On October 1, 2018, the Student Accounting Association hosted representatives from KPMG’s Pittsburgh office: Alicia Fulmer, senior associate, and Sarah Zbur, associate. Both Fulmer and Zbur majored in accounting at IUP with Fulmer graduating in 2015 and Zbur in 2016. KPMG is one of the Big 4 international public accounting firms with offices located in major cities throughout the world.

Fulmer and Zbur started the presentation by giving a brief overview of KPMG. It is the smallest of the Big 4 accounting firms, but it is also currently the fastest growing. The firm divides its resources evenly between tax, auditing, and advisory services. It is located in over 150 countries and in all 50 states.

After this brief overview of the firm, Fulmer and Zbur described what they liked about working at KPMG. Like any other public accounting firm, there is an annual busy season where they have worked upwards of 80 hours per week. However, the firm tries to compensate their employees with 25 days of vacation, and on Fridays there is a policy that everyone goes home at 5:00 p.m. During busy season, the employees are allowed to work from home on weekends.

Both Fulmer and Zbur said that although busy season is not fun at the time, it goes by fast, and the people they work with make the whole experience worth it. KPMG’s culture is very nurturing, and if a staff ever has a question, there is an open-door policy where their manager will take the time to explain what they have to do. They also think the fact that the Pittsburgh office is small enough that everyone gets to interact with high-level management from the beginning of their career makes KPMG stand out from the other Big 4 firms.

SAA president Anthony Maticic is shown with Sarah Zbur ’16 and Alicia Fulmer ’15

Photo: SAA president Anthony Maticic is shown with Sarah Zbur ’16 and Alicia Fulmer ’15

SAA President Anthony Maticic, who was an intern at KPMG this summer, also talked about his experience. He started as a tax intern, but, once he expressed interest in auditing, the firm made sure to introduce him to the auditing department and let him get a taste of what auditors do. He also really enjoyed the atmosphere of the firm and thought their internship program was top tier.

When asked what a student could do to stand out when applying to KPMG, Fulmer and Zbur both thought that having a good attitude is the best thing to show a recruiter. Your application will get you in the door, so having a high QPA and being involved in clubs are still very important, but once you are being interviewed, the interviewer is going to be trying to tell if you would fit into their team. In public accounting firms, you work with your team so closely and for such long hours that personality and interpersonal skills are huge factors they consider.

The SAA’s next meeting is on Wednesday, October 17, at 5:00 p.m. in the Eberly auditorium and will feature Aaryn Hogue, a manager with the professional services firm, Gleason. Hogue, a 2004 IUP alumna with majors in accounting and criminology, will be presenting on her job as a forensic accounting specialist.  According to their website, Gleason’s team of forensic accountants “analyze complex scenarios related to forensic accounting, fraud investigations, and other related consulting matters—with ethical integrity and without independence conflicts.” They offer their expertise on many circumstances, including (but not limited to) embezzlement investigations, fraudulent financial statement reporting investigations, fraud risk assessments, independent investigations on behalf of audit committees or boards of directors, investigation of fraudulent conveyances, health care fraud and abuse, and alter ego analysis.