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What can I do with my degree?
From Binders To Blockchain
As a recent graduate, Kristin Schønberg-Moe is already experiencing plenty of challenges, a lot of responsibility, and has to adjust to a field in rapid change.
Kristin completed an MSc in business, majoring in accounting and business control. Shortly thereafter, she was hired by one of the Big Four accounting firms.
”Deloitte is an accounting firm that offers services within all types of business sectors. It is a large and dynamic organization with around 1500 employees in Norway. Internationally I have over 300 000 colleagues”.
Much more than accounting
Most of an auditor’s work revolves around approving a company’s financial reports, in addition to other review and verification services. Additionally, Kristin also has plenty of opportunities to develop herself professionally in areas outside of her main specialization.
”We are able to develop our knowledge of analysis tools and programming. I have learned a lot from helping our tax and fees department with handling paperwork during periods of high demand. Our company’s leadership urges us to spend time in other departments in order to develop new skills and contribute to knowledge sharing.”
Kristin can make use of this experience in the auditing work she does for her clients, which include everything from large multinational companies, to the neighbourhood bakery.
”Variety in both tasks and clients gives me insight into what is happening in the Norwegian business sector. Having large clients translates to having larger challenges. With smaller clients on the other hand, I often end up doing the entire audit myself, gaining an understanding of the entire company in the process”.
All Norwegian companies of a certain size must produce financial reports and have these audited. These companies represent Kristin’s main client base. In addition, other smaller companies might request auditing reports, even though it is not required, she explains.
”I think the knowledge base that you attain as an auditor is unique. There are not that many employees who get to discuss accounting related problems directly with CFOs during their first year of employment.”
A disrupted discipline
To say that Kristin has started her career during an exciting time for auditing is an understatement, and many factors indicate that there will be a lot to learn for several years to come.
“The industry is on the brink of being turned upside down, says Kristin”
When she first got hired at Deloitte, she also became part of an industry subject to vast and rapid technological development. Previously, auditing was associated with manual and repetitive work with a never-ending number of binders to go through and a competition to log as many overtime hours as possible. That is not the case anymore.
“Although the primary task of an adviser is to confirm financial information, there are many ways to Rome. With greater processing power and the advancement of digital tools, the industry has changed in line with the general developments in business. In Deloitte we have advisors working on everything from data analysis of accounting information, to automation and implementation of Blockchain, she continues.”
“Auditing is a fantastic learning platform. You gain unique insight into management practices and see the results in the financial reports. Combined with the skills you acquire in digital tools and analysis, this experience has given me a solid understanding of how to run a company”.
Kristin’s first year of professional experience has definitely sparked her curiosity in this field, and now she has decided that she wants to learn even more.
”I have returned to BI to do a master’s in accounting and auditing in order to become state authorized public accountant. Regardless of where the future takes me in terms of my career, I have had a solid professional start at Deloitte.”