Transitioning into Transaction Advisory

Hi all,

First time post here so I'm going to keep it concise, detailed and insightful where possible:

Background:

    Graduated from an elite Australian University with decent (credits) marks.
    Completed two degrees - Commerce (Accounting Major) and Information Technology (Business Information Systems)
    Graduated with almost 3 years relevant work experience within both IT and Accounting having started in retail sales then successfully progressing to work at a small accounting firm, IBM, venture backed start-up firms and eventual succeed into my current role in Big 4 Accounting (Sydney).

    Currently:
    Succeeded into a unique program in which ONE (1) person is taken into each year where I simultaneously work across audit and IT consulting within the firm within financial services
    Big financial bonus at the end of 5 years throughout this program (approx 2 years finished it)
    Studying Chartered Accounting (CA) post grad with 2/4 units completed
    Scheduled to study CISA in late 2015/early 2016

    Going forward:
    Made plays to move into more Transactional advisory services within the firm looking at the IT elements of deals with a view of moving away from audit based work and more into consulting/ buy-sell analysis

    Anyone have any advice on my Going-forward?

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Comments (7)

Dec 7, 2014 - 12:43am

If the goal is to move to transaction advisory do it asap. They might not seriously consider you until you have the CA, if that's the case, get the CA first but start to build the relationships now.

A few other thoughts:
-CISA is useless for transaction advisory.
-Don't worry about IT consulting anymore, audit's not even that great but it should help with the transaction advisory part (financial analysis and all that).
-Do CFA or get started on the levels right now, so after you get the CA, you can say I am going through 2 designations at the same time to show you're serious.
-One last thing, when it comes to transaction advisory, "retail sales", "IT advisory" and even certain parts of "Accounting" are not considered relevant. Transaction experience is relevant, but I feel you don't have much of that.

Good luck.
-CDNdude

Dec 7, 2014 - 5:50pm

I've worked on clients which were undergoing a transaction (buyout or merger) so that's more applicable.
I understand the impact on the organisation and have the analytical skills to sell that.
What do you mean "IT Consulting" isn't that relevant anymore? I'll be doing IT buy/sell elements of the transaction

or did you mean something else?

Dec 7, 2014 - 7:38pm

Its difficult to spin your experiences solely with the fact that you've "worked on clients which were undergoing transactions". Because the audit and tax guys can say the same thing, and when it comes to transactions, having audit/tax or other financial-type of experience is more valuable than IT. Often in a transaction, IT system is treated like another fixed asset, not the main value-driver for a transaction, and integration process isn't typically the driver of the transaction value (how fees are made) so even if you have strong knowledge of the impact on organization and stuff, that experience won't really set you apart from someone more competitive.

What you need is transaction experience. Pitching, sourcing, and executing deals. Falling short of that, financial type of experience, I've seen people from audit or tax get in because audit means analyzing financial statements that ties directly into model building, valuation projections (or at least they can spin it accordingly), and tax is useful from an M&A perspective, as in it will generate immediate value/fees or tax savings at least. Tax structuring can also get fairly complicated, and having relevant tax expertise in that field will certainly help.

I'm not sure what "IT buy/sell elements of the transaction" is, but I don't believe IT will really have a huge impact on the underlying transaction one way or the other. Unless you mean for tech companies? Even then, someone with "financial" type of experience I feel will do better than someone emphasizing the "IT" aspect.

I'm based out of Canada, as you can tell by my name.

-CDNdude

Dec 7, 2014 - 8:38pm

wtf is an "elite" Australian university?

(poster is an Australian with 2 undergrad degrees from UNSW, boggled by the concept of elite Australian university, keen to know what means in this day and age)

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Dec 7, 2014 - 10:46pm

I'm not hostile, just trying to work out where perceptions have gone in the 10 years since I've lived in Australia.

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