A Teenager In the Accounting World – Meet Madeline Gaff-Larsen

Being the second intern at illumin8 meant I had big shoes to fill.
At illumin8
by
Brooke Holmes
May 26, 2017

Being the second intern at illumin8 meant I had big shoes to fill.  

When I first started in December last year, Sophia (illumin8’s 2016 intern) spent the month training me. This was my first introduction to cloud based accounting in the business world. We officially swapped over after the Christmas party in Portsea, where we all kayaked in the Port Phillip Bay and farewelled Sophia.  

Within the first month, I learnt (and am still learning!) how to use software such as Xero, XPM, DocuSign and Receipt Bank to complete a range of tasks within the office. It was a huge change from my previous job in retail – where it was constantly repetitive and restricted to only just serving customers on a register. Here at illumin8, I am in a comfortable office with positive vibes from the whole team. Everyone has been so welcoming and awesome at guiding me and helping me with my many questions and queries. There is a great variety of things I am able to do which will progress further as the year goes on.  

I often get asked what I can actually do at illumin8 as I am only a 16 year old, high school student! In the beginning, I was collecting, scanning and sending mail as a starting point. As the weeks went by, I became more confident with understanding the accounting terminology and how we interact with our clients and the Australian Taxation Office. I have been included in on client meetings and have sat with our accountants, viewing the processes of completing Income Tax Returns and Business Activity Statements. This has helped greatly with my studies in Accounting at school as I can contribute to class conversations with my in depth knowledge I’ve gained from my short few months I have been here.  

The way things go about here at illumin8 really interests and impresses me. Operating in the cloud is quite a beneficial business move. Many people from the team here are able to work as efficiently out of the office as in the office. We all can easily communicate with each other in the office and with our clients through email, phone and face to face meetings and even a messenger service called Slack. I also really love how everyone in the team makes connecting with clients and understanding their business (not only an accounting perspective but also a personal perspective) one of their main priorities. The other thing that stood out to me is all of the other little things that we do here to have the best relationships possible with our clients. The team prioritise making our communications with clients more personal. For example, we send birthday messages, celebrate client wins and exciting events of their lives. This took me by surprise, as accountants can sometimes seem to be plain and boring. This is certainly not the case at illumin8!  

Another thing I think is really great is that illumin8 sponsor two children in Kenya, Mary and Edwin. We often exchange letters with them which I feel is very valuable for Mary and Edwin as well as us. Similarly, this year the team at illumin8 took it upon themselves to take part in our new initiative ‘Lightening the Load‘. This in involves the team going to help some of our clients for the afternoon to understand more about them personally and their business.  

It’s such an amazing opportunity to be immersed into the accounting world so early and I am thankful to be working here for 2017. I am thrilled to be a part of the Illumin8 team and hope they can benefit from this experience as much as I will!  

- Maddy

Brooke Holmes

Go-getter. Adventure seeker. Incurable gin lover. Social Media fan.