Working in External Audit - what does a day look like for Graduate, Caitlin Stewart?

27 January 2023
4 min read

27 January 2022

Caitlin Stewart is an External Auditor Graduate in Auckland, and while she was completing her three-year accounting degree at the University of Otago met a Senior Audit Partner who introduced her to the Findex/Crowe brand. After researching jobs such as Career Starter and NxtStep, she applied for the graduate position and started with Crowe last year.

Graduate 2023 - Caitlin2

What does a typical day look like for Caitlin?

My day starts at 6am when I wake up and roll out of bed (literally), grab breakfast and head out the door and arrive at the office around 7:15-7:30 AM. This might seem early but as part of the Audit Trial – Flex Friday – we do a compressed working week of 80hours a fortnight and take every second Friday off!

When I get to my desk, I start organising my emails, then I check Retain, our booking schedule, and see what job I am booked to work on that day and make a start.

My colleagues start arriving around 8am, so we usually go to the kitchen and grab a coffee (or for me a hot chocolate) and catch up and by 8:30 the real work usually begins. I will typically jump into the file of the job I am booked on and work through the work papers that are outstanding. This can involve chasing up clients or even colleagues to ensure we have all the information and supporting documentation provided to us to get through the audit job as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Every day at 10am cookies are put out in the kitchen so me and my team head over to make sure the rest of the office doesn’t eat them all. I then attempt the Word Fit in the daily newspaper before heading back to my desk.

Most days are spent working through the audit file for one job at a time but sometimes I have to juggle multiple jobs in one day. Working through the audit file involves testing revenue and expense invoices, confirming the existence and valuation of assets and ensuring receivables and payables are being recognised correctly. Most files are set out the same, so each day pretty much follows the same process in different contexts. However, there are times when things can be out of the ordinary and that’s when I usually ask for help.

Around 12:30pm the team starts to get hungry so half of us head down to the commercial bay to grab something for lunch. The other half are more financially responsible and bring their own lunch from home. We all then meet in the breakroom to eat and catch up on each other’s weeks.

After lunch I head back to my desk and now it’s time for a training session. The Australian Crowe team run regular trainings based around the audit standards (especially new ones) for all staff to stay well informed of what is required of them. These can last a few hours and are very informative.

Graduate 2023 - Caitlin

Once the training is finished, I do more of the audit file and try to wrap up all the work I’ve done so that my file can be reviewed by a manager and a partner. I then send off an email requesting their review and will check back again in the morning to see what areas need more work.

At 5pm it’s time to head home and endure the gruelling drive on the southern motorway for a good 40 mins but once I get home, I relax by either scrolling on Tik Tok or reading a book while I wait for dinner at 6 (that’s if I’m not the one cooking).

If I’m not too tired, I’ll go play a social game of sport or go to the gym with some friends and then hang out with them for a bit after. Got to maintain that work life balance.

I then get home, shower, get ready for the next day, and read a book till I fall asleep.

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