Professional Accounting

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Postgraduate Degree

Description

Accountants analyse, report and give advice on financial dealings, record keeping and compliance procedures for organisations and individuals. There is a broad range of specialisations open to accounting professionals, including Audit, Forensic Accounting, Management Accounting, Taxation and Treasury. Skills gained in strategic planning, compliance, and information technology mean that accounting graduates have the option to work in a broad range or roles within the finance and business management sectors.

Why postgraduate study?

The Newcastle Business School offers a Masters designed for students with a non-accounting degree who want to work as accountant. The Masters program contains the accredited stream of courses required for professional recognition with key accounting bodies.

Accreditation Considerations

The Master of Professional Accounting satisfies the Guidelines for Accreditation of Tertiary Courses by the professional accounting bodies issued by Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA). Those who graduate from the accredited program are eligible for Associate membership of CPA Australia and enrolment in the CPA program and for enrolment in the ICAA's CA Program (subject to employment and supervision requirements). See the Program Handbook link below for more details.

International: CPA Australia has professional networks across the globe and therefore becoming a CPA may open up a range of opportunities. CPA Australia also has arrangements with a number of international professional membership bodies. Click here for more information.

To keep up-to-date with news about postgraduate business studies, view the Newcastle Business School regular newsletters.

View our in the Program Handbook.

View our Graduate Certificate of Professional Accounting in the Program Handbook.

Why postgraduate study?

There is a variety of reasons that students undertake postgraduate study in Human Resource Management, including:

  • Career change – adding a new area of specialisation to an existing qualification or employment background
  • Career mobility – promotion opportunities within existing or new employment situations
  • Professional development – “top up” qualifications and knowledge for experienced practitioners

View our in the Program Handbook.

View our Graduate Certificate of Professional Accounting in the Program Handbook.

Sample Jobs

Employment outcomes are dependent upon a range of factors including level of qualification, level and type of employment experience, and local labour market practices. The information in this document is therefore only a guide to the types of roles potentially available to those with a combination of experience levels and qualifications.


The following diagram links career opportunities with prior professional experience and level of qualifications. When interpreting this information remember that “level of professional experience” is not simply the length of time spent employed within a particular industry; rather it is a combination of both quantity and of quality- factors such as the size and complexity of an organisation, individual role within it, the type of work performed and the things achieved. When considering career opportunities available to you, you should consider how formal qualifications and your current level of experience combined prepare you for a role.

Sample Employers

Accounting employment opportunities exist in a wide variety of industries within small, medium and large organisations in the public and private sectors. Many accountants set up their own business. Below is an example of some major organisations which formally target graduates with qualifications in Accounting. Check employers’ websites for a section called Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs or similar titles. Some of these employers may offer vacation work opportunities.

Recruitment Timing

Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.

Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .

Societies and Associations

Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.


Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.

Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.

Job Search Sites

Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:

Australian and International

  • CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.

Australian

  • CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
  • MyCareer: Australian and international listings
  • Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
  • The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs

International

Graduate Attributes and Employability

Graduate attributes for Professional Accounting are the necessary skills, abilities and knowledge sought by employers in this field. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.

  • Personal and Professional Integrity: Engaging with consistent actions, principles, and values, graduates will be able to manage change and meet new professional challenges in an independent and sustainable manner.
  • Applied Knowledge and Skill Base: Through the acquisition of an in-depth specialised knowledge and skill base informed by theory, techniques, tools and models, graduates will be capable of practical application in global professional environments.
  • Social and Global Perspectives: Consistent with their role as members of local, national and international communities, graduates will develop proactive value sets which direct personal and professional practice.
  • Communication and Interaction: Experiencing developmental complexity in communication and interaction will enable graduates to demonstrate skills which develop relationships, work across differences, and manage conflict.
  • Leadership and Teamwork: Actively participating in collaborative work processes and projects, graduates will be able to demonstrate high order skills in leadership and team work.
  • Inquiry and Innovation: Engaging in inquiry, research, critical thinking and problem solving graduates will demonstrate the ability to develop effective and innovative solutions to both current and future problems.

You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.

Sample Job Ads & Tips

Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.

Please note: the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.

Sample Job Ad 1
Sample Job Ad 2
Sample Job Ad 3