A graduate at Curtis McLean will receive

experience in the following areas
throughout their initial three years of
Emphasis is on good accounting practices especially checking of work,
preparing work papers, identifying issues for manager’s attention,
prioritising work and understanding the importance of client service.
A graduate in their first year with Curtis McLean would attain experience in all
of the following:
1. Preparation of Financial Statements for small to medium businesses.
This would include the most basic tasks such as coding, review of
figures for reasonableness, preparing work papers, updating of
presentation of reports, printing final reports. Graduates are
encouraged to prepare the financial statements from start to finish
under close supervision. Only in a few cases would they only complete
part of the task and have a more senior person complete.
2. Basic GST Return preparation including understanding how GST works,
what constitutes a Tax Invoice, basic adjustments, possible risks, basic
timing issues and return periods.
3. Preparing basic Tax Returns and understanding how the tax liability is
calculated (usually this would not include calculating provisional tax).
4. Preparing Fringe Benefit Tax Returns for motor vehicles and calculating
the GST adjustment.
5. Use of the Solution Six software so that they are proficient in formatting
financial information in a limited manner within the reports, updating
of the notes, printing report and backing up ledgers.
6. Preparing Companies Office and associated documents, understanding
the filing deadlines and how to record share transfers and changes of
statutory information.
7. Preparing the Annual General Meeting Minutes and Directors
Resolutions for companies including recording salary information and
understanding why this is an important requirement.
8. Checking of basic tax assessments received for taxpayers from Inland
Revenue, identifying problems, advising Inland Revenue of any
discrepancies and updating of the tax monitoring system software.
Emphasis on the importance of what action is taken including noting
IRD personnel names, dates when action was to have occurred and the
penalties for late payment to ensure accountability is maintained.
9. Telephone contact with a few clients and with IRD personnel to gain
confidence in dealing with people and to obtain information from
people to perform the job.
10. Management of bank accounts for some clients including transferring
funds when required, reconciling creditor statements, payment of
creditors and dealing with banks to remit funds by fax or phone.
11. Preparing basic cash books, schedules and work papers in Excel. The
graduate is expected to attain enough spreadsheet knowledge to be able
to competently arrange and work with files and data within a
12. Preparation of debtor’s statements, entering of source data and
reconciliation to the general ledger.
13. Use of Word (fax) and email for basic correspondence.
14. Use of electronic time sheets, an understanding of how the costing
system operates, recoveries and invoicing.
In Year Two a graduate would be expected to expand on the basic
concepts of their first year but would gain further knowledge
especially in the following areas:
1. Preparation of Financial Statements would include larger clients, those for
which some records are missing and different entities such as nonprofit
organisations, partnerships and trusts. A high standard of work paper
preparation is expected and most problems or issues should be sorted
before manager/partner involvement.
2. Tax Return preparation which include provisional tax and use of money
interest calculations and the checking of complicated assessments. The
preparation of the Company and shareholder Tax Returns would normally
be expected while being alert to other information that would be included
on the Tax Returns without specific direction.
3. Correspondence skills should be of a standard whereby a skeleton of a
reporting letter can be formulated and basic requests answered for clients.
4. Telephone manner should be of a standard whereby telephoning of clients
is not uncommon to request information and discuss basic queries.
5. Preparation of GST Returns to a high standard and being aware of
reconciliation issues, being able to reconcile GST to a general ledger and
knowledge of how to locate discrepancies and taking responsibility for
arranging payment of GST by the due date.
6. A basic knowledge of payroll preparation is attained including how to
calculate payments to employees, PAYE calculations, returning PAYE to
Inland Revenue, preparation of annual PAYE reconciliations and
reconciliation of these to the financial statements.
7. Preparation of management reports including working to a time deadline
and reviewing the management reports for discrepancies or items that
would be of concern to the client.
For Year Three graduates we would expect them to have developed a
maturity to deal with client issues with relatively infrequent input
from their manager or partner and to have taken responsibility for a
number of smaller clients.
Preparation of Financial Statements and Tax Returns would remain the main
focus of work undertaken but in addition the graduate would be expected to
achieve or be involved in other duties including:
1. Attending meetings between client and partner to review financial
performance, taxation and other issues. Whilst not necessarily expected to
have material input the graduate would be expected to provide assistance
to the partner when, for example, the client queries how particular
amounts in the financial statements were calculated.
2. Preparation of management reports, GST Returns and wages or similar at
client premises without partner input.
3. Preparation of management reports or assisting clients in preparing their
own reports using the client’s software. This involves an understanding of
how financial reports are prepared and being able to use other accounting
4. In addition to preparing Tax Returns an awareness of Provisional Tax
issues such as income fluctuations for estimation, voluntary uplifting of
payments, calculating family support and being aware of tax issues when
reviewing transactions.
5. Involvement with invoicing of clients including calculating the amount to
be invoiced and justifying any write off.
6. Supervision of junior team members on client work with which they are
familiar. Responsibility is expected for the team member’s work that they
have supervised.