I’m worried about my knowledge of the current issues. any ideas which issues I should swot up on? I have a very general knowledge of what is happening but not what i need to know in more detail.
any help would be appreicated.
Did you see ‘Important industry issues’ on the front page? You’ll want to know about at least [[Sarbanes-Oxley Act]] and [[credit crunch effect on audit]]. Also look up PwC on Google News (set it to search headline and UK only).
If you can think of anything else other than the credit crunch to talk about (maybe rising energy prices), talk about this too. The interviewer will be glad to hear about something else- I guarantee it!
thanks for your help. I have looked at the sarbanes-oxley act and the credit crunch but am going to look into them more and google pwc as well.
I personally discussed the rising price of oil and how this affects businesses and their overheads du to rising gas/electric bills with for big companies such as Woolworths will make a massive difference as they have so many sites. Also rising fuel costs which means transporting goods is more expensive. Companies need to strike a fine balance between passing these costs onto the consumer whilst not out pricing themselves so customers avoid purchasing certain goods as individuals are being hit hard too. This, coupled with the credit crunch thus increased costs of borrowing and loss of consumer confidence is making the current climate difficult for businesses. I used Woolworths as an example because because they are currently in financial trouble. I suggested this was because they no longer had a specific market. Since supermarkets are increasing what they sell, they are now real competitors and can often outprice Woolworths. They are also a very asset rich company as they own practically all of their properties. I related this to M&S who had similar problems years ago and resolved it by selling their properties and leasing them back to give them a massive cash injection. These are the sorts of ideas good auditing and risk analysis by PwC could generate to try and help them out of trouble.
You may not need this much detail but these are just a few thoughts. Good Luck!
In my assessment day I didn’t cover nearly so much commercial awareness as in the first interview. The only thing I got asked was to explain why I had chosen the “Whetherspoons” as a client I would like to work with on my application form. I said because of rising prices for raw materials and increase in duty would put pressure on the prices they sold at and then the credit crunch means people may have less spare cash and so may not be able to afford to go to places like this. I then said this would make them interesting to advise. I would suggest using the bbc news website. I found it really good coz I looked for a business article from the last couple of days and then there is a search function where you can search to see if there has been any other recent articles about the same company/topic. You can get lots of info really quickly.
The rest of the questions on the assessment day were more to do with strengths and weaknesses, how I would cope with studying for my accounting qualification while working and stuff like that.
Just on the topic of Wetherspoons- it’s interesting to note that in times of economic downturn, budget outlets (such as JD Wetherspoon) do very well, whereas more luxury outlets struggle. You can tell this particularly because budget high street food retailers such as ALDI and Lidl have seen sales increasing, whereas the main highstreet supermarkets are beginning to feel the downturn.