KPMG US Reviews in San Jose, CA

Updated September 11, 2014
Updated September 11, 2014
3,100 Reviews
3.6
3,100 Reviews
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KPMG US Chairman & CEO John B. Veihmeyer
John B. Veihmeyer
728 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Firm provides plenty of personal time and drives for a strong work/life balance (in 187 reviews)

  • Good place to start your career but would not recommend staying long term (in 96 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance is only achieved within the course of a year for those in audit (in 448 reviews)

  • Unpredictable schedule; long hours during busy season; difficult to achieve work-life balance (in 498 reviews)

More Highlights

54 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    My current position is senior associate in the advisory practice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Advisory Senior Associate in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Advisory Senior Associate in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at KPMG US full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Work Life Balance. Good client base to work on and networking oppurtunities with client. Great people to work with.

    Cons

    Lower pay than what you would see in industry. Can be stuck on one client for long periods of time.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Senior Audit Associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Audit Senior Associate in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Audit Senior Associate in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at KPMG US full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pros are:

    -People at KPMG are incredible. Great group of individuals that you would love to work with (mostly). There are some rotten apples, but most are a joy!
    -Good foundation for wherever you go after public accounting (if that is your path).
    -Mentorship, though faulty at times, is offered. If you're lucky, the managers or senior you work with will be your mentor inside and even outside of KPMG. The chance to talk one on one with partners or senior managers is a great opportunity,
    -TRAINING! Every year, you get to attend national training and get the chance to network with KPMG professionals around the country.

    Cons

    Cons are:

    -Management doesn't listen to staff to understand why retention is so bad. They constantly say they have solutions yet do not provide enough attention to the needs of their senior associates and associates.
    -They only listen to you when you threaten to quit.
    -Not much cool perks TBH. Sometimes they'll have free stuff but I wish they could do more outings or activities.
    -Does not help you personally grow as an individual. They don't offer their employees pathways for this. This goes back to their inability to support their employees personal goals. Although there's a mentorship structure in place, I don't think it's strong enough to make employees feel empowered.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees. Hold more sessions that involve listening to them. So much of what management does is speaking....and we are tired of it. Actions speak louder than words.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to "start your career"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate Audit in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate Audit in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at KPMG US full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Brand name on your resume
    Fast paced environment with opportunity for learning and developing technical skills

    Cons

    Poor work-life balance
    Feeling of fulfillment

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Adjust salaries to be more competitive with the market
    Focus on senior retention
    Get rid of poor clients (ie. low audit fees/clients that are incredibly difficulty to deal with)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    AUDITORS RUN FOR YOUR LIVES

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Audit Associate in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Audit Associate in Santa Clara, CA

    I worked at KPMG US full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    This review is in reference to KPMG's audit practice in the SV/SF region only.

    + Great accounting experience
    + Great companies, clients
    + Wide range of industries, company size
    + Develop an industry focus
    + Resource management listens to preferences for staffing
    + Partners are personable and approachable
    + Office events, free drinks!, national trainings
    + Meet friends and colleagues
    + PTO/Summer is more laid back
    + Internal publications and resources to learn
    + Team environment
    + Assigned mentor
    + Respected in the industry
    + Recent strategic acquisitions to build various functions
    + Nice 401(k) matching, CPA assistance and bonus, fringe benefits
    + Reputable logo to have on your resume

    Cons

    - You will work with many different types of people. In other words, there are many passive-aggresive types, many unpleasant people, and many that you will become great friends with. It's a complete crapshoot.
    - Lots of GOSSIP and POLITICS. The politics are overwhelming. People will literally alienate and destroy reputations of others within the firm simply if they are offended, project is over budget because of someone, easily threatened, so on.
    - The engagement review rating system is literally used to get even when possible. At the same time, the rating system is very important on the HR-side, so it makes for a very real career hazard.
    - All accounting firms seem to be understaffed, but this office is ESPECIALLY understaffed. They are begging other KPMG employees to transfer to this office location.
    - Partially because of the reason above, for 6-9 months you will work 55-105 hours and 6-7 days per week. Whatever you do, don't calculate your hourly rate on that!
    - KPMG is known for underbidding in order to win new audit clients. You can definitely tell this as some engagements have a barebone budget and the seniors and staff are stressed further to get the work done within the constraints.
    - Seniors/Managers will alienate someone when they discover/hear that person is interested in a new job, transferring lines of service within the firm, so on.
    - Obsolete and ineffective business processes (reams of paper, piles of binders, flash drives, unilateral performance reviews).
    - During busy season, associates have to stay late because seniors stay late. There are "team of choice" initiatives to try to help change this, and it probably is changing, but as of now there seem to only be superficial improvements.
    - With some exceptions, Less prestigious/sexy clients to work with. I.e. Semiconductor companies instead of the Top-Tier tech/social media/software/internet companies you think of associated with Silicon Valley.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My last general comment would be to college students, which is to probably avoid KPMG all together. Go to a different Big 4 firm. The technical competency of KPMG is excellent, and they do well interacting with clients, but there are a lot of issues internally. Consistent with comments above, the politics started to quickly suffocate my career development, so I pulled the ejection switch and went elsewhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to start

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Audit Senior Associate in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Audit Senior Associate in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at KPMG US full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great place to develop a solid foundation out of college. You will lear everything to kick start your career and also develop and strong work ethic. Great and robust training.

    Cons

    Long hours. "working for the machine". Limited mentoring.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    The Most Oppressive Place I Ever Worked

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at KPMG US full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Learn the profession; interesting work, but not a lot of variety. Great junior people; eager to learn and willing to lend a hand. A few terrific senior partners; too bad I didn't work for them. Looks great on a resume when you go for the next job. I learned all I could about the particular area I worked in spite of the overwhelmingly bad management. Most of the people I worked with are long gone.

    Cons

    I was treated like second class scum by my senior manager, who did nothing to help me advance my career. When asking a question to expand my knowledge and improve my performance I was called "stupid," I was derided for not already knowing the answer, and was told to "go look it up in a book and when you have the answer then come tell me." I had another direct female manager who came in late every morning, obviously hungover, slopping coffee all over herself, and would come to me and say "[my name] I'm not going to take this crap from you anymore" and other such pleasant greetings in front of all my co-workers. Never was I complimented on my work product or how hard I worked. Yet, when I finally left the company, there were 17 people at my going away luncheon, including several senior partners. But of course, the person who I had slaved for for over 7 years had a convenient excuse not to show up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Beware the sycophants who suck up to senior management but treat their junior staff like chattel. Treat people with dignity and respect; help people who are eager to learn new skills and enhance their performance instead of putting them down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Normal Big4

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tax Associate in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Tax Associate in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at KPMG US full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    You can always learn new knowledge and get experiences.

    Cons

    You may have no life, especially in the busy season.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Audit - senior

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Audit Senior Associate in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Audit Senior Associate in San Jose, CA

    I worked at KPMG US full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good brand and work experience

    Cons

    Long work hours, compensation not commensurate with efforts

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create better working environment

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Good place to start your career, but a lot of work.

    Former Employee - Tax Associate in Santa Clara, CA
    Former Employee - Tax Associate in Santa Clara, CA

    I worked at KPMG US full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You can learn a lot in your field.

    Cons

    KPMG promotes work-life balance, but in reality there is no work-life balance.

  11.  

    A great place to start your career and then leave in about 2 years!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Audit Senior in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Audit Senior in Santa Clara, CA

    I have been working at KPMG US full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Looks great on your resume;
    - Builds a solid understanding of the financial statements;
    - Gives access to network with tons of professionals who will be helpful in your career down the road;
    - Free CPA review course, and tons of free CPE credits;
    - Get licensed and get out.

    Cons

    - Unreasonably tight deadlines;
    - Unreasonalby long hours;
    - Unreasonably low compensation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Improve work/life balance;
    2. Increase salary.

    Otherwise, employees will keep on leaving as the economy is doing better and the industry is hiring. Otherwise, there'll be very few seniors left to do the actual audit.

    Neutral Outlook

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