Every year, more accounting graduates join the Philippine labor force.
While they may posses the general knowledge and skills expected of them, competition for jobs in the country has become steep. Fresh graduates now need to enhance their skills in order to get ahead in the workplace.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) reported that from 2005 to 2013, enrollees in Accountancy increased by an average of 9.24 percent, leading to greater competition for jobs. The abundant supply has led companies to choose graduates based not only on their degree, but more importantly, on the skills and business acumen that match industry standards.
To help these aspiring accountants, tax and audit firm Punongbayan and Araullo (P&A) opened their doors for accounting interns to gain experience and further develop the skills they have learned in school.
“We have seen the evolution of the accounting industry over the years.
As such, we believe that our role has grown from not only looking for the best graduates in the market, but also to developing new ones,” said Ma. Victoria Españo, chairman and chief executive officer of P&A.
Also acting as an advisory and outsourcing services firm, the company’s expertise in the industry will help these young students to advance in their careers. This vision inspired the creation of P&A’s innovative program called “Summer Camp,” an annual internship program that aims to teach, develop and prepare qualified student-applicants in pursuing a public accounting career in a professional services firm.
Through the program, interns go through a 200-hour structured curriculum, which includes training and collaboration with peers, managers and partners, on top of weekly leadership workshops to bring out the visionaries in them.
Unlike regular training programs wherein students work in one practice division, the Summer Camp allows interns to experience the operations in all of P&A’s service lines: they get to work with the teams in Audit and Assurance, Advisory Services, Tax Advisory and Compliance, and Outsourcing.
“We are proud to offer the Summer Camp to qualified students.
Through this program, students are able to align their skills and expectations with the real demands of the profession, and we believe that it will help them become more competent and more employable after graduation,” added Españo.
Aside from enhancing participants’ professional skills, P&A’s program also contributes to their personal growth and development. “I am very thankful for this opportunity. Aside from learning a lot about the job, I also became more aware of what I want to be in the near future,” said Franzelle Buclatin of Far Easter University, who was one of the recent graduates of the program.
Another graduate, Ronver Sevilla of the University of Santo Tomas, similarly shared, “I learned a lot during the summer camp—from experiencing what it is like to work as an auditor, to learning how to work with other people. I hope this program continues next year so
more and more students can learn from it.”
“We are happy with the positive feedback we get from our Summer Camp graduates. It’s encouraging for us to see the immediate impact the program has on these students, and to know that we’re contributing to the efforts towards developing world-class Filipino accountants,” said Españo.
P&A Summer Camp has just finished its third year, while they continually offer regular internship program for students in the areas of accountancy, finance, marketing, human resources, and information technology.