Wake up and make my way to Pilates for a 6am class. I know, when I was at Uni I didn’t even know it was physically possible to be somewhere so early… but here I am!
Home to get ready for work, have a bowl of porridge and be ready for a 7:45 AM departure.
All things going well, I’ve made it to the tram on time, and on special occasions might even get a seat! I’m lucky that the Number 11 tram leaves from right outside my door and drops me right at the door of work. For this reason, I need to get my exercise in elsewhere!
First order of business - coffee! There’s a coffee machine in our kitchen which makes a decent long black so I don’t need to worry about buying coffee. It’s also social, as everyone from different divisions is passing through, racing to the coffee machine first, so it’s a good chance to see people that you don’t work with on a daily basis.
Equipped with coffee, I’m ready to attack the day. First I’ll check my emails to get a broad outlook on any items that need to be addressed. On a Monday, our teams have weekly workflow meetings to discuss the jobs we have on, what we’re prioritising for the week and also ensuring that everyone has balanced workloads. For the days going forward, I will refer to my list of jobs to plan each day.
Working in Business Services means that I get to work on a variety of jobs. For example, I prepare the payroll for a number of clients. Therefore, for jobs such as these, I will prioritise at the start of the week for this work to be sent to the client with plenty of time to make sure they are happy before we process the payments - the last thing we would want is for employee payments to be late!
After I am comfortable that I have prepared the easier and smaller tasks, I will make a start on the more complex jobs. For my position as a graduate, this primarily involves preparation of income tax returns and financial statements. Obviously these vary in size depending on the client, but generally the process would be to consolidate all the information the client has provided to us with information we can confirm with the ATO or other externally sourced records. When starting on a new client, this can be a lengthy, but an interesting exercise to fully understand the processes and operations of their business. It’s rewarding working on various clients from a range of different industries because it creates diversity in the jobs, but also knowledge. For example, I have been working on a client who breeds and races horses, while comparatively I also do regular work for a jewellery retailer. The treatment of assets is a bit more complex when they are alive!
After the initial review of information, we must establish if there are any gaps or information that require further clarification or elaboration. From there, we formulate queries to go back to the client with. Once I am satisfied that I have sufficient information to prepare the reports, I will finalise the draft copy for my manager to review.
As a result, this means that you may have several jobs on the go, all at different stages. One may be waiting for the client to respond to queries, some may be at review stage, and others you may have just started but had to stop to tend to another matter. So time management and prioritisation is a big part of the job.
As difficult as it is sometimes, I try to hold off eating lunch until 1pm to try and split the day in half. This is usually when everyone else goes as well so for the social aspect, it’s certainly the most suitable time. I try to be good and will bring a prepared lunch on most days, but we also treat ourselves to a lunch outing now and again.
Back to work. For the afternoon, I like to finalise jobs that I know I can finish on that day so that I can tick off at least a few tasks from my running workflow list and then I can start the next day on a new job – this isn’t always possible, but it’s worth a shot! This may involve bookkeeping for clients, calls with the ATO to discuss client matters such as payments or preparation of monthly or quarterly activity statements to name a few.
It’s a long day sitting down, so having breaks is definitely key. At around this time, I will go to the kitchen and make a cup of tea and have a quick chat with whoever is there. It’s a good chance to stretch the legs and then again come back to the last part of the day with some energy.
After a solid day, I lastly refer to my workflow list and ensure that all the essential items have been completed. Then it’s time to log off and head home.
After arriving home, preparing dinner and doing some solid Netflix watching or some CA study, it’s time to call it a day.