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.
I started working at KPMG as a trainee in the Actuarial team in 2017, immediately after completing my Master's degree. Since then, I have taken part in audits of financial statements and solvency and financial condition reports of the largest non-life insurance companies in Poland, as well as foreign companies. Gaining new knowledge and experience during subsequent projects has also allowed me to participate in consulting projects.
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 of an actuary are usually 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 periods 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.
During one of the audits of financial statements that took place two years ago, as a project team we were obliged to verify the calculation of certain values. The limited amount of time and the impossibility to receive all the necessary data forced us to invent other, non-standard methods of analysis, which later turned out to be effective, as they allowed us to detect the existing irregularities. Thanks to the efficient work organisation and creative thinking we managed to successfully complete the task.
The most rewarding moment for me during my work at KPMG was my first audit project, in which I performed the role of the in-charge, i.e., the person responsible for project implementation and the project team. New responsibilities and a wider range of duties resulted in a very high level of commitment as well as a slight trepidation not to miss anything. The praise of the project manager upon completion of the work was very encouraging.
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 and analyse analytically. Passing the Chartered Accountant/Actuarial exams is not essential to work in this department (for sub-managerial positions), but it can certainly be very helpful.
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 company, both in terms of purely corporate matters and those directly related to the job. The working atmosphere is very friendly, we try to meet quite regularly also outside working hours. One of the most interesting initiatives introduced was the initiation of an annual event – a donut-eating competition on Fat Thursday. I hope that this will also take place next year.