We can tell you all about what we offer at KPMG, but it’s best to hear from people who currently work here
We can tell you all about what we offer at KPMG, best to hear it from our past graduates.
What is so special about the Agri-Food industry?
We have always grown food, we produce food and what we are trying to achieve here in New Zealand is absolute beautiful quality. Geographically, we are quite distant from a lot of different places so whilst that is a limitation, it also creates a great opportunity for us. We have less diseases, we have beautiful pastures, we have open spaces and all of these things create really good opportunities to grow the very best produce in the world.
What is KPMG's focus in Agriculture?
Our focus at KPMG is Agri-Food so what we really bring is diversity right across the whole supply chain so you're not just going to be focused on farming or you're not just going to be focused on processing. We're going to be focusing all the way from the gate to the plate.
How do you help New Zealand farmers?
We help farmers with their business. We help them take their businesses from good to great with strategy, understanding how they can make major improvements with process reviews. This will create a sense of sustainability in farming and environmentally, economically and socially.
What else are you involved in?
I am part of the Agri - Women's Development Trust which is group that was set up in 2010 that works on professional development for women within the Agricultural industry. Women are a large part of the farming business and they're a large part of agricultural businesses so the more that we can develop skills in women, the more we lift 50% of the working environment within the agricultural industry.
Over the nearly 4 years that I have been here I feel like I have achieved heaps. I was working in banking and the opportunity came up for me to work at KPMG. It was a brand new role that didn’t exist before and that really excited me that I could build something new. I compare it to doing an MBA every day, I learn so much from others, hopefully I'm teaching them lots too, but ultimately for me it's actually about the learning I can get from all the multiple divisions we have across KPMG. And that's not just in New Zealand, that's globally as well.
What is your KPMG story?
So I started my career at KPMG as a school leaver, I entered the school leaver program in KPMG in Tauranga. I spent a few years there before moving up to the Auckland office. This is my ninth year at KPMG so it's been a bit of a journey for me. I went on an international assignment to Philadelphia on the East Coast of America which was the highlight of my career at KPMG. I spent just over two years there, I learnt a lot about KPMG's culture, which is very consistent worldwide. I worked on a large publicly listed client there which gave me a lot of experience to bring back to New Zealand and my colleagues here. I also got the opportunity to do a lot of travel around America. I think I made it to 12 states before I made my way back home, I also visited Europe for a month so plenty of fun in there as well as a lot of work.
What is the KPMG culture like?
There is definitely a lot to be said about the culture at KPMG and you can find that worldwide. You can open your laptop in a different country and it is the same thing you would see back home. Same with the people as well, everybody's really friendly, everybody's really welcoming. The whole culture you can see that globally throughout KPMG and that is something that really resonated with me.
How would you describe Audit?
Corporate Audit has a very diversified portfolio. Mine personally ranges from manufacturing clients, gyms, electrical distribution, chemicals, liquor clients. My main role is to manage the teams that work for me. From reviewing stocktakes that they have performed, to analytical procedures as well as making sure I report to the partner on progress and status. The fact that you get to move from one job to another as well, allows you to meet people. The amount of time that you get to spend together you get to know each other well. I enjoy it and think it's a really good environment.
What do you enjoy about Audit?
The client facing aspect of Audit is what makes me passionate about it. I like that I get to be working alongside the client, seeing how they operate really get out there into the detail. That helps you to understand things more and to understand the business and that is how you really add value.
What has been your proudest moment with KPMG?
Probably my proudest moment with KPMG are getting my CA qualification. That was always a milestone that you have in your head in you leave high school, when you're studying at university, you really want to get that goal. When you get there it is a lot of work but it feels really good. The second milestone for me would be making Manager, which is something post my CA qualification that I'd strived towards and it is an achievement, it feels really good to get there.
Why is our Christchurch/South Island presence so important?
I think the growth of the Christchurch business has been one of the real highlights of my time here, and I think it is one of the things that is drawing people to our business. We've grown at around 300% over the last 3 years, in fact it is more like 350%, but who's counting? I think Christchurch and the South Island is an important part of the world because it is a big chunk of the New Zealand economy, 13-14% of the national output comes from this part of the world. A big part of that is in and around agriculture, so the Canterbury story is one of a hub here in Christchurch City that is largely supporting the needs of what is happening out on the plains and further south. I think that we are a country of innovators. That is an easy thing to say, but we do have a curious way of solving problems and I think that is reflected in our business community as well.
How would you describe Enterprise?
Enterprise is that part of the business that focusses on the needs of privately owned companies. I think that if you look at the New Zealand economy, there are plenty of well-travelled stories around the companies that sit on the NZX but 97% of our businesses are small to medium sized companies. They produce about two thirds of the economic output for the country, so huge part of the engine room for New Zealand and we as a business unit have the opportunity to sit alongside those businesses and partner with them.
How does KPMG set themselves apart in the Christchurch market?
I think the thing that differentiates KPMG in the Christchurch market is probably a mix of mindset and talent. I think we are really fortunate to have a young and hungry bunch of people that are really looking to change the game and take the best of KPMG and challenge it and think about it differently, think about how we take that to our clients and really add value. We have a strong regional focus with the benefit of a national, global business sitting in behind.
What keeps you in Christchurch?
I think a big thing for me is - when do you get the opportunity to rebuild a city in your lifetime? Or in multiple lifetimes? Christchurch and Canterbury as a region has got this phenomenal opportunity to not just rebuild what was here but to reposition itself as a real leading economy, nationally and globally, so we are only just scratching the surface. If I look out, I think we have made great strides but it's all for the taking in terms of where we're heading to. Almost unlimited opportunity up ahead.
Tell us about your journey with KPMG?
I joined as an intern in the summer of 2003-2004 in the Audit division in Auckland, I then joined as a graduate in 2005 in the Audit team before moving down to Deal Advisory in 2008. So I have been in Deal Advisory ever since, split up a little bit with a 3 year secondment to our London office. I made some amazing contacts in London. Now that I am back in the NZ office, if there is any work in the UK I know exactly who to ring, I can talk to people who I have actually talked to on a face to face basis, they trust us more. And I have been able to keep up those networks really easily because the KPMG network globally I think does a really good job of making sure that everybody stays informed across the region for any big items that are happening, any big strategies for KPMG.
What is Deal Advisory?
In Deal Advisory we help people buy sell and value businesses. We do have a part of our business where we help people restructure their business or we help people through liquidation, we help creditors gain their funds back. In our Wellington office we're bringing up a Data and Analytics team which is really involved in being able to churn big amounts of data and being able to really distill what we are trying to say to our client based on all the information that we receive.
What does the team look like and some of the task involved?
In Deal Advisory we have a relatively structured team, we have a team of analysts, a lot of their work is involved in taking financial information and analysing it and coming up with key themes for our clients. There will be client interviews and client meetings as part of that as well, as well as creating a report or product we give to our client at the end of that.
What do you look for when recruiting in Deal Advisory?
We're looking for someone who has good business acumen, has good commercial understanding of what's happening in the NZ industry at the moment.