Conall McNally, Transaction Services Trainee, KPMG
What does your job involve?
Transaction Services is a team within the advisory function of KPMG. Our main role is to carry out due diligence into companies that are being bought over. We perform both financial and vendor due diligence. Financial due diligence is when a company is being acquired and the company doing the buying will employ us to perform due diligence into the company they're going to buy. Vendor due diligence is when the company that is being bought employs us in order to perform due diligence into them.
What skills are important to be successful?
The skills that are required to be successful in the role that I do would be hard work. When you're in a job you're going to have to work hard, that's a given. You need strong attention to detail because we're constantly looking through reports, trying to find mistakes and ways in which we can improve it. You also need to be good at working within a team, which is crucial because every day you're working to perform due diligence as part of a small team to eventually produce a report of your output.
How did you develop your work ethic?
I've been working as part of a family business from a very young age, which has really stood to me in terms of my work ethic. I was always on call with my family business, always asked to contribute at the weekends and after school. I think that's something that has really stood to me now so that working day to day hasn't really been much of a step up because I've been used to it for such a long period of time.
How did you get into your job?
My introduction to KPMG was through 'Kick', which is a case studies analysis competition run by KPMG. Within the competition, the idea is to analyse a case study as part of a team and then present your findings to partners of the organisation as to how you think you could improve the business referred to within the case study. That gave me an introduction to the firm, the people, how it was run, and it was something I felt really fit with my ethos and what I wanted from a future role. It was definitely a career I was willing to pursue.
Tell us more about that competition.
In the competition, myself and my three teammates were handed a case study and a three hour timeslot. We were sent into a room and told to analyse a case study. Immediately after the three hours were over you left the room and presented a PowerPoint presentation that you prepared within the three hours to the partners of KPMG. At the end of the competition we were fortunate enough to win and become all-Ireland champions and get to represent KPMG Ireland in Dubai at the world finals.
What do you love about your job?
From a very young age my ultimate ambition has been to just try to be the best that I can be. I think that KPMG will provide a good grounding in order to allow me to achieve that. The fact that you get a mix of on-the-job experience and get put through your Accounting exams is a great way to start your career, a great foundation that I will always have regardless of what I go on to do in the future.
What advice would you have for someone considering this sector?
The advice I would give to my 17 or 18 year-old self would just be to work. It's under-rated in the world just how important it is to just get out there and work and put the hours in regardless of whether that's your sport, your education or your actual job. You just have to be willing to work. Get a work ethic as early as you can and just apply that every single day of your life.