Hi my name is Eimear Nyhan and I am currently on placement in the VAT department in KPMG Dublin. My placement is six months long and is part of the third year of my Bachelor of Commerce degree in University College Cork. I joined KPMG in the end of March and have been enjoying every moment here since.
I guess from as early as studying Business for the Junior Certificate, I always had a natural flare for accounting, I use to get such a buzz from balancing those Balance Sheets. So naturally I took Accounting and Business as subjects for the Leaving Certificate. I further chose Bachelor of Commerce in University College Cork as I felt it gave me the most options and enable me to get a feel for all business modules before specialising. From here I have done quite a few internships mainly in Audit and although Audit is interesting in its own way, I knew I was more suited and interested in numerical and figure orientated work.
I have always aimed to secure a placement with one of the Big 4 companies. After researching each of the Big 4, KPMG stood out to me immediately. KPMG is the largest Tax consulting firm in Ireland. Alongside this KPMG have the best exam success rates. Moreover in 2017 they were voted best graduate training and development programme. This alone gave me reassurance that KPMG is the best place to kick start my career. Having spent sixteen weeks in the firm I could not but say that not only were my initial preconceptions met but they were over accomplished.
In KPMG once you join you specialise into one particular department under the broader Tax line. The VAT department is further split between Advisory and Compliance, however as a placement you will get the opportunity to experience both areas. Compliance is all about the VAT return which means it is numbers driven and if numbers are your thing you will really enjoy getting stuck into these. This will enable you to develop an understanding of the VAT system, you will become familiar with the different VAT rates and the different rules and exemptions relating to the treatment of goods and services. On the other hand advisory is more factual and law based. The main goal in VAT advisory is to build evidence on the available facts and information of the case and subsequently provide the appropriate advice. Advisory is very interesting as you get to work on a variety of clients from Aviation, to FMCG Companies, to investment Funds and Restructuring queries. Advisory allows you to build on the knowledge you attained from Compliance, putting it into practice, but in a more specified way to solve the facts of the case. My day to day roles in KPMG’s VAT department include; completing VAT Returns, completing Restructuring Queries, working with Revenue on VAT specific queries and working on proposals and client deliverables.
The support provided by the KPMG Business School is exemplary right from the beginning of your time here. The first day involves induction training for all placements, where you get an insight into the different departments, get your laptop set up, get information on all the extra-curricular activities that you can get involved in and most importantly get to know everyone in your intake. The induction training is a great way to gradually get you ready for office life. Following on from this you will have IT virtual training and e-learnings, which allow you to become confident and familiar with the IT systems in KPMG. The training and support does not end here. In KPMG we have training sessions monthly, normally of a Friday afternoon. These involve team building skills, nutritional talks and development days where we are supported in our integration into the working world.
KPMG is all about work life balance. I was fortunate enough to have joined the Konnect Committee when I started here. The Konnect Committee is a fantastic way to make friends and become involved and to have your say in social events. We organise a range of events with the aim of one a month. These events are small events like Welcome Nights and our weekly venture across the road to Dicey’s balcony, to large events such Weekend Trips Away, to Boat Parties, to Mystery tours. HR organise fantastic events for us over our time here with a huge Summer BBQ and Sport evening during the summer. Giving back to the community and focusing on Corporate Social Responsibility is an important aspect of your time here in KPMG, you will get the opportunity to work on the grounds of St Michaels House were we garden, clean and paint and we are fortunate here in the VAT department to organise our own CSR event. We host an annual quiz night and again there are plenty of opportunities for placements and interns to give up of their time and help in the running of this event. There are also Department Nights out and Team Events which are always a good opportunity to network in a relaxed environment.
A whole new world of opportunities will be open to you after completing a placement here in KPMG. You get advice and guidance from the trainees, HR and your Performance Managers on the different routes and possibilities as a graduate. The experience you get is great for your CV but just as important is the numerous friends you make during your time in KPMG. Within a few weeks I already knew that I had found the department and area that I wanted to work in after college, this has empowered me ahead of my final year. I hope to return to KPMG’s VAT Department after completing a masters, from here I will finish the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) and Chartered Accounting exams. You are challenged from the moment you arrive, and it is up to you to the make the most of your experience here, the more you put in the more you get out. The ball is in your court.