by Heidi Riley
Financial employer provides educational support
BDO Canada LLP is a network of public accounting, tax, consulting, and business advisory firms. They have earned multiple awards, including a spot among Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2022.
They look for students studying in an accounting concentration or related field of study such as mathematics, business, or finance who have experience and/or relevant transferable skills and are passionate about pursuing a career in accounting.
They also hire international students who have valid work permits.
BDO is looking to hire students to fill the following positions:
- Junior Accountant
- Junior Accounting Technicians, Co-op or Interns (Assurance and Accounting)
In addition, BDO is also looking to fill Manager and Senior Manager positions.
“We have open roles for 2022 graduates across Canada, notably in our Charlottetown and Summerside PEI offices,” says Nicole Laporte, Senior Staff Accountant at BDO in Charlottetown. “Most roles are full-time. Co-op/intern roles for students are also offered, which run from May to September.
“New graduates starting out get a taste of many different types of work, primarily starting out in assurance, which would include financial statement preparation, tax returns, and assurance engagements. You also get to try other work such as personal tax returns, business plans, and bookkeeping. This experience helps you decide what you like the best, and then you can narrow down your focus to that area.
“The training system for new hires is great. From my own perspective, I did not have any previous accounting experience before I started with BDO, and it turned out well for me. The industries I enjoy working with are Agriculture and the non-profit sector. You can focus on whatever interests you.”
The top soft skills BDO looks for
- Professionalism and the right attitude
- Collaboration and leadership
- Digital IQ
- Problem solving and critical thinking
Training and mentorship
“We put a big focus on training and mentorship at BDO,” says Nicole. “From your first day with us, you are paired with a People Leader who acts as your direct supervisor who is there to help you set and achieve personal and professional goals and support you in your new team.”
New hires usually meet with their People Leader every other week for check-ins and three to four times a year for progress updates. At these meetings, they can discuss any issues or questions, talk about their objectives, and request any support they need to make sure they are working and making progress on their objectives.
“You are also paired with a BDO Buddy, who is like a mandatory work friend,” says Nicole. “This person is someone more or less at the same level as you who is there to answer any questions you might have on the processes and day to day and help you get acclimated to your new team.”
Nicole’s career progression
Nicole graduated from UPEI in 2018 and started at BDO as a Junior Accountant right after graduation. A few months later, she enrolled in the CPA prep program. “I had a few months at my new job to get my feet under me before I started the program.”
The CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) program
Employees taking the CPA program while working at BDO are provided mentorship in preparation for the exam through mentors. Those who wish to enter the CPA program ideally would have a business degree with a specialization in accounting.
The CPA prep program has two components: Education and work experience. BDO is pre-approved for the experience component of the program. “Working at BDO helps you better understand the CPA courses, because you learn as you work. BDO grants us paid study days and flexible study leave. I saved up my paid study days and vacation days so that I could take off two months to study for the final exam of the CPA prep program. BDO also reimburses the exam and study guide fees, which help set you up for success.”
A coach is assigned to each person taking the CPA program. “This person, who has just taken the program, will help you get through it, answer your questions, and give you study tips.”
Other benefits of working for BDO
- A Dress for the Day policy asks employees to dress professionally when meeting with clients but they can dress casually on other days.
- A flexible work schedule with 37.5 hour work weeks. Most people work 8 am to 5 pm with a hybrid workplace model. Many people work online from home at least part of the time.
- One paid volunteer day per year. “We usually get together as a group to help a local organization.”
How to apply Current openings are posted on the BDO Careers web page. Open roles are shared on LinkedIn (BDO_Canada) and Instagram (@BDOCampus). Job seekers should keep an eye on the BDO career page and apply directly through that application form.
Apply directly on the BDO website through the application form for the role you are interested in and upload your resumé, cover letter, and a copy of your unofficial transcript if available.
Students are encouraged to attend recruitment and networking events to chat with the BDO team and network and connect with them on LinkedIn. Apply here.
BDO was part of a job fair hosted by the UPEI Experiential Education department. For a complete list of employers who attended and their hiring needs, click here