PwC Risk Assurance (ACA) or KPMG Risk FS (CFA/CISI)

#1

Any advice on the following would be much appreciated.

Basically, as a future science grad (2012), I have the following Big Four graduate offers in London:

PwC Risk Assurance (ACA) / KPMG Risk Financial Services (CFA/CISI)

Given that I have no background in Accountancy or Risk, which would you recommend? I have been given the impression that the ACA is very difficult and the CISI is slightly easier, but maybe slightly less respected? Is the CFA an option that I should consider?

In terms of PwC vs KPMG, what are your general impressions. Salary and benefits are similar at both, although KPMG’s office in Canary Wharf was easy on the eye to say the least.

At PwC I have put my choice down as London Top Tier (LTT) whereas KPMG I will be working in FS… any thoughts?

I am trying not to show my preference at the moment so others can comment. Any opinions would be brilliant! I am more than happy to share interview advice and notes I have formed etc…

#2

Hi there. PwC ACA trainees do all their exams over the first 1.5 years. KPMG does them over the full 3 years. This means that the course at PwC is that much more intense and trust me doing ACA at KPMG right now is intense enough! However, it is a fantastic qualification and a great basis to go into pretty much an area of finance afterwards. I don’t know anything about CFA i’m afraid but KPMG is a great place to work with very good support to new joiners. I personally love working at KPMG but I have no reference from other big 4 firms so cannot compare. well done on your offers and gl!

#3

Thanks! That’s so helpful to know!

My impression of KPMG has been top notch and from reading online, it does appear to really care about its grads. I was a little worried regarding PwC as there seem to be a fair few people who do get kicked out after failing one exam and coming from a non-financial background myself, studying the ACA in such a tight time frame is a little worrying.

At KPMG, I can study the CISI or CFA, so I think I will call the grad team and ask for advice and try and speak to as many people as possible about it. Because the position is for Financial Services Risk, I believe that the CISI/CFA would set met up well in the long term with regards to working within FS in general.

Thanks again for your help :slight_smile:

#4

Btw I feel like I have to add this! I’m not sure if this is normal for KPMG but my office actually sent me a good luck card before my first exams!! Now if that isn’t caring for employees I don’t know what is!!!