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KSM (Katz, Sapper & Miller)


Vault’s Verdict

KSM is looking for positive, open-minded, proactive, individuals who have good problem-solving skills and are willing to learn on the fly. KSM runs a very effective internship program in which students get hands-on experience, a good look at what a full-time role with the firm is like, and access to senior staff members who are willing to help. For its full-time staff, KSM offers many opportunities to gain technical and professional skills, access to mentors, and the ability to grow in a supportive, helpful environment, filled with seniors who care about juniors’ development.

Like at most public accounting firms, busy season hours can be long, and it can be difficult to achieve work/balance during busy season. However, outside the busy tax season, a healthy work/life balance is easily achieved. The firm’s PTO policy gets rave reviews from insiders, who say they have no trouble unplugging while on vacation. Also, there is a general understanding of personal commitments, there are ‘unplug days’ where the entire firm unplugs, and staff receive a lot of schedule flexibility, including remote and hybrid work options.

Salaries and benefits are very competitive, and there are retention bonuses and promotion bonuses. The firm’s number of PTO days offered gets very good reviews from insiders (a favorite benefit), and KSM offers many wellness benefits, including counseling, firmwide exercise competitions, and health and wellness monetary incentives. Meanwhile, although KSM is not that diverse currently, DEI is a focus of the firm, and it is actively working to become more diverse. As for the firm’s business outlook, KSM has been constantly growing the past few years, it has a solid management team in place, it has a loyal client base, and it is well positioned to continue to grow and succeed for the foreseeable future.


Hiring Process

“I started with an on-campus interview with our talent coordinator. I then was called back to do two in-office interviews with two separate partners. I believe we are looking for candidates who come in open-minded and ready to learn on the fly. There is no expectation when you join as a college student.”

“The firm has a quick turnaround time and does not ‘ghost’ candidates. They also ask those in the roles to help interview and offer their opinions. The ideal candidate is someone who knows the technical aspects and meshes well with the group. We want someone who is willing to learn.”

“I believe KSM is seeking a proactive, positive individual who has good problem-solving skills. Even if technical accounting knowledge is lacking, these soft skills are extremely valuable. Technical knowledge is easier to teach if the individual has an open mind and willingness to learn.”

“My interview experience was a bit different since I had a couple touchpoints with KSM prior to applying. I initially interviewed at a college career fair and then traveled to the office to interview with two tax directors. Everyone was friendly. Interviews were conversational yet professional. I felt like the interview process gave me a good glimpse into the firm culture. I have heard from several people at KSM that our company is not necessarily looking for the candidate with the best resume or most impressive credentials. My company instead looks for positive, upbeat individuals who are looking to learn and work with others. I believe this is why our culture is so positive.”

Interview Questions

“Would you consider yourself more of an innovator or doer? Provide a relevant example that supports your answer. Provide a specific example when you had to handle a tough problem which challenged fairness or ethical issues. Share a situation where your own trustworthiness was challenged. How did you react/respond? Where do you draw the line when it comes to these issues? Tell me about a time when you had to juggle several competing projects at the same time, all with the same deadlines. How did you organize your time? What was the result? What was the best piece of advice you have been given and share several examples of how you have incorporated this into your life. Describe a situation when you had to overcome a number of obstacles to achieve an objective.”

“Describe a situation in which you had to resolve conflict. What was something you learned about yourself in your previous job? Explain a time in which you demonstrated your top strengths.”

“What values do you seem to prioritize? What excites you most about public accounting? What do you feel is your biggest strength/weakness? Where do you stand on work/life balance?”

“During each interview, there are two required questions that are asked specific to core behaviors we look for in our employees. Example behaviors include problem-solver, team player, integrity, and drive. We get to know the employee personally and be sure they understand our culture, as culture is a significant priority. We also ask some generic professional history problem solving.”

Internship Experience

“The best aspect of the internship was being treated like a full-time staff. Our firm has little differences from staff to intern, so as an intern, you get to feel like you are part of the team and completing work that actually matters. Everyone was super helpful in the learning stages, even in busy season.”

“The best aspects of my busy season internship experience were being able able to work in audit most of the time but also working in tax (which allowed me to experience multiple types of services) and the people at KSM were always eager to help answer my questions despite the internship being during busy season. My experience was a close equivalent to that of a first-year associate, so I knew what to expect when I joined full time.”

“I participated in two internships over two busy seasons, and both times I was still enrolled in classes. KSM was flexible with my schedule and allowed me to pursue both education and experience at the same time. The teams were so wonderful to work with; the only downside was that there was sometimes not enough work to go around. But that’s a good problem to have every once in a while!”

“Hands-on experience preparing tax returns. I felt like my work was meaningful and prepared me for the future. I had a great experience during my internship.”

Career Development

“Leaders genuinely take an interest in your career development. And the firm has made a lot of investments in this area, particularly the hiring of our Director of Workplace Culture and Employee Experience, who has helped us tremendously with working on our career development practices and using personality profile data to help understand and shape our teams.”

“The firm’s leaders are constantly listening to what I want to achieve in my career and my interests within the firm. It genuinely feels like my leaders want me to work where I have the strongest desire because that is best for me and also allows me to do my best work.”

“KSM does a great job of giving me access to new information and higher-ups. I feel like I have opportunities to interact with clients and superiors that a lot of staff at other firms lack. The downside is that promotions and the like don't have a clearly communicated structure.”

“KSM offers a lot of opportunities to gain more technical and professional skills, and they push their employees towards such. KSM’s mentorship program is very helpful, especially as a young professional, as it provides me with a point person for advice on my career path. KSM is diligent with developing their talent and ensuring they are moving up in accordance with their skillset. There is not much variety in how one can move up the ranks, but that is fairly characteristic of accounting as a whole.”

Quality of Life

“We work in a demanding profession, but we try and balance the demands of the job with the demands we all have in our lives. We strive for work/life integration by providing flexibility with when, where, and how we work. Our industry has very stressful deadline seasons and thus it is critical that we get time away to recuperate. KSM has very generous PTO policies and also instituted ‘unplug days’ where the entire firm is encouraged to close their electronics so that we have time to unplug from the demands of serving our clients.”

“The best aspect of the quality of life at KSM is the firm’s understanding when personal issues arise and being very understanding when issues come up. They also encourage us to take our PTO and not respond to emails while on PTO. They even encourage us to take small breaks during busy season to decompress for a short while.”

“The work/life balance here is better than at most public accounting firms. Talking with my peers, I have a much more manageable workload, and I am almost never contacted outside of reasonable hours for work (aside from busy season, of course). However, the workload can be very inconsistent. I often feel like I go from weeks where I am working long hours and struggling to meet deadlines to weeks where I am desperately looking for more ways to meet my chargeable hours goal.”

“KSM is the gold standard in public accounting for respecting and actively promoting the use of PTO. I have never once felt that I could not take PTO as long as I planned properly around client deadlines and communicated with my engagement teams proactively. If I do these things, then there is no pressure to check anything work-related while on PTO. Also, KSM gives employees the option to work under a modified work arrangement, which means that an individual can work less than a typical busy season workload. This is desirable for those who may need more balance at home and are willing to sacrifice a little bit from a compensation/raise perspective.”

Salary and Benefits

“Overall, I think I am compensated well and receive good benefits. Since I had children, KSM has been extremely flexible with the hours that I work and allows me to take time off when there are daycare problems or sick kids. I am extremely grateful for this.”

“KSM's compensation is very competitive with the market. The benefits are good for a public accounting firm, especially the vacation time which is use it or lose it. Vacation time is 27 days after three years with the firm, and each employee has 10 holidays per year (three of which are floating). Finally, there are one to two firm-wide ‘unplug’ days added each year the day after a deadline, which is very appreciated.”

“Our compensation packages are extremely attractive. The firm does a great job retaining talent with compensation. We also receive retention bonuses and promotion bonuses. Education assistance is a new program that’s been another huge contribution. Our ESOP holds the most long-term value considering that our share price increases so much every year. Paternity leave is also great here. Worst aspect of perks could include no on-site childcare or childcare assistance programs. As difficult as it is to pay for and/or find, that would be a great benefit to see in the future to help alleviate ‘having a family’ be a reason for employee turnover.”

“The amount of vacation time is certainly the best benefit offered. Additionally, KSM does ‘unplug days,’ which are firmwide shutdowns that encourage employees to take the day off. These occur a few times throughout the year and do not count as using your PTO. Also, KSM is very understanding of remote and hybrid work arrangements. I would like to see more of a match for our 401(k), but I understand this is partially due to KSM being an ESOP.”

Wellness Efforts

“Over the past couple years, the firm has expanded its offering for wellness benefits, including SupportLinc,, financial programs, etc. I think that it is great that we’re looking at our employees in different dimensions and trying to provide resources to fit various needs.”

“KSM does a really respectable job of this in my opinion. We have several firmwide competitions each year relating to exercise, we offer summer sports, we are incentivized to get wellness checks quarterly, and we have an in-office gym at one office location. I think there could be improvement in nutrition education and promoting mental health.”

“The firm offers free counseling through a mental health platform. The firm also offers quarterly monetary incentives for evidence that its employees are maintaining their mental, physical, and financial health. I think KSM could do better with physical and mental health by having firm-sponsored events that directly implement some good associated practices.”

“KSM has a program called CORE that focuses on the well-being of the employees, whether that is mental well-being, financial well-being, or health. There are incentives each quarter to get involved with different programs.”

Diversity, Philanthropy, and Green Initiatives

“Diversity is a focus in our firm. We have a large committee broken up into smaller committees to focus on DEI efforts. But there is little effort regarding environmental initiatives. We have recycling, but I don’t think the ‘recycling’ actually gets recycled.”

“The firm has made tangible strides lately. The diversity of the firm right now, however, is low. Although, I think this is more an issue with the profession at large, and not just a KSM issue.”

“The firm is very active in charitable giving and encourages employees to get involved. Not a significant amount of diversity, but some of that can be attributed to the area of the country, paired with a pipeline of talent. Firm is always actively working to become more diverse. I like seeing many women in leadership positions here but would like to see more diversity/representation in the partner team.”

“The accounting industry in general lacks diversity and inclusion. However, I would say KSM is very receptive when it comes to most aspects of diversity and inclusion, they are just lacking in the effectiveness in their approaches. I know of very few marginalized groups represented in leadership positions within the firm. However, the firm does have groups to focus on diversity itself that includes such marginalized individuals and brings awareness to several different groups.”

Business Outlook

“KSM has been consistently growing throughout the past few years, and I can tell that our leadership is passionate about our firm and its continual growth. Our marketing department clearly does their job well in terms of expanding our clientele, and I expect that with growth, both in personnel and clientele, the firm will continue to be successful.”

“I feel very confident in our firm's current outlook. The labor market and lack of talent in the labor market (in general, not KSM-specific) is my concern to keep up with our business growth. However, I am confident that our firm is doing everything they can to attract talent.”

“We have an amazing client base, and our services are in high demand. Our CEO Tim Cook seems to have appreciation for what the KSM employees do to make KSM profitable.”

“Firm leadership is transparent and approachable. We have a strong outlook, good financials, and a solid pipeline of work. Expect continued growth for years to come.”

KSM (Katz, Sapper & Miller)

800 East 96th Street
Suite 500
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Phone: (317) 580-2000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Unknown
CEO and President: Tim Cook
COO and Partner: Jamie Ellis

Major Office Locations

Indianapolis, IN
Evansville, IN
Fort Wayne, IN
New York, NY
Oklahoma City, OK

Major Departments & Practices

Audit & Assurance