Monday 3 March 2014

The best graduate programs to start a tax career

The best graduate programs to start a tax career
Graduate programs are an excellent way to start your career in a work environment built for learning. Here are some programs you might consider applying for.

Graduate programs are designed to orientate and develop candidates in an environment catered for their skills and knowledge, but they are also sympathetic to the fact they may be unfamiliar with the workplace.

Graduates will often start in an intake with other graduates and gain exposure to different roles in a department relevant or complementary to their degree. This allows you to find out what you like and what you’re good at, as well as help you transition into the rhythm of work life.

Here are the best graduate programs to start a tax career.


Australian Tax Office (applications open from 11 March – 8 April 2014)

If you’re interested in getting to know the ATO, this is the graduate program for you. The ATO’s 12-month program promises a dynamic business environment that builds depth and breadth of expertise that is particularly relevant to the ATO. If you have a knack for tax administration, the post-program salary starts at $64,000 with all the perks of a government role, including flexibility.

Treasury (applications open from 1 March – 1 May 2014):

Not sure about whether the ATO is right for you? Apply for the general Treasury graduate program and work across any of a range of departments, including the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. This is ideal for those with an accounting or financial management qualification who are interested in a policy or analyst role.


Multinational accounting and consultancy firms are known for taking on several graduates in each office every year and competition is usually fierce. Corporate graduate programs often allow you to work in a range of departments to give you a taste of where your skills are best employed. Many also support further education and professional development, including chartered accountancy certification, and may also provide opportunities to apply for international roles in overseas branches.

Corporate graduate programs are best suited to candidates looking for a career as an auditor, tax accountant or consultant

Deloitte (from 19 February 2014)

PwC (various dates)

EY (from 24 February 2014)

KPMG (from 24 February 2014)

Grant Thornton (various dates dependent on location)

BDO (various dates dependent on location)

Generally only large organisations such as governments and corporations have graduate programs, though some smaller organisations will run programs with fewer graduates in the intake. Be aware that many graduate programs will be location dependent with most government programs located in Canberra and the corporate programs concentrated in the capital cities, so factor in relocation costs if you need to move. Good luck!

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