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Curious, ambitious? Then ‘forget the image and become an auditor’


Offering alternative career paths and talking up the job will help solve the talent shortage, says CA ANZ leader Amir Ghandar.

By Philip King 12 minute read

Auditing will need a deeper talent pool to take on its widening responsibilities for ESG, said CA ANZ reporting and assurance leader Amir Ghandar, and turning the skilled migration tap back on was only part of the answer.

Speaking on a special Accountants Daily podcast to mark Auditor Proud Day last week, Mr Ghandar said migration helped the profession with its “lumpy” reporting deadlines, but it needed to look closely at career paths and talk up the attractions of the job.

He said auditing would appeal to “anyone who is curious about the world, and interested to find out more, and get behind the scenes and understand how it works”.


“That’s probably one of the reasons I really love auditing, peeling back the layers,” Mr Ghandar said.

For the ambitious, it offered a unique opportunity to learn the fundamentals of business and meet its top-ranking executives, “right out of university”. One day you might be interviewing a CFO, the next visiting the factory floor.

“That’s the positive side — there’s a lot that people can sink their teeth into, not to mention the opportunities for progressing more rapidly in your career out of university,” Mr Ghandar said.

But not everyone attracted to the role would have come straight out of university, and the profession was exploring ways of helping people return to auditing after doing something else.

“We’ve kicked off an initiative under the banner of ‘talking talent’ and put out a paper last year based on conversations with people in auditing at all different levels,” he said.

“We’ve had a series of roundtables since then, and that’s about recognising not only the attractive things about audit but also the challenges that we face.

“There’s the steep workload and the peaks in that workload. How do we deal with that, how does technology help us to deal with that?

“Diversity is a really critical piece — making sure that people can see themself in the leadership.”

He admitted that the image of auditing was part of the problem, but it also concealed something about its importance.

“Of course, there’s the image and part of that is the profession does need to be trusted, and inspire confidence, and if that’s boring so be it,” Mr Ghandar said.

“There is a great deal of confidence in auditors. We do an annual confidence survey and that’s consistently over the past four years showing that despite confidence really taking a dive this year in the broader economy, it remains strong in auditors.”

This critical role auditors played in the economy was often taken for granted.

“The central role that auditors have in the capital markets assuring financial information is absolutely critical,” he said.

“Without that operating effectively, and at a very high level of quality, we simply wouldn’t have a capital market or an economy that was able to function in the way that it does.”

Philip King

Philip King


Philip King is editor of Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Philip joined the titles in March 2022 and brings extensive experience from a variety of roles at The Australian national broadsheet daily, most recently as motoring editor. His background also takes in spells on diverse consumer and trade magazines.

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