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KPMG Graduate Scheme Review

  • Work/Life Balance

  • Practical Skills Learnt

  • Live Up To Expectations

What area do you work at in KPMG and what does that department cover?

I work in the business services & transport department within corporate audit. This covers the auditing of property & infrastructure clients, general business services clients and transport clients.

What exams have you had to take since you have been at KPMG and how do they help you in terms of studying for those exams?

I have taken 9 exams so far which involve 6 multiple choice "knowledge based" exams ranging from tax to law to assurance and the first 3 of the 6 "application based exams". I am currently studying for the second 3 of those 6 now. The majority of the exams require a tuition course and a revision course at Kaplan College in London. Some of the exams only require a "self-study" few days off where you teach the material to yourself from the text provided. KPMG fund the college and the taking of the exams (only of the first time, if you fail then you must pay for the retake).

Did you always know that you want to go in to accountancy or did you have different ambition before you went to KPMG?

I wouldn't say I always knew I wanted to go into accountancy however I am strong with numbers and not as much with essay based subjects. This led me to study maths based A-levels and then go on to study Finance & Accountancy at uni. I then did an internship in my second summer of uni, which led to me getting offered a job at KPMG.

What do you believe accountancy offers you that perhaps other careers you considered don't offer?

Accountancy is a profession that can offer a good work/life balance. I never saw the point in going into an investment bank and earning loads of money to then never have the time or energy to spend it. Don't get me wrong there are times that I work longer hours and there are also some departments that seem to work longer hours however on the whole I think there is a good social life and work life balance.

Why KPMG over other competitors?

If I'm being honest I chose KPMG because they offered me an internship before anyone else and there isn't really much difference between the big 4. I did like the feel of the company having said that and had heard them to be a sociable and "good to their employees" kind of company.

How long are your hours and does everybody work similar hours?

My hours can vary quite a bit. Between January and end of march it is audits "busy season" due to lots of companies having their year ends at 31st December. During this period I would usually be working from 8.30 until 9ish but again this can vary depending on the client and situation. A bad day can mean working as late as 11 and a good day you will be out by half 6. The rest of the year is more relaxed working from 9 until anywhere between 5.30 and 6.30 unless you get unlucky. There is a department within audit called financial services who audit the banks etc. who seem to work "busy season" hours most of the year so I'm pleased I avoided that sector.

How big is the team you work within and how does the experience and age groups vary?

Each department has a range of people from first year up to partner and has about 75 people in them. There are lots of departments though.

If you had the choice now to change one thing about your role what would it be?

If I could change one thing about my role it would be to have a bit more variety i.e. to maybe rotate out of audit occasionally.

What 3 words would you use to describe life at KPMG?

3 words to describe life at KPMG would be hardworking, sociable and rewarding.

And finally, how much do you socialize with those you work with?

I socialize a reasonable amount with my colleagues. Every month there is a departmental social, which is organized by our departments social committee. This can range from a pub of the month to a full on event like a boat party. This is funded by annual contributions. As well as this I tend to see my year group for a drink relatively often and at birthdays etc.






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