What it does: Network of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms
Staff stats: Globally, more than 50,000 staff in over 135 countries. In Australia, 165 partners and 1300 staff spread across six offices
The good bits: International secondments, supportive culture
The not so good bits: Lots of overtime, especially during busy periods
Hiring grads with degrees in: Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration
The Grant Thornton story
What’s now the world’s fifth-largest network of accounting and consulting firms traces its origins back to a handful of UK firms – Thornton, Webb & Co, Baker & Co and Kidston, Jackson, McBain – and an American one – Alexander Grant & Co. In 1980, Alexander Grant & Co joined with the UK business, then known as Thornton Baker, along with 49 other firms around the world to form Grant Thornton.
Over the last 27 years, there have been further mergers, including Grant Thornton Australia merging with some erstwhile BDO offices in Melbourne and Sydney in 2012. As is the case with other professional services networks, each member firm governs itself and is part of a separate national entity. In 2016, the global network had revenues of US$4.8 billion.
Grant Thornton’s ‘2020 strategy’ is premised on the belief that globalisation, technology and generational shifts are driving a “significant realignment” in what people are expecting from their employers. Grant Thornton is seeking to adapt to this realignment through a range of industry-leading initiatives. These include providing generous leave entitlements, setting “ambitious gender and ethnicity targets” and putting in place a ‘Flex Appeal’ program that encourages staff to “work how, when and where is best for you”. The network has also invested in providing leadership programs, including ones specifically designed for female staff.
Grant Thornton Australia launched the Grant Thornton Foundation in 2014. It currently partners with charities including World Vision, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Youngcare, Whitelion and YWCA. The foundation is part of Grant Thornton Australia’s wider vision of unlocking “the potential for growth in our clients, our people and our communities.”
The recruitment process
To be considered for the grad program you’ll generally need to have done a degree that makes you eligible for entry into the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Program. If you’re hired, you’ll have to complete a CA or CFA, though an exception may be made if you’re wanting to join the Financial Advisory or Operational Advisory teams. Grant Thornton seeks candidates who are independent thinkers, proactive, client-focused, authentic and collaborative.
The process starts with an online application that involves uploading a cover letter, CV and academic transcript. You’ll then be invited to complete an online abilities assessment, which takes an hour. After that, there is a six-minute video interview where you’ll answer some role-specific questions. You’ll then be invited to an assessment centre. There you will take part in a group exercise and do individual interviews with members of the People & Culture team as well as frontline Grant Thornton Australia staff. The final interview will be with a senior member of the team you’re applying to join. It will largely revolve around whether you’re a good cultural fit.
As is common with accounting firm grad programs, the pay is modest but your employer does devote a lot of resources to getting you trained up. You will have the chance to earn the big bucks as your career progresses and, in the meantime, there are plenty of perks to enjoy. These include free gym memberships, discounted health insurance, subsidised social events, a well-stocked office kitchen and study leave.
There is a clear career path from graduate to intermediate to senior to assistant manager to manager to associate director to partner. If you perform well, you can expect regular promotions early on, moving up a rank every year. Making it to the upper levels requires good networking abilities, as well as a lot of talent and hard work.
The vibe of the place
While it’s clear where everyone sits in the hierarchy, there’s lots of interaction between staff at all levels and a friendly and sociable workplace vibe. Professionalism is expected during the work day but you can expect to have a lot of fun socialising with your colleagues after hours.
Star Rating: 4.0 stars
"Join one of our student programs and kick start your career.
What’s our advice?
Want to make a real difference? The future is now.
At Grant Thornton, our people are empowered to make a real difference. Our culture ignites and fosters high performance. We’re passionate about our clients’ success – and we care deeply about our work and each other. We’re committed to our people, our clients and the communities we live in to make a difference.
Every day, we help dynamic organisations unlock their potential for growth by delivering unique insights and future-focused, commercial advice. With more than 50,000 people across135 countries, we truly understand that talented people drive all of our successes.
As a graduate at our firm, you’ll be supported and empowered from the beginning. We’ll help you become a respected and trusted adviser to Australia’s leading mid-size businesses. You’ll be encouraged to develop key skills and fresh approaches, and gain exposure to clients on a variety of projects.
Plus, we offer global and local mobility, and a variety of roles, projects and clients to keep you engaged and progressing in your career. Our comprehensive CA support program includes mentoring, paid study leave and extensive support materials and our CA pass rates are consistently above average.
Most importantly, we encourage you to be your authentic self, because we know that a broad and diverse mix of team members enriches our workplace and allows us to do more for our clients. Let us help you unlock your potential and stand out from the crowd.
To learn more visit our website."