The Financial Services Department at KPMG in Poland specialises in services for the financial industry and includes, among others, the audit of financial statements and other attestation services, actuarial services, accounting advice, market, regulatory and credit risk management advice, and strategic management advice, including in the area of IT systems. The audits carried out cover both stand-alone statements in accordance with PSR/IFRS, group reporting packages prepared in accordance with IFRS, and reports on the solvency and financial condition of the insurance company (SFCR). Due diligence reviews and various other consultancy projects are also carried out. The department consists of several teams: Audit, Advisory (Accounting, Solutions Development, Management Consulting, Credit Risk, Market Risk, Regulatory) and Actuarial, where I work.
How did it happen that you are in this place today? How did your professional track start?
I joined the KPMG Actuarial team in April 2016, while still studying for my Master's degree at the Warsaw University of Technology. After a 3-month internship, I was accepted as an Assistant and since then I have been continuously developing my career with KPMG. During these almost 6 years I took part in audits of financial statements and preparation of reports on solvency and financial condition of the largest life and non-life insurance companies in Poland, as well as foreign companies. I participated in many interesting consultancy projects (including those carried out abroad). A gradual engagement in more and more complicated topics in the field of Actuarial Science allowed me to gain experience necessary for my work, thanks to which I am where I am today.
What are your daily duties?
An actuary is an expert in estimating risk and assessing the probability of future events using analytical methods. The profession of actuary is mainly associated with the insurance and pension plans industry. The main tasks are most often to assess the value of technical provisions, to calculate insurance and market risks, and to provide opinions on financial statements.
Actuarial work can be divided into two terms during the year. One is from October to March, a time of intense work on the financial statements of financial institutions, during which it is important to meet all the deadlines associated with the audit, such as submission of data, execution of work and proper documentation. During the spring-summer period, our work is focused more on consulting projects, development of business tools, as well as gaining knowledge in new areas.
Which solution to a challenge you are proud of?
If I were to choose a challenge which led me to the most satisfaction, it would definitely concern new issues which were not widely implemented in the market before. During my career I have more than once faced the subject of implementing new reporting standards (Solvency 2, IFRS 17). Solving problems on my own in the absence of ready-made solutions on the market was very satisfying and motivated me to even greater involvement in the further development of my professional path.
What was the most rewarding moment in your career at KPMG?
The most rewarding moment during my work at KPMG was my first independent project as a Manager, where I was responsible for organizing the work of the whole team. Both the new duties associated with it and a greater scope of responsibility required even greater commitment than before. Of course, there was also a slight stage fright connected with new tasks, however, building a very good relationship with the client and flawless completion of the project gave me a lot of satisfaction.
What additional, non-standard qualifications, skills are useful at work?
Working at KPMG gives you great opportunities to develop and improve your professional skills, both by working with more experienced team members and through the numerous training courses we have access to. I believe that the most important skill needed is the ability to think analytically (often out of the box).
Do you have internal customs in your team that you have put into practice on your own initiative?
When I started working at KPMG, I was very positively surprised by the atmosphere in the team. Everyone was immensely helpful during my first days in the firm, both in terms of purely corporate matters and substantive issues directly related to the job. The working atmosphere is very friendly, we try to meet quite regularly also outside working hours. Many of us has a hobby related to sports (jogging, cycling, rock climbing, etc.) thanks to which we regularly organize mutual sport activities (e.g. a climbing wall or a bicycle ride).