Employer profile: KPMG, one of the 'big four' accounting and professional services firms
What it’s like to work at a multinational professional services firm
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Professional services firms support businesses with things like legal services, auditing, and implementing new technologies, but what's it like to work for one? In this guide, you’ll learn all about working at KPMG, what apprenticeship opportunities are available, and how to apply.
KPMG at a glance:
In 21 offices across the UK, and in 143 territories and countries around the world
15,000 people across the UK
Business, Finance, Computers, Law, Administration
People who want to make a lasting impact on the world – transforming businesses, developing trust and confidence in markets, and building stronger, fairer communities.
Jobs you might not expect
We’re not just accountants! At KPMG you could join as a Consulting Apprentice and help transform businesses, or become a skilled tech professional with our Technology Apprenticeship. We have a Law Apprenticeship where you would join a vibrant and diverse global legal network. Plus, many more opportunities in audit, tax, and business services.
Madeline Peters, who is a Student Recruitment Assistant Manager, tells us what it’s really like to work for KPMG.
What does KPMG do?
KPMG in the UK is part of a global network of member firms that offers audit, consulting, deal advisory, tax and law, and technology services. Through the talent of over 15,000 people, we turn insights into opportunities, making a positive difference for our clients and the communities we serve.
Where is KPMG based?
We’re creating a tech-driven business to empower and equip our people to be outstanding in delivery, no matter where they work – through inspiring collaboration spaces and new technologies. You’ll work flexibly across your location region – at engagement sites, KPMG offices, and at home.
What is your workspace like?
We have 21 offices across the UK including London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh. Our offices really vary from location to location – our London office is home to 5,000 staff, whereas our smaller offices could have around 200 people based there. Collaboration and teamwork are important parts of every project that we work on, so each office is designed with this in mind. There are individual pods, lounge spaces, and large meeting rooms which are technology-enabled, so you can connect with colleagues across UK offices!
We also hot-desk, which means that instead of having an assigned desk, we can book a desk and computer station anywhere in the building. This gives the flexibility to work alongside different people, teams and in different spaces, as needed.
What are the top five work environments that best describe what it's like to work at KPMG (taken from the Unifrog work environment profile)?
Lots of oral communication
Indoor or sedentary work
Needing high skills
Having to act professionally
Often working with others
What are some of the most common entry-level roles at KPMG?
Our largest area is audit. This is where we examine businesses to make sure their published annual financial accounts are a 'true and fair' view of their financial position.
We offer an Audit Apprenticeship, which is five years in length. In this role you’ll learn about businesses and how to deliver high-quality audits. You’ll explore new technologies and tools in your work, like artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, to analyse data and produce quality audit outcomes – all whilst studying towards a valuable professional qualification.
Every week is different as an apprentice at KPMG; expect a mix of working on projects, studying towards your professional qualification, attending events, and socialising with your colleagues.
How can someone join KPMG at entry-level?
You can join KPMG at entry level through our apprenticeships or graduate programmes.
We have apprenticeships available in audit, technology and engineering, consulting, tax and law, and KPMG business services.
The Audit Apprenticeship is five years in length and you’ll work towards the AAT Level 3 and 4, plus the Level 7 ACA qualification.
The Consulting Apprenticeship is five years in length. You’ll work towards a Level 4 Junior Management Consultant Apprenticeship in the first two years, and a level 7 qualification or equivalent in the final three years.
The Tax Apprenticeship is five years in length and you will work towards the AAT Level 3 and 4, plus the Level 7 ATT CTA qualification.
The Law Apprenticeship is six years in length and you’ll work towards the Level 7 Solicitor Apprenticeship.
The Technology Apprenticeship is our degree apprenticeship and is four years long, working towards a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions.
The KPMG Business Services Apprenticeship is two years in length, and you’ll work towards the Level three Business Administration Apprenticeship.
The Consulting Managed Services Apprenticeship is two years in length, and you’ll work towards the Level three Business Administration Apprenticeship.
There are four stages to our apprenticeship or graduate programme applications, which are: an online application form, two online assessments, and an in-person assessment known as our Virtual Launch Pad. The application process is designed to look at your strengths, and the student recruitment team will support you through the process.
Check out our website for up-to-date information on our current apprenticeship and graduate opportunities.
What are the entry requirements for these roles?
Entry requirements vary for each programme, so check the specific entry requirements for the programme you are interested in. You’ll generally be expected to have:
five GCSEs at grades A*-C/9-4, including English language and maths at grade B/5, or for Scotland – five National 5 qualifications at grades A-C (inc. English Language and maths at grade B)
120 UCAS points which is approximately BBB at A level, or for Scotland, Higher/Advanced Higher Levels (or equivalent).
KPMG is a place where you can be yourself and give your best - whoever you are and whatever your degree background. We look at more than just your academic results and will also consider your strengths, values, and motivations. If you are a few grades or points short then we would still encourage you to apply, as you’ll be given the option to provide additional information to support your application.
See the specific programme page on our Careers Portal for entry requirements and our ‘How to Apply’ section for detailed application guidance.
What skills does KPMG look for in applicants?
During the recruitment process, we want to understand if your strengths are aligned with those required for success at KPMG. By looking at your strengths, this will help you and us to know whether you would enjoy working here and have the potential to thrive.
The areas we look for are:
Related Unifrog skills:
Planning / Aiming high
Resilience / Staying positive
Creativity / Innovation
What is one top tip to help an entry-level applicant succeed at getting into KPMG?
Research! Make sure you thoroughly research our business and the programme you are applying for. You should display a real passion for the programme, business area, and location you've applied to. You should also understand any qualification offered as part of the programme. As well as helping you prepare for the recruitment process, it gives you the chance to make sure KPMG is right for you.
What work experience or internship opportunities are there with KPMG?
Our Discovery Work Experience programme is available for students finishing Year 13/S5-S6 in 2024 and looking to start an apprenticeship career in autumn 2024. This three-day programme will give you an overview of the professional services sector as well as an insight into the work we do, and what it’s like to work at KPMG.
Attending this programme will also give you the chance to get ahead and be fast-tracked through the recruitment process for one of our apprenticeship programmes. This is subject to meeting the academic requirements.
We offer Black Heritage Talent Insight Programmes in Audit, Consulting, KPMG Business Services, Tax, and Technology. These programmes are aimed primarily at students of Black heritage seeking an insight into a career at KPMG and it’s the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about our business and develop your professional skills.
What opportunities are there for progression at KPMG?
You’ll be supported to progress and have a varied career with us as you build specialist skills and industry knowledge. Whether your ambition is to make partner, become a technical expert, work in industry, or work abroad, we’ll support you to build the career you want.
Good stuff from elsewhere
KPMG apprenticeship programmes Find out more about KPMG's apprenticeship programmes