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Australia and Accountancy in general

Australia and Accountancy in general

Old Mar 7th 2010, 2:40 pm
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Default Australia and Accountancy in general

Hello.

I realise this is a forum for emigration issues and not general career advice, but I have a query that's a little of both and thought I might as well be cheeky enough to ask -

My partner is Australian but has UK citizenship - she's here studying at the moment. In the future we may wish to settle Down Under - if that's the case, the length of our pre-existing relationship should see me okay for a spouse/partner visa.

However - I'm considering re-training, at 26, as an accountant. I have two real questions pertaining to that:

1, Is it realistic to think that I could train, qualify and pursue a decent career in the profession without having to go anywhere near Big 4/public accounting and all the high-flying corporate competitiveness that goes with that? I'm not shy of hard work, but I want to work in industry, or with small businesses, where I can feel that I'm being useful or helping average people in some way and not just helping multinational companies fiddle their books. I want to know if that's possible and not too naive?

2, If it is, is CIMA the best way to go for that? And if so, how does that stand up as a qualification for employability in Australia, should it come to that?

I realise this might be a little bit off-base, but it's hard to find places where people with professional experience will talk without having a particular agenda to promote. So thanks heartily in advance to anyone with any thoughts. Just sharing your views on whether you've enjoyed being an accountant or not would be great, too.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 8th 2010, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Australia and Accountancy in general

If you think accountants in multinationals are all fiddling books then you really should do more research into the profession. This is a very serious allegation and as an accountant in a multinational I take exception to it. Not surprised accountants are not falling over themselves to respond here.
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Old Mar 8th 2010, 5:17 am
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Default Re: Australia and Accountancy in general

Originally Posted by costigan
However - I'm considering re-training, at 26, as an accountant. I have two real questions pertaining to that:

1, Is it realistic to think that I could train, qualify and pursue a decent career in the profession without having to go anywhere near Big 4/public accounting and all the high-flying corporate competitiveness that goes with that? I'm not shy of hard work, but I want to work in industry, or with small businesses, where I can feel that I'm being useful or helping average people in some way and not just helping multinational companies fiddle their books. I want to know if that's possible and not too naive?

2, If it is, is CIMA the best way to go for that? And if so, how does that stand up as a qualification for employability in Australia, should it come to that?
First of all: If you want a career in accountancy, you will need to revise your opinion on accountants. They most definitely do not help multinationals fiddle their books.

Obviously, in any profession you will find some bad apples. But accountants who fiddle the books, lose their livelihood and end up in prison pretty sharpish.

And yes, of course, there are plenty of accountants who do not work in the Big 4, public service, multinational companies. Who do you think runs all the small and medium sized firms?

Having got that out of the way ....

CIMA is the least useful qualification if you might be earning your livelihood in Australia in the future, because CIMA is not recognised/known about in Australia (unless you get an employer who is an accountant from the UK himself).

Your best bet would be to become a chartered accountant (ICAEW). And you will be pleased to hear, that these days you can become a chartered accountant without going anywhere near the Big 4, public accounting, and highflying corporations you so despise. In fact, these days you can become a chartered accountant without working for a chartered accountancy firm!

Make sure you complete your qualification before you leave the UK. Qualifying as an accountant in Australia, whether chartered or CPA, is only possible if you have a relevant (and recognised by these professional bodies) undergraduate degree.

Here is a link to ACA training/qualification:
http://www.icaew.com/index.cfm/route...in_for_the_ACA
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Old Mar 8th 2010, 8:50 am
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Default Re: Australia and Accountancy in general

Originally Posted by costigan
Hello.

I realise this is a forum for emigration issues and not general career advice, but I have a query that's a little of both and thought I might as well be cheeky enough to ask -

My partner is Australian but has UK citizenship - she's here studying at the moment. In the future we may wish to settle Down Under - if that's the case, the length of our pre-existing relationship should see me okay for a spouse/partner visa.

However - I'm considering re-training, at 26, as an accountant. I have two real questions pertaining to that:

1, Is it realistic to think that I could train, qualify and pursue a decent career in the profession without having to go anywhere near Big 4/public accounting and all the high-flying corporate competitiveness that goes with that? I'm not shy of hard work, but I want to work in industry, or with small businesses, where I can feel that I'm being useful or helping average people in some way and not just helping multinational companies fiddle their books. I want to know if that's possible and not too naive?

2, If it is, is CIMA the best way to go for that? And if so, how does that stand up as a qualification for employability in Australia, should it come to that?

I realise this might be a little bit off-base, but it's hard to find places where people with professional experience will talk without having a particular agenda to promote. So thanks heartily in advance to anyone with any thoughts. Just sharing your views on whether you've enjoyed being an accountant or not would be great, too.

Cheers.
First things first I will take the fiddle the accounts comment on a tongue in cheek basis as I am hoping that is the way it is intended.

In response to your two questions then:

1) Yes you can begin at 26. I began at twenty four with absolutely no finance background as I had spent a number of years in the Royal Navy. You will have to be realistic about how far you will be able to go in your career as there will be those out there with Accountancy degrees and will have Big 4 training contracts and experience. The fact you wish to work in small businesses will actually help you in this regard. I am now late thirties and FC of an engineering group so it can be done.

2) I have to respectfully disagree with Oz on this one. If you can qualify with CIMA then you can take advantage of a Mutual Recognition Agreement with CPA and become a CPA on the back of a letter of good conduct. You have to be a full member of CIMA to take advantage of this. The one drawback is that the current agreement has only about three years left to run and there is no guarantee of it being continued.

If you wish to discuss over the phone send me a PM and I will give you a call for you to ask any questions you like.

One final point is that the written word on the internet does not convey emotion very well so you may have to be a bit more careful of what you write to not upset the very people you want advice off.

Bermuda in my experience is a good source of information regarding emigration as well as career talk so a little grovelling might be in order mate
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Old Mar 9th 2010, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Australia and Accountancy in general

Originally Posted by Bermudashorts
If you think accountants in multinationals are all fiddling books then you really should do more research into the profession. This is a very serious allegation and as an accountant in a multinational I take exception to it. Not surprised accountants are not falling over themselves to respond here.
I think this guy is just wet behind his ears and does not actually mean it. Just give him a break.
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Old Mar 9th 2010, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: Australia and Accountancy in general

First things first I will take the fiddle the accounts comment on a tongue in cheek basis as I am hoping that is the way it is intended
This chap has got to the crux of the matter!

That was indeed a frivolous choice of expression on my part. "Helping multinational companies fiddle their books" was my uncouth Mancunian short-hand for "providing comprehensive, client-focused audit, tax and advisory expertise to large corporate and governmental bodies to ensure that their financial operations are conducted efficiently, sustainably and (technically) within the law, transforming knowledge into value and enhancing social capital."

The last thing I would ever wish to do would be to besmirch the good names of Messrs. Price, Waterhouse, Cooper, Cooper, Klynveld, Peat, Marwick, Main, Goerdeler, Deloitte, Touche, Tohmatsu, Ernst and Young with accusations of impropriety! Heaven forfend it. Especially if their lawyers are listening.

No, I'm sure the swell guys and gals at the Big 4 uphold the highest ethical standards. And you're right, ozhappy, in every profession there's a "bad apple" or two - Arthur Andersen was perhaps a tad over ripe, you might say. But let it not tarnish the fine and noble profession of public accounting, nor blind us to the laudable achievements of its practitioners, which must be plentiful - if the praise and approval lavished upon them by my honourable friends in Her Majesty's government are anything to go by.

And yes, of course, there are plenty of accountants who do not work in the Big 4, public service, multinational companies. Who do you think runs all the small and medium sized firms?
That would seem to be a rhetorical question, but I have an answer regardless - it actually crossed my mind that all the people who ran smaller firms might first have had to earn their stripes, make their bones, prove their worth - or whatever axiom you prefer - in the (very fine and admirable) world of corporate audits. So it's a relief to know that doesn't have to be the case.

Despise is an awfully strong term and one I don't have much affinity with. God bless the Big 4 and all who sail in them and their competitors - I'm just the kind of quirky, shoot-from-the-hip, slip-of-the-tongue maverick who prefers to be a little closer to the ground, and to move around the world laterally rather than vertically. I'm sure folks can understand that.

I'm thankful for the helpful assurances/guidance some of you have provided. I'll go tick "Offend accountants" off my To Do list for the week.
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Old Mar 9th 2010, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Australia and Accountancy in general

Originally Posted by costigan
This chap has got to the crux of the matter!

That was indeed a frivolous choice of expression on my part. "Helping multinational companies fiddle their books" was my uncouth Mancunian short-hand for "providing comprehensive, client-focused audit, tax and advisory expertise to large corporate and governmental bodies to ensure that their financial operations are conducted efficiently, sustainably and (technically) within the law, transforming knowledge into value and enhancing social capital."

The last thing I would ever wish to do would be to besmirch the good names of Messrs. Price, Waterhouse, Cooper, Cooper, Klynveld, Peat, Marwick, Main, Goerdeler, Deloitte, Touche, Tohmatsu, Ernst and Young with accusations of impropriety! Heaven forfend it. Especially if their lawyers are listening.

No, I'm sure the swell guys and gals at the Big 4 uphold the highest ethical standards. And you're right, ozhappy, in every profession there's a "bad apple" or two - Arthur Andersen was perhaps a tad over ripe, you might say. But let it not tarnish the fine and noble profession of public accounting, nor blind us to the laudable achievements of its practitioners, which must be plentiful - if the praise and approval lavished upon them by my honourable friends in Her Majesty's government are anything to go by.



That would seem to be a rhetorical question, but I have an answer regardless - it actually crossed my mind that all the people who ran smaller firms might first have had to earn their stripes, make their bones, prove their worth - or whatever axiom you prefer - in the (very fine and admirable) world of corporate audits. So it's a relief to know that doesn't have to be the case.

Despise is an awfully strong term and one I don't have much affinity with. God bless the Big 4 and all who sail in them and their competitors - I'm just the kind of quirky, shoot-from-the-hip, slip-of-the-tongue maverick who prefers to be a little closer to the ground, and to move around the world laterally rather than vertically. I'm sure folks can understand that.

I'm thankful for the helpful assurances/guidance some of you have provided. I'll go tick "Offend accountants" off my To Do list for the week.
Its impossible to offend us. Did no-one tell you that we don't have a personality so can't be offended
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Old Mar 12th 2010, 11:53 am
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Default Re: Australia and Accountancy in general

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle7059469.ece


Mmm. Delicious apples.
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