QAO is a professional services entity operating in the Queensland public sector. We provide 'checks and balances' to the state's system of government. The outcomes that we seek to achieve are:
- maintaining confidence in public sector financial accountability, transparency and reporting
- increasing maturity in public sector financial management and reporting
- driving improvements in the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of public services.
We support Queensland’s Auditor-General, a fully independent officer of parliament, to provide independent oversight of Queensland’s public sector. This means we are separate to the government of the day, and cannot be directed or influenced by anyone. We strive to provide a balanced and fair perspective.
Our goal is to deliver world-class audit and we invest in leading edge technologies. You will have access to the tools you need, and be involved in best practice data analytics and mining.
And with over 500 QAO clients, you will be exposed to a diverse range of opportunities, professional development and industries to further your career.
What does QAO do?
To facilitate our vision of better public services, we deliver financial audits, performance audits, provide advice and assistance, and investigate matters of potential fraud, waste and mismanagement.
Through our financial audit program, we form independent opinions about the reliability of public sector entity financial statements. We publicly report on our analysis in forming these opinions to aid public sector transparency and accountability. We report annually on:
- Queensland state government entities (including the whole-of-government statements)
- local government
When working for QAO on our financial audit program, you will have the opportunity to assist clients in these sectors, contribute to our reports on the results of financial audits, and gain a thorough understanding of the business context of these sectors.
Through our performance audit program, we examine many aspects of public service delivery. We look at how well the public sector is performing in achieving government policies. We liaise with clients and industry to help us identify which aspects of government service delivery we will audit. We make independent recommendations to improve government service delivery, and follow up with our clients to ensure they achieve these improvements.
When working for QAO on our performance audit program, you can make a difference to how government services are delivered, and the value that they achieve for Queenslanders.
Across the services that we deliver, we assess our clients’ approaches against better practices and provide advice and assistance on how they can improve.
QAO also investigates issues that the community or members of parliament raise around potential fraud, financial waste and mismanagement in the public sector. Working for QAO, you can forensically examine matters raised to us to ensure that the integrity of government is maintained.
For more information about QAO's role and structure: see our annual report, www.qao.qld.gov.au/about/business or the video our website homepage.
What is a financial audit?
Each year, QAO audits the financial statements of the state’s public sector entities. This assures users of these statements that they can be relied upon and that they comply with relevant legislation.
Our financial audits are paid for by the entities we audit, under a fee-for-service arrangement.
Read more about financial audits in our fact sheet here: www.qao.qld.gov.au/reports-resources/fact-sheets.
What is a performance audit?
Performance audits provide independent assurance to the parliament and community that public money has been spent wisely, and that results meet expectations.
These audits assess whether an entity is achieving its objectives efficiently, effectively and economically. However, they do not question the merits of government policy objectives—they assess how well entities are achieving these objectives.
Our performance audit program varies from year to year, examining topics of importance to Queensland. Some examples of our recent topics include government advertising, management of school teacher performance, agricultural pests and diseases, flood resilience, prison sentencing and many more.
Performance audits are paid for by funding from parliament. Read more about performance auditing in our fact sheet here www.qao.qld.gov.au/reports-resources/fact-sheets and our presentation here https://www.qao.qld.gov.au/audits/program.
See our upcoming audits in our latest program: www.qao.qld.gov.au/audits/program.
What is it like to work at QAO?
Our people are critical to us in delivering our goal of world-class audit. Our values of engage, challenge, deliver and care drive our behaviours. We are innovative and continually strive to improve our services and client engagement. Working at QAO, you will enjoy challenging yourself and others to deliver services that our clients value.
Our clients are critical to us in achieving our vision of better public services. Understanding our clients, how they operate, and building trusted relationships is how we make a difference. Working at QAO, you will enjoy being sought after for your independent advice.
QAO is a friendly organisation with an active social club. You can participate in a range of events, such as trivia nights, golf and bowling events, happy hours, afternoon teas and an annual formal dinner. Many of our people participate in sporting events, such as the Corporate Games, and community events, such as charity bike rides and hikes. We have a range of health and wellness initiatives including annual health checks, flu vaccinations, and education on nutrition and active living.
What kind of job roles are there at QAO?
As a professional services entity, QAO has a large complement of audit (graduate, financial and performance) and corporate (human resources, finance and information and communication technology) roles. Given the size of our practice, there are strong career development opportunities within our organisation.
If you are an accounting graduate, we build on your knowledge to develop you into an experienced auditor. You can apply to join our graduate program, where you will be part of audits, attend a structured learning and development program, and rotate around our operations to see how we do what we do. You will travel to our clients around Queensland through our financial audit program, and contribute to performance audits in progress. You will spend time understanding how we utilise data analytics to deliver our audits. A mentor will support you throughout the program and as you gain your professional accreditation.
If you are an experienced financial auditor, you will apply your skills to some of the most challenging elements of financial audit, and some of the largest financial audits, that are unique to the public sector. Day-to-day, you’ll manage a portfolio of financial audits or contribute as a valued team member; liaise with clients; and plan, execute, and finalise financial audits. You will have access to a leading data collection and analysis techniques. As a senior financial auditor, you will have the opportunity to develop reports to parliament on the results of financial audits. These provide transparency of the key transactions and events impacting each of the seven sectors we report annually on.
You will have the opportunity to work with a range of clients and colleagues during your career and build your capabilities across different industries.
If you are a performance auditor, the areas you can make a difference to are interesting and varied—have a look at our strategic audit plan to see the engagements you can be involved in. Day-to-day, you’ll engage with senior stakeholders to scope, plan and conduct performance audits, including collecting evidence and conducting detailed analysis and testing. You will bring this together in outcome-focused reports and take our clients on a journey to embed support for the improvements you recommend.
If you are a human resources, finance or information and communications technology professional, our corporate teams are customer-focused, collaborative, and challenged to continuously improve the services they deliver to their stakeholders. In return, generous professional development opportunities are available to support them.
What are some of the rewards and benefits?
QAO has a professional services culture, which means we invest in advanced audit capabilities, such as data analytics, and we use modern information and communications technologies. Other benefits include:
- working in great teams—our people come from diverse professional backgrounds and have a wealth of experience
- ongoing learning and training—to support your professional and personal development and career goals. Generous study assistance is also available
- membership costs for a relevant body (such as CAANZ, CPA Australia or CISA) if you have your professional qualification.
Is QAO a government department?
No. QAO is an independent integrity office that is separate from the government of the day. The Finance and Administration Committee provides strategic oversight of QAO. QAO staff are employed under the Public Service Act, which means our people enjoy the same employment conditions as other state public servants.
What are the employment conditions?
- Employer superannuation contributions of 12.75 per cent (subject to an employee contribution of five per cent).
- Four weeks of annual leave.
- Thirteen weeks of long service leave after 10 years’ service (accessible after seven years).
- Flexible working arrangements—employees may request a range of options including part‑time work, flexible start and finish times, and working from home.
- Flex time and overtime—you may have access to these in return for working additional hours.
- Additional leave—you can purchase additional leave and take leave at half pay.
What career development is offered?
We know what it takes to be successful, capable and engaged.
At QAO, we invest in the professional and personal development of our people to ensure they are the best they can be. Many of our financial auditors have achieved, or are working towards, post graduate qualifications such as CA ANZ, CPA or IPA. Other examples of post graduate studies include Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration, and Master of Applied Finance.
We will provide financial assistance and leave to support your professional qualification and help you meet your career aspirations.
Where is the work based and will there be travel involved in my role?
Working as an auditor requires mobility. You will engage with our clients at their locations during different stages of the audit process, and also work from our office, located in the Brisbane CBD, Queensland. Our client locations range from a short walk from our office, to all around Queensland.
We respect your need to blend work and personal life when determining travel requirements, as well as the need to share travel fairly between our people. Where travel is required, sometimes it is at short notice, and intrastate travel may also arise depending on the sector you work in.
If you are part of our corporate team, you’ll be based in our Brisbane CBD office.
What does QAO look for in a candidate?
Those who successfully obtain a role with QAO believe in our values of engage—we engage with purpose; challenge—we challenge ourselves; deliver—we deliver on our commitments; care—we care about our people.
We also look for people who thrive in a professional services environment. You will strive for excellence, consistently achieve quality results and be a team-player. We seek people who are adaptable and excited by change.
We expect our people to have the highest levels of personal integrity and demonstrate professional accountability. Maintaining the trust of our clients and other stakeholders is key, as is the ability to collaborate, build rapport and communicate well.
We are a gender and ethnically diverse organisation, and enjoy the different perspectives that this provides us and our clients.
Our financial auditors require a relevant degree qualification in accountancy or commerce. Given our increasing use of audit analytics, qualifications in maths, science, engineering and technology are also desirable. We are a learning organisation and expect that you have, or will start and complete, a relevant professional qualification (for example, Chartered Accountant or Certified Practicing Accountant) to progress your career with QAO. We provide financial support for you to achieve this as well as time for study.
Our performance auditors have a range of qualifications, from public administration to business and commerce. We have people who bring their expertise as management consultants, policy advisors, teachers and police officers—we look for people with an enquiring mind who are able to bring business context to the sectors we performance audit. You will be client-facing and take a consultative and analytic approach to evaluating the performance of government service delivery. You will engage with executive-level stakeholders and will demonstrate the ability to listen, influence and add value, in a balanced and fair way.
Our corporate team members are generally qualified in their chosen discipline or can demonstrate a desire to increase their knowledge. They understand their clients’ perspectives and support them to provide the best service possible. As a member of our corporate team, you understand client satisfaction and challenge yourself to continuously improve the service that you provide.