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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's for Employers

About the Exemplar Job Ready Training Program

Exemplar provides a Job Ready Training program to Accounting students studying at University or TAFE.  The focus is on practical skills and allows students the ability to walk straight into a job with little training.

It is a fact that it is not easy for students to enter the work-force after completing their qualifications.  This is due to a number of reasons:

  • Lack of experience
  • Gap between business expectations (practical ability) and technical skills
  • It is expensive for Employers to train unskilled workers

We have come up with a program aimed at students to address this need.  The second phase of this program is to assist students with the recruitment process, so if you are an employer, please register your interest online to hire a student who has undergone this “Job-Ready” program.

What software do you use?

Students learn on MYOB, however the skills taught can be applied to any accounting program.  We introduce other products to students such as Saasu, QuickBooks and Xero.

What is included in the program?

  • Practical Experience  with a Real Company’s data
  • 5 year career plan
  • CV preparation
  • Final results to the Exemplar Skills Test
  • Interview Preparation
  • Networking skills
  • Introductions to future employers
  • Face-to-Face Networking at a live event – with 100 business cards
  • What to say? – 60 second Elevator Pitch
  • Feedback after the event
  • Ongoing assistance with getting a job

We teach systems and procedures, handling of documentation and how to recognise the difference between a Sales Invoice and a Creditors Invoice. By completion of the program, they will process Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll and a Bank Reconciliation. Students will also be introduced to BAS preparation and key legislative issues that are essential in running a Business.

The idea is to minimise the amount of initial training required to get a Graduate ready for the workforce. Essential skills like GST and PAYG and what is required by an employer when hiring staff.

What experience do the trainers have?

Sylvana Livissianis has been in Accounting for over 25 years and runs her own Bookkeeping and Accounting services business.  Before becoming degree qualified, she completed a TAFE Associate Diploma in Business (Accounting) which gives her a unique perspective of being able to see the deficiencies of the University system.

Sylvana is a CPA and a qualified Accountant with a Bachelor of Business (Accounting). She also has a Tax Agent registration with the Tax Practitioners Board.

All our trainers are specifically selected for their passion for students and have a personal desire to pass on their knowledge and mentor the student. We often get students asking for advice on career paths because it is very confusing without practical experience and knowledge.

How long does the program take?

6 weeks part-time, ½ day per week

Why can’t you do the program in 3 days full-time?

We did try different methods in 2007 and found the students had difficulty retaining all the newly acquired information over 3 days consecutive days.  We found by spreading the work-load across 6 weeks…  students have time to practice was has been taught.

However, as an employer… you can train a group of employees who are already familiar with some of these processes faster.

In reality employees in the workplace, have an opportunity to apply what they have learnt immediately to their job.  So training can be fast-tracked or tailored to your requirements.

How do I know the students will be employable?

We do not believe in taking any money from the students unless we believe we can get them a job.  It is a pre-requisite that they under-go a thorough interview process.

  • Via Skype
  • Face-to-Face
  • Exemplar online skills test – indicates a percentage score in over 15 key areas

We can teach practical skills, but communication skills need to be at a particular level before they will be accepted onto the program

Why is this a pre-requisite?

Students want a guarantee of employment

We can’t offer any certainty unless you can communicate well, present well and have acquired good quality practical skills.  Employers expect to be able to give a directive to an Employee and for you to be able to interpret what is being asked and to fulfil the requirement within a given timeline.

If you do not understand the question, you need to be able to ask further questions until you do understand.

Students will also be communicating at some stage to Clients, whether that be by telephone, email or other written correspondence.  If English skills are a problem we have institutions we can recommend to improve these skills before undergoing our training program. Plus practice is very important and networking is a great area to practice these skills.

What is the difference between this program and others?

We use documents for a whole month from a real company.  This is a very practical, hands-on program, so each student is sitting at a desk with a computer and internet connection. You will not be memorising massive amounts of information without understanding why and what you are doing. You will get the opportunity to apply what you have learnt in a practical working environment. There is a maximum of 10 students per class and we all work together at the same pace.

FAQ's for Students

How long does the program take?

6 weeks part-time, ½ day per week

Why can’t you do the program in 3 days full-time?

We did try this a few years ago and found the students had difficulty retaining all the newly acquired information.  We found by spreading the work-load across 6 weeks…  students have time to practice was has been taught.

What year at University / TAFE should I be in before commencing the program?

You can commence the program anytime in your final year at University or TAFE.  Ideally, you should have finished the first 2 years (of a 3 year program) because it is easier to train a group of students who are all at the same level.

The reason we can complete your program within 6 weeks is because you already have theoretical knowledge.   It is our job to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

What is included in the program?

  • Practical Experience  with a Real Company’s data
  • 5 year career plan
  • CV preparation
  • Exemplar Skills Test – before and after
  • Interview Preparation
  • Connections with Employers
  • Face-to-Face Networking at a live event
  • Ongoing assistance with getting a job

Ongoing Career Coach and Advisor

Due to our years of experience in accounting, we look at your 5 year career plan and ensure you choose the right companies and jobs to ensure your resume matches what you are trying to achieve.

How do we help?

Before commencing the program, we will interview you by Skype and then in person.  We will not take you on our program unless we believe you are employable.

We can teach you the practical skills, but you must be presentable and able to communicate well with Employers.  If this is not the case, you will not understand directions given to you by an Employer and you will not be able to communicate with their Clients.

You may have to answer phones or send emails or otherwise communicate with the outside world.  Our Clients are your Employers.  They have very clearly indicated to us this is an essential requirement.

How long does the Exemplar Skills Test take?

This is a 60 minute timed test that can be taken in our office. It is online and tests for practical skills which you don’t have yet. Do not worry if your results are not high at this stage, we re-test you at completion of the program and you will end up with a higher result.

The purpose of the final test is to prove to employers you have skills required to do the tasks that we have taught you during the program.

Can I study for the test?

No, it is based on practical skills.   Unless you have real life experience in a job… there is no book that can prepare you for what is required in a real job with systems and procedures.

What happens if I fail the skills test?

It is not a pass / fail type test.  The trainers use the results to tailor the program to your requirements.  At completion of the program, you will be given another opportunity to complete the skills test.

The result will provide evidence you have improved your skill level as a direct result of completing the program.  The certificate can be used to indicate your strengths and weaknesses in over 15 key areas.

This is the perfect tool for Employers to use as either a training or recruitment tool.

I will be working in a Tax Accounting firm, so how will this program benefit me?

The Exemplar Job Ready Program prepares you for the work-force.  You will learn essential legislative issues and jargon that is used in any Accounting related job.

From an employer’s perspective, the more basic, core-level skills you learn, the less time they will need to invest in having to train you on these issues.

Some students get jobs as interns and end up answering telephones or filing because the employer does not have time to train you.

How much does the program cost?

The cost is $2,500 +GST, but if you get a job through our Job Board… most of this fee will be reimbursed by the Employer. This is individual to each employer, but it is part of the training costs they would have spent anyway by training you themselves. It actually saves them time & money and it is a tax deductible expense.

What type of work can I get at completion of the program?

The program opens you up to a wide variety of work including part-time, casual, full-time and temporary work.

We prepare you for payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank reconciliations and legislative issues including GST.  This will be displayed on your CV / resume as real experience and is similar to a mini internship.

What software is used in the program?

We use MYOB desktop software with a pre-prepared database. We introduce you to other products too and show you how you can apply the same concepts to any accounting program… including Xero, Saasu, Quickbooks, Reckon, SAP, JD Edwards… it doesn’t matter which one.

As an Accountant, clients will ask you which software is best to use.  In reality, it is important to understand all products before you can advise a client what to use.  It depends on a lot of things including the industry they are in, whether they sell products or services, whether they are wholesale versus retail, etc.   Small, medium and large clients will also have different needs and sometimes have unique accounting programs specifically designed for their industry or franchise system.

How does this help me with getting a job as an Accountant?

If you attend an interview and can answer questions relating to the material we teach you, this will prove you have not just memorised information but have actually done the job.  There is a difference and Employers can tell.

During the program, you complete a full set of accounts up to Bank Reconciliation.  Everyone has a computer or lap-top in front of them and we work at the same pace.

The more you practice your newly acquired skills, the easier it will be to apply those skills to the work place.  The final result to your skills test will be a secondary measurement and an independent report evidencing your practical skills.  We give you a workbook and reference manual to take home and recommend you continue practicing what you have learnt.

How does Exemplar help me to find a job at the end of the program?

We invite Employers to become a member on our Exemplar Job Board which is a portal they can use to see the profiles of students who have completed the program.  These Employers are looking for students with practical experience.

We also meet Employers at networking events and spread the word by talking to business owners about the program. Everyone we speak to thinks it’s a great idea… including lecturers, TAFE teachers. Business people we have spoken to in Marketing, Legal & IT firms say they wished it had of been around when they entered the workforce.

There is a limit of 10 students per class so we have a high success rate with placing students in jobs. At completion of the program, there is also the opportunity to come into our office in Botany to practice your skills if you feel you need some further guidance. Once you are at a level where we can charge you out by the hour, there are opportunities to get involved with BeanCounters 2U… our Bookkeeping and Accounting services business.

There is a constant demand of Employers who want to hire our trained students.  Employers are willing to pay a small recruitment fee plus they are willing to reimburse your fees.

This is negotiable based on each employer, but you are able to accept or decline an offer of employment.

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