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Fresh Grads, You Should Start Your Career at PwC Indonesia

Do you want to know how it feels working for PwC Indonesia? Let me share my experience when I was working there.

I worked for PwC Indonesia Assurance team from June 2013 until September 2014. During that time, I was assigned to the Consumer and Industrial Products and Services (CIPS) division. For other PwC Indonesia line of services, you can visit this link.

Working in public accounting firm has a unique and a challenging experience. For each extra mile you take, you will be worthily compensated. I will start with a summary of why financial auditor and the public accounting firm hold a significant role in the business ecosystem.

First thing first, what does a financial auditor really do?

Financial auditor is a financial statement examiner. We make sure that all numbers and its presentation are reasonably accurate and comply with the national accounting standards (PSAK). The examinations include gathering evidence, performing tests, documenting the process and the result, reviewing the financial statement draft, and delivering the audit opinion letter. We work diligently so that the financial statement readers (e.g. banker and investor) can feel more confident.

Why should you consider working at public accounting firm?

The most important reason is you will learn accounting and business skills fast, robust, and extremely effective.

  • During the assignment, you will learn the company’s competitiveness, profitability, efficiency, strategy, compliance, and risk.
  • You will serve clients from multiple industries such as automotive, FMCG, pharmaceutical or plantation. Thus, giving you a set of knowledge consists of regulation, best practices, and business case.

You will gain strong skill in accounting practice, Ms. Excel, project management, and relationship management with C-suite level. This is the unique value proposition of working in public accounting firm.

What are the benefits of working as a financial auditor in PwC Indonesia?

DISCLAIMER: The following are stories during my tenure in PwC Indonesia. I recommend you ask your relatives or friends that currently work in PwC Indonesia to validate if the stories remain true.

Compensation and Career Development
  • Progressive compensation. PwC Indonesia has formulated best compensation scheme. Survive for at least two seasons, you will get a double-digit basic salary. If you plan to stay long, you have a chance to be wealthy at mid-thirties and financially freedom at end of 30s or early forties.
  • Progressive career path. If you are doing good and meet the expectation on each level, you will be promoted regularly (as opposed to the promotion scheme in regular corporate of which you must wait for vacant position or business expansion). Public accounting firm is a pyramid ecosystem with high employee turnover. In effect, double promotion is possible, and you can be a senior manager in 8 years (normally it takes 10 years).
Human Capital Development
  • Effective learning environment. Firstly, PwC Indonesia has a well-programmed training for each level of employee. Every year, all employees should take an in-class training, e-learning and FGD. Secondly, during our audit assignment, we will learn a lot about client’s business. It includes industry analysis, end-to-end business process, financial and operational performance, internal control, supplier/customer arrangement, etc. Thirdly, after completing audit assignment, we will get a feedback from our supervisor so that we can improve our performance consistently.
  • Building soft skill and relationship with people. Working as an auditor will force you to develop project management skills, social skills, and English as business language. We will allocate time to meet and discuss with key persons such as accounting manager, marketing manager, HR manager, the CFO, and the CEO. Use that discussion time to know them personally.
Work-life balance and other thing
  • Young and energetic environment. Majority of audit team members are young and truly diverse. We believe in the work hard and play hard principle. Annually, we have four quarterly gathering, one big outing event and one PwC day (or year-end party). We also have small activities such as birthday surprise and wall magazine. Those environment helps us developing a strong bonding among the employees.
  • Travelling. As an associate, it is likely that we get out-of-town assignment (either for full audit assignment or stock taking). We will travel using premium airline (Garuda Indonesia) and stay at 4-star hotels. During our spare time, we can enjoy the local culinary and tourism object in the town. When I was in PwC Indonesia, I had a chance to travel to Balikpapan, Makassar, Batam, Pekanbaru and Palangkaraya by Garuda. I was even able to upgrade my Garuda Frequent Flyer from blue to silver :D.
  • Coaching. PwC Indonesia highly value their employees. Each employee will have a coach who will take care our wellbeing. They happily spend a time with us to discuss and to give some advice about work, career, or even personal matters. The coaches will guide the annual personal development plan for all their coachees. They are the sweetest person even during the tough time!

I really miss all these experiences after I resigned. So, for my auditor fellows, please think twice if you plan to resign. And for any fresh graduates, I recommend you apply if PwC Indonesia open for a recruitment!

What are the costs of getting those benefits?
High expectation
  • You will be expected to produce the highest quality of audit while maintain client satisfaction within the tight deadline. The pressure is so real. Here are my pro-tips: (a) being proactive, (b) have a courage to ask a question or to discuss with you supervisor and (c) listen to the performance feedback with a growth mindset.
  • Take a diligent care of your reputation. Opinion does matter. Other managers and seniors will rely on the feedback from your current or past manager/seniors about your performance and attitude if they want to work with you.
Physical and mental health
  • So many things to do yet so little time. Auditing is not only completing single assignment. Sometimes, we must complete 3-4 simultaneous assignments in one go. All the assignments follow the same process: learn the client’s practices, perform the audit procedures, have it reviewed by our supervisor, follow up any feedback and revise the documentation. It is possible to work for eighty hours per week during peak season. My pro tips are: (a) list down all the assignments, (b) break it down into smaller activities, and (c) cross the activities after you complete. Crossing any completed task will give you a relief feeling.
  • Dealing with anxious and exhaustive feeling. Stress is inevitable. Tight deadline and difficult clients are the common cause. Consequently, we can easily skip drinking water regularly, eat unhealthy food, sit for too long and increase our cortisol level, which will worsen our healthy. So, my best advice is to maintain work-life balance (be socially active in PwC Indonesia’s extracurricular and social events) and to remind each other to keep the healthy habit.
Concluding remarks

In overall, I really had a wonderful time in PwC Indonesia and still have a strong bonding and relationship with my peers, seniors, and managers there (also with the alumnae). There is no such thing as perfect workplace. Every job always has a good and challenging story. Nevertheless, I can assure you if you take the challenge and do it well, all the experiences will help to you to build a strong personality, reputation, and portfolios. Always think positive, look for a mentor, and have a growth mindset.

Thanks for reading!

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I resigned from PwC Indonesia (or locally known as KAP TWR) in September 2014 after worked for one year and three months. My client portfolios were ranging from major listed company, subsidiary of multinational companies and local private company. I have experienced a full set of audits from planning to completion of audit, which earn me the trust from the manager and the director to handle a more complex area. Thank you, PwC Indonesia, for all the learning and memories.

3 replies on “Fresh Grads, You Should Start Your Career at PwC Indonesia”

Hi,
I came across your article when i try to find out about life as an auditor in indonesia. I saw your last post in 2015, not sure if you going to read this or not, but i’ll give it a go. Anyway, i’m indonesian currently working in Malaysia as an auditor. I’ve been in Malaysian since i graduated high school so i practically grew up here and have zero practical knowledge about working in indonesia. I had fun reading your post on this topic. I have tons of questions if you’d like to chat. Cheers!

Thanks bro for the complete explanation, one time I would like to try to work at KAP, maybe not the big4 one like RSM.

Anyway, I’m not from Accountant major yet I’m from Economics one. In your opinion can I work at KAP?

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