Getting into Bookkeeping in Australia

Hi all,
I am just finishing my first three subjects of a TAFE course in bookkeeping, and wanted to see if anyone had any tips with trying to find a bookkeeping
job?
I have great IT skills, having done web development, and sys admin for many years, excellent administration skills--over eight years of that, and about 1 1/2 years of debt collection business to business--but still finding it hard to crack an entry level bookkeeping job.
Worst thing is, and frustratingly so, I am quite sharp and pick things up very quick--but that is hard to sell as you all know no doubt.
Any tips, advice appreciated.
Kurt
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Hi all,
I am just finishing my first three subjects of a TAFE course in bookkeeping, and wanted to see if anyone had any tips with trying to find a bookkeeping job?
I have great IT skills, having done web development, and sys admin for many years, excellent administration skills--over eight years of that, and about 1 1/2 years of debt collection business to business--but still finding it hard to crack an entry level bookkeeping job.
Worst thing is, and frustratingly so, I am quite sharp and pick things up very quick--but that is hard to sell as you all know no doubt.
Any tips, advice appreciated.
GO
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GO wrote:

Not all of your IT skills will be transferable into accounting; however, the fact that you are very comfortable with computers is... not everyone has that comfort level.
Put emphasis on the transferable skills on your resume. For one thing anyone who does IT work needs to be detailed-oriented which is also a good attribute to have in accounting work. Don't assume the employers will know this... point out the obvious. Another example... you likely have developed some skills in dealing with customers what with your experience in debt collection.
Make a list of all the transferable skills... hard and soft... and show how they relate to the accounting field.
Try to provide specific examples of your sharpness of where you picked up something quickly and became productive with it.
You could also put together a portfolio with respect to your career and accomplishments. This can be an invaluable support during an interview.
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HI
I was an accountant for 10 years (Canadian CMA) and manager in a CA firm. Ater 10 years in the IT industry as a technical writer, I'm getting back into accounting. I'm in a similar situation, trying to re-establish my credibility in Australia. I flew back to Canada to get 4 months of audit work - which has been great. In the process, the IT skills that have been beneifical are things like Excel skills, because you can do a massive amount of analysis using Excel. In fact, on a major ($60,000) complicated audit, Excel is our main audit tool. Excel's pivot tables are an incredible tool that very few accountants even know how to use. So I can do a report in a minute that would take them 20 minutes.
Also, the ability to quickly learn software is a great skill in accounting because good firms are fully computerised, and accountants dont generally have time or patience to teach you to use their system.
The ability to use Word and Excel for reporting, working papers etc is a really valuable tool, especially if you can automate it using macros, templates etc.
If you have those kinds of skills, put them on the resume. Certainly say that you have the ability to quickly learn software.
One other thing I've learned over the years is that the most important thing is to get your foot in the door. Once you have worked for someone and they like you personally, they will often offer you a job that you would have been considered underqualified to do if you just walking in off the street. It's amazing the opportunities people will give you when you have demonstrated effort and team skills. So don't go looking for full-time work right away. Get your foot in the door as a contractor. Starting as a contractor is by far the best way to get a good position.
A couple areas I would suggest are CA/CPA firms and government. CA firms often have a lot of work they need done that they cant afford to use thier high level people that are charged out at $75 per hour and above. Things like helping out on audits, data entry, bookkeeping etc. So try the CA and CPA firms.
Also try government. In South Australia, almost all government contracts go through five or so employment agencies. So contact someone in government and ask who those agencies are. Then apply with all of them and bug them regularily.
Depending on your financial situation, if you can afford it, volunteer work is often a good way to get the experience on your resume that you need.
Good luck!
klvereker wrote:

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