I wanted to use this blog to share my experience doing audit work. Please note that my audit experience may be different from others, since client industry (retail, banking, asset management, energy, manufacturing, etc.) and office location heavily influence the type of work you will do. For instance, while it is very common for most audit interns to count inventory, my client group has no inventory to be counted. Furthermore, while smaller offices allow associates to work in “general audit” groups, where professionals get to work with clients from multiple sectors, offices such as NY will require their workforce to specialize in an industry, in some cases, placing associates with the same client for years (financial industry clients can be complex entities). Having said that, the overall audit goal is mostly the same.
– My Day –
6:40am: Shower and get ready to be out by 7:30. I need to make my way to the client office, which is located in Jersey City, right across the financial district. To do that I make my way to the World Trade Center and arrive through the PATH to GS Tower, where one of RBC Capital Markets office is located.
8:40: I get to the office, the view is beautiful. I can see both Lady Liberty and Wall Street from the floor we are in. I get to the meeting room we are stationed in and set my computer, go through emails and make sure I am on top of things
9:20: Everyone is cooking; working in different parts of the audit. Right now we are working in the planning stage, which means understanding the client’s way of doing business, their processes and delivery methods. We record everything that we are given and test their validity by performing calculations. For me this consists of reading through walkthrough diagrams, write briefs on them, and trace documents that explain how these processes work. I have done this for repos, futures and securities trading. Everything is then uploaded to PwC’s audit application.
It may seem that the audit profession is very structured, but this is not fully true. Although people do have specific assigned tasks by the team leader, they may find that they need to obtain files from the client, make calls, and work with other members as they go through their duties. Often people juggle duties, one moment you may be auditing a valuation model, and the next you can be reconciling commission fees. People have to be flexible in this profession. It feels like a crash course into the business of your client.
12:30 Lunch, we all talk and get to know each other. Food is great btw. One of the benefits of joining PwC is that their clients are top notch, and thus we get to utilize their resources when we work from their office.
1:20 I continue working in reconciliations, particularly for trading operations. I also get to help out with regulatory requirements. While I do this I get to learn a lot of the details of how Investment Banks actually work and the regulation that they are required to go through. The client also has given us a couple of models that I got to test to assure their validity. That task is usually given to PwC’s Models team, but given my academic background was given a shoot. I figured it out.
3:00 pm: I either continue what I was doing, receive new work, or have a meeting to join. Half of our meetings are with Middle and Back Office, who give us files that we will use in our audit, they explain how these files were created and answer all the questions we have. Sometimes we call personnel from other offices, including offices abroad. Other times meetings are part of PwC continuous training, and thus receive further teaching in specific areas of the financial industry.
3:00 pm: I am usually given a new task that I have not seen before, I spend the next hour trying to figure it out. Sometimes I am given documents to interpret, other times calculation base work. The cool part is that any questions that I may have, I get to ask RBC’s employees for an answer.
6:20pm: I get to go home, I take my time as I like to walk around the City and listen to The Economist Magazine Audio.
7:10pm: I get home, run for about an hour in Central Park and get back home to shower.
At least once a week we do our work from PwC’s Office in midtown Manhattan. Usually we do this on Fridays. Weekends are all ours.