Date posted: 27/05/2020

The top 5 most important work-related aspects to young CAs

We take a look at the top 5 work-related aspects for young CAs, as revealed by our remuneration survey.

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The annual CA ANZ Remuneration Survey provides members and employers with a valuable overview and the benchmarks of remuneration packages of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand.

This online survey of CA ANZ members conducted at the beginning of 2019 revealed that aside from income, CAs in the first four years since gaining their designation value flexibility, organisational culture and work-life balance.

512 survey respondents across Australia and New Zealand were CAs with up to 4 years of experience since gaining their designation. These respondents aged 20 to 29 years considered the following to be the five most important work-related aspects:

  • work life balance
  • culture and atmosphere
  • career development and promotion
  • flexibility and flexible work hours; and
  • the people they work with.

We speak to Chartered Accountants based in Australia and New Zealand to examine how and where you work, who you work with, and the conditions you work in can make a big difference to the way you perceive the value of your role.

Work-life balance

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is important for you and those around you.

The survey shows work-life balance is highly rated among young CAs. 75% of respondents ranked it as the most important factor aside from remuneration.

According to Ashley Phillips CA and wellness blogger, scheduling time to relax around your work and study commitments can help you to build a life where your personal and professional life complement and strengthen one another.

"Finding balance is really important for your mental health and wellbeing. I'm a big believer that there's no point in working past five o'clock. If you've completed your work, and you have done your hours, remember to make some time to go to the gym or have dinner with your family" Ashley says.

Company culture and atmosphere

Coming in at second place in the survey, 72% percent of respondents ranked organisational culture and atmosphere among their top work benefits.

Emma Evans CA, CEO of Australian beverage brand Capi Sparkling, says that she has been given the opportunity to witness a wide scope of business situations from early on in her career, and understands that business culture and performance filter down from the top.

"It's really important for business leaders to create a culture of opportunity for their staff, and encourage them to embrace learning," Emma says.

"You're only as good as your team, so it is important to surround yourself with key people that you can lean on and learn from."

Career development and promotion

Coming in at third place in the survey, finding opportunities for career development and promotion was a highly valued workplace quality for 66% of young CAs.

Anna Lee CA says that having a background in finance has provided her with a strong understanding of important metrics like productivity and efficiency.

Having served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at leading online fashion retailer The ICONIC for 3 years , Anna made the transition to Chief Operating Officer (COO) and last year was Acting CEO whilst their CEO was on parental leave - having gained credibility and the trust from the board and investors.

"Challenge yourself, and make yourself feel empowered to make a difference in your work," Anna says.

"Find the confidence to raise your voice and share your ideas as this will help you grow in new roles and opportunities."

Flexibility and flexible work hours

63% of the young CAs surveyed indicated that career flexibility in terms of their role and hours was of high importance.

Accounting is a rewarding discipline that can provide you with the skills and flexibility to pursue a career in business that makes a difference in the world.

Saimon Lomaloma CA left his accounting role for an internal oil and gas company to pursue his passion and start his own extreme watersports company in Wellington, Jetboards NZ.

"Being a Chartered Accountant provided many skills that helped me achieve my personal goals by giving me a lot of career flexibility," Saimon says.

"The CA skills I had acquired allowed me to start my own business, and also gave me the choice to do the things I loved and live the life I enjoyed without being restricted."

"Challenge yourself, and make yourself feel empowered to make a difference in your work. Find the confidence to raise your voice and share your ideas as this will help you grow in new roles and opportunities."
Anna Lee, The ICONIC.

The people you work with

Coming in as the fifth most important factor for young CAs according to the survey, with 63% of the respondents in agreement, is the people within an organisation.

According to Mike Bellmore CA and Senior Consultant at PwC, your team provides you with an opportunity to learn from others and grow as a person.

Having spent several months overseas in Canada as part of PwC's global 'employee swap' program, Mike says that learning how to work with others is a really valuable professional skill to have.

"In Canada, it was great to work with three different partners, and five different managers, and having to adapt to their style," Mike says.

"Having a CA designation means that people will have confidence in your ability to lead and deliver on each client engagement without any issues. I had the experience under my belt, and was able to engage with a whole new team."

While remuneration should be an important consideration of your job search, remember to also look past the paycheck and weigh up the other benefits of the role you're interested in.

Remuneration won't be the only deciding factor of your job satisfaction, so you can start preparing for the future of work today by working out what matters most to you.

Note: Since this story was first published, Anna has moved onto a new position as the Chief Executive Officer at Flybuys (Loyalty Pacific).