The Boyce Cadetship program is in its fifteenth year and has been a resounding success according to Boyce HR Manager Gabrielle McFarland, with three of the current twelve directors commencing with the firm as cadets.
Directors, Linda Mackellar (Wagga Wagga), Julie Schofield (Cooma) and Scott Christian (Dubbo), signed up to the cadetship program and haven't looked back. They all agree that the most valuable aspect of choosing this pathway is the opportunity to combine practical experience with the theory being taught at university.
“It soon becomes clear how quickly you surpass your uni colleagues through working on real jobs and being mentored by experienced accountants,” said Scott.
2014 Cadetship Applications Now Open
Boyce is recruiting now for cadets to start in 2014. Details about the program and how to apply are available on the website at www.boyceca.com. Alternatively, if you wish to find out more contact Gabrielle in the Cooma office on 02 6452 3344.
The Inside Story
Meggan Anderson (pictured) is a member of the current ‘crop’ of Boyce cadets. She started with Boyce Dubbo in February 2010 having completed her HSC at the Dubbo Senior School campus in the previous year.
Meggan enrolled in a Bachelor of Accounting through Charles Sturt University and was granted early acceptance on the recommendation of her school principal prior to the HSC results being released.
Three and a half years on Meggan has almost completed her degree and will soon graduate from the Boyce cadetship program.
Gabrielle McFarland, Boyce HR Manager, recently caught up with Meggan to obtain her thoughts on the Boyce cadetship program.
Congratulations Meggan on almost reaching the end of your degree, how does it feel?
It feels great!! I only have six months to go now until graduation. After almost four years of study I am ready to take a break and focus on refining my skills at work.
How have you found your uni course?
I have completed a Bachelor of Business Accounting with a joint study in finance. I found that what you learn at university complements the fundamental tasks you undertake at work in an accounting firm.
CSU in Dubbo allows you the option to study some subjects on campus via lecture and tutorials, and other subjects via distance education. I found this combination of learning very convenient as it meant my timetable on campus was not so hectic.
Having access to tertiary education in a regional area was pivotal in allowing me to realise my goal of gaining a recognised degree without having to leave my home, family and friends. The degree of flexibility with all tertiary study these days makes contemplating a cadetship a realistic option for everyone.
What’s been your favourite subject to date?
It sounds a bit sad, but I actually enjoyed tax law. This was probably because by the time I attempted this third year subject, I was already familiar with all of the tax concepts through work - which made it a breeze!
What has been the best part of undertaking a Cadetship?
The cadetship program is such an inherent part of the firm that everyone is very conscious of your university commitments and accordingly very flexible with your workload. This makes it really easy to fit both work and study into your life.
The second best thing is that you are earning money whilst you work as a cadet. This means you will always be ahead financially of your friends that choose to move away for uni and are dependent on government benefits or un-related casual work.
Tell me about the down-sides, there must be some?
Sometimes I think that I missed out on the ‘party life’ that you often experience with going to Uni. However, I like to think of it that while you are sacrificing a few parties, you have taken the opportunity to get ahead with your education, your career and financially.
How have you managed to balance work and uni?
With a cadetship you have to remember that you only work and study part time. A full time student does 8 subjects a year over three years. However to allow time for work most cadets do 6 subjects a year and take four years to do the degree.
This means you have allotted study days off every week to do your uni work. Boyce is very flexible when it comes to tailoring work days to ensure you have enough time to cope with your study. The firm also helps out financially with the cost of study by paying you pro-rata for three days study leave per subject plus a textbook allowance of $550 per annum.
Have you managed to have a social life whilst working and studying?
As long as you are disciplined and keep on top of your allotted uni work you still have time to socialise.
While I was studying I had a weekend job at a newsagency, played in a number of squash competitions and went on regular holidays with friends.
Working at Boyce is actually very social. Everyone gets along really well in the office and there are so many work events and activities to be involved in such as our legendary Christmas and end of financial year parties, morning teas to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions, lunchtime training sessions and volunteering for the community. We are quite a social group!
Do you think the practical work experience has assisted your learning and development?
I think it has more than assisted; it’s been invaluable to my learning experience. We all know that what you learn at uni is different to what happens in the real world. The cadetship program allows you to learn the basic technical knowledge at university but then come to work and apply it to real world situations and clients.
What support have you had since commencing your cadetship with Boyce?
When you start as a cadet at Boyce you are assigned a ‘buddy’ that is a senior accountant who is able to help with both your work and study related queries. While I have had a couple of different buddies over my time as a cadet, I found that no matter who you turn to for advice at Boyce everyone is always willing to help.
What has been great… or not so great about working with Boyce?
The flexibility of being able to tailor my work days to my study timetable is fantastic. I have also made so many great friends. Boyce is renowned its young workforce which creates a fun and energetic place to work.
What plans do you have post-degree?
Since I started university straight after school, I am going to take a break from study and work full time next year both to save money and to have time to plan my wedding in September. In 2015 I plan to start my CA.
Finally, what advice would you give if someone was interested in undertaking a cadetship?
Go for it!! If you live in a regional area or are thinking of moving to one, and you want to be able to earn money while you are learning – a cadetship is for you. I found it to be a perfect situation for me. I’ve been able to stay in my hometown with my friends and family, get a university education and build a career with one the largest accounting firms in regional Australia.
Meggan Anderson, Cadet | Boyce Dubbo in conversation with Gabrielle McFarland, Boyce HR Manager May 2013
The 2013 Federal Budget has been framed around the much publicised reduction in revenue and ‘soft’ economic conditions, but after releasing most of the big changes in the past few weeks, the Treasurer didn’t have much left to announce in his Budget speech to the Parliament.
Wayne Swan delivered a ‘sober’ budget in the face of an expected revenue shortfall of $60 billion over the four years to 2015-16 and at the same time having to fund billions on the Gillard Government's spending commitments such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme ($14.9 billion over seven years) and the Gonski school reforms ($9.8 billion over six years).
The Budget outlines some measures to address structural issues in the economy, focussing largely on the revenue side, including:
An increase in the Medicare Levy from 1.5% to 2% to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Abolition of the Baby Bonus and introduction of new family payment arrangements
Deferral of the planned 2015-16 income tax cuts indefinitely
Measures designed to prevent multinational companies from shifting profits out of Australia
Closing corporate tax loopholes and concessions
Withholding tax introduced for capital gains made by foreign residents
It is important to note that given that there are very few Parliamentary sitting weeks until the September 14 election date, it is unlikely that many of the budget measures will be legislated (with the exception of the increase in the Medicare Levy).
Reneging on last year’s promise to return the budget to surplus, Mr Swan announced a deficit of $18 billion in 2013-14 although he ‘charted a pathway to surplus’ over the forward estimates predicting a return to a small surplus of $800 million in 2015-16.
The Government has revised down growth in the Australian economy from 3% in 2013-14 to 2.75% and 3% in 2104-15. Unemployment is expected to rise to around 5.75% by mid-2014 and inflation is forecast to remain well within the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 2-3% target band over the forward estimate period.
Many economists are predicting another 25 basis points rate cut, and possibly even another cut this year, if there is further deterioration in labour market conditions. Market reaction to the Budget was negative with the Australian dollar quickly falling ½ cent to under $0.9950 mostly due to the forecast string of deficits.
Download the full BOYCE 2013 BUDGET WRAP PDF here which includes all the details in regard to:
Personal Income Tax & Family Benefits
Business Tax & Compliance
Boyce is celebrating not one, but two milestone anniversaries this year. It is 40 years since the firm was first established in 1973 by the legendary Michael Boyce and ten years since it ‘set up shop’ in Wagga Wagga.
The firm’s proud history of rural practice began in the Monaro region of New South Wales with the establishment of an office in Cooma in July 1973. Today Boyce has five offices located in major regional centres across NSW and a staff of more than 140 – making it the largest independent accounting practice in regional Australia.
The Wagga Wagga branch of the firm was opened on 31 March 2003 under the leadership of director Simon Sellars.
“We leased the historic ANZ bank building on the corner of Fitzmaurice and Johnston Streets and opened for business in a city which we believed offered fantastic opportunities for us to meet the region’s growing need for management accounting services,” Simon said.
He admits that the timing may not have been ideal as much of the State was in the middle of one of the longest droughts in more than 100 years.
“We accepted the challenge though, and looking back it seems to have paid dividends as the farmers and local businesses really needed the type of accounting services we were offering to help them remain viable and come through what were for many, desperate times.”
The type of services Simon is referring to are more than just the normal compliance accounting services. Boyce specialises in providing management accounting and business advisory services to assist clients to closely monitor the performance of their business and understand their true financial position.
“Our approach ensures that our clients know at any time how their business is travelling and can make strategic and insightful business decisions around this information.”
Initially many of the firm’s clients were farmers and agribusinesses, but over the past ten years this has expanded to now include retail and wholesale businesses, professional firms, construction and medical services. In pure numbers the business has achieved a compounded growth rate of 10% per annum since 1 July 2004. Gradual consistent growth is important as it allows the firm to develop its most important asset - its people - whilst delivering first class service to its existing and new clients.
Soon after establishment of the Wagga Wagga office, Simon was joined by former Moree colleague Linda Mackellar. Linda quickly became an integral part of the Boyce Wagga Wagga leadership team and was appointed as a director of the firm in July 2007 at the age of just 28 years.
In October 2008, signalling a firm commitment to the city and to the Riverina, Boyce purchased the graceful 120 year old building from which it operates in Wagga Wagga.
“It is part of the culture and philosophy of the firm that we invest in the towns in which we do business,” explained Linda.
“We are very proud to own such a significant building and it is our intention to continue to respect the integrity of the structure and ensure that it is well maintained so that it can serve as an office building for another 120 years at least.”
Linda likened this guardianship attitude to the building to the general philosophy of the firm, a philosophy that is very much focussed toward care for clients. In their ten years in the region, the Boyce team has built an enduring reputation for combining knowledge, insight and experience with personalised country service.
Boyce was ranked in the Top 40 of the BRW 2012 Survey of Accounting Firms and is recognised as offering a level of professionalism that many would expect to find only in the larger metropolitan-based firms.
“As directors we, and our team, live and work in the region, so we are very intent on ensuring we help to keep the local business community strong,” Linda said.
“We are also very aware of our role in the general community so as a firm and individually we are involved in many different aspects of life in Wagga Wagga and the surrounding areas.”
Due to its scale, Boyce offers specialist divisions of knowledge to assist and advise clients in areas such as family reorganisations, benchmarking, business planning, superannuation strategy advice and compliance, estate planning and complex tax advice.
In 2008 the firm established a financial advisory division, the head-office of which is located in Wagga Wagga.
Director of Boyce Financial Services, Lindsay Garnock, admitted that again the timing was not great as the global financial crisis hit at precisely the time this new business was launched
Despite this Lindsay says the business has gone from strength to strength. He attributes this to a business model that from the very start offered clients “fee for service” rather than the commission based models used by many in the industry at that time.
“We were at the forefront in terms of reforms being implemented in the industry – the requirement to act inherently in the best interest of the client is a value that underpins our business.”
The Boyce directors are rightly proud of a firm with such a long history, and extraordinarily pleased with the growth and development of the Wagga Wagga branch.
“We have a great team of people, we work with some of the best businesses in the country, we live in one of the most beautiful inland cities in Australia in a diverse and thriving region,” said Simon.