During his first year at university, Samuel Luk Hau-to (below) received an e-mail from KPMG, promoting its Elite Programme internship experience. Given that accounting had been an interest of his since secondary school, Luk jumped at the chance to learn more. He was grateful to be granted the opportunity to join the KPMG programme and from January to April this year, he worked as an audit trainee there. He talks to Wong Yat-hei. What is your academic background? I am a Year Three accounting student at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
How did you start your day? During my internship, I reported to duty as an audit trainee in the audit and assurance stream. I checked the staff schedule to see which engagement I had been assigned to and met with the audit manager who assigned my tasks. Sometimes, I shadowed the audit team to a client’s office.
What did your job entail? Unlike many stuff other people might think an intern could only do, such as printing and photocopying, I was responsible for helping to prepare audit working papers for different final audit engagements. I was also assigned to carry out simple testing of the control and transactions of client accounts. To accomplish these tasks, I had to contact clients to obtain audit evidence.
What have been the major challenges? Lack of experience. As I was still a student, I did not have much working experience. I hadn’t come across audit work or met with clients before. Although the company had provided me with training beforehand, it’s normal for one to feel anxious when meeting clients for the first time. Luckily, with the help of my managers, assistant managers and other colleagues, I successfully overcame the difficulties and gained valuable experience.
What have you learned about your chosen career and what are your plans? I really feel great interning at KPMG. I have learned a lot, through participating in different engagements, such as the procedures for carrying out a final audit. During my internship, I was able to apply the knowledge I acquired from my studies. I maintained very good relationships with other colleagues and managers. Apart from the technical skills, I also learned how to communicate smoothly with clients so as to obtain more information and data to facilitate my work. This skill is valuable and it cannot be easily imparted. Under the guidance of my colleagues, I have become more mature and learned much about the audit industry. Since completing the internship, I have made up my mind to devote myself to accounting after I graduate. After getting relevant professional qualifications, I plan to make contributions to the industry by providing quality and trustworthy service to uphold its professional standard.
Any advice for potential interns? The most important thing is to have a clear objective to learn different things. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. And also remember to always enjoy the time, treasure every moment at work and strive to learn as much as possible. Only by being committed can you maximise the experience.