It’s no secret that landing a high-flying career in accounting field needs more than just good grades from your university. Especially the fact that being in an area where there is a big volume of graduates compare to the limited job opportunities available, you would definitely need to get ahead of the competition to get the first professional opportunity.
One of the most common ways available for accounting students to do is to participate into an Accounting Internship program.
Having a degree in Accounting is different when applied into real work environment. Internship in Accounting can be extremely beneficial for graduates to have a taste of what the Accounting industry is really about as well as having hands on accounting experience
So, how do you know whether you should do the internship and what are the things you should consider for your internship? Here are some common questions answered for you.
1. Typical Accounting Internship opportunities for Graduates
As an accounting graduate, you must understand that not all the accounting roles will be available to you. We have listed the top 6 accounting roles which are the most popular and common opportunities available for a fresh accounting graduate below:
2. What does an Accounting intern do?
First of all it is not a free ride you are expected to work, learn and contribute to the benefit of the organisation. Your activities may include:
- Data entry. Add information to files. Update client files.
- Bookkeeping activities such as recording invoices or processing payments.
- Emails and correspondence. Writing to clients, the tax office, suppliers, even clients and customers to find out information or missing data. You could also be asking for clarification from the tax office about a particular deduction, or the processing of a return.
- Making and receiving phone calls including ones with clients and the tax office.
- Meetings are a constant part of any business. While you may be attending initially as an observer, the expectation is that as your confidence and experience grows, so will your participation.
- Developing your skills using accounting software such as MYOB and Xero. There may also be different proprietary software which is great to learn and eventually master. This adds not only to your knowledge but also to your future employability experience.
3. How do I prepare for an Accounting Internship?
Preparation is all about organisation and commitment. An accounting internship is all about preparing you to be a productive member of the accounting team or firm. The first thing to look at is business attire.
Clean and tidy are a must, so beards need to be trimmed and hair under control. Beware of personal odor too much garlic, for dinner or too much perfume are not a good idea.
Once you are personally groomed we now look at your mindset. This is an opportunity for you to shine. If they want you to file things for a day be the best filer ever. If they want you to learn new software throw yourself at the task at hand.
In a nutshell you need to prepare your best attitude for the internship. You are supposed to ask questions and not know everything. Don`t try and bluff but have confidence that what you know will come in handy. If you know they use MYOB then make sure you have recent exposure to it. A refresher course or job ready program would be ideal.
Plan your travel arrangements not to get there just on time be early and be prepared to work longer than expected. This shows commitment.
4. Are Accounting internships paid?
The answer is usually no, but some organizations have policies that prevent them from not paying employees. If it is offered by all means agree to being paid.
Sometimes you may be offered an internship where you work full time up to 40 hours and are paid for half. This is great because you are part of the team and it is easy then to convert you to full time paid.
Sometimes you may be offered a travel allowance instead of an hourly rate. Again this is common and covers you for your out of pocket expenses for getting to and from the job. $100 is considered a reasonable amount per week for 5 days.
Finally if you are uncertain about the paid nature of the internship, ask the question. If done tactfully it will not offend. What normally happens with your interns in terms of payment or travel allowances? I just want to be clear so there is no confusion?
5. How can I improve my internship experience?
Improving your internship experience is to make it a win /win relationship.
You will gain;
- Experience in current practices;
- Learn new skills;
- Meet new people and expand your network;
- Learn about the corporate environment;
- Improve your language and writing skills;
- Create a profile of yourself with that employer.
The employer will gain;
- A new resource to help with the workload;
- Save money by not having to pay full market rates for someone with your qualifications during the internship period;
- Develop a readymade employee for the future;
- Try before you buy which can save a lot of time in recruitment;
- Teach someone their way of doing thing;
- Learn from a recent graduate with new knowledge.
It is up to you to make yourself enjoy the experience. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it. If you don’t know what that means, it means to continue to show enthusiasm even if the work is not interesting, because the employer is looking at how you handle all sorts of circumstances.
Accounting Internship makes a real difference in a competitive job market and Practical Accounting Training will boost your employability skills. Find out how the training will benefit your career with our recent blog – 6 reasons why you need practical accounting training.
Get job-ready with a leading training provider specializing in accounting through Blue Lotus College Training and Internship. We help many accounting graduates to land their dream job in Australia just like you. Discover how BLue Lotus College Training and Internship can help you with your accounting career.