Ashnil’s role involves identifying opportunities to improve public sector performance and accountability, by undertaking and participating in assurance audits and producing reports to parliament. In his current role, Ashnil manages multiple audit engagements, meets with clients when undertaking field work, utilises data analytics to obtain insights, and makes findings and recommendations based on his professional judgement.
Brief career history
Before joining QAO in 2010, I worked for PwC as a financial auditor. When I first started at QAO, I delivered financial audits for two years, and then moved into working on performance and assurance audits. I was attracted to performance auditing mainly for the diverse range of work and challenges it offered. The audits that I have completed so far have definitely met my expectations—they have been challenging, engaging and, most of all, interesting. By working across QAO, I have gained auditing experience with a range of entities including government departments, statutory bodies, trusts, local governments and government owned corporations.
What does your role entail on a day-to-day basis?
I work with my team to undertake assurance audits on a range of government service deliveries, such as education, health, transport, and prison services. I engage with the audit clients, gather audit evidence and draft reports to parliament. Through my work, I am able to provide unique insights to the public sector about how they can improve their service delivery.
How is QAO different than other workplaces?
QAO’s workplace culture is great—it’s a friendly, vibrant and approachable environment where you can talk to anyone. I like that I can approach people at all levels, including the Auditor-General! Through collaboration and support, QAO provides its staff with the opportunity to promote continuous improvement and to make a difference within the Queensland public sector.
QAO is also a very progressive workplace that uses contemporary practices and tools to ensure that our clients and stakeholders benefit from the services we provide. It is great knowing that the work we do helps improve public services for the benefit of the community.
What do you enjoy most about working at QAO?
I really enjoy the diversity in my work—each audit is different. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to work on audits of various public sector entities such as the Department of Education and Training, the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Queensland Police Service. This variety, and the different issues and challenges I deal with on a day-to-day basis, makes my role really satisfying.
For example, one of the most satisfying audits I’ve worked on involved Queensland Health’s emergency departments. It was an amazing experience to see the behind-the-scenes work that emergency departments do in treating patients, and highlights of this audit included travelling across Queensland and engaging with various people.
If you could work in any other role or department at QAO, what would it be and why?
I would be keen to work in the audit analytics team. I really enjoy working with data and building dashboards, and I believe data analytics is fundamentally transforming the way we conduct our audits. QAO’s audit analytics team is leading the way in analysing large and complex datasets to unlock great insights into public sector entities.
What would you tell someone considering a future role with QAO?
I would definitely recommend working at QAO. It offers excellent opportunities for career progression and personal growth, the work is engaging, and you’ll always find something new to learn and challenge yourself with.
QAO is full of talented and supportive people with diverse experiences—and these people make QAO an ideal place to work. It is also incredibly refreshing to be a part of a workplace made up of so many different cultures, languages, and backgrounds.