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Elizabeth Jacob

Whilst in Forensic Accounting most people have a commerce background to complete their CA (or equivalent qualification), not everyone starts from an accounting background. Join as you are with all your skills and interests in different areas such as painting, sports, languages, science, and tech.

What's your job about?

As part of the KordaMentha Forensic practice, we focus on providing independent expertise to various types of matters. Forensic is all about providing evidence to be presented in a court of law or for a board of directors of a company. I assist the accounting and investigations team of our Forensic practice, so often when there is a legal dispute you need accountants to quantify the loss or value of the business/issue or even investigate the matter. As an analyst I can be involved in all processes of the engagement which includes, reviewing documents, financial analysis, site visits, interviewing of relevant personnel and of course report writing. Every day is as different and unique as each of our engagements. So, it is not your typical accounting! Each engagement I utilise different skill sets and teaches me about different business processes and industries.

What's your background?

I have grown up in Melbourne, including all my schooling and University and now work. I have never known what I wanted to do, so there was no big reason why I decided to do BCom, especially as I am the first on both sides of the family to not study Science. Whilst a commerce degree can be very theory heavy (which can be super dry) the real learning comes (in my opinion) when see and use it in application. The advantages of minimal contact hours enabled me to become involved in university student clubs: Melbourne Microfinance Initiative and the Christian Union, work in a Korean burrito restaurant (yes, it’s as good as it sounds), volunteer for different groups and apply for heaps and heaps of internships. This led to me being accepted as a vacationer at KordaMentha (the only company where I had an interview). I truly believe that it was the experiences outside of my University course and the willingness to try and do different things that helped prepare me for the role that I am in today. So, make the most of all the opportunities that come to you (before and while you’re working)!  

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Anyone with a curious mind, an ability to ask questions, an eye for detail and the willingness to learn, can work in Forensic. As a team we are all about how to examine and review information and from every perspective. Diversity on the team is so important. Whilst in Forensic Accounting most people have a commerce background to complete their CA (or equivalent qualification), not everyone starts from an accounting background. Join as you are with all your skills and interests in different areas such as painting, sports, languages, science, and tech.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

When I say that no job is the same – it really is true. Forensic Accounting is not your typical accounting (such as tax or audit). So, my days can consist of attending interviews of suspects in an investigation, reviewing confidential emails, conducting financial analysis and reviewing heaps and heaps of documents. The best part of my job is being in small teams such that I often get to work directly with Directors and Partners which helps me learn so much so quickly.

What are the limitations of your job?

Deadlines are often out of our control, so often hardest thing about my job is time management. There are days when we can be working on multiple engagements all with due dates at around the same time. During these times, we may need to work longer hours than usual however this is not the typical day and communication within the team is essential!

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Make the most of all the “free time” you have. Travel, volunteer, explore and do all the things that might be more difficult in full time work.
  • Establish your base community and build relationships with people now. Full-time work can be a big change so it’s really important to have family and friends that can understand and support you. Hopefully you will make heaps of friends at work, but it’s good to have people outside of work too!
  • Learn from every experience, there is rarely ever a wrong decision. You either enjoy the outcome of your decision or you do not. We are always learning so every mistake is an opportunity to learn from it and do better next time.