Organisation: Australian Electoral Commission
Job Title: Accounts Officer
Location: National Office, Canberra
Supports/Shapes strategic direction • Shows judgement, intelligence and common sense; •
Harnesses information and follows processes; • Thinks laterally, identifies and implements
improved work practices; and • Supports shared purpose and direction.
As one of the largest global real estate service companies in the world, DTZ relies on its staff to
think, plan and act strategically. My current role as Property Accountant and my previous role as
Energy Database Administrator are no exception. During my role as Energy Database
Administrator, I was responsible for the Optus client account with DTZ, and managed processes
and communication relating to their account. I passed this account onto a new manager when I
became Property Accountant. Unfortunately, there have been a significant number of problems
since then and I have now been asked to go back and re-train the manager and the team to look
after the Optus account properly. There has been a distinct lack of strategy and common sense
since I left this role and this has culminated in Optus being an unhappy customer as a result.
To rectify the issues, I have gathered a broad range of information from staff and systems, collated
this information and am overseeing the determination about what actually went wrong as well as
fixing the problems. It would appear that there has not been enough checking and quality control
at the last stage of the process, and some of the statements to Optus simply should not have been
sent out unchecked.
I have performed training within the department now looking after the Optus account around
improvement of processes and practices and have monitored their progress over time. Within this
training, I have made a point of explaining why the process of getting the Optus account right is
the best thing for our company, this department and also the Optus client. If DTZ were to lose the
Optus account, it would make a significant negative impact on the organisation.
Sitting with the manager until the end of this month, I am proactively managing and training him
to manage the processes for the account, have ensured he understands the types of judgement
decisions he needs to make and in doing so have instilled a sense of strategic direction which the
team and manager were lacking previously.
Achieves results • Demonstrates professional knowledge and expertise of accounts payable and
receivable functions. • Is responsive to direction and changes in client and stakeholder needs; •
Provides courteous, prompt and professional service to clients; • Commits to providing quality
outcomes and adheres to established procedures; and • Demonstrates an ability to work under
My professional accounts payable knowledge and expertise have been demonstrated through my
role at UGL Services in 2011 and 2012 and at Rydges Hotel Group prior to that time. With both of
these Accounts Officer roles, I was responsible for the processing of invoices, checking invoices for
accuracy and dealing with clients should there be any issues. At Rydges, I performed both
accounts payable and receivable tasks, including preparation of reporting for our Sydney head
office, daily banking, credit card reconciliation and verifications, liaison with debtors, creditors and
Working under pressure at Rydges Hotel Group, we had 24 and 48 hour turnarounds on invoices
for some clients and these deadlines needed to be met at all times in line with their contracts with
the company. In addition, I was responsible for dealing directly with clients if they had issues with
their accounts service levels or payment amounts and made sure I provided them with a high level
of professional service at all times. During this time, I achieved a value of only 2% of accounts
receivable outstanding amounts, a figure of which I am proud.
Within my current role as Property Manager with DTZ, I have a schedule of tasks to follow for each
and every one of my clients which enables me to meet their deadlines and requests. This schedule
includes bank balance checks and reporting to clients, balance sheet checks and reporting, rent
role reminders for commercial premises, funds requests, property and energy accrual amounts
and reporting, and weekly energy reports. I manage my time within this timeline to ensure tasks
are completed ahead of time, in case any unexpected work comes in. On numerous occasions, I
have been asked to assist a fellow Property Manager with some of their overflow work, and only
because I am already up to date can I afford the time to assist them, providing quality outcomes
across my and their portfolios.
Supports/Cultivates productive working relationships • Builds and maintains positive
relationships with key stakeholders; • Works collaboratively and recognises different
perspectives; • Shares information and ensures key stakeholders are kept well informed; and •
Values the knowledge and ability of others.
Within my current role as Property Accountant at DTZ, I work within a team which works together
to support one another. For example, if one property accountant is going to be away, or is off
work due to illness, the others can step in and keep their account happy whilst they’re away. We
meet regularly to update one another on our workload and ask for assistance if there is a busy
period coming up. I have assisted numerous others on the team to get their client reports out on
time whilst my own workload was minimal. By fostering and maintaining relationships within this
team, I can rely on any one of them to assist me when required and vice versa.
Key stakeholders within my role are external stakeholders within the client organisation that are
part of my portfolio. Each Property Accountant is assigned a portfolio of clients to look after. I
have developed relationships with numerous key people within each of my clients, to ensure I can
communicate any issues or problems with them, or assist them with anything related to their
contract with DTZ. Being clients, they have a different perspective to myself and I am able to listen
and understand this perspective before working on solutions for them. I provide a broad range of
information to clients in both a scheduled and non-scheduled way as required, including bank
balance and balance sheet checks and reporting, rent role information and energy accruals
amongst others. In addition, if the client has an issue, I will find the information required to sort
the issue and share this information appropriately with the client.
During my previous role managing the Optus account, I also demonstrated my ability to build trust
with clients and stakeholders through expert customer service and accurate billing. When I left
this role to take up my current role, the contact staff at Optus were not pleased that I would not
be managing their account any longer, demonstrating the positive relationship I had with them. In
most accounts, there would be a property manager sitting between clients and the Energy
Reporting Team, however Optus was different in this regard and I dealt with this client personally.
Within my current role, I have built relationships with the facility managers, finance manager and
property managers and have needed to gain assistance from all of these people on behalf of
clients within my portfolio. Again, by respecting others’ positions and expert knowledge, I have
developed positive working relationships with them and therefore can get the job done easily.
Displays personal drive and integrity • Takes personal responsibility for accurate completion of
work and for meeting objectives within set timeframes; • Demonstrates an ability to learn new
tasks and processes quickly; and • Demonstrates public service professionalism as required by
the APS Values and APS Code of Conduct.
I have proven my ability to take responsibility for the completion and accuracy of work through my
current task of training a team to ensure accuracy in the Optus account management. As I
mentioned earlier, since taking over the account from myself, there has been an array of issues
stemming from inaccurate billing and statements not being checked before going out the client. I
have spent a considerable amount of time to work out what went wrong since I left the portfolio
and have discussed with the manager, how we are going to fix the problem. My own desire to
ensure the issues are fixed and to install a range of strategies in the staff to ensure this will not
happen again is testament to the drive and integrity I hold.
I have a good understanding of the APS Code of Conduct and values and believe they align well
with my own values. I take pride in my professional approach to my work and my ability to deliver
for clients through a service mentality and proactive attitude to understand their perspective.
Having current responsibility for 5-7 large clients at any one time, I have delivered all reporting
and information to the client within set timeframes and have successfully met all objectives set by
both my employer and my clients.
Moving from Accounts Officer positions to Energy Database Administrator and now Property
Accountant, I have demonstrated my ability to learn new tasks and processes and use these within
my work. In addition, I have completed high level qualifications in Professional Accounting and
Marketing which also demonstrate my ability to learn new things. Particularly in studying my
Master in Professional Accounting, I was required to show complete accuracy and correctness to
be able to complete my qualifications successfully.
As Property Accountant, I have taken responsibility for reporting across my clients, including the
processes of checking payments from clients and matching in our system, checking invoices
processed by the accounts payable team for accuracy, collecting revenue from clients, performing
bank balance and bank statement checks for accuracy, matching of refunds with our system,
preparing budgets, accruals and financial position reports to clients. All of these tasks and more
are new to me in my role, however I have been able to learn them quickly and ensure they are
correct before going out to the client.
Communicates with influence • Confidently presents information in a clear, concise and
articulate manner; • Listens carefully; • Actively participates in team planning and discussions;
and • Resolves issues promptly and identifies potential solutions to key problems.
I possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills and can adapt my communication style
dependent on my audience to ensure understanding. During my tenure at Rydges Hotel Group, I
demonstrated my negotiation and influencing skills, particularly with challenging and difficult
customers. As accounts officer there, I was responsible for tracking accounts receivable and
ensuring payment was made. Often, the client would argue the point and I would need to go
through the contract with them to ensure their understanding of the terms and conditions.
Usually, this meant the client would then agree to pay the outstanding amount without a fuss.
Through my experience of directly dealing with some difficult clients, it is best to allow them to
calm down and get their problem out, before recounting what you think they are saying and
letting them know what you are going to do about it. Most customers, if they are at the point
where they have had enough, just want to know that someone has listened to them before
assuming they know what the problem is. I listen, I understanding and then I act.
During my role in Accounts Payable, I have dealt with numerous customers who have been
demanding payment on invoices that, for whatever reason, are yet to be paid. When dealing with
these clients, I will apologise first to ensure they are calm, and then look into the issue for them
about why it has not been paid. In my experience, by apologising, the person usually will back
down and work with me to find a solution.
Within my current role, we meet regularly as a team to discuss and plan for our team, including
spreading the workload when one person has a very busy reporting week coming up and others
are available to assist. I contribute to the discussion through reporting on my work and assist
others to solve problems they might be having with their clients.
The most significant problem I have been solving is to improve the performance of the team now
managing the Optus account. I have been able to successfully pinpoint some of the issues in terms
of incorrect billing and checking for accuracy, and implement processes and ensure staff are
following them. This has already made a difference with the client, and will continue to do so
whilst I am there managing this process.
Desirable • Experience in an accounts processing role in the APS, or other relevant experience.
My experience in accounts processing has been gained through numerous accounts payable and
accounts receivable positions. Specifically, I have worked as Accounts Payable Officer for UGL
Services and DTZ, as well as Accounts Officer for Rydges Hotel Group where I was responsible for
both accounts payable and receivable.
Within these two roles, I have been responsible for the following tasks:
– Accounts receivable and payable tasks
– The preparation of accounts receivable and payable reports for the Sydney Head Office
– Financial management and processing tasks, including daily banking, credit card
reconciliation and verification of daily revenue
– Liaison with debtors, creditors and clients in relation to all accounting enquiries
– Issuing and dispatching invoices to debtors on time
– Verifying and adjusting invoices
– Tracing accounts receivable and ensuring all outstanding amounts are followed up and
– Ensuring invoices are paid on a weekly basis, and suppliers receive their payments within
– Undertaking general administration including maintaining and updating the guest
database, archiving old data and files, processing and generating all month end reports,
and managing the month-end accrual process
– Processing energy invoices to meet each payment run (numerous payment runs each day)
– Communicating with landlords and major energy suppliers if any issues are discovered on
– Reconciling Energy Account with outstanding amounts and undertaking customer service
tasks including attending to supplier requests for payment dates and provision of
remittance advice as requested.