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Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Jessica Zhou

What led you to undertake postgraduate study?

When you graduate from university you are suddenly competing against everyone who graduates – and people already in the industry – for positions in accounting firms. This high level of competition makes it very important for you to be able to differentiate yourself from your peers. In my industry (financial accounting), the CA designation is so highly regarded that when people hear that you're part of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, they instantly go, ‘Wow, that's amazing!’. It’s this sort of attitude that spurred my decision to pursue further study with the CA designation.

How did you get to your current role?

I started my journey when I was in Year 11. During subject selections I realised I didn't want to do anything humanities-related, and science just wasn't something I was passionate about. I fell into business because I found that I was naturally good at it and I liked it. During my high school studies, I applied to several firms offering cadetships, and in Year 12 accepted a position with HLB Mann Judd. I then completed my university degree while working full-time at HLB. Once I finished my degree I started the CA Program while in the position of senior accountant. I now currently work at Deloitte as an analyst in business advisory and am still completing the CA Program.

What do you like most about the CA Program?

I was surprised by how much of what I was learning in my modules applied to my everyday job role. I'm one of those people who, when I read a textbook, it doesn't really click until it's put into practice. The fact that you complete the CA Program whilst simultaneously undertaking full time work, really suits me. It's like peanut butter and jelly; it just fits together. I really like how this facet of the CA Program has helped me better understand my role in business advisory.

How does the CA Program benefit your career?

Once I am CA qualified, I see myself being able to go on a secondment overseas. Having that opportunity to go to London or New York would be fantastic. Becoming a CA will be amazing because wherever I go in the world, it will follow me. The CA qualification is globally recognised and this will allow me to go into any industry, anywhere I want, in the world.

What advice do you have for students considering further study in accounting?

Accounting in the real world is very different to what you see in your textbook. You may think that we're just number-crunchers or we count beans but that's so far from the truth. Accounting has so much more to do with your communication skills, time management, and how you interact with people.