Do you want to know how does it feel working for PwC Indonesia as one of the world’s big four public accounting firm?. Let me share you my experience when I was working there.
I worked for PwC Indonesia Assurance team from June 2013 until September 2014. During that time, I felt grateful to be a part of Consumer and Industrial Products and Services division and Blue sub-division. (If you want to know more about other PwC Indonesia line of services and expertise, I put this link to their website)
In public accounting firm, like any other workplace, has a good and a challenging stories. You can trust me once you overcome the challenge, you can enjoy the good one even much better. I can assure you for each extra miles you take away from your comfort zone, you will be worthily compensated. To begin the story, I will start with a summary of why a financial auditor and the public accounting firm has an important role in the business ecosystem.
First thing first, what does a financial auditor really do?
Financial auditors are a financial statement examiner. We examine the Company’s financial statement to ensure all figures are correct and comply with the national accounting standards. The examinations include gathering evidences, performing audit tests, preparing an audit documentation, reviewing the financial statement draft and delivering the audit opinion letter. We work so hard and stay up late for the public interest. So, the investors, the bankers and other financial statement readers can rely on our report and feel confident and peace. In PwC Indonesia, we are proud of the high quality of audit we deliver.
Why you should consider working at public accounting firm?
The most important reason is, in the public accounting firm, you will learn accounting and business fundamentals very fast, very comprehensive and very effective.
- By examining the financial statement of a company, you can analyse the Company’s competitiveness, profitability, efficiency, strategy, compliance and risk of investment.
- You will also serve clients from multiple industries such as automotive, FMCG, pharmaceutical or plantation. Thus, giving you wide array of knowledge from regulation, best practices and business sense.
After you resign from a public accounting firm, you will have a strong skill set such as: (a) accounting (and Excel) technical skills, (b) project management skills; (c) business knowledge and (d) softskill from managing relationship with C-suite level. This is the luxury features of working in public accounting firm.
What are the benefits of being a financial auditor in PwC Indonesia?
DISCLAIMER: The condition may or may change as the time goes by. Thus, we recommend you to ask your relatives or friends that currently work in PwC Indonesia..
Compensation and Career Development
- Progressive compensation. PwC Indonesia has formulated best compensation scheme. You just have to survive for at least 2 seasons to get a double digit basic salary. If you plan to stay long, you have a chance to be wealthy at mid 30s and financially freedom at end of 30s or early 40s.
- Progressive career path. Most likely, if you don’t create a mess, you will be promoted. Public accounting firm is a pyramid ecosystem in which many undergraduate students apply and many associates left. Double promotion is possible and you can be a senior manager in 8 years (normally it takes 10 years). Working as a financial auditor is a promising career.
Human Capital Development
- Strong learning environment. PwC Indonesia has a well-programmed training for each level of employee. Every year, all employee should take an in-class training, e-learning and focus group discussion. In addition to training, PwC Indonesia offers valuable on-the job experiences of which we have a chance to learn everything about a Company in two or three months. For instance, we will learn about client’s industry analysis, end to end business process, financial and operational performance, internal control and its weaknesses, supplier or customer special arrangement, tax and legal matters and etc. After each assignment, we will get a performance feedback from senior or managers so that we can improve our performance on the next assignment.
- 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 spend some time to meet and discuss with key persons of the Client such as accounting manager, marketing manager, HR manager and perhaps the CFO and the CEO. Use the discussion time to know them personally and learn from their success. PwC Indonesia even has a ”PwC Experience” values to remind us to appreciate the relationship between us and the Client.
Work-life balance and other thing
- Young and energetic environment. Our core audit team members are mostly consists of people at age 22-28. Yes we are young, diverse and have a lot of fun moment. 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. No wonder we have a strong bonding among employees within the division.
- Travelling. We can have a chance to travel outside Jakarta using premium airline (Garuda Indonesia) and stay at 4 star hotels. In addition, during your spare time, you can enjoy the signature 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 (might upgrade my GFF blue to silver eventually).
- Coaching. PwC Indonesia highly value their employees. Each employee has a coach who will happily spend a time with them to have a chat and give some advice about work concerns, career development or even personal matters. The coaches will guide the annual personal development for all of their coachees. They are the sweetest person!
Based on my experience, almost all of these experiences and learning will be missed after I am no longer part of PwC Indonesia. So, for my auditor fellows, think twice guys if you plan to resign. And for undergraduate students, do apply if PwC Indonesia open for a recruitment!
What are the costs of acquiring those premium benefit?
DISCLAIMER: The following paragraphs are my experience from completing the audit and observing the environment. However, my stories are relevant for associate position. You may get a broaden knowledge if you ask your friends or relatives who currently work in public accounting firm.
- The effort to produce the highest quality of audit while maintain client satisfaction within the tight deadline differentiates PwC Indonesia from other public accounting firm. The pressure is so real. The pro-tips to help you meet the expection include: being proactive, have a courage to ask a question or to discuss something, and listen to the performance feedback with a growth or learning mindset.
- Opinion does matter. Other managers and seniors rely on the comment from your current or past manager/seniors about your performance and attitude if they want to hire your service. So, take a good care of your reputation.
Physical and mental health
- So many things to do yet so little time. Auditing is not only completing single assignment. We have around 4-5 assignments to be done simultaneously. In each area, we have to learn the client’s practices, perform the audit procedures, have it reviewed, follow up any feedback and revise the documentation (130 working hours for two weeks is possible). So, it is very important to list down all the assigments and break it down into smaller activities. Cross the activities after you complete it as a small celebration. It will gives you a relief feeling (it does work for me)
- Sometimes we wake up with anxious and exhaustive feeling. We get stress from thinking about the deadline of our assignment or dealing with difficult client or team member. Consequently, we can easily skip to drink mineral water regularly, eat unhealthy food, and sit too long. Develop a healthy habit and remind each other to take care the physical and mental health.
In overall, I really had a wonderful time in PwC Indonesia and still have a strong bonding and relationship with my peers and seniors there. I believe there is no such thing as perfect workplace. Every job always has a good and challenging story. However, I can assure you if you take the challenge and do it well, all the hard work and 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 (if you have spare time read this book, it may help you during your hard time).
Hopefully my post enrich your reference before you apply for associate position or before you submit a resignation letter 🙂
I have resigned from PwC Indonesia (or locally known as KAP TWR) at September 2014 after worked for one year and three months. My client portfolios are ranging from major listed company, subsidiary of multinational companies and local private company. I have experienced a full set of audit from planning to completion of audit, which give me the trust from the manager and the director to handle a more complex areas. Thank you PwC Indonesia for all the learning and memories.