Frequently Asked Questions
Being a part of QAO
QAO is the independent auditor of the Queensland public sector, and separate from the government of the day. As a professional services entity, our vision is for better public services for Queenslanders.
We seek to:
- improve public sector and local government management and reporting
- maintain confidence in financial accountability, transparency and reporting
- support Queenslanders by providing recommendations to our clients on how they can improve their delivery of public services
- give parliament independent assurance over the performance of the public sector.
Through our work, we provide independent, valued assurance and insights. We invest in leading edge technologies, and with us you'll have access to the tools you need and best practice data analytics.
And with clients ranging from large entities, such as Queensland Treasury Corporation and Energy Queensland Limited, to smaller regional councils, you will be exposed to a diverse range of opportunities, professional development and industries to further your career.
To facilitate our vision of better public services, we deliver financial, assurance and 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)
- Queensland's regions
- local government
- debt and investments.
You'll have the opportunity to help clients delivering these government services, contribute to our reports on the results of financial audits, and gain a thorough understanding of their business contexts.
Through our performance and assurance audit program, we examine many aspects of public service delivery and liaise with clients and industry to help us identify the aspects we will audit. We look at how well Queensland's public sector and local governments are performing in achieving government policies, and make independent recommendations for improvement. We also follow up with our clients to ensure they achieve these improvements.
Through our performance and assurance audits, you can make a difference to how government entities deliver services for your community, 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.
We also investigate 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.
Each year, QAO audits the financial statements of the Queensland’s public sector and local government entities and forms an audit opinion on each. Our opinion 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.
Performance and assurance audits provide independent assurance to 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. They do not question the merits of government policy objectives – they assess how well entities are achieving these objectives.
Our audit program varies from year to year, examining topics of importance to Queensland. Some examples of our recent topics include social housing, COVID-19 economic response and recovery, dam safety, specialist outpatient services, the transition to renewable energy and many more.
Performance and assurance audits are paid for by funding from parliament. Read more about these audits in our fact sheet here: www.qao.qld.gov.au/reports-resources/fact-sheets.
See our upcoming audits in our latest program: www.qao.qld.gov.au/audit-program.
Working at QAO
Our people are our most valuable resource and are proud to be part of our diverse, inclusive, and healthy workplace. Our values of engage, respect, inspire, and deliver drive our behaviours and provide a foundation for how we work with our clients and each other.
Our workforce comprises 180 full-time employees, with 19 per cent who speak a language at home other than English, and 11 per cent who were born overseas in a mainly non-English speaking country. Fifty-one per cent are women – 33 per cent of whom are in leadership roles and above. Three per cent of our people identify as having a disability. We represent a wide range of age demographics, and our staff bring broad experiences to our team.
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. We are innovative and continually strive to improve our services and client engagement. 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, including 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.
As a professional services organisation, QAO has a large complement of roles across the business. Given the size of our practice, there are strong career development opportunities within our organisation.
Our OneQAO approach means we view our workforce as one team – we deliver our client services seamlessly and consistently, support each other, and share expertise. You'll have opportunities to work across our business and with a range of clients and colleagues.
If you are an 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 throughout the business to see how we do what we do. You will travel to our clients throughout Queensland, contribute to audits in progress, and 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 professional, you'll work across our business on a range of portfolios, government sectors and clients as you deliver financial, assurance and information systems audits.
When working in a financial audit team, you will apply your skills to some of the most challenging elements of financial audit over a variety of clients. Day-to-day, you could be liaising with clients; planning, executing, and finalising audits; or contributing to reports to parliament. You will have access to a leading data collection and analysis techniques.
When working in a performance and assurance audit team, the areas you can make a difference to are interesting and varied. Have a look at our forward work plan to see the engagements you can be involved in. Day-to-day, you’ll engage with senior stakeholders; scope, plan and conduct audits; and collect evidence and conduct detailed analysis and testing. You'll bring this together in outcome-focused reports and take our clients on a journey to embed support for the improvements you recommend.
Our support team members are an integral part of our business, working across areas such as human resources, data analytics and information technology. These teams are customer-focused and collaborative; seeking to continuously improve the services they deliver to their stakeholders. In return, generous professional development opportunities are available to support them.
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
- flexible and hybrid work arrangements – our entire workforce is mobile, and has access to flexible work arrangements to support work–life balance
- 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
- opportunities to work across the business – ensuring you are a well-rounded, sought after professional
- interesting and varied clients, which cover the breadth of Queensland's public sector and local governments
- active social club with events throughout the year – helping you connect and form lasting relationships with your colleagues
- other benefits including an employee assistance program, end of trip facilities, and leave options.
No. QAO is an independent integrity office that is separate from the government of the day.
The Economics and Governance 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.
We know what it takes to be successful, capable and engaged. We are proud to support our people to become even better at what they do and enhance their careers.
We have designed our learning and development program so our staff members are purposeful, curious, adaptable and empowered to take charge of their careers. We provide annual professional technical training, as well as skills sessions such as critical thinking, leadership, and professional communication.
We support our auditors to achieve 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.
At QAO, you'll have access to flexible and hybrid working arrangements, including part‑time work and flexible start and finish times. Our entire workforce is mobile, and are set up with the technology to work in our office in the Brisbane CBD, at client sites, or at home.
Working as an auditor requires mobility, as you'll engage with our clients at their locations during different stages of the audit process. 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.
Those who successfully obtain a role with QAO believe in our values of engage, respect, inspire and deliver.
We also look for people who thrive in a professional services environment – who strive for excellence, consistently achieve quality results and is a team-player. We seek people who are adaptable and excited by change and innovation.
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 diverse workforce and our staff bring broad experiences and perspectives to our team.
To work in our financial audit teams requires you to have 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 and assurance audit teams include people with a range of qualifications, from public administration to business and commerce. Our staff 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 our audit program areas.
You will be client-facing and take a consultative and analytic approach to evaluating the performance of government service delivery. You will engage with stakeholders and demonstrate the ability to listen, influence and add value, in a balanced and fair way.
Our support 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 team, you understand client satisfaction and aim to continuously improve the service that you provide.
To apply you need to be an Australian or New Zealand Citizen, or Australian or New Zealand Permanent Resident.
Our selection process begins with an online application. We’ll ask you to submit your Curriculum Vitae and a cover letter by the closing date. Be sure to check the advertisement for any additional requirements.
Once we receive your application, we follow a structured selection process that’s designed to assess your suitability for the job role and our organisation.
If your application progresses you may be invited to undertake one or more assessments, attend an interview, and provide permission for reference checks and background screening.