Oh! There goes the alarm… NOPE! *hits snooze button*
Several snoozes hit later.
I have finally risen! Blurry-eyed and somewhat bushy-tailed I shower, make myself presentable, and pack my food for the day.
The door slams shut as I leave my home-sweet-home for another full day of audit bliss, and this lucky gal has the luxury of living super close to the office. So, I enjoy my no-fuss, no-rush walk to work; coffee craving growing stronger with every step.
I arrive at our brand new office on Sydney Avenue, coffee in hand, and ready to start my day. Now, the question is: where do I feel like sitting today? There are so many workstations to choose from for this early bird.
Knowing my team and I may have much to discuss today, I decide to sit in the “collaboration space”, where people can have open discussions without disturbing anyone. I’m sure I can relocate to the “quiet zone” later in the day if need be.
I grab my work caddy out of my locker and set up my work station for the day.
This morning, my supervisor announces that we are commencing a new audit together, and wants to have a discussion with me about the topic. There is much to consider when preparing for an audit; they are all so different. So we decide to go for a walk and grab a coffee (yes, another coffee) as we discuss our first steps. I take note of what my supervisor needs me to do, and with this in mind, I return to my desk and get to work researching the topic.
Deeply engrossed in my work, I suddenly see a flash come across my screen; it’s a calendar notification: “Branch Meeting”. That’s right! We have a branch meeting today. In all the research frenzy, I almost forgot about it – thank you, trusty Outlook!
The meeting is a fantastic opportunity to hear about what people have been up to in the last couple of weeks; some are undergoing fieldwork within their respective audits, while others are on their way to writing their final reports. I take this opportunity to share with the group my excitement for starting a brand new audit.
All this audit talk has made me hungry… it’s time for lunch. I head over to our newly renovated kitchen and heat up my food. While I’m waiting, I run into a colleague I had worked with on my last audit. We decide to have a well-overdue catch-up over lunch before heading back to our workstations.
After lunch, I continue my research into the new audit topic. My supervisor asks me to prepare a brief synopsis of what I have come across in my research, and to begin planning out the Audit Work Plan; which when completed, will be sent to the Auditor-General himself. No pressure.
I spent the afternoon exploring the auditee’s website, reading annual reports, corporate plans and even delving into previous audits published by the ANAO that may be relevant to our audit topic. From this information, I was able to formulate a few ideas of how we could approach this audit, preparing potential audit criteria for my supervisor and I to discuss.
IT’S PLANK TIME!
Most people will tell you that it is common to experience an almighty “afternoon slump”, where energies and motivation levels tend to run low during the mid-afternoon hours. To remedy this, a small group of us get together every afternoon to undertake a strenuous 2-minute session of planks to get the blood pumping and to re-focus the mind. Chocolate works, too!
Now that we have some adrenaline coursing through our systems, it’s back to work we go.
It is late in the afternoon, so I meet with my supervisor to present some of my preliminary research findings. We have a very productive discussion that leads to a decision on what our objective, scope and possible criteria will be for the audit.
My supervisor ends our meeting with an exciting new delegation for me: to write up a draft of the Audit Work Plan. It looks like I have quite a challenge ahead of me – but this is tomorrow’s problem.
I fill out my timesheet and start preparing the template for our Audit Work Plan.
The great part about starting work early is that you can leave early!
That said, while I may have finished work for the day, my day is far from over. Now it’s time to go home, change, and then head to the gym for a gruelling two-hour kick-boxing session. Nothing tops off a great day of auditing like punching pads.
I walk home and take stock of how lucky I am to be working in such an invigorating environment that allows me to balance my work life with my personal life.
The culture at the ANAO is second-to-none and presents our staff with unparalleled opportunities to grow their professional career, knowledge of the Australian Public Service, technical skills and more. For those looking to progress their careers in the public service, it is unlikely that you will see more about how our government works anywhere else than you would be seeing it through the proverbial ‘windows’ of the ANAO.