Life at PKF

Khanda’s story: From graduate trainee to Lead Assistant Manager 

Khanda Erdenebat, Lead Assistant Manager in PKF’s Financial Services team joined us as a graduate trainee in December 2018 after studying Economics at the University of York.

How did you find out about PKF?

Through a website that showed professional service firms’ rankings. I did some further research  and really liked PKF’s culture and values, so I applied – and here we are!

Has the firm lived up to your expectations?

PKF has been my first ‘real’ job, so I didn’t know what to expect when I started. I thought the firm would be very corporate, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how relaxed and friendly everyone is.

What’s the training like?

I like the idea of working and studying at the same time. When I started, I went straight into four weeks of training organised by the firm which teaches you the basics of accountancy and gives you a good foundation for the next few years of more technical training. It also gives you the  opportunity to get to know the other people in your intake and make friends in a less formal setting. I found this incredibly helpful, and I’m surprised that more firms don’t offer it to their trainees.

On top of the Mercia training, you spend some days in college and also have free days for self-study and revision – something that not every firm provides from what I understand from my conversations with friends elsewhere. These study days are crucial because every extra day can make the difference, particularly when your exams are approaching!

Do you feel supported?

PKF has proved that it has an established support system in place for its trainees; the training team always finds ways to help us make the most of the study time and prepare as best we can for the exams. This makes a big difference.

What are the opportunities for career progression?

I was promoted to Lead Assistant Manager after qualifying in the summer of 2022 and now have my own portfolio of clients, which I’m really proud of!

When choosing your employer, it’s worth thinking about progression, even at an early stage. At PKF, you progress each year when you pass your exams – you naturally move up and take on more responsibility. Progression is encouraged and well managed here, and new opportunities are always discussed with you.

What is the work–life balance like?

The work-life balance here is great, and the key to that is communication with your team. Since my promotion, I’ve been given more autonomy with managing my workload, and that’s boosted my confidence. The flexible working approach also helps. Getting the work-life balance right is so important if you want to enjoy your job, so I’m pleased that PKF takes it seriously.

How would you describe PKF’s culture in three words?

#Flexible #Sociable #Supportive