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Campus blog: Moving forward means being mindful

By Jennifer Trian

Staff Accountant, Audit and Advisory | Winter/Summer 2014 Co-op

Your first engagement will seem stressful, but don’t fear! Standing still won’t bring you success, so moving forward is your only option. Awareness is just as important to your success as knowledge and skills.

Prior to an engagement, you should reach out to others on the team to find out what they expect of you. Make sure you read the planning section of the engagement and do research on the company. The team’s senior consultant will give you advice on how to approach your first day, and you can use your prior knowledge of the client to guide your plan of action. Study the budget and make note of deadlines for sections you will work on.

On your first day, introduce yourself to your team, the client and other people you will be working with. Arming yourself with questions for your team will ensure you are fully aware of all the nuances related to your client. This is important because it will help you develop a useful checklist to ensure that you are getting the right work done on schedule.

Before asking questions, be sure to read the procedures and assertions the testing is related to. Reviewing last year's working papers will ensure you’re up to date with what has been done, and how it may relate to the work you will be doing. Always converse with team members, and be proactive in finding answers to questions regarding the assigned work. This will make those around you aware of your skills and knowledge, and make even a junior staff member integral to the work process. Finally, as soon as work for a client is finished, be sure to obtain the appropriate sign offs and approvals.

Good luck! 

Jennifer is a 4th year student at the University of Waterloo majoring in Accounting and Financial Management.

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