Blog Archive

Friday, September 9, 2011

G'Day from Australia! McGladrey Employee Reports Back on her Time Abroad

Written by Elisa Johnson
Sr. Assurance Associate
Perth, Australia 

G’day from Australia!

I have been in Perth for approximately six weeks and have enjoyed working with everyone at RSM Bird Cameron, being able to interact with a variety of clients, as well as get accustomed to an Australian lifestyle.  The audit group at Bird Cameron is divided into two teams – red and blue.  The red team, which I am on, reminds me a lot of my team in Minneapolis (Construction and Real Estate).  We have a great time working and getting to know each other.  While I generally work on construction clients in Minneapolis, as well as a couple of real estate and manufacturing clients, I have had the opportunity to see a few different industries since my arrival in Perth.  I have worked on a Western Australia government engagement, a couple of exploration audits, an investment trust audit, a real estate trust compliance audit, as well as construction / construction management engagements. 

Auditing over here is similar to the U.S.  The Perth office uses Caseware to import the trial balance and sign off on lead sheets and then uses Lotus Notes to perform testing.  Luckily, both systems are familiar to me, since I started at McGladrey prior to the Caseware implementation.  The clarity standard was implemented this year; therefore the sampling methodology has changed from prior years.  Similar to the US, accounts are first analyzed on a high risk versus low risk approach, and then tested based on whether or not control testing has been performed and analytical procedures can be relied upon.  From there the balance is tested using a predetermined high-value scoping percentage, judgmental selections within a predefined range, or a non-statistical sample.  In essence, it is very similar but yet different to the approach used in the U.S.

Even though it is winter over here, Perth is an absolutely beautiful city and resembles Minneapolis quite a bit.  We have been able to see some great areas around the city – King’s Park (large like Central Park in NYC and just gorgeous), some of the beach towns, watched the sunset over the Indian Ocean, walked along the beautiful Swan River that goes through the city, shopped at the weekend markets, had freshly brewed coffee at quaint cafes, relaxed at some nice pubs, been able to see kangaroos and koalas at the Perth Zoo, hunted for wild kangaroos (with no luck), enjoyed a wine tour through the Swan Valley, attend an Australian Football League game (go Dockers!), and of course had the privilege to interact with a variety of people throughout the city.  We are still planning to journey down to the Margaret River region, as well as visit the other secondees in Sydney!

An interesting item to note about Perth is that everything closes at 5 PM, excluding some of the restaurants and the grocery stores, which stay open until 8 PM during the week.  The suburbs have ‘late night’ until 9 PM on Thursday, and the city has ‘late night’ on Fridays.  It took a little while to adjust to not having everything open late or 24 hours, but now it’s becoming second nature.

And of course, while being here we have also picked up on some differences between what Australians say and what Americans say.  Below are some examples.


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