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A year and a half into audit at PwC, ask me anything watch

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    Happy to answer any questions about working life, the application process I went through or anything else. I work in audit but have decent knowledge of other areas as well.
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    (Original post by Big4Career1)
    Happy to answer any questions about working life, the application process I went through or anything else. I work in audit but have decent knowledge of other areas as well.
    What's your degree background?

    How did you find the adjustment period when you started, and your first busy season?
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    (Original post by Big4Career1)
    Happy to answer any questions about working life, the application process I went through or anything else. I work in audit but have decent knowledge of other areas as well.
    Do you find it boring and are you planning to stay in it for the long-run?

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    (Original post by Big4Career1)
    Happy to answer any questions about working life, the application process I went through or anything else. I work in audit but have decent knowledge of other areas as well.
    What's pwc as a whole like? are there any divisions you've seen that you feel are more interesting than audit?
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    What's your degree background?
    - Biology. Bit of a change to accounting but hasn't been an issue in anyway. Roughly half of my intake had non finance related degrees.

    How did you find the adjustment period when you started, and your first busy season?
    - The biggest shock for me was having to get up at 8 and go to work for 8 hours compared to just working when it suited me at uni. Found this quite tiring at first but you get used to it.
    - First busy season was nothing too crazy. Sure the hours are longer, maybe 10 hours days for a few weeks but everyone is in it together so there is a good support network. It is very depended on your clients however. I was likely enough to have organised and skilled clients so it made my life easier. Wasn't the case for everyone.

    Do you find it boring and are you planning to stay in it for the long-run?
    Haha to be honest, the day job of checking invoices doesn't particularly excite me. However there are lots of opportunities outside the day job that are more exciting for example some financial charity work I'm doing and also winning new clients. The opportunity to learn about clients and how their businesses run continues to be interesting and useful so I'll probably stay until that stops and by then hopefully I'll have a good idea what else is on offer internally and externally that might interest me.

    What's pwc as a whole like? are there any divisions you've seen that you feel are more interesting than audit?
    - There is a good balance of high expectations and a support systems which can be challenging at times but there are always people who can help you out and even in a short space of time, you learn and develop massively because of this.
    - Business recovery sounds cool. It's helping clients that go into administration or have financial difficulties. The work load can be quite unpredictable if suddenly a client goes bankrupt, but the problems that division deals with sounds interesting to me.
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    (Original post by Big4Career1)
    Happy to answer any questions about working life, the application process I went through or anything else. I work in audit but have decent knowledge of other areas as well.
    Also:

    What were the first three months like (assuming you were a September starter)? Were you able to fully integrate into the working life or did it feel a little disrupted what with going to college and studying for the heavy December exam period?
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    What were the first three months like (assuming you were a September starter)? Were you able to fully integrate into the working life or did it feel a little disrupted what with going to college and studying for the heavy December exam period?
    - Yeah I was a September started. It was a bit disruptive but you get to know your intake really well through going to college with them. Also, more senior staff are very receptive to the fact that you have exams so they let you leave on time to revise and know that your mind isn't 100% on work.
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    (Original post by Big4Career1)
    What were the first three months like (assuming you were a September starter)? Were you able to fully integrate into the working life or did it feel a little disrupted what with going to college and studying for the heavy December exam period?
    - Yeah I was a September started. It was a bit disruptive but you get to know your intake really well through going to college with them. Also, more senior staff are very receptive to the fact that you have exams so they let you leave on time to revise and know that your mind isn't 100% on work.
    Sounds like you have a pretty supportive office!

    What city are you based in?
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    Know this might be difficult to judge, but what would you say is the difference in working hours, training and travel opportunities across Audit vs Consultancy vs Technology?
    Do you have contact with people from areas other than audit (such as e.g. consultancy) and how easy is it to move internally form one area to another?
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    (Original post by Big4Career1)

    .... The opportunity to learn about clients and how their businesses run continues to be interesting and useful so I'll probably stay until that stops and by then hopefully I'll have a good idea what else is on offer internally and externally that might interest me.
    What would be the most intellectually stimulating task you have performed in Audit?

    Are you happy with the work-life balance? Are you genuinely in a happy mood most of the days?
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    (Original post by Big4Career1)
    Happy to answer any questions about working life, the application process I went through or anything else. I work in audit but have decent knowledge of other areas as well.
    Do you find yourself to be travelling a lot? If so, within the UK or internationally?


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    Is leaving directly after finishing a training contract frowned upon? For example would it affect a reference needed for a new job
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    Did you join on the graduate program?

    Where did you go uni?

    What's the salary like? (you don't need to be specific if you don't want to) Do you find your salary covers your costs and that you can afford a good lifestyle with it? Are you in London?

    What are your hours like?

    How is your social life?

    How long are you expected to take to get the ACA/ACCA qualification?

    Do you work alongside people who started as school leavers? What advantages and disadvantages do you feel you have over them?

    Thanks and sorry for the large amount of questions (and i might add more lol)
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    Could you briefly explain your application process? How were the interviews?
    Do you know anything about pwc corporate finance? how is it different in terms of application/responsibilities?

    Thanks!
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    I can answer some of your questions (London, big4, ex-audit)

    (Original post by Andersen94)
    Know this might be difficult to judge, but what would you say is the difference in working hours, training and travel opportunities across Audit vs Consultancy vs Technology?
    Do you have contact with people from areas other than audit (such as e.g. consultancy) and how easy is it to move internally form one area to another?
    In my experience audit has the longest hours of those. I have contacts across several departments, which can be very useful. It is near impossible to move during your training contract, but reasonably easy once qualified.

    (Original post by TaintedLight)
    What would be the most intellectually stimulating task you have performed in Audit?

    Are you happy with the work-life balance? Are you genuinely in a happy mood most of the days?
    On the technical side, I did some modelling work, but I would argue that developing my leadership / soft skills has been more stimulating, and increasingly so as you progress through the grades.

    Work life balance was non-existent for a while when i was in audit (particularly on big jobs), but there were other jobs where i would manage my own time completely and could work from home some days.

    Happy can mean a lot of things. I'm generally optimistic and enjoy going to work.

    (Original post by egdargi)
    Do you find yourself to be travelling a lot? If so, within the UK or internationally?

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    A fair amount of travel within the UK. I've never been sent abroad but have plenty of colleagues who have been all over the world; it's mainly just down to luck, or language skills in some cases.

    (Original post by happ)
    Is leaving directly after finishing a training contract frowned upon? For example would it affect a reference needed for a new job
    Not at all, it's perfectly normal. In my experience most people leave audit within a year of qualifying (including internal transfers)

    My answers in bold below:
    (Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
    Did you join on the graduate program?
    Yep

    Where did you go uni?
    I prefer not to be specific on this one, but I would say most grads are Russell Group, some Oxbridge and some neither.

    What's the salary like? (you don't need to be specific if you don't want to) Do you find your salary covers your costs and that you can afford a good lifestyle with it? Are you in London?
    I think it's close to 30 for new joiners (London; less in regions). It increases every year and post qualification will be somewhere in the 40s basic. Pay is very similar across the firms, but many have benefits and bonus on top of the basic. Rent is by far the biggest expense in London, but I could afford a good lifestyle in my subjective opinion. Post qualification you can definitely have a good lifestyle.

    What are your hours like?
    It used to be around 50h per week in audit, sometimes more, sometimes less. But I know people who got away with 35 and people who seemed to work around the clock; it just depends on your job, team, etc.

    How is your social life?
    Depends on workload, but generally it's quite good, and especially in London which has big graduate intakes.

    How long are you expected to take to get the ACA/ACCA qualification?
    3 years to time qualify for the ACA, but most people will have completed all their exams within 1.5 - 2 years if they have first time passes

    Do you work alongside people who started as school leavers? What advantages and disadvantages do you feel you have over them?
    I didn't personally, but I know people who do. I suppose some advantages could be age, experience and confidence. I guess their advantage is lack of debt, early entry into the career. Personally I wouldn't treat a school leaver any different from a grad - each individual has their unique strengths, and I believe qualities like talent, attitude and personality are far more important than whatever degree someone has or has not done.

    Thanks and sorry for the large amount of questions (and i might add more lol)
    Not at all, do keep asking
    (Original post by angelafy)
    Could you briefly explain your application process? How were the interviews?
    Do you know anything about pwc corporate finance? how is it different in terms of application/responsibilities?

    Thanks!
    The application process will be on their website. I personally don't like competency based questions, but I found the overall process very objective. I enjoyed the partner interview the most as the partner was very relaxed and natural. I think CF is extremely difficult to get into; they have a lot of applications and not a lot of places.
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    you renting in london if so where abouts and do you plan to get a mortgage soon to avoid renting?
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    (Original post by Phusion)
    I can answer some of your questions (London, big4, ex-audit)


    In my experience audit has the longest hours of those. I have contacts across several departments, which can be very useful. It is near impossible to move during your training contract, but reasonably easy once qualified.


    On the technical side, I did some modelling work, but I would argue that developing my leadership / soft skills has been more stimulating, and increasingly so as you progress through the grades.

    Work life balance was non-existent for a while when i was in audit (particularly on big jobs), but there were other jobs where i would manage my own time completely and could work from home some days.

    Happy can mean a lot of things. I'm generally optimistic and enjoy going to work.


    A fair amount of travel within the UK. I've never been sent abroad but have plenty of colleagues who have been all over the world; it's mainly just down to luck, or language skills in some cases.


    Not at all, it's perfectly normal. In my experience most people leave audit within a year of qualifying (including internal transfers)

    My answers in bold below:



    The application process will be on their website. I personally don't like competency based questions, but I found the overall process very objective. I enjoyed the partner interview the most as the partner was very relaxed and natural. I think CF is extremely difficult to get into; they have a lot of applications and not a lot of places.
    Wow you did modelling! That's amazing and lucky. Did you straight up ask for something like this or you had it coming your way?

    And what aspect of financial modelling did you completely do on your own? Like did you work on the model from the ground up?

    What are you doing today?
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    If climbing up the financial division of a blue chip was the long term goal do you think it would be most advantageous to join their grad scheme or big 4 then jump across at a later date? Also, do regional vs London auditors so a big difference in exit opps ?
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    you renting in london if so where abouts and do you plan to get a mortgage soon to avoid renting?
    Yes I'm renting in London in Clapham. There is a pretty good graduate community here and rent is okay. Still don't get much for your money. I'd love to get a mortgage soon but I'm not earning enough to save anything meaningful at the moment. With rent, living expenses, paying off student loan, saving for a holiday or two each year and going out for dinners or nights out a couple times a month, I'm pretty much down to £zero at the end of each month. I think it'll take 2 or 3 pays rises before I start saving a decent amount.

    If climbing up the financial division of a blue chip was the long term goal do you think it would be most advantageous to join their grad scheme or big 4 then jump across at a later date? Also, do regional vs London auditors so a big difference in exit opps ?
    I don't have any experience or knowledge from the blue chip grad scheme point of view but I can say that a big 4 grad scheme will give you a really good foundation and the opportunity to learn about a number of businesses rather than immediately focussing on one through their grad scheme. The big 4 name on your CV is very good for jumping after you qualify and I know that it's frequent for big 4 staff to go and work at blue chip companies they have audited or provided client work for because they already have a relationship with the finance staff in these companies and a better understanding of how the company runs.
    There isn't a massive difference between regional and London auditors because you get the big 4 name on the CV either way and it is regarded as highly no matter if your London or not. The only difference would be, as mentioned above, you might get more of a chance to actually work with some of these blue chip firms if your based in London rather than the Southampton office for example. That being said, big firms such as Sky, have head offices outside of London to save on rent, so working in a regional office like Uxbridge or Gatwick will still give you the opportunity to work with them.
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    (Original post by Phusion)
    X.

    (Original post by Big4Career1)
    X.
    Would either of you mind disclosing what the salary increase was like year-to-year during your training contract?

    As a rough percentage?

    Do the benefits increase proportionally?

    Did anyone receive bonuses?
 
 
 
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