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Vault’s Verdict

Part of the prestigious Big 4, KPMG is ideally looking for highly intelligent, dependable, self-motivated, quick-learning candidates with strong interpersonal skills, a strong work ethic, and a desire to improve. KPMG runs a valuable internship program for students, offering interns extensive interaction with professionals, great training, significant real-world experience, and the ability to work with various clients, learn different industries, and understand different aspects of the audit, tax and advisory business, and business process groups. For its full-time professionals, KPMG offers many development opportunities, including helpful formal and on-the-job training and a very clear and fair promotion process.

While busy seasons typically mean more work and thus longer hours, finding healthy work/life balance during and especially after busy season is increasingly attainable. Insiders rave about the flexibility with respect to hybrid work and time off—KPMG offers very generous PTO to its staff. Meanwhile, compensation is competitive, and benefits are plentiful. Paternity leave and wellness benefits get especially high marks from insiders.

Although there are extensive initiatives in place to improve diversity and the firm is rather diverse and committed to DEI, insiders say the firm could improve its diversity at the higher levels. And with respect to business outlook, KPMG is doing well and has solid strategies in place to continue to grow.

EMPLOYEE REVIEWS

Hiring Process

“We want to see individuals who not only have a background in accounting and are on a path to receive their CPA but also those who can think critically, problem solve, are flexible, are open to learning, are coachable, have positive attitudes about coming to work, take feedback and criticism well, and understand the value of their more experienced colleagues and willingly take advice and direction from them.”

“We truthfully need more candidates who are open to learning and have strong interpersonal skills from the beginning. Give me a highly intelligent employee with weak interpersonal skills and I will give you a skilled worker. Give me an average intelligence employee with strong interpersonal skills and I will give you a leader.”

“The firm is seeking an individual who is self-motivated, confident in social settings, dependable, and a quick learner.”

“Interview was similar to other firms in that it was a conversation between me and the reviewer and wasn’t too intense. I liked that style of interview and thought it worked well because we could probably determine a person’s qualifications mostly off resume. I think we are looking for people who are smart and capable obviously, but a real differentiator is a person’s work ethic and their desire to improve and learn.”

Interview Questions

“Mostly behavioral questions to ensure the candidate is motivated and has the base for success.”

Internship Experience

“KPMG did an amazing job of getting us connected with professionals within the firm. The intern training program was incredibly helpful.”

“Best aspect was the interaction with professionals. I asked a lot of questions and got to refine what service line and industry I wanted to pursue based on my life goals. We also did real work and got training that helped me to apply my education to the real world. On the downside was the pressure/imposter syndrome from performing real audit work and not really fully knowing what to do. And the amount of on-the-job training makes you feel like you're pretty lost for a while.”

“The best aspect of my internship experience was the ability to work on multiple clients, which helped me meet different teams, learn different industries, and understand different aspects of the audit. The worst part was that I did a summer internship and there were periods of time where they didn't have a lot of work for me to complete so I did a lot of trainings.”

“The best part was being able to work on meaningful areas to get experience and feeling I contributed. I also enjoyed the social aspect. The worst part was not knowing beforehand I would be on a client out of the city and felt like I wasted money on living expenses.”

Career Development

“So many opportunities. Most people are willing to help you find the opportunities you are seeking, even within the current role. I have always felt well supported from multiple sources, many built in by the firm. However, it can be the luck of the draw with scheduling. It can hurt your long-term development if you are on a series of short engagements.”

“We have career advisors that help you refine where you want to move in the organization. I think it is becoming less political/gatekept surrounding mobility within the company, which I think is great.”

“I like that we get an opportunity to regularly travel to KPMG's Lakehouse facility in Florida for training and there are tons of opportunities to participate in trainings, certification programs, and technology pilot programs to upskill. KPMG also offers a lot of mentoring programs, particularly through BRGs.”

“The on-the-job training and formal training that takes place throughout the year is extensive and typically very helpful in developing professionally. With that said, there are some trainings required to be taken that are not as effective.”

Quality of Life

“The flexibility is great, both from a hybrid work and time off perspective. My supervisors consistently encourage us to use our time wisely and to feel empowered to take time to take care of personal things and work in our own time as needed, as long as work is getting done. In non-busy season, I have a great balance, and even now in busy season it is significantly better and more flexible than in the past due to improvements in the firm’s engagement management. I feel like I have a life in January and February now.”

“Best: The huge number of paid holidays (I think 18) plus four to five weeks of PTO depending on your level. Local leadership and direct managers place an emphasis on taking that PTO and respecting your time away. Worst: Given the nature of the job, client interactions can sometimes be difficult. However, I would always say that the good client relationships have always outweighed the difficult, and the difficult provide the best learning opportunities for soft skills to make you a better professional overall, no matter what job or company you’re at in the future.”

“Busy seasons obviously contain more work and therefore longer hours. Outside of busy season, the rest of the year is calm and relaxing, so far. KPMG provides a great amount of PTO in addition to summer and winter shutdowns (two weeks).”

“A lot of vacation time, a lot of flexibility in work location. Sometimes long hours. I’m very busy only in January and February; the remaining of the year I work about 45 hours a week.”

Salary and Benefits

“We receive 18 paid holidays plus four weeks of PTO in your first year on the job. After several years, you move to five weeks of PTO. This is HUGE. We have a very flexible work environment depending on your level. Of course, a brand new first-year associate or intern is going to need to be in person with their colleagues to learn, given our apprenticeship model. However, after just a short amount of time, if you build your rapport with your teams, there is a huge amount of flexibility in terms of work hours and work location. While salaries are higher than they used to be, bonuses (for anyone below partner) still seem on the low end compared to what you could make if you worked in industry.”

“I think the pay is adequate in the ever-competitive market. There are a lot of perks and benefits, including a good amount of vacation time.”

“Medical benefits are okay, but flexibility and vacation time are great.”

“PTO and paternity leave are very generous. Additionally, meals are paid for when in the office. I think I get paid well overall, but when you look at the hours and stress put in, I’m not sure the pay is adequate.”

Wellness Efforts

“The firm provides a number of seminars, in person and virtually, on mental health, physical health, and other wellness topics. We have entire committees dedicated to planning health and wellness events in the office, and these occur frequently. The firm also offers many free counseling and other mental health benefits, such as pairing new parents with life coaches, providing free/low-cost backup care for both children and elder parents of the professional, etc. There are so many benefits that the firm provides.”

“The firm has many opportunities to learn about how to support your well-being. They also provide 10 free counseling sessions per year. While these are great, I believe there is still great room for improvement.”

“The firm offers virtual wellness classes occasionally. There are a lot of available perks, and it is on the employee to find the perk that suits them.”

“The firm offers ample resources in regard to health and wellness. I will say some of the snacks in the Thrive Café may not be the healthiest, but the firm is doing a great job overall.”

Diversity, Philanthropy, and Green Initiatives

“Great initiatives to improve diversity, but we’re not seeing all the results at the top levels quite yet. I do feel that everyone is committed to it. Great involvement with the community and philanthropic efforts, including our own literacy initiative that I’ve been able to be part of.”

“We have entire committees nationwide dedicated to various mentoring efforts for minority and other backgrounds (such as veterans). There are specific support programs and mentoring programs set up to connect these individuals and help enable them to find success in the workplace.”

“While there is a lot of diversity already at the firm, I would like to see more diversity.”

“We have a lot of social programs, and the company does very well at supporting ESG and D&I.”

Business Outlook

“A lot of our business is dependent on the market doing transactions, which is hard to predict, and it’s uncertain how 2024 will be. However, a job in audit is generally pretty safe—we have our recurring book of business as the majority of our work (as compared to advisory where recurring work is the exception).”

“Seems like everything is going well, and we’ve adopted strategies to improve in the market. The weakness is just how we always hear vague corporate speak on the outlook and don’t really get any information on how things are going.”

“There are no doubts that go-to market initiatives are hard, but younger employees would definitely like an eye into this world and see their partners ‘shoot for the moon.’ We are a large global firm with many bright minds. It seems that our best minds in any given aspect are not known, and if it was possible to have this be known I think people could leverage each other on a go-to-market standpoint to ‘pull in X who is one of the best at the firm for Y.’”

“Public accounting is growing and changing every year as technology becomes more enhanced, which is allowing us at KPMG to learn new tricks and optimize our deliverables. This allows for easier input to produce an even better output than before.”

KPMG LLP

345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154-0102
Phone: (212) 758-9700

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private Partnership
Chair & CEO: Paul Knopp
2024 Employees (All Locations): 36,000

Major Office Locations

New York, NY
National
Global

Major Departments & Practices

Advisory
Audit
Tax