The ‘Business Educators Association QLD’ (BEAQ)’ forum has been delivered online this year due to the pandemic – an event that would normally be hosted by the QUT School of Accountancy in Brisbane. We asked Ms Vanessa Hilleard and some of the participating students about the importance of Accounting in school and in business, and what they hoped to get out of the online event.
Is this the first time The Cathedral School has participated in this seminar?
Ms. Hilleard: Yes this is the first time we have participated, and it is the first time they have hosted it on-line.
What are the primary objectives you aim to achieve with today’s event?
Ms. Hilleard: To expose the students to life after school and in the real world. Also, the places Accounting and Business can take them.
Can you give us a brief overview of your own industry experience?
Ms. Hilleard: After completing my Commerce degree directly from high school, I went into the graduate program for the Queensland Audit Office in Brisbane. I worked as a graduate auditor for a few years before choosing to return to study Secondary Education, as auditing was a little too impersonal for me. Since moving into education I have owned my own business which I sold at the end of 2018.
Can you offer some words of advice to your students/readers, based on your experience and education?
Ms. Hilleard: A majority of our graduating students will end up working in business or running their own business, the foundation that studying accounting gives is the ability to know what questions to ask and what the answer should be, without necessarily needing a degree in accounting.
Why is it important to learn accounting & bookkeeping in Schools?
Ms. Hilleard: As I said above, the skills you acquire will come in useful no matter what career path you end up in – from personal financial decisions to running your own small business or working for a large multinational organisation.
What further education do students pursue after The Cathedral School, and what areas are becoming more/less important.
Ms. Hilleard: Students often don’t go directly into the accounting/commerce/business area but will often pick it up as a double degree or come back at a later date and do a Master of Business Administration (MBA).