Accounting / Professional Services (1 Viewer)

ChargePoint

New Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
5
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2018
I'll take a shot at this. Even though I don't work in this area specifically I know a fair bit about it and people who do.

Firstly, to clarify, when you say Transaction Services are you talking about the area as a whole or specifically transaction services?

For example, EY calls their broader team Transaction Advisory Services and this captures everything from pure M&A advisory to deals modelling to real estate advisory to due diligence, whereas PwC calls the area Deals, and within deals you have M&A, real estate advisory, transaction services etc.

For the purpose of this I'll assume you mean the broader area. Pay and Career progression is in line with the broader structure of professional services firms and you can find plenty of information on this online - I'd prefer not to go into specifics.

Exit opportunities largely depend on the specific area you are in within Deals/TAS. For example you'll see people from valuations or M&A making the jump to investment banking whereas people from TS might go in-house to a Corporate Development role. Another fairly common exit is in-house strategy at a large corporate. I've also seen direct exits into small private equity firms however this is not the norm. I think when looking to exit the decision is around the type of work you want to do, obviously if you love working on live deals and want exposure to bigger deals (rather than the middle market and below where Big 4 tends to play) then IB may make sense. If you're sick of financial modelling and are looking for a role thats a mix of quantitative and qualitative tasks you'll probably get that from in-house CorpDev/Strat.

Something else to keep in mind is that TS service lines tend to be one of, if not the most competitive service lines to break into. They don't usually take many graduates or interns and the people applying are usually the same that are trying for IB. A common route is a couple of years in assurance, consulting or something else before making the switch.

Hope that answers your questions!
Hi, thank you for your reply.

So I meant the specific sub-group transaction services (the one which mainly performs due diligence). These in-house roles exit opportunities that you speak of, would some one transferring from TS mainly just be within a role that performs due diligence as well (e.g. in-house dd role in PE)?

Working on live deals and getting exposure to larger deals definitely sounds exciting, however I have crossed IB out of the list as I won't be able to cope with the hours (wouldn't be able to get into IB anyway; was able to land a CF/TS role for this summer and I can definitely say the calibre of students in these functions are not as hardcore as those in IB).
 

Jinks

Active Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
668
Location
Melbourne
Gender
Male
HSC
2010
Hi, thank you for your reply.

So I meant the specific sub-group transaction services (the one which mainly performs due diligence). These in-house roles exit opportunities that you speak of, would some one transferring from TS mainly just be within a role that performs due diligence as well (e.g. in-house dd role in PE)?

Working on live deals and getting exposure to larger deals definitely sounds exciting, however I have crossed IB out of the list as I won't be able to cope with the hours (wouldn't be able to get into IB anyway; was able to land a CF/TS role for this summer and I can definitely say the calibre of students in these functions are not as hardcore as those in IB).
Short answer is it depends. I've spent some time in a large corporate and the Corp Dev team there was made up of plenty of people with TS backgrounds, so I imagine they would be doing anything from origination through to execution. In PE it may be a little different because you'll be competing with people from IB or M&A groups who have much stronger technical / modelling skills.

I've seen people move within CF from TS -> M&A, this would probably give you a really solid foundation. Your other options for exit opportunities would be FP&A roles within a corporate. Just keep in mind that TS is fairly similar to audit in the nature of the work (so I've been told).

Well done on landing the TS role for the summer - for the record I have friends who landed TS roles and then IB later in the year so definitely some of the same sort of people! All the best!
 

ChargePoint

New Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
5
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2018
Short answer is it depends. I've spent some time in a large corporate and the Corp Dev team there was made up of plenty of people with TS backgrounds, so I imagine they would be doing anything from origination through to execution. In PE it may be a little different because you'll be competing with people from IB or M&A groups who have much stronger technical / modelling skills.

I've seen people move within CF from TS -> M&A, this would probably give you a really solid foundation. Your other options for exit opportunities would be FP&A roles within a corporate. Just keep in mind that TS is fairly similar to audit in the nature of the work (so I've been told).

Well done on landing the TS role for the summer - for the record I have friends who landed TS roles and then IB later in the year so definitely some of the same sort of people! All the best!
That gives me hope, Corp Dev is something I would look forward to in the future (work/life balance and nature of the work). Yep, that is also what I have heard; that TS is pretty much auditing deals. Yep i do agree, some people tend to secure big 4 CF/TS as back-up first (since they recruit earlier) and then decline once they get IB. I am not too sure if they would decline it for commercial banks though; what would you pick if you have the option between Institutional Banking and TS?

Thanks for your replies
 

RishBonjour99

Active Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
367
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
N/A
Something else to keep in mind is that TS service lines tend to be one of, if not the most competitive service lines to break into. They don't usually take many graduates or interns and the people applying are usually the same that are trying for IB. A common route is a couple of years in assurance, consulting or something else before making the switch.
I agree that within the big 4 - its the roughest to crack. It is 'competitive' in a sense that there are a few spots but I know that there were 5 interns in one of the big 4s last summer no one particularly 'hardcore'. I also know people who work in corp finance and they are not IB level quality, generally speaking. People who are serious about IB (and actually have a shot i.e. 80 plus WAMs + seriously good work exp and/or ECs) apply as an absolute last resort but they tend to end up in IB roles anyway (or consulting based roles).

And laterally moving from big 4 corp finc to IBs is pretty common - they actually have roles open for 'big 4 professionals' quite often. I know a guy who did 2 years at p dubbs assurance and is now at Maq cap.There are plenty like that.
 

Jinks

Active Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
668
Location
Melbourne
Gender
Male
HSC
2010
That gives me hope, Corp Dev is something I would look forward to in the future (work/life balance and nature of the work). Yep, that is also what I have heard; that TS is pretty much auditing deals. Yep i do agree, some people tend to secure big 4 CF/TS as back-up first (since they recruit earlier) and then decline once they get IB. I am not too sure if they would decline it for commercial banks though; what would you pick if you have the option between Institutional Banking and TS?

Thanks for your replies
That's a tough one. If I wanted to lateral into IB or Corp Dev somewhere then I think TS is the only logical choice as the skill set you develop in insto isn't as transferable. If I was looking at starting a solid career with great career progression with plenty of diversity in its own right I'd take an insto position with the mindset of being in it for the long term (great pay, decent work-life balance, overseas opportunities, roles within the bank etc.)
 

ChargePoint

New Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
5
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
2018
Damn that is tough; I am attracted to Insto as they offer rotations as well. I guess I'll see how the intern goes and possibility have a look into other subdivisions such as valuations. Thanks!
 

Anthel

Active Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Messages
202
Location
Australia
Gender
Male
HSC
N/A
Are there any banking or accounting cadetships or other vacancies for undergraduates currently available in Sydney? (prefer north sydney or sydney CBD)
 
Last edited:

immabee

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
22
Location
QLD
Gender
Female
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2013
Hi all,

I would like to know what are the job scope for Accountants/Analysts/Consultants in Audit & Assurance division in Australia especially when they have 1.5 -2.5 years of experience under their belt? Have they started leading engagements with vacationeers and graduates being their team members and performed some of the works of a senior (e.g. review working papers, draft management letter/management representation letter, arrange signing pages and coach junior members)?

As an experienced hire from overseas with similar years of experience as above, I expect there is some discounting in my experience when it comes to applying any of the Big 4 and Mid-Tier accounting firms in Australia due to different methodologies/software used across the firms and the lack of experience working in Australian chartered environment. However, there should be little discrepancy when it comes to education and professional development as I graduated with BCom from Australia and now in a midst of completing the CAANZ CA program. I just want to make sure that my potential employers will not take too much advantage of the pay and experience gap.

Would appreciate a lot if you have some insights. You could send me a PM if you are feeling uncomfortable to disclose them here. Thanks.
 

seremify007

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
9,990
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
Uni Grad
2009
Hi all,

I would like to know what are the job scope for Accountants/Analysts/Consultants in Audit & Assurance division in Australia especially when they have 1.5 -2.5 years of experience under their belt? Have they started leading engagements with vacationeers and graduates being their team members and performed some of the works of a senior (e.g. review working papers, draft management letter/management representation letter, arrange signing pages and coach junior members)?
Depends on each firm and the client base but I'd be most surprised if someone with that level of experience was doing final review of an audit file in a big 4 firm. If your seniors/managers have high faith in you they may let you do initial review and provide coaching notes/feedback to juniors but I think they'd still sign off. As for drafting management rep letters/preparing for signing/coaching/etc it again depends on firm and your own ability but all of those things can be done by associates anyway. Keep in mind also that the experience and expectations of grades (even within the same firm) varies greatly between countries - and I'd say Australian expectations are definitely up there.

Job scope again varies by industry sector/firm/etc... but at the very least you'll be working on multiple engagements and with that level of experience, you should at least know fundamental methodology and concepts very well, and also have some softer skills with client relationships, team coaching/building, etc. Each firm will have it's own 'expectations' (sometimes written sometimes not) and you need to see how that aligns with your abilities.

Word of advice is not to take on more than you actually can or to pretend you have more experience than you actually have, and be willing to settle for a lower title if needed - plenty of people have tried to go for something higher than what they are technically capable of and really struggled. If you get dropped into a job as an in-charge or lead senior and you know nothing- you won't last long.

As an experienced hire from overseas with similar years of experience as above, I expect there is some discounting in my experience when it comes to applying any of the Big 4 and Mid-Tier accounting firms in Australia due to different methodologies/software used across the firms and the lack of experience working in Australian chartered environment. However, there should be little discrepancy when it comes to education and professional development as I graduated with BCom from Australia and now in a midst of completing the CAANZ CA program. I just want to make sure that my potential employers will not take too much advantage of the pay and experience gap.

Would appreciate a lot if you have some insights. You could send me a PM if you are feeling uncomfortable to disclose them here. Thanks.
Managing expectations here- don't think you will get a huge leg up just because you've done some studies. Everyone has. And if you aren't familiar with the firm's methodology/approach and local standards, you will get ripped apart even by the cadets with one year under their belt. Generally speaking, many people do get downgraded when joining an Australian big4 firm from overseas but it all depends.

So with that in mind, you need to work out what exactly you bring to the table from your overseas experience and why that puts you in a competitive position. Think about what you do on a day to day basis, what differentiates you, and how you think that would complement whichever role/firm you're applying for.

Also it helps if you've worked with people who are from the office/firm you're applying for.

I realise the above post sounds quite negative but it's deliberate because I've had this conversation many times with people and do it to help temper expectations/enthusiasm and avoid falling into pitfalls.
 
Last edited:

immabee

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
22
Location
QLD
Gender
Female
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2013
Hi seremify007,

I am so glad you are the one who answered my questions. Really appreciate your comments because I need a lot more insights to align my expectations with the current audit market.

Job scope again varies by industry sector/firm/etc... but at the very least you'll be working on multiple engagements and with that level of experience, you should at least know fundamental methodology and concepts very well, and also have some softer skills with client relationships, team coaching/building, etc. Each firm will have it's own 'expectations' (sometimes written sometimes not) and you need to see how that aligns with your abilities.
In that case, would the Private Clients division / mid-tier / small firms be more accepting for overseas experience than a generic Assurance division that focuses on ASX Listed Clients all the time?. Despite Big 4 experience, most of our portfolios from our office are private clients equivalent. We audit clients from various sectors and we do not perform field work in their premises of more than 1 month.

Word of advice is not to take on more than you actually can or to pretend you have more experience than you actually have, and be willing to settle for a lower title if needed - plenty of people have tried to go for something higher than what they are technically capable of and really struggled. If you get dropped into a job as an in-charge or lead senior and you know nothing- you won't last long.
Trust me, I have seen the Australian illustrative/model financial statements from various firms. Way more disclosure and long-winded than my country's model financial statements. I will never set myself for a position/job scope that's higher than my current job scope. Currently I am a semi senior from a Big 4 with some empowerment and performing works of an in-charge / lead senior. I understood being in a new firm requires me to understand new methodologies and local standards, therefore I wouldn't risk myself taking an in-charge job / lead senior, especially for the first 6 months.

Managing expectations here- don't think you will get a huge leg up just because you've done some studies. Everyone has. And if you aren't familiar with the firm's methodology/approach and local standards, you will get ripped apart even by the cadets with one year under their belt. Generally speaking, many people do get downgraded when joining an Australian big4 firm from overseas but it all depends.
So when it comes to graduates (<1 year) and cadets with one year under their belt, where should an experienced hire from Big 4 overseas (1.5-2.5 years) be placed at?

So with that in mind, you need to work out what exactly you bring to the table from your overseas experience and why that puts you in a competitive position. Think about what you do on a day to day basis, what differentiates you, and how you think that would complement whichever role/firm you're applying for.
Noted. Due to my current position and years of service aren't as long as others (they are seniors and have 3-5 years worth of experience and have greater client portfolio), I personally think they're much more outstanding than myself. However I was quite surprised when I have replies from one of the Big 4 and currently made it to Partner stage interview for an Accountant/Analyst/Consultant equivalent position (still unsure if the level is grad or in between those accountant/analysts/consultants levels). I think the main 2 strengths I can identify from myself are:

If your managers have high faith in you they may let you do initial review and provide coaching notes/feedback to juniors but I think they'd still sign off.
This, all the time. And the ability to set up audit engagements and design working papers from scratch to completion for our new clients. Was the latter very common among associates in Australian office?. So far this is my plus point because in my pool, I have the most participation in either assisting or taking charge (both individual and team-based) in all audits of our first year clients and clients that have shifted their principal activities during the year (e.g. tea plantation to oil palm plantation), as compared to my peers whether they are juniors or seniors. I still think performing consolidation is expected at associates level, so nothing special either.

Personally, would you think it's better off to switch to AU firm earlier, or should I wait till I attain Senior status so that at most my experience would be discounted to Accountant/Analyst/Consultant that is above grad level?
 

seremify007

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
9,990
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
Uni Grad
2009
I think overseas experience is always useful, and if you are at least a senior associate (or better) then you have something to offer - i.e. less training/coaching required, and potentially you can move things forward easier. That being said you need to be able to prove that you are in this position and hence maybe private clients might be a better starting point with a view to move into the other areas later on? The criteria they look for definitely isn't fixed and I'd say it's based on supply/demand at any point in time.

If you come too early, you're nearly at same level as local fresh starters who are cheaper/easier to hire and unless you're a superstar academically/professionally, it'll be hard to compete.

From what I can tell, if you make it to senior, you will probably get downgraded in most of the big firms in Australia to an experienced associate to give you a chance to do some senior style work but without the full pressure of being a senior.
 

immabee

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
22
Location
QLD
Gender
Female
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2013
I think overseas experience is always useful, and if you are at least a senior associate (or better) then you have something to offer - i.e. less training/coaching required, and potentially you can move things forward easier. That being said you need to be able to prove that you are in this position and hence maybe private clients might be a better starting point with a view to move into the other areas later on? The criteria they look for definitely isn't fixed and I'd say it's based on supply/demand at any point in time.

If you come too early, you're nearly at same level as local fresh starters who are cheaper/easier to hire and unless you're a superstar academically/professionally, it'll be hard to compete.

From what I can tell, if you make it to senior, you will probably get downgraded in most of the big firms in Australia to an experienced associate to give you a chance to do some senior style work but without the full pressure of being a senior.

Thank you for your advice. I will look into it again if I still want to continue my career in auditing after attaining senior status and being admitted as a CA.
 

immabee

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
22
Location
QLD
Gender
Female
HSC
2010
Uni Grad
2013
Hi Seremify, it's been awhile since the last post. =)
To update, I was promoted to Senior a month after the last post and completed my CA in early 2017. Fortunately I was able to leave my former employer back home earlier this year for an equivalent role by another Big 4 in Queensland. Was expecting some discounting would occur due to the transition but got promoted to AM right after my probation.

Thanks for your advice again and your prediction of the timing is so accurate. Worked hard and am doing well at the moment (although there are some adjustments in the administration/protocol POV to get used to) and will anticipate more challenges/opportunities ahead especially with the new role.

What a Legend and hope all goes well with you too.
 
Last edited:

seremify007

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
9,990
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
Uni Grad
2009
Glad to hear you're doing well immabee :)

I have to admit life has gotten hectic for me and hence am not around here much, but hopefully there are a new generation of accountants coming through!
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top