At the Queensland Audit Office (QAO), we aim to learn from others and seek out opportunities to exchange expertise with our peers and professional networks. One exciting way we recently achieved this is through a secondment program for some of our staff to Audit New Zealand in Wellington. Below, 2 of our lucky audit seniors, Khendie Masiwel and Eliza Blanch, share some highlights from their recent experience.
Our Audit New Zealand adventure
The secondment was nothing short of a remarkable experience. It started in October in Wellington with an induction, including learning about Audit New Zealand’s methodologies and auditing tools. We also met with the New Zealand Auditor-General, executives, and other secondees from Australia, the majority of whom were from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and the ACT.
Eliza and Khendie at Audit New Zealand, Wellington.
We were then allocated to the Dunedin office, with the 2 of us from QAO and another from the ANAO bumping them up to just 12 staff – which was a stark contrast to what we’re used to at QAO. During our 4 weeks in Dunedin we assisted the team with its audit workload to get jobs across the line per statutory deadlines, and we completed various audit procedures from the planning to finalisation stages of the audit, and preparing reporting deliverables. We also had the opportunity to work on procedures related to taxation and other regulatory compliances, which was new for us both.
We realised that many of our skills from QAO were transferrable. Audit New Zealand’s methodologies were similar, and thanks to international reporting and accounting standards, we were comfortable with the technical components that arose in the work.
Collaborating with the office and sharing information on what we do in Queensland was immensely interesting, and it felt really rewarding to see our presence have a positive impact in helping New Zealand deliver its audit jobs on time.
We became close friends with the employees at the Dunedin office who were warm and welcoming. We enjoyed many staff morning teas and lunches, including an Australian versus New Zealand food-themed one where we debated which nation was responsible for which excellent food item.
Eliza and Khendie enjoy morning tea with colleagues, Dunedin.
It wasn’t all hard work as we were given the opportunity to travel on weekends and a week of leave to explore. We hiked the world’s steepest street (Baldwin Street in Dunedin), had a dip in the freezing beach at St Clair, and took a road trip to see the natural beauty of both the west and east coasts, finishing up in Queenstown.
The secondment is a great initiative, allowing us to connect with other audit offices to share resources and bring back new ideas to our own office. We would like to thank Audit New Zealand for having us. It was a priceless experience, and we look forward to seeing its value continue for QAO and our peers.
Eliza and Khendie at Mount Cook, New Zealand.