Mindy Moore

  • Office: Columbus
  • Practice: Fed Tax
  • School: Ohio State University

Mindy's Journal

PART 1

I've completed my first month as an intern at KPMG in the Columbus Office, and it seems like just yesterday that I was leaving for Dallas, Texas to begin National Intern Training. Walking into a welcoming and collaborative atmosphere every morning, and working amongst unique and bright people throughout the day, has made my transition from life on campus to life in the office fairly smooth and quite enjoyable. Everything I heard through the recruiting process about KPMG's commitment to the community, work-life balance, and global initiatives are now aspects of the firm that I have either experienced myself or learned firsthand from a colleague.

After the destruction that occurred in Haiti, myself and the other four interns in the Columbus Office decided to take advantage of KPMG's matching funds commitment. We created a Super Bowl Grid in which we sold squares to the office, and then numbered the horizontal and vertical axes with the numbers 0-9, each axis representing the score of one of the competing teams. The support that we received was overwhelming, and the partners donated generous prizes as incentives to purchase the squares. The Columbus Office's current community outreach project, Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake, didn't stop the office from donating significantly to our project. KPMG then matched what we had raised to help those suffering in Haiti!

Involvement in community initiatives is a priority, but I've learned quickly that first priority is commitment to our clients, delivering a flawless product. As a Federal Tax intern, I work within the office, rather than at a client site, so with little face-to-face client interaction, it is at times difficult to understand the importance of my daily work to the client. I've learned though, that my part fits into the team's entire engagement, and the managers have been helpful by relaying conversations and information from clients to me. One of my main tasks has been completing Tax Exempt Organization Income Tax Returns, Form 990, which has allowed me to research area organizations and to put a face to the clients I am serving. I mentioned earlier that the atmosphere is collaborative, and I wasn't kidding. There is daily discussion, problem solving, and research that occurs from the associate level to partner level. Even as an intern, the partners have reached out to me and made themselves accessible for questions and any concerns I may have. I've learned to accept constructive criticism, and to ask for feedback, in order to continuously improve my performance.

PART 2

In preparation for my mid-internship check-in with my Performance Management Leader (PML), I recently accessed KPMG's Employee Career Architecture webpage and Performance Management assessment tools. All easily accessible on online, these tools provide resources that detail employee roles and responsibilities, outline compensation ranges for all levels, set skill/behavior value expectations by level, and show possible next steps in your career path. These resources were extremely beneficial in setting individual expectations and realistic and measurable goals at the beginning of my internship, and will be great to continue to reference throughout my internship with KPMG.

At the start of my internship I was given pre-defined, suggested goals that the company expects all interns to consider, but KPMG also gives you the opportunity to set individual goals that are tailored more toward your own interests. For example, to contribute to KPMG's efforts to be a "Great Place to Work," and because I am interested in community efforts in Columbus, I set goals to become involved in Meals on Wheels and Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake, two community service projects that KPMG employees support in Columbus. When setting long-term goals, having them in writing has helped me to stay focused and on track, and it allows me to then check back on them once a week to monitor my progress. This individual goal setting seems to also encourage a more collaborative atmosphere because everyone has their personal goals in writing and can focus on collaborating and communicating team goals. Rather than coworkers outwardly competing with one another, my colleagues seem interested in helping others achieve their personal goals.

One's performance/efficiency in making copies, faxing, or filing would be hard to improve, and that goes to show that interns at KPMG aren't just doing tedious, repetitive tasks. Although some tasks may seem unimportant at the time, they all have to be executed and must be completed before the team's successful project is given to the client. Interns are training to become associates, so with the exception of not having completed my college degree, I've been treated and given expectations very similar to associates that just begin with the firm. My assignments have ranged from assisting in the completion of Form 1045 which pertains to Rev. Proc. 2009-52, the new five year NOL (Net Operating Loss) carry back rules, to completing federal tax exempt organization returns, Form 990, partnership returns, Form 1065, and federal extensions. I've learned the KPMG methodology, and my perception of what it is like to work a busy season at KPMG is becoming more accurate every day.

PART 3

On Monday I had the opportunity to volunteer at a low-income apartment building where KPMG delivers "Meals on Wheels" to the elderly. During our lunch hour, a co-worker and I delivered pre-packaged, hot and cold meals to eleven residents of the apartment building. One of the residents initiated conversation about the prior week's weather conditions in Ohio, and the numerous school and office closings in Columbus. As Meals on Wheels is organized and run primarily by volunteers, many of which were unable to volunteer due to hazardous road conditions, the residents were unable to receive their only sources of nourishment for the day. Not only did it delight me to see how thankful the recipients of the meals were, but I also had a great chance to get to know one of my co-workers who works in a different department and has been with the firm for a much longer period of time.

New to the office environment, it was at first somewhat difficult to feel comfortable and to "fit in." As it is busy season, everyone is focused on meeting deadlines and completing work. My participation in KPMG's co-ed soccer team has allowed me to get to know several people from the audit staff and to expand my relationships outside of the office in a social setting. Take advantage of any chance you get to network and socialize with others in the office, you never what might come of your conversation, and it is a great way to learn more about the company culture. For example, I recommend eating lunch in the staff room so that you can engage in conversation with others from the office, rather than eating at your desk. Or, if someone asks you to join them for lunch, take every opportunity to get to know that person and go even if you don't like the restaurant or have packed lunch for the day. It's often easier to have conversations over a meal; people tend to be more willing to share experiences and advice out of the office setting, where there is always work to be done.

On Saturday I had the chance to travel to a large manufacturing client, and to assist on the external audit. I did have to wake up much earlier than a typical college student on a Saturday morning, but it was most definitely one of the highlights of my internship because I enjoyed learning about the client and engaging in conversation with the factory employees. In addition, I was able to expand my network by meeting several auditors, and had the chance to learn about several current and upcoming engagements. It was a great experience to discuss the similarities and differences between the two service lines, and it was a nice change of pace from being in the office on a regular basis. With only two weeks remaining in my internship, I'm hoping to share some typical responsibilities of an intern and how those responsibilities become more important as you progress!

PART 4

With my internship nearing its end, I finally feel as if I have a grasp of the day in the life of a federal tax employee. The knowledge that I have gained in my internship with KPMG has exceeded my expectations, and I've had a chance to work on an extremely wide range of assignments. I now have a clear idea of the entire process from start to finish, and KPMG's methodology to complete projects so that we exceed client expectations.

The receipt of an engagement letter, or written approval, initiates the tax compliance process. In most cases, the team will then meet to discuss how the work will be allocated, the budget, and the client's financial situation and type of returns that will need to be filed. The associate, or intern in my situation, then begins to review the information and any documents received from the client, and ultimately prepare a complete set of work papers. In all cases, the work papers are scanned and are electronically accessible online through KPMG's online file storage system called Orion. If the work papers are prepared within KPMG's E-Work papers, another firm tool, then it is a fairly simple process to import the work papers into GoRS, which is the tool in which the return is prepared. Every return is generated through software, which saves a lot of time that would be used to rollover client information or elections that remain the same from year to year. Throughout this process, depending on the size of the engagement, there will be levels of review from both a Senior Associate and Manager, in which you are provided with guidance and feedback. After the return is properly completed, it is then sent to the tax processing area, in which another short process must be completed to ensure proper receipt by the IRS and documentation for the client. In most cases, you will even be the one to have the satisfaction of sealing the envelope and delivering it to the mail area!

This week, I had the opportunity to participate in a firm-wide community service event, Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl For Kids Sake. KPMG sponsored eleven teams, with over a fourth of the entire Columbus office involved, and raised over $10,000 dollars for the children of Central Ohio Big Brothers Big Sisters! Prior to the event, teams were able to solicit donations from family, friends, and co-workers. On the day of the event we all traveled to a local bowling alley to participate in an hour of free bowling, food, and fun. One of my favorite parts of the experience was having the opportunity to interact with co-workers outside of the office, and to meet their children and families. This event contributes to KPMG's work-life balance, and allows everyone to learn more about the great people they work with everyday!

It has been almost a month since my last day as an intern in KPMG's Columbus Tax Practice, and I'm now back on campus. Although it is nice to occasionally have the chance to "sleep in," or to enjoy the afternoon sunshine as a college student, my experience at KPMG gave me a new perspective on my studies and additional motivation to reach graduation. With a year still remaining in my studies, it is a relief to know that I have signed a full time offer with KPMG, and I would encourage all students to take the initiative to start the recruiting process as early as possible. Take the initiative to begin networking and learning about careers in accounting. You may be shocked to realize how early in your undergraduate studies opportunities will become available to satisfy your interests and future career goals.

Fun Facts

  • Are you actively involved with any community organizations? If so, which ones and briefly describe your involvement.

    I have participated in three, one week alternative break trips in which I have traveled to Atlanta, GA, New Orleans, LA, and Chicago, IL to participate in community service activities for national organizations Project Open Hand, Inspiration Corporation, and Habitat for Humanity. I’ve continued to stay involved locally in Habitat for Humanity, and just recently participated in hanging dry wall on the first floor of a building.
  • Are you involved in any on-campus clubs or activities?

    I am a co-founder of The Professional Development Program, an organization founded to foster the professional, social, and interpersonal growth of its undergraduate business members. The organization hosts various speakers who coach and advise students on topics such as interviewing, resume building, building your network, and creating your personal brand. In addition, I am a member of Kappa Delta Sorority in which I currently hold the position of Sisterhood Chair and previously was Secretary. Also, I am a member of Ohio State’s Politics, Society, and Law Scholars Program and I am an alumni of The 2007 Leadership Collaborative.

    What are your favorite TV shows?

    Entourage and Project Runway
  • Do you have a mentor? If yes, please describe the experience.?

    My mentor may not realize I consider her my mentor because we are also colleagues, sorority sisters, and she is only two years older than I. As a freshman student, Allison, approached me as we were leaving a sorority function because she had just found out that I was an accounting major. She shared her excitement for her upcoming internship in KPMG’s Phoenix office with me, and then proceeded to tell me about KPMG’s Fast Forward Internship Program. About a month later, I interviewed for the program, and this began my relationship with KPMG’s recruiters on Ohio State’s campus. Although, Allison is heading to Phoenix where she has accepted an offer to work as an audit associate in just three months, I continue to update her on my internship, and we can share new experiences due to the consistent firm culture nationwide.
  • What do you do for fun/hobbies?

    I play intramural soccer for both Ohio State and KPMG. In addition, I enjoy running, exploring new restaurants in Columbus, and love to garden when weather permits.

    Have you traveled outside of the US? For school or personal? Where?

    I am traveling to London, England this coming summer for 2 months!
  • What are the top 3 reasons you chose KPMG for your internship?

    1> The People – No one waits by the door at 5:00 ready to leave work every day; KPMG professionals are driven, sincerely interested in their careers, and accept personal responsibility for their work. Working amongst the best, helps you reach your best potential.
    2. Community Service – Just as an intern, I’ve participated in 3 community service activities in the past 8 weeks. In addition, KPMG encourages community service and provides 8 hours of paid service time to employees.
    3. Work-life balance - Although late hours may be expected of you, KPMG acknowledges that their employees have families and lives outside of work. They encourage a work-life balance and provide opportunities like intramural sports teams and 25 paid vacation days/year to their employees.
  • What advice would you offer to a student just beginning the recruiting/application process?

    An internship is not just a 10 week experience, it can be the beginning of your career. Ultimately it is the firm’s decision to extend an offer to you, but you get the power to decide if you fit in to the culture of the firm. Sometimes it is great to ask the same question to multiple people at different levels within a firm. You’ll often know you are getting an accurate response when you get the same answer from all three.
  • What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

    No question is a stupid question. During your internship you will drive yourself crazy if you attempt to figure every problem out yourself. Sometimes, there won’t be an answer to the problem/situation you are trying to resolve because you won’t even have the information from the client yet. Don’t be afraid to confidently ask questions when you don’t understand. Sometimes after asking a question you will be surprised to find that it was fairly clear, and if that happens several times you should consider taking more time in self-review, and finding a healthy balance between asking too much and too little. You know more than you think- relax and be confident in your work!