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Graduate Program FAQ

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Succesful candidates will have an outstanding academic record, including an Honours degree or postgraduate qualification in accounting, finance or closely related field.

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Applicants, with an Honours degree or postgraduate qualification in accounting, finance or closely related field, need to provide:

- a cover letter, stating the reason for wanting to join the AASB
- a resume
- an official transcript of results to date

Applications for the 2014 AASB Graduate Program are now open.

Applications and questions should be directed to:

Ms Sue Lightfoot
Calls from within Australia:  (03) 9617-7600
International calls:             +61-3-9617-7600
Email:                               standard@aasb.gov.au

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Curricula vitae are reviewed and suitable applicants are contacted. A brief telephone or Skype interview may be conducted with interstate/overseas applicants to determine their interest in the position. Interested Victorian applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview. Suitable overseas applicants (including New Zealand) may be interviewed in their country or Australia, depending on what is most appropriate to their situation.

During the interview, both formal interviewing and general introductions to staff members will take place so that both the applicant and the AASB staff can obtain a general picture of how the applicant would integrate within the AASB working structure. 

Successful applicants will be contacted by an AASB staff member with a formal offer and an acceptance letter with the conditions of employment will be posted to successful applicants at a later date.

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The organisation that has offered you a job may allow you to defer your position with them to accept the AASB Graduate position. A number of previous Graduates have successfully deferred job offers for the duration of the Graduate Program.

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It is common for prospective AASB Graduate Program participants to be unsure about their long-term career objectives. One of the key benefits of the AASB’s Graduate Program is that participants are exposed to a diverse range of challenges that are relevant to a multitude of vocations. Graduates will develop sophisticated technical skills and a superior knowledge of the conceptual issues underlying accounting standards that would be useful in a future career as an accounting or auditing professional. Such a detailed knowledge of accounting standards would also be beneficial in a finance-oriented career, as accounting is an important source of information within this industry. Critical skills developed in drafting, researching and interpreting accounting standards would also be useful to Graduates considering a career as a legal practitioner. Graduates also develop important social and managerial skills as they liase with a multitude of people within the accounting profession, government and industry. Previous Graduates  have found these experiences useful in clarifying their professional interests and career aspirations.

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Graduates are not required to undertake professional accounting studies during the AASB Program. However, the AASB is an Australian CA and CPA accredited organisation and will support Graduates if they commence the CA or CPA Program during their Graduate Program. Both training and financial support for the CA or CPA Program is provided, which is broadly commensurate to that offered by the major accounting firms.

The nature of the work undertaken by Graduates will assist in their understanding of CA or CPA Program topics, giving them a useful background to their studies. It is also important to note that holders of an Honours degree in an accounting-related field can normally commence the technical modules in Australian CA studies after only 16 weeks of work experience (that is, the normal one-year employment period is waived). A number of previous Graduates have successfully commenced their professional accounting studies during their Graduate Program.

AASB staff will ensure that Graduates from overseas receive the necessary experience and support to enable them to continue the process of becoming a qualified accountant in their country.

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Accommodation will be provided when interstate/overseas Graduate initially arrive in Melbourne. The staff of the AASB are friendly, helpful and supportive of new Graduates and their integration into the office and Melbourne generally. To help in the search for more permanent accommodation, staff can supply Graduates with the name and contact number of an accommodation agency. Any necessary relocation costs (for example, airfares) involved in moving to Melbourne will be funded by the AASB.

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Graduates are usually given several projects to work on and may also be asked to do quick searches or technical changes to accounting standards. They will attend AASB meetings relating to their projects and be involved in the progress of those projects. Graduates will be involved in all stages of the standard-setting process – from initial research (phone calls, staff meetings, liaising with constituents, web searches, journal and legislation searches and the like) through to the final drafting of accounting standards. Photocopying and filing are not the focus of the Graduate Program.

Several AASB technical staff will be assigned to supervise Graduates during their Graduate Program. This exposes Graduates to the various working methods adopted by technical staff and the conditions that Graduates may experience with future employers in other organisations.

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Yes, or equivalent. The technical content of the position is such that an advanced knowledge of accounting theory is required. Whilst specialised technical knowledge is not required, the Graduate must have a strong understanding of accounting. This knowledge base is then built on to enable the Graduate to complete specific projects. An Honours degree or postgraduate qualification signifies a basic understanding of the research process, the ability to thoroughly think through accounting issues and the capacity to analyse contemporary accounting issues.

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Supervisors monitor the amount of work that Graduates receive from technical staff, as well as the progress Graduates make on projects they have been given. As a Graduate's knowledge and experience increases, supervisors will assign more challenging work to ensure that improvement of skills, knowledge and understanding of the standard-setting process is continuous throughout the program.

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During the program, Graduates will have the opportunity to develop valuable contacts with people within the accounting profession, government and industry, which might assist in finding a position following completion of the Graduate Program. While the AASB cannot guarantee employment after the Graduate Program, it actively supports Graduates in their search for a position. Previous Graduates have gone on to a variety of organisations, such as the 'Big 4', and second tier accounting firms, banks, law firms and government institutions, e.g. the Commonwealth Department of Finance and Administration and the Reserve Bank (refer to the 'previous graduates' section for more information).

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Previous Graduates have come from diverse backgrounds. Information about the academic backgrounds, extra-curricular interests and career achievements of previous AASB Graduates is available here.