills developed through the CPA Program. They work in many roles for companies such as ANZ, HSBC, Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Australian Taxation Office, Adidas, BDO, Coca-Cola Amatil, Sony, Prada and Apple. CPA toolkit The CPA Program integrates core accounting knowledge with strategy, leadership and international business themes. It has 14 education segments with a foundation level, professional level and a practical requirement. The foundation level is for applicants who don’t quite meet the CPA Program professional level requirements. More information can be found at cpaaustralia.com.au/apply. The foundation level ... ... c omprises eight exams that ensure you’re ready to undertake the professional level. If you hold a degree or postgraduate award accredited by CPA Australia, you may be exempt from all or some of these. The professional level ... ... comprises four compulsory segments, two electives and a practical experience requirement. Applicants may be eligible for exemptions. WHY BECOME A CPA? As a CPA you will be ahead of the pack. You will be recognised by employers for completing a comprehensive business education program, combined with practical experience. 5 4 To become a CPA you must: n hold a degree or postgraduate award recognised by CPA Australia n have successfully met the assessment criteria or have completed the CPA Program foundation level core knowledge areas (exemptions may apply) n have successfully completed the CPA Program professional level exams n have successfully completed the CPA Program practical experience requirement HOW TO BECOME A CPA TRENDSTER The recruitment market is still unpredictable, but there are plenty of opportunities out there for accounting and business professionals and graduates. STORY VIRGINIA MILLEN DRUMROLL PLEASE ... James Robertson, left, and Samuel Senior from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have won this year’s CPA Big Break Project. This year’s challenge was to devise a strategy to increase donations and sponsorships to Make‐A‐Wish, a not‐for‐profit that grants seriously ill children their most cherished wish. Senior and Robertson won with their “collaborations strategy” to increase revenues, reduce costs and strengthen donor retention and brand equity. The strategy includes the use of e‐volunteers, crowdfunding and a micro‐giving campaign through corporate and celebrity partners. The pair share the A$20,000 cash prize and both will receive CPA Program scholarships. QUT receives A$50,000. The CPA Big Break Project is open to undergraduate students in Australia and, for the first time this year, New Zealand. This year’s competition had more than 2200 registrations, with 27 teams making it to the first round and six chosen for the final round. issue 2,2012 Racheal Mason onwhat it takes to get aheadinbusiness M a r a thon woM a n CrowdsourCing tapping the Minds of Many globalgiant living and woRking in shanghai finanCe engine room Meet the teaM steeRing eldeRs back on tRack M40212_book .i ndb 1 20 / 06 / 2012 1 : 21 : 10PM the NAKeD CeO issue1,2012 writetheperfectresume fashion star How Zara is tHriving in a flat market takea tablet wHat’s ne xt for tHe mobile computer market? Adam Rosenberg steps behind the scenes with Alex M alley s t i tc hu pa swee t de a l wi t hM y e r issue3, 2011 bigbreakwinnerannounced study advice examsare justastate of mind Long w ay tothetop withCfo Lawrie tremaine voLunteering invietnam Goodforthe Career; better forthesouL WIN A GIG AS GUEST EDITOR OF REAL BUSINESS If you’re a budding business, accounting or economics student looking for a chance to bolster your CV, here’s your chance. To win an opportunity to visit the CPA Australia offices, meet key people and edit the next edition of Real Business, tell us, in writing, what you would like to see in Real Business and what you would do if you were chosen as guest editor. Send your entry, along with your name, phone number and preferred email address to email@example.com. Entries close Friday 16 November 2012. Winners must be available to collect their prize on Thursday 13 December 2012. For full terms and conditions see cpaaustralia.com.au/realbusiness or visit the CPA Australia offices at Level 20, 28 Freshwater Place, Southbank, Victoria. How do I become a member? Your CPA Program entry pathway will vary depending on your experience, qualifications and education. To assess your eligibility, visit cpaaustralia.com.au/apply. If you’re still studying, we recommend you join CPA Passport. To find out whether your course is recognised by CPA Australia, use the search function at cpaaustralia.com.au/accreditedcourses. WEBLINK Fancy a job in the Big Four? Find out how at cpaaustralia.com.au/realbusiness ALTHOUGH THE AUSTRALIAN unemployment rate fell to 5.2 per cent in July, some economists are warning the labour market is far from stable, particularly in the eastern states. However, according to a quarterly report released by Hays in July, accountancy and finance professionals are highly sought-after, including for positions at the accounting support level – assistant accountants with a degree, who are studying or are about to begin CPA studies. “[The recruitment market] is a bit up-and-down at the moment,” says Susan Drew, accountancy and finance director with Hays. “Some firms and organisations that we’re aware of have focused on graduate recruitment as a bit of a cost saving, so they can invest in people at a lower cost base and put a long-term career plan in place with the market turning around.” The industries that appear to be hiring, according to Jason Sellyn of TwoScots Recruitment, are logistics, foreign exchange currency trading businesses and companies that have expanded into Western Australia and Asia. “The organisations that are growing into those areas might need support for the back-office functions in Melbourne or Sydney,” Sellyn says. “We’re also finding business services firms are starting to hire again. That goes through phases, but I always tell graduates it’s great if they can gain some experience with an accounting firm, particularly if there’s an opportunity to get into a Big Four or mid-tier straight out of university.” Even getting into smaller firms that cover business services offers a lot of hands-on experience, he says. “If you can get experience with an accounting firm to get your technical understanding before going into commercial, that’s an advantage.” Drew says businesses are once again looking at bringing graduates on board after a serious slump during the downturn, but they’re “looking for the best people out there”. “It’s not just about being able to do a job anymore, organisations are looking for the right cultural fit and personality,” she says. “That’s someone they can see as being a future leader in their business.” Graduates can expect to be hired for support roles and, depending on the size of the company, may have the opportunity to move up the ladder in as little as six months. ““Depending on the size of the organisation, the expectation would be that, if you’re doing very much the low-level processing, you might be rotated [within the organisation] in anything from six to 12 months,” Drew says. “If you’re coming in more at an assistant accountant level you’re probably looking at 18 to 24 months.” Both recruiters say the more experience graduates can get, either through volunteering, weekend jobs or even looking after their local sports club’s accounts, the better chance they will have of standing out in a reasonably competitive market. How to succeed in an interview n Do your homework. Know why you’re applying and what you want from the job. n Communicate. Offer information readily and articulately. Draw on experiences from all aspects of your life, not just what you have done at university. n Ask intelligent questions. If you’re worried you might be too nervous to think of them on the spot, write some down and take them into the interview with you. Employer trends
Issue 1 2012
2013 Issue 1