Deloitte Snowball: a three-month programme for new auditors

At Deloitte, we are investing heavily in professional development, determined to be best-in-class in learning across Central Europe. We want to ensure that all our
people are well prepared to work with our clients. Therefore, in 2019 we rolled
out a three-month programme for new audit employees hired as analysts.

Audit has changed in recent years: the profession is much more challenging, regulations keep changing, auditors work with enormous data volumes. Technologies, advanced applications moving the sector forward, emerge. This is connected to a new requirement for the education of future auditors and changes to be made in their preparation for their career start in finance.

Snowball at Deloitte is transforming how we prepare our young professionals for their careers with us. Thanks to the programme, newcomers know and can do much more than was usual in the past. This includes not just theoretical knowledge, but also practical skills applied in practice several times by the newcomers serving clients or in simulations. Their direct superiors, seniors, appreciate it as it means a higher quality of time dedicated to newcomers in the first months.

And what does it mean for the newcomers?

Within three months, they gain the necessary knowledge and experience to work with clients for the most part independently right from the beginning, while building solid grounds for  their career in finance.

What has changed with the new programme?

Employees undergo up to three months of intensive on-boarding. We deliberately call it “onboarding”, not training. We want them to have a chance to focus on multiple areas in which they think they need to expand their knowledge. In practice, they pick up new knowledge and the experience they need for their job - to describe it with a hyperbole, they are like a snowball rolling down a hill. A major change in practice is that after joining audit teams, analysts can resolve a number of tasks independently, feeling much more valuable as team members. Undoubtedly, it is a challenging programme, but we seek to make it fun. We have embedded in the programme simulations, gamification, learning by experience, feedback loops, coaching, audit technology, analytics, problem solving, teamwork, etc.

How do we know that the Snowball project is successful?

We monitor how newcomers are able to apply new skills in practice, how well they are doing in their audit teams and how their performance is perceived by clients. We make them prepared for practice: during the programmes, new auditors experience several real engagement simulations and work in client premises. The coaches working with them have clear signals of what the newcomers have already mastered and what areas are to be worked on further.

What does it give to our clients?

It is a cliché that clients do not respond to new faces positively and wish audit teams to be stable. This is only a part of the truth. First of all, clients want new
employees to properly understand the clients’ companies, ask informed questions and communicate well. Our aim is to help our new colleagues to better navigate accounting issues and, when working with clients, ask better questions and be able to solve specific practical tasks more independently.

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