What is a corporate finance accountant?

Corporate finance is focussed on sourcing funding and the capital structure of a business, with the aim of increasing its value.

This could include raising capital, supporting transactions such as acquisitions or management buyouts, or securing a loan from a bank. Corporate finance professionals can either work at an accountancy firm such as PwC or in-house.

Being a corporate finance accountant allows you to be at the heart of a business and contribute to its commercial success.

What does the day to day look like?

Your responsibilities could include research, advising on financial options, financial modelling, quantitative analysis and undertaking valuations. Your day will vary depending on whether you choose to work at an accounting firm or in-house at an organisation…

What’s the difference between working for an accounting firm or in-house?

Working within an accountancy firm gives you exposure to clients across a range of different industries and sectors. You will be surrounded by a team and get the opportunity to have regular interaction with clients as well as support with new business efforts. 

Working in-house gives you greater continuity so you can focus on the core area of the business rather than working across multiple clients. It allows you to get stuck into the business and make an impact. Many people choose to train at an accountancy firm first and then move in-house.

What skills and characteristics do corporate finance accountants need?

  • Strong finance and business knowledge: It’s imperative to have a strong knowledge of the finance industry in order to perform the job. You need to be aware of the various financial regulations that may affect your business or clients, and keep on top of industry trends
  • Commercial awareness: It’s important to have strong commercial skills, as you’ll need to be able to understand what makes a business or organisation successful
  • Negotiation skills: As someone who will be helping to broker deals, strong negotiation skills are a must for the job
  • Analytical and quantitative skills: You’ll need strong analytical skills to put together the necessary reports for your clients or company executives. You’ll also need to have strong attention to detail to ensure your analysis is accurate. 
  • Solid communication and interpersonal skills: These are needed to build a rapport with clients, team members and those whom you are reporting to. You may also be dealing with lawyers, researchers and finance providers on a regular basis so need to be able to communicate with them clearly
  • Qualifications: Most corporate finance professionals have some kind of related qualification such as an accountancy and finance related degree. If you don’t have this, an industry qualification will help provide you with the technical and theoretical background you need

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