KPMG – Accounting Grinds with Larkin Community College

Business in the Community Ireland

Overview of the Partnership

KPMG Ireland is a provider of professional services, offering a range of audit, tax and advisory services to a broad range of domestic and international clients across all sectors of business and the economy.

At KPMG we believe in the power of people to do great things. Our Corporate Citizenship programme creates opportunities for all our people to make a difference. Education is one of the key pillars of our Corporate Citizenship strategy and we believe that education is paramount to developing a society for future success. This aligns with our global values and tackles Goal 4: Quality Education of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

One of KPMG’s skills-based volunteering programmes takes place in a Dublin city school, Larkin Community College. In 2017, Larkin College introduced Accountancy for the Leaving Certificate and the school asked KPMG to support their fifth-year students with the subject.

Implementing Best Practise

The programme was developed in coordination between KPMG staff and the school accounting teacher, Ann-Marie Hynes, with the aim of providing Leaving Certificate Accounting students the chance to work through difficult questions with the help of an experienced accountant.

KPMG volunteers complete training with the school and the programme is then organised into six, one-hour sessions. KPMG volunteers work with groups of 2-3 students on one exam question. Our volunteers then provide the students with specific recommendations on how to tackle the problem at hand.

An initial trial of the programme ran with great success. A student commented, “My KPMG tutor showed us real practical usage of the figures we work with while also showing us faster and more efficient ways of completing our tasks.” Another said, “Personally, I think a programme like this is extremely beneficial and helps us develop our accounting skills as well as letting us get a real life feel for the subject. It was a really good experience and definitely helped me learn new things that will benefit me after school.”

The one-on-one relationship between the volunteers and the student’s attributes to the success of the programme. Not only do students receive help with one of their Leaving Certificate subject, they also benefit from spending time with an adult who is not a relation or teacher.

Ann-Marie Hynes says, “What makes the grinds different is that the student and KPMG tutor have a common problem to solve, working on this helps build a relationship and allows it to develop and grow. It’s these conversations and connections that can really impact and benefit students. They see that the mentor has walked in their shoes and has faced the same problems as they have and still came out the other side. Sometimes they just need to hear another perspective to realise that they will get there.”

The Impact of the Partnership

Interest in accountancy and business studies has grown in the school since the beginning of the programme, with several students hoping to study accountancy in university. Accountancy teacher, Ann-Marie Hynes comments, “I believe that talking and building relationships with accountants and getting an insight into their working world really supported that ambition.”

We are now in our third year of partnership with Larkin Community College and look forward to continued success through this programme.

KPMG’s Impact in 2019

Business in the Community Ireland

KPMG provided €347,860 in cash donations; €1,002,558 was contributed through in-kind donations and €129,224 was raised through employee fundraising. Employees also volunteered 14,912 hours to local groups and projects during the year.

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