Graduates

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As a graduate with the Queensland Audit Office, you'll be helping to improve public services for Queenslanders.

We provide unique insights on how the state's public service is performing, as well as recommendations on how it can improve. You'll obtain a deep understanding of government service delivery across a range of sectors including resources, water and energy, health, justice and community services, education, and local government. Our mandate gives us unrestricted access to the materials and data we need across the entire public sector. You will find no better experience and variety to develop your career.

You will use your analytical and accounting skills to deliver financial and performance audits, investigations into fraud, waste, or mismanagement, and advice to parliament. We are a customer service-focused organisation with over 500 clients. Your people skills will see you build rapport, share information, and solve problems with our wide range of clients and stakeholders, such as state public sector staff, local governments, parliamentarians, professional service companies, contractors, audit industry, and more.

We value our graduate program, investing in it to ensure that our graduates receive world-class training. We are proud to give our graduate accountants the opportunity to become professional auditors. A QAO graduate position is the first step toward a challenging and rewarding professional services career. 

Read about our recent graduates

Joshua Evans

QAO is a great place to learn. It’s a good place to begin to fully understand auditing, accounting, and the public sector, to get that personal development and growth, and to develop soft skills as well.

Read about Joshua’s experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Being a part of QAO

Who is QAO?

QAO is the organisation that supports the Queensland Auditor-General's important role in providing 'checks and balances' to the state's system of government. The auditor-general is independent. He or she provides transparency and accountability of the executive government, and helps drive improvements in the delivery of public services for the Queensland community. With over 500 clients, QAO's authorised auditors assist the auditor-general in achieving the mandate set by the Auditor-General Act 2009.

What do we do?

Through our financial audit program, we form opinions about the reliability of our clients' financial statements. We publish our analysis of these opinions in annual sector-based reports to parliament. Through our performance audit program, we examine the efficiency and effectiveness of important aspects of public services and prepare a report to parliament for each audit. QAO also investigates issues raised by the community or members of parliament around financial waste and mismanagement in the public sector. For more information about QAO's role visit: www.qao.qld.gov.au/about

Why should I apply for a graduate role at QAO?

Our graduate program not only allows you to put the knowledge you learned at university into practice, but also gives you hands-on experience in the challenging and unique world of public sector auditing. You will learn about how the state government and the public sector operates. All of the work you do will help take QAO closer to our vision of better public services.

QAO has a professional services culture, which means we invest in advanced audit capabilities, such as data analytics, and we use modern information technology and communications (ICT). Our people are capable, professional, and enthusiastic. You will be offered training, support, and learning opportunities every step of the way. Other benefits include:

  • a starting salary of $58 638 (from 1 September 2017), higher than the industry average
  • employer superannuation contribution of up to 12.75 per cent
  • financial assistance, time, and support to complete a professional year, such as CPA and CA ANZ
  • access to further study assistance and professional development programs
  • the opportunity to travel throughout Queensland with your colleagues when performing client visits
  • generous leave entitlements.

Our values

Our values have been developed by our people and we pride ourselves on living them through our behaviours. They are: engage—we engage with purpose; challenge—we challenge ourselves; deliver—we deliver on our commitments; care—we care about our people. We regularly recognise and reward our people who demonstrate these values.

What is it like to work at QAO?

QAO's workforce is critical to us achieving our vision of delivering world-class audit. We are innovative, we challenge ourselves, and we are continually striving to improve how we do business—namely how we deliver our services and how we engage with our clients. Your time at QAO will be stimulating and rewarding, and the tasks you work on will be diverse and thought-provoking.

You will become an expert in some of the most challenging elements of financial audit, such as asset valuations, and will learn the ins and outs of the various auditing and accounting standards.

In performance audit, the topics you'll be exposed to are interesting and varied—ranging from Queensland's flood resilience, to the public sector's use of cloud computing, early childhood education, protection of the Great Barrier Reef, management of privately operated prisons, and many more.

On a day-to-day basis, you'll liaise with clients; plan, execute, and finalise financial audits; and help draft reports to parliament. You will also conduct data collation and analysis, and may assist some of our performance audit teams.

There are some busy periods throughout the year, particularly at year end when we are certifying financial statements and writing reports to parliament. The team-based nature of the work and the importance of the task at hand mean the work is rewarding and often exciting.

We are a friendly organisation with an active social calendar offering trivia nights, happy hours, lunches, participation in corporate sporting events, and an annual formal dinner. You can also join the Queensland Government Graduate Network for additional graduate events and to meet your counterparts across different government agencies.

The graduate program

When do I start?

Our official start for the graduate program is in February of each year; however, it may be possible to start in October of the previous year if you have already completed your university studies.

What does my first year involve?

When you start we will give you a comprehensive induction on what QAO does and what your graduate program entails. And you will be assigned a mentor to support you along the way. We hold monthly graduate forums to answer your questions, discuss your current assignment, and provide you with additional specialised training.

Professional development will be a key component of your first year. We will provide the technical training you need to do your job in online, individual, and classroom-based formats. On-the-job learning is key, and being part of a smaller team means your help on delivering our audits is greatly valued. Non-technical training, such as inter-personal communication skills and how to write well, is also offered to you.

As a QAO graduate, you will rotate QAO teams at least once in your first year to give you broad exposure to the clients, work, and teams across a variety of sectors. This helps you explore and identify the areas that most interest you.

Do you support further study?

Absolutely. 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.

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?

Working as an auditor requires visiting our client sites during different steps in the audit process and working from our office, located in the Brisbane CBD, Queensland, within a short walk of many of our clients.

You may be assigned to clients located around Queensland where travel at times is required, sometimes at short notice. Intrastate travel may vary depending on the sector you work in. As a general rule of thumb, expect to travel somewhere between one–four weeks of your first year with us.

Applying

Am I eligible to apply?

To apply for the graduate program you will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • be an Australian or New Zealand Citizen, or Australian or New Zealand Permanent Resident.
  • be studying, or have studied, at an Australian university in an appropriate tertiary qualification (for example, Bachelor of Business in Accounting, or a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting).
  • be committed to undertaking a program that grants membership of a professional body, for example CPA Australia (CPA), Chartered Accountants Australia-New Zealand (CA ANZ), or Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).
  • Qualifications in addition to the above in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects would be highly desirable.

Do I have to have just finished university?

You must have completed a minimum of undergraduate level study within the last two years, or will complete a minimum of undergraduate level study prior to the program starting.

When are the opening and closing dates for applications?

Applications open on 1 March and close on 31 May each year.

How do I apply?

A link will be added to the Careers page of our website to register applications. We also accept applications through the Queensland Government Graduate portal.

What do I need to apply?

You will need a copy of your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and your academic transcript. Remember to list any casual or part-time roles you have had over the course of your studies in your CV, regardless of whether it is related to your area of study or the role you are applying for. Also include any volunteer or community activity you participated in, and ensure your references are relevant to your most recent work experience or voluntary work.

How does the selection process work?

Our graduate selection process begins with an online application. We’ll ask you to submit your Curriculum Vitae and academic transcript by the closing date. A one-page cover letter is optional.

Once we receive your application, we follow a recruitment process that’s designed to be thorough and fair to every candidate. The key stages are:

  • initial application screening to assess eligibility
  • cognitive and personality assessments
  • automated video interview
  • technical and communication skills assessment
  • interview
  • employment reference checks and background checking.

When will I hear back about my application?

Each year we receive a large number of applications for our graduate program and we endeavour to update you promptly on your application’s progress. Generally, you will hear back from us within a week of each recruitment stage. We target selecting our graduates within two months of the application close date.

Do you have any tips for preparing my application?

  • Include all your work experience in your application, not just the experience you think is relevant to the role
  • Tell us about any community or voluntary work experience you have done.
  • Don't just tell us what you have done, tell us what you have achieved in the roles you have had.
  • Make sure your references are relevant to your most recent work experience or voluntary work.
  • Remember to review your document and run a spell check before you submit your application.
  • A good Curriculum Vitae is succinct and to the point. Target around two–four pages maximum.

Do you reimburse travel costs for attending the assessment or interview?

If you are invited to attend an interview and live interstate, we will cover the cost of your return flight.

How can I prepare for an interview?

We want graduates that have a genuine interest in better public services and a true desire to work in an organisation that has a professional services culture. Our strategic plan and annual reports on our website will give you good insight into who we are and what we do. Follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date on QAO.

Consider what questions you have of us to ensure that a career with QAO aligns to your career goals.

Additionally, dress professionally and arrive on time.

Contact

There are two ways you can reach us to stay up-to-date on all our news, updates, and general goings-on. Follow our LinkedIn page or drop us an email at graduate [dot] recruitment [at] qao [dot] qld [dot] gov [dot] au (email).

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