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Everything you need to know about a graduate job in Audit at PwC

21 Jun 2023, 15:41

Student Recruitment Officer Bethany Allen answers your top 12 questions about Audit careers at PwC.

PwC audit careers

How do I know if I’m suited to Audit?

Auditors come from very diverse backgrounds and there’s no one set attribute that we look for, but typically graduate Auditors need:

  • good attention to detail – you will be checking financial statements
  • good communication skills – you will attend client meetings and present findings to your clients, building good relationships with them, so communication skills are key
  • integrity – it’s the backbone of the industry
  • an enjoyment of continuous learning – the industry is constantly evolving with technology and new regulations, so Auditors are always picking up new knowledge.

As with all careers, it’s hard to know if you will like it before you try it, so take any chance you can to come to an event and speak to us to learn more about the profession.

Is Audit a good place to start my career?

Yes. Audit is a great place to start a career due to the scope of things you gain access to. You get the opportunity to work with numerous clients across different industries, networking, and meeting people from diverse backgrounds. Audit gives you an understanding of the fundamentals of finance and your work has real impact as you are checking the integrity of businesses and providing a true and fair representation to the public and stakeholders.

Applying to and joining PwC

Are there different areas of Audit at PwC?

Depending on the location you join we have different business units you can work in. We have Central Audit, Banking & Capital Markets, Insurance, Asset Wealth Management, Digital Audit and Centre of Excellence (COE). The business unit you work in will determine the types of clients that you work on.

What’s your best piece of advice for students considering applying to do Audit at PwC?

Without a doubt, ‘Do your research’ (both before and during an application) is the best piece of advice I can give. Before applying, visit our website, see what interests you and then come to an event to find out more about the things you’ve read, or to speak to an Auditor. Get as much information as possible and find out what you like about us and what a career in Audit could bring.

Once you have applied, I’d still recommend conducting some research. Show the Recruitment team how much you have learned about us and about the role and show us your motivations. The PwC Recruitment team is always happy to speak to you, so never hesitate to ask.

What questions can I expect at my PwC Audit interview?

For PwC we assess motivational fit, so no prior experience or relevant degrees are necessary. The questions we ask are to see whether you have the motivation to work at the firm and whether you have the required knowledge of the role. We also use scenario questions as opposed to competency questions (e.g., Please provide an example of when you acted in a leadership capacity), as we believe these are better indicators of how you would respond to future real-life scenarios.

Will I have support for the interview process?

Absolutely. At PwC you’ll have a PwC Recruitment team and point of contact to ask questions throughout. We also have our award-winning Virtual Park platform, where we run our virtual events that include sessions on what to expect and how to succeed during the selection process.

During these events, you can speak to recruiters and ask for further information, and chat with members of the business to find out about their role and experience at PwC, which can help give that extra something to your answers.

Working in Audit and gaining a professional qualification

How will I effectively balance my time between working, studying and my life outside of work?

Most Auditors will undertake a professional qualification, which means studying and completing exams alongside your work At PwC, you’ll receive the support you need to balance your studies, work, and personal life. Everyone studying towards a professional qualification has a career coach, a study tutor and the First Five Years team, which oversees our graduates. These networks are all there to support you, whether that’s in your work, your studies or when you need someone to talk to. We promote open and honest conversations and we’re always here to talk to you and support you.

What might I find difficult about working in Audit?

As in any career there are challenging moments. Audit has a busy season due to clients’ financial year ends, which can mean longer hours than normal at certain times of the year. This is a normal occurrence in the life of an Auditor and our teams are well-equipped to get through this, whether that’s by ordering in takeaways for an office dinner, arranging a social for deadline night or sharing work with colleagues so people in the team can still make their out of work commitments.

What might surprise me about Audit?

At PwC, innovation is a key element of Audit and many people would be surprised about what a difference technology can make to auditing. In 2018, PwC set up a dedicated Drone Team and since then, drones have been used routinely in our Audit and Deals practice. In 2019 we completed our first stock count using drones at a 400,000-tonne coal reserve in Wales, which saved the team multiple hours and reduced health and safety risks. Skies without Limits, an economic modelling report, showed that drones have the potential to improve productivity but also to deliver net cost savings of £16bn by 2030.

Is there anything different about Audit at PwC compared to other firms?

At PwC we pride ourselves on our people and our culture We know that our people are our biggest strength as a business and that’s why we’re focused on helping to empower them to be the best that they can be. We have 14 networks (including our Faith Networks and our Social Mobility Network) you can join, all helping to create a genuinely inclusive culture. Alongside this we have sport clubs, monthly office-wide socials, an annual firmwide fundraising and volunteering event, One Firm One Day (OFOD), and even a PwC pantomime you can take part in.

Will I make friends doing Audit?

You’ll study at college with your fellow graduates, so there’s a real camaraderie and understanding between colleagues as you are all going through the same thing - and they all love a post-exam social. Work-life balance is critical for everyone and being in Audit is no different, so time management and prioritising are key. Making a plan for your studying that allows for breaks and time to do your favourite things (socialising, sport, shopping, Netflix) is the best way to ensure you have that balance. Yes, you may need to spend some evenings revising, and yes, the exams are tricky, but we make sure to support you every step of the way.

The future

Where can a career in Audit lead?

If you decide on a career in Audit, it’s likely you’ll study towards a Professional Qualification; at PwC this is the ACA. Once completed you’ll be a fully qualified chartered accountant. The ACA is an internationally recognised qualification offered by ICAEW and it can open doors to a multitude of opportunities. At PwC on our Audit Graduate programme, you join as an Associate and by the end of the three years, you will have progressed to a Senior Associate. From here you can continue to develop into management up to the top Partner level. Many of our Partners started their careers on our Audit graduate programme. Whatever your ambition is, Audit gives you a solid foundation into the world of finance and business.

Find out more about a career in Audit at PwC here .

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