Creating the Accountants of the Future

At Oreon, we are practicing what we preach to ensure effective succession planning. With the current skills shortages, especially in traditional roles like accounting, we’ve proactively created innovative Undergraduate and Graduate Programs over the last couple of years to attract young talent to the industry. This year, with five new students and a total of eight participants taking part in these programs, we have reason to celebrate.

These programs are crucial to ‘future-proof’ our firm by mentoring young talent – and allow us to enhance our culture and embody our values through a dynamic, youthful workforce. Associate Director, Annabel Johnson, who heads up the programs, says, “The students bring a tremendous amount of energy, digital expertise, and great ideas with them. We feel fortunate that they have chosen Oreon to build their careers.”

At Oreon, our tailor-made training programs do more than teach accounting and tax skills—they prepare our undergraduates and graduates to be truly trusted advisors by equipping them with a diverse set of essential competencies.

These innovative programs ensure that our clients will remain in good hands in the years to come.

Meet Xander and Gwenn

Our current students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience, including students fresh from Year 12 and those who have already completed their degrees. 

One of our 2024 participants, Xander Shekhar, first worked at Oreon when he was in Year 10 at St Ignatius College, as part of his one-week work experience.  Being naturally gifted with numbers, an accounting firm seemed like a logical choice. Xander couldn’t wait to return when he completed Year 12 last year and is now studying full time at university while also working two days a week at our office.

He began a degree in Digital Business but is already considering switching to Accounting as he’s been so impressed and interested in what he’s learning at Oreon so far. In particular, he says he’s enjoying the weekly tax training sessions. 

“Everyone at Oreon takes the time to answer questions, is friendly and helpful and teaches me new things,” says Xander.

“It’s so important to get as much hands-on experience as you can, and this undergraduate program at Oreon gives me that,” he says.

Xander Shekhar and Gwenn Laplace

Another participant, Gwenn Laplace, is originally from France but has been in Australia for about six years. After completing a Master of Finance in Adelaide last year, she found out about the opportunities at Oreon and joined our program in February 2024. She’s working with us full time and will be enrolling in the Chartered Accountant (CA) program soon.

As someone who moved to Australia from abroad without a permanent visa, she initially found it hard to break into a corporate environment and ended up working in hospitality for several years.

“It was so refreshing when I met Ben Reynolds, who was willing to give me a chance even though I studied Finance, not Accounting,” she says. “Oreon told me that if I had the motivation, then there would be opportunities for me.”

Although she’s only been with us for a short time, she says she can see herself staying a long time, noting, “It feels like everything has fallen into place and my colleagues have already become friends.”

“I’m already doing some really interesting tax returns,” she says. “I’ve learnt so much in a short time and can’t wait for the rest. Plus, Oreon is very generous about giving study leave for exams and all the training is really focused and interactive. ”

About the Undergraduate & Graduate Programs

Oreon’s Undergraduate program offers paid training and part- to full-time work in our office for students who are just finishing high school or are active University undergrads. The Graduate program is designed for students who are finishing a degree this year or completed their studies in the past year.

Thanks to Oreon’s boutique size, students have the chance to work directly with Partners and Managers across all disciplines to explore areas of interest and develop their strengths while gaining hands-on experience.

After only a few weeks, students begin performing actual accounting tasks, start preparing financials and liaising directly with clients.  

The next time you’re in the office, please help us welcome these bright young colleagues to Oreon – chances are, it won’t be long before you find yourself working with these talented individuals!

Top photo:
Back row: Xander Shekhar, Austen Kenny, James McGuinness, Nick Simone
Front row: Jude Clayton-Woods, Gwenn Laplace, Adam Russo, Nicholas Spagnoletti