How A CA Qualification Helped This Accountant Make The Jump From A Big 4 Firm To The Booming Mining Industry

Mining Getty/Christopher Furlong

For many young Australians the mines hold the promise of well-paid jobs, and the chance to work in the country’s premier industry.

The so-called mining boom is slowing, though it does not mean the companies which dig up and export Australia’s prime product are less attractive.

Carly Tapper

An influx of capital investment has waned, though production will now charge ahead — and mining will be a flagship industry for some time to come.

Carly Tapper’s first role after completing a Bachelor of Arts and Commerce at the University of Western Australia was as an accountant for professional services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

She wanted to get a job in the industry, a goal she says her qualification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants made possible. She is now an accountant for Consolidated Minerals, a Manganese miner with a global operation.

“I would not be eligible to work in my current role without this qualification,” she tells Business Insider.

“My role is quite reporting focused, as such the Financial Reporting module is currently of most use to me.

“However, the overarching principles instilled throughout the program are synonymous with the way I carry out my work, such as an emphasis on continual training and development, and ethical business practices.”

“I started out in a professional services firm, and wanted to make the transition into the mining industry. This qualification allowed me to do so.”

As well as learning skills will helped her get a job in the industry she wanted to work for, Tapper says the program also provided networking opportunities which have furthered her career.

“It is a highly respected qualification within the profession and the business community.

“I have significantly developed my professional skills as a result of undertaking the program, and have also expanded my network of contacts within the Chartered Accounting community.”

Miners are seeking to become more efficient, and companies have always relied on a complex logistical system to manage tonnes of valuable rocks, thousands of staff and expensive equipment. Listed miners also need dedicated to staff to ensure rigorous reporting standards are adhered to.

“The biggest misconception about accounting is that it is all about the numbers,” Tapper explains. “A large part of the job is working and communicating with people that come from a variety of professional backgrounds.

“You have to work with people from many different areas to be able to give meaning to figures, as well as being able to present these results to others in a clear manner.”

It is also not just sitting in an office making sure the books add up.

“No two days are the same, there is always a different project on the go.

“The last week has involved helping out with the warehouse stock take at our mine site, responding to documentation requests for our auditors and processing the month end results to send to our parent company in the UK.”

While Tapper has not travelled overseas for work yet, she can see her chosen profession will allow her to do so in the future.

“Working in the mining industry, I regularly travel to mine sites. However, there are many other travel opportunities for accountants both within Australia and overseas.”

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