According to KPMG’s managing partner, Jamal Fakhro, the program is part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to helping develop and nurture local professional accountants.
“KPMG is committed to supporting the communities in which we work,” Mr Fakhro said, “We believe improved education enriches the quality of the local workforce, and leads to greater prosperity in the community.”
Under the program, Bahraini undergraduates interested in pursuing a professional career in accounting or finance can apply for a KPMG study grant to complete their CPA and ACCA qualifications. The grant covers the cost of course materials, tuition, and travel expenses. The students are also provided with training for the first year in the fundamentals of accounting and corporate finance.
Known as the Jassim Fakhro People Development Fund, Bahrain, the sponsorship program has so far invested over US$ 250,000 in the education of young Bahrainis. The Fund is named after Mr Jassim Fakhro, founder of the firm's Bahrain office in 1968.
Sponsorship recipient, Hisham Jamsheer, said he didn’t think he would have been able to fund the qualification without any external support.
“KPMG not only paid for all course costs, it also provided a three month paid study break, which enabled me to put in the necessary time and effort to pass my CPA examinations,” said Mr Jamsheer.
“I probably would have taken out an education loan or so, which is very costly.”
The impact in the community has been the influx of young local professionals who contribute towards raising the level of professionalism in the business community and the wider community. The initiative also helps in developing the individual and the communities they are connected to at a personal level.
The nine Bahraini accounting professionals who completed their CPA and ACCA are: May Sultan, Hisham Jamsheer, Aysha Al Nasser, Mohammed Al Mutawa, Abdulla Mansoor Al Mudawib, Taher Ghareeb, Faisal Al Banna, Mohammed Al Najjar and Ali Al Arab.
Graduates require a minimum 3.80 GPA to qualify for the program. The sponsorship has no strings attached and should students have the freedom to pursue their careers with any organization of their choice.
Regionally, KPMG partners with several organizations to help contribute to a better educational system through professional services. KPMG collaborates with the British Trade Office in Saudi Arabia to help train potential Saudi women entrepreneurs at the Women’s Chamber of Commerce on areas such as an overview of doing business in the Kingdom, marketing, sales, IT, bookkeeping, getting incorporated and raising funds.
In Bahrain KPMG also works in partnership with Tamkeen to deliver an international certified training program on Supply Chain Logistics, and thereby creating new avenues for professional growth sought by Bahraini nationals.