Arnab Datta graduated with a BSc (Hons) Economics and Economic History degree from the London School of Economics (LSE) and then joined KPMG in London as a trainee chartered accountant (ACA).
I first became interested in accountancy when I did work experience at a firm in my home town. After that I worked in the corporate advisory and restructuring group at Kroll Limited, this was my first exposure to an international firm.
During university I attended careers fairs, where there were a number of high profile employers. When I spoke to the representatives of accountancy firms, I realised that this would be an interesting career to pursue.
During my training contract, I have had the opportunity to work in different business areas, ranging from audit to tax and forensic. I have been on secondment to the economics department where I was an assistant to the chief economist. KPMG encourages its trainees to work in different areas and developed the Audit Response Team (ART) specifically for this purpose. I particularly enjoy the unpredictability and variety of work. Working in audit is interesting since I have gained experience of clients in different industries, whereas other areas have taught me how the wider business operates.
The most interesting event so far was my induction course in Athens. This was a global event and delegates were selected to attend from KPMG’s offices in different European countries, as well as the USA and Canada. This was an enjoyable event, since I met trainees from different backgrounds and I still keep in touch with them. The working culture at KPMG is very good and there are people from different parts of the world.
Most people have a stereotypical view of accountants but in today’s rapidly changing world, chartered accountants are more like business advisers, valued for both their commercial and rigorous technical knowledge. Also, find out as much as you can about the ACA exams and what they involve, since that is a major part of your training contract. When choosing an organisation to train with, consider more than just reputation and look for somewhere where you will be comfortable and more importantly enjoy working and learning for three years.
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