Here in part four of our ‘Deep Dive into Consulting’ series Aoibhín Byrne, Senior Associate, with our Dublin team and an expert in recently qualified practice and tax and careers, takes a closer look at finance & accounting advisory.
Joining a Finance & Accounting Advisory Department
When we chat to candidates about joining a Finance & Accounting Advisory department, the responses we receive are usually along the lines of “I want to work in industry!” or “I don’t want to do outsourced accounting!”.
It’s a career path which is often distinctly overlooked, yet it can add tremendous value to your CV, so we think it’s worthwhile to dive a little deeper and explore the benefits of working in this area of Consulting.
Ireland has well and truly established itself as a leading hub for multinational companies. Ireland offers MNCs access to highly educated, skilled, English-speaking workers, it is an EU member state and the low corporation tax rate helps a bit too!! Many of these MNCs often have their headquarters elsewhere, so they choose to partner with an Irish advisory firm to manage their local finance affairs. This relieves organisations of the unnecessary burden of investing time and money into establishing their own finance function in each of their jurisdictions.
Finance & accounting advisory teams offer an array of services to their clients including preparation of financial statements, finance process improvement and expert advice on new standards or local reporting requirements. Thus, working in one of these teams means your workload will be varied and interesting, giving you exposure to a multitude of areas of finance and accounting.
In many industry finance roles, your day 5 of one month can be exactly the same as your day 5 of the previous month and exactly the same as your day 5 of the next month, and so on! In consulting it’s rare to have two days which are the same, so a career in an advisory team will suit someone who likes change and challenges to be staple features of their work environment.
As is the nature of consulting, working in a finance & accounting advisory team means that you’re likely to have a portfolio of clients. It’s not uncommon for consultants to be seconded to their client’s office for a few months at a time to work as part of their in-house finance team. This provides you with a unique insight as to what industry life is like in different organisations, enabling you to assess and compare various cultures, organisational structures and ways of working.
Alongside this, you will be able to ‘dip your toes’ into a variety of industries without having to get yourself fully immersed. We meet many candidates who dream of working in a tech company, but after a few months of working in their dream organisation, they realise that they prefer organisations with more tangible assets; something they can understand in a physical sense. Working as part of an advisory team facilitates an opportunity for you to learn about different industries and decipher which ones you have the most interest in.
As mentioned, MNCs choose to partner with their Irish advisory team. As these organisations continue to grow and expand into new markets, their accounting challenges become more complex and intricate. These clients see their consultants as their trusted advisors and subject matter experts on local finance issues; they rely on their consultants to ensure their organisation is fully compliant with local regulatory requirements. These consulting teams have to anticipate change, assess how it will impact their clients and create solutions in order to successfully navigate these issues.
Spending time in a finance & accounting advisory team is certainly a worthwhile investment in your career. The variety of industries, organisations and accounting and finance issues you gain exposure to opens up a myriad of doors for your next career move. Potential employers will not only value your technical experience but will also consider the wider skills you have developed: managing client relationships, commercial awareness, ability to adapt to change and engaging in business development.
It’s certainly a lot more than “outsourced accounting”, right!?
Need help building your finance team, or looking for a new opportunity?
We’re the experts in accounting and tax recruitment in Ireland. If you’re leader looking to attract new accounting or tax talent, or a finance professional seeking opportunities, speak to Aoibhín Byrne, at email@example.com.