Future CPAs: Tips For Choosing A Service Area At PwC


Which service area would you choose? Tax? Audit and Assurance? Maybe even Deals, if you wanted to start your career with PwC in Toronto?

When you apply to an entry level Associate role at PwC, the firm requires that you apply to the area of business that you think is the best fit for your career right now.

Selecting which service area to complete your Chartered Accountant (CA)/Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) training in is a challenging decision for many graduating accounting students, so we solicited some expert advice from a Partner and Manager at PwC:

Ryan Thulien is a Partner in Tax Services, and he leads the Retail and Consumer Product industry area in Tax in Canada.

Rahim Lallani graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2006, and is now a Manager in the Audit and Assurance Group (AAG).

Keep reading or watch the video above to find out what Ryan and Rahim enjoy most about the service areas they’ve chosen to work in at PwC, what it’s like to complete your CA/CPA training in Tax or AAG, and their tips for choosing which area to apply to.

What do you like most about working in your service area?

Rahim: The reason I chose to go into the Audit and Assurance Group is because I really like learning about different businesses and working on a variety of different clients. Auditing is a very team-based environment – you’re working in and with teams, so there’s a lot of people management and you get exposure to senior management at the client. I really liked that aspect of auditing.

Ryan: When I first joined Tax, one of the things that was most interesting to me was that, with Tax, you’re really involved a lot in the planning of things before they happen. Everything has tax implications, tax is important to everyone, so it’s a very, very high-value area.

Rahim: I also really liked the fact that PwC allows you to have non-specialization, which means that when you first start out in Audit, you get to work on a variety of different clients and in various industries, and then as your career progresses you get to specialize into what you like.

What’s it like to get your CA/CPA in Tax or Audit and Assurance?

Rahim: When I was going through the CA process I found that PwC really provided me with the tools and support I needed to be successful.

Ryan: There will be training, coursework, workshops, there’s UFE preparation and depending on which area you’re in there’s also more specialized training. We have knowledge sharing meetings where we have an opportunity to discuss certain topics and issues, and learn from each other.

How should students choose which practice area to do their CA/CPA training in?

Ryan: I would say to learn as much as you can and really talk to people, ask questions, find out about their stories.

Rahim: I talked to a lot of the upper-year students – I have some friends in Tax and some friends in Auditing. I talked to both of them and both actually really enjoy what they’re doing. I figured out why they enjoy it and I just found myself having a better fit with auditing, so that’s why I went that way.

Ryan: You can access information on our website and Facebook page. There are a lot of things that have been posted there and also contacts, so there are people you can get in touch with to have a conversation, and maybe you can even meet with somebody to talk a little bit about their particular area and understand what it’s all about.

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About the author

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.