Can a KPMG Audit Intern Pull the Switch to Advisory?

Welcome to the tax-day-tease edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today's edition, a young Brit has an audit internship with KPMG but would wants to pull The Switch and work in the advisory practice. Proposing a ménage à trois probably isn't going to work so what's the alternative?

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Back across the pond:

Dear GoingConcern Team,

Firstly I have really enjoyed reading your articles and as a budding/ aspiring accountant I was hoping you could help me. I got a internship offer for KPMG in audit which is great, but I think its likely I would feel more comfortable going into Advisory, probably Transactions and Restructuring branch of the Firm. Obviously I have to stick it out in audit for the internship, but is it possible to switch between service lines after, and probably location too?

I know that in the KPMG selection process I still need to go through the Partner Interview, so would you say I am potentially blowing my chances if I switch from Audit to Advisory, or should I play it safe, stick it out with Audit, and the ACA, and then transfer, assuming I passed and survived?

Thank you!

Dear Flip the Switch,

In the words of another, "Well, if I hear you correctly--and I think that I do--my advice to you is to finish your meal, pay your check, leave here, and never mention this to anyone again."

Now maybe things are a little different in the UK but what you're proposing is almost impossible to pull off and I'm not sure how you got in this situation in the first place. If the revelation that you're more interested in advisory just came to you recently, that's one thing. Your desire to pull a switch may be understandable but that doesn't make it any more feasible. If, on the other hand, you accepted an audit internship with the knowledge that in reality you wanted an advisory internship, why didn't you apply for an advisory internship?

On top of that you are also wanting to inquire about a moving to another office before you start full time? Let me see if I understand this correctly: you took an internship in a service area where you have no interest, in a location where you don't want to live. Do you see why I'm confused? I'm not suggesting that you can't ask but expect some side-eyed looks after you broach the subject. In other words, you could be "blowing your chances" because you sound like a person who doesn't know what they want. These firms want people who are ready to hit the ground running, not someone who can't seem to choose a path. If you can sit still for a year or three, then maybe you can start to inquire about a transfer of service line or location but as an intern-about-to-become-first-year, you'll just sound like a lost puppy.

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