PWC vs KPMG - financial services audit - which do I choose?


Hypothetically speaking, if I had offers from both PWC and KPMG both in Financial Services Audit, which should I go for?

Things that are important to me:

  • work life balance
  • relatively relaxed culture (yes, i know both will be hardcore, but is one better than the other?)
  • better clients
  • international travel/secondment opportunities
  • overall reputation, ie. which is better looking on my CV??
  • progression opportunities

Work/life balance - rubbish at both!

Culture - people tend to say KPMG is better

Clients - pwc has more fs clients in ftse 100

travel - kpmg within europe/pwc globally

reputation - either is good - though pwc is ranked no.1 on many lists if someone bases it on that

progression - excellent opportunities in both

You should pick which one seems best to you, which has the best people based on interview and assessment stage visits


I’ll have to disagree with a couple of points you mention, GradJobHunter.

  • Work/Life Balance: KPMG is known to have a comparatively vivacious social life (e.g. corporate socials etc) compared to PwC. After speaking to many graduates at KPMG, they say it’s often difficult to keep track of all the happenings in and around KPMG. While that can be a good thing, it can also mean that those who fail to make a pseudo-regular appearance, might miss out on ‘networking’ opportunities. Having said that though, the ACA is draining, regardless of which firm you undertake your training with.

  • Travel: I’m not so sure whether KPMG’s travel is restricted to Europe. An international secondment is a highly demanded work opportunity that is available within all the big 4, mid-tier firms and some smaller ones too.

But I do have to agree with GradJobHunter in saying that you should only select the one that you feel best suits you as an individual!


I placed ‘events’ under Culture heading - but as you say ACA is draining and working on financial services you will be working long hours for both companies

Travel - not restricted but as ‘KPMG Europe LLP’ is one single entity it is easier to move around within europe - international secondment/permanent move is still possible


Thanks for your comments. Have either of you worked at the two firms before?


Are you applying for a non london office? The reason i ask is because pwc delegate their most interesting and biggest clients to whichever office is closer whereas the other big 4 send all the big client work to their london offices.

Can’t help you with anything else because they will all claim to be the best at it and short of working for both of them there’s no way to tell. Good luck on making those hypothetical offers real ones


yes, its the London Embankment/Canary Wharf offices.



Some decent stuff mentioned here.

All i can add is that you should be very carefull when making judgements based on polls such as ‘the times top 100 graduate employers’.

The result is solely based based on where recent graduates would most like to work( I was shocked to find that this is the only factor considered and believe it is totally inadequate when you are stating ‘the top’ graduate employer. Whilst this will give some indication on how good a firm is to work for it can’t really be relied on as none of the people sampled in the survey have ever worked for the firms in question. This means that companies with a good reputation will dominate when in fact there may be much better measures to judge a company by. As we all know PWC dominates this ranking.

A more telling poll is the sunday times top 100 big companies to work for.

This actually asks people working at the firms in question how they would rate their employer on a number of criteria. This year KPMG is number 1 and it has been top in previous years.