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The audit practice at Big Four firm KPMG has introduced a new program that will pay new hires to study for the CPA exam.

The CPA Kickstart program, a two-month, 40-hour-a-week initiative, will provide new hires time, compensation, and benefits to study for two of the most challenging sections of the exam: Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and Regulations (REG).

The program will officially launch this summer as a pilot project in 35 firm offices, and it has already recruited more than 225 candidates.

“Auditors are constrained without their CPA, and studying nights and weekends can be a difficult and frustrating experience,” said Becky Sproul, head of audit talent and culture at KPMG, in a statement. “Our program will provide significant support to pass the CPA exam while adding top talent to our engagement teams.”

KPMG offices in Chicago

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Kickstart will be managed by KPMG and a third-party review course. New recruits enrolled in the program will receive additional support for the completion of the final section of the CPA exam once they begin their work with the respective clients. Kickstart will also boost the company’s existing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

“We are committed to providing a better audit experience for our employees and clients, fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce to drive innovation and maintain audit quality,” said Scott Flynn, vice president of audit at KPMG, in a statement. “KPMG CPA Kickstart opens doors for students on a less traditional academic path or smaller program, giving them the opportunity to focus on passing the CPA exam while getting paid.”

More information is available on KPMG website here.