what is corporate finance?

Big organisations often have specialised corporate finance teams. The job entails securing finance for capital reconstructions, mergers and acquisitions, as well as management buy-outs. Corporate finance professionals need to be good negotiators as they broker deals with lawyers, lenders, and various other finance professionals

what does forensic accounting involve?

Larger firms have dedicated litigation support departments staffed by specialist qualified accountants.  They are involved in fraud investigations, personal injury cases and civil cases which frequently rely on the testimony of expert accountancy witnesses.  As a forensic accountant you will work with lawyers, insurance companies and clients to resolve disputes.

what is audit and assurance?

Auditors evaluate their client’s records for accuracy and to assess risk and prepare financial statements.  The work comprises risk analysis, the identification of failing systems, and the recommendation of new controls.  The financial training that working in an audit practice will give you is excellent; you will be exposed to businesses in many different fields – some of which will be struggling (and need advice on how to turn themselves around) as well as successful companies that are beacons of management excellence.  You’ll need great soft skills.

what does working in insolvency involve?

Insolvency practitioners advise failing companies how to improve the business and how to restructure and renegotiate their finances to improve their cashflow with a view to continue trading.  If the business can’t continue trading, they will manage the winding-up of the business including the sale of its assets and the payment of creditors.  Your communication skills will be taxed as you explain legislation and deadlines involved in the various legal proceedings.

shall I specialise in tax?

If you choose to specialise in tax, your average day will involve collating information on tax legislation, drafting letters, reports and presentations for clients, advising them on tax law and tax planning.  You’ll complete and submit tax returns to HMRC. Something to consider if you are interested in law, as well as finance.

should I go in-house?

Accountants working in industry will forecast and monitor revenue coming into and leaving an organisation, as well as having a broader operational role.  The job will include developing cash-flow forecasts, planning the allocation of funds and identifying operational risks but there’s also the opportunity to undertake more strategic work, such as advising management on strategy.

To find out which of these accountancy specialisms best suits you, take our quiz.