A simple plan to complete a certificate ends with an accounting degree and job with an award-winning firm

Chisholm graduate Carly Watson is now the senior accountant at boutique Melbourne firm 13 Concepts, which specialises in customer-centric accounting, digital marketing and website development solutions.

It's a stunning job outcome for a someone who loves working with numbers and could see the career opportunities a formal qualification in accounting could give her. 

Carly completed the Certificate IV in Accounting/Bookkeeping at Chisholm before going on to complete the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Accounting and then taking the pathway into La Trobe University's Bachelor of Accounting, which she was able to complete through Chisholm as well, before becoming a chartered accountant.

“The Chisholm course put down the foundations. That is one thing that they teach you and I think that they do that because if you don’t want to go further and do an undergrad or do a post grad then you can go into a workplace and know this person is going to be up for this much tax because they’ve moved into that category of income.”

“From my Chisholm course I can honestly say that a lot of the practical work I touch base on every single day. At Chisholm you learn how to operate and navigate the accounting systems and without that knowledge, it doesn’t matter how much theory you learn, you wouldn’t be able to apply it in the workplace.

"That’s where Chisholm was fantastic because they gave me the skills and knowledge to incorporate the theory with the practical work because I could remember how to navigate the systems.

"Just understanding GST components, which Chisholm really broke down, are the foundation for any accounting course. You need to understand what GST means and what GST code you may need.”

Carly assists clients with their tax obligations, financial reporting and bookkeeping.  This involves spending time on-site with clients getting to know them and how their businesses operate.

“In today’s climate you are not just an accountant anymore. You are somebody that needs to know computing because your client sends you their MYOB file or log on details for their Xero account, so you’re kind of a bit of an IT expert as well. You need to know how to navigate programs and be able to incorporate the technical side into that preface of the accounting program. It’s not just simply having a piece of paper and having it there to add up with a calculator - it’s completely different.”

13 concepts have recently taken out The 2017 Westpac 'Business of Tomorrow Award' for showing a commitment to innovation in developing their Dexterous software.

Carly cannot stress enough the importance of committing to ongoing learning as this is an essential part of being an accountant, keeping up-to-date with laws, regulations and technology.

“It’s always changing, every year we have a budget that comes out, so as an accountant we need to upgrade our professional skills. We need to change our train of thought to adjust to these new rules and regulations. That’s’ why professional development is ongoing in the accounting profession. You can’t just stop.  You have to keep up or you become obsolete. “

There is a big push towards cloud-based accounting which will change the dynamic of the industry. This may offer more opportunity to work remotely, from home or to service clients from all over.

Carly advises anyone looking to get be an accountant to choose an area of specialization, whether it be taxation, financial, management accounting or auditing.

Carly’s journey has been inspirational as she takes care of her three children,  continues to develop professionally through ongoing study and working full time in her dream accounting role at 13 Concepts.

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