Date posted: 21/10/2019 5 min read

Why doing the International Pathway Program was the best professional decision for this Darwin-based CA

Having CA ANZ membership widens your horizon and introduces you to a new world of professional people.

In Brief

  • The International Pathway Program (IPP) course attracts highly professional people and opens you to new opportunities in other industries
  • The IPP is open to qualified candidates from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka
  • The IPP helped Mary Joseph CA expand both her professional and social network

Although she secured a job within a month of arriving in Australia from India, Mary Joseph quickly realised she needed the support of a professional body if she was to have a wider choice of roles. She wasted no time in applying for the International Pathway Program (IPP) run by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ). Success in that would give her membership of the pre-eminent professional body.

Mary and her husband moved to Darwin in 2017 so he could take up a job there. She had previously worked as an external auditor and was keen to move into internal auditing.

"Darwin is a good place," she says, "but the jobs here are predominantly in the Public Sector and a professional membership enhances your chances to get into it."

Since completing the IPP, Mary has moved to a job as Audit Officer at the Department of Attorney General and Justice in the Northern Territory.

"It widens your horizon and introduces you to a new world of professional people. You know when CPD (continuing professional development) programs are coming up. It was the best professional decision I have made."
Mary Joseph CA.

Mary, who gained her accounting qualifications through the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, was among 29 IPP candidates in the first intake in May-June 2018. The course involves six case studies that candidates research and prepare on their own, and then a two-day workshop during which they are under continual assessment.

The candidates continue in their full-time job while doing the course. Mary, who was then a Senior Auditor at an Audit Firm based in Darwin, worked on the case studies at home, and completed the workshop in Sydney.

Mary admits that juggling the course while working was demanding. "You had to be very organised and use every minute. The case studies were full-on, and you had to keep up. Everyone had to participate. You had to focus. It was a great way to test your time management skills."

One of the many positives of the program was access to an online group in which candidates could post queries or have live chats. "When you're studying alone, you don't know if you're keeping up with the rest," Mary says. "Having the online group was great because it gives you reassurance."

Being part of an online community also assisted Mary who had not done a professional exam since completing her accounting qualification in India in 2012.

Mary can't speak highly enough of the program: "It was wonderful. So many professional people. All had more than five to six years' experience. That was one of the best things. It really helped me to know how my colleagues were thinking."

"The course widens your understanding of industries not related to yours. You get different angles about situations because the other candidates are so experienced."

"The program is well-structured and helps you to see things from someone else's perspective, to analyse a situation and come up with a solution for different stakeholders."

Presentation skills are integral to the course. Candidates demonstrate these skills through group activities and resolving real-life work issues in the workshop stage.

One of the many benefits of the course was it introduced her not only to a wider professional community but also a social one which, as a relatively new arrival in Australia, she values highly.

The most important thing Mary looks for in a prospective employer is its culture. "People are what matters most, and I like to work in an organisation with those same values."

"I would definitely recommend the IPP to anyone coming from another country. Being a member of CA ANZ is a wonderful way to get support."

"It widens your horizon and introduces you to a new world of professional people. You know when CPD (continuing professional development) programs are coming up. It was the best professional decision I have made."

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