BA Accounting & Finance, 2019
Can you tell us about your current role?
I work in Accounting advisory services at KPMG. The work is varied with it ranging from providing technical accounting advice, helping big companies with group reorganisations, business change, treasury support and treasury systems implementation as well as providing M&A support. I have also been involved with developing an IFRS chat-bot.
Can you describe a typical day?
Every day is different The grad scheme isn’t really structured, so normally I get in and check my emails to see if I’ve received anything from any of the projects I’m working on. I then meet with the relevant managers to discuss the project and then get to work. I’m currently part of a team providing accounting advice to MARS and this has given me opportunities to travel abroad to Sweden so far.
What was the application process like?
The first stage was completing the online assessments, followed by an audio submission and then the Launchpad which is basically the assessment centre. The Launchpad was surprisingly very relaxed and they continuously told us that we are not competing with one another and that they are simply looking for people who are in line with their values. The Launchpad consisted of a group discussion on technological trends, followed by having to write a written business report on a fictional oil company and then lastly the short interviews. Overall it was a very quick process to get through.
However from my understanding, as of 2019, KPMG have changed their recruitment process, but they still have the Launchpad as the last phase of the recruitment process.
How did the university support you through this process?
I was able to have mock interviews with the careers service and they put me in touch with previous graduates who had recently gone through KPMG’s recruitment process. This made it easy for me to ask questions and know what to expect on the day. I was also lucky enough to have lecturers who had previously worked for the big 4 who were able to give me some good advice.
How do you feel your degree course prepared you for your current job?
I studied Accounting and Finance, and the stuff I learned on the financial reporting modules is what I use on a daily basis. My degree also gave me a big list of exemptions for my ACA exams, however, KPMG only lets you take a certain amount of them and I’m sure it’s the same across all the big 4. Nonetheless the course was structured with the ICAEW exams therefore I feel like it has given me a big advantage over other grads at the firm because I understand the subject matter in a lot more detail.
Why did you choose the University of Liverpool?
The red brick status as well as the exemptions being offered were very appealing. I had never been to Liverpool prior to going there for university but it looked like a beautiful place to explore. 3 years later it is still one of my favourite towns in England.
What was the most rewarding thing about your course, what did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed being able to meet and become friends with people from different parts of the world, and I also enjoyed the teaching quality. We had good lecturers and good after-lecture support to help us in understanding the work. Being exposed to both Accounting and Finance was beneficial as it helped me realise where my interests lied.
What are your future career goals?
I have started working towards my CFA so I am hoping to get both my ACA and CFA around the same time, and I eventually want to go and work in Investment Management and then start and build my own hedge fund back home in South Africa.