Michael Page Finance & Accounting has been a market leading recruiter of professionals into accountancy firms since 1976. During that time we have worked with both the leading global and national accountancy firms, hiring at graduate, part and newly-qualified, management and direct entry partner levels across a large range of disciplines.
The breadth of services which our clients offer is unparalleled; and we not only recruit professionals from a finance and accounting background but also from law, banking, consultancy, technology, human resources, operations, engineering and even retail.
Audit and assurance
The assurance (audit and advisory) division within a practice firm offers perhaps the greatest variety of work of all the specialist disciplines. The type of role available will depend on the size of firm. The larger firms will often be working on a range of blue chip listed clients adopting a risk based approach, while the smaller firms will concentrate on owner managed businesses. The approach adopted by these divisions ensures you develop a complete understanding of your client's business. Understanding the key factors not only allows for an effective and 'added value' audit process, but also gives scope to provide a whole range of other services.
Special work including corporate finance work, particularly due diligence, risk management or just general advisory of performance improvement are all services carried out within these divisions. Career progression can be rapid and highly structured with a major focus given to in-house training courses and continued professional development.
When a company is in financial difficulty, the earlier that professional help is sought the greater the chances of survival. Thus, in the current economy, our clients' business recovery departments are extremely busy!
Work can range from the operational/financial restructuring of businesses through to cash management and insolvency. The work is often performed under pressure and to tight deadlines.
When restructuring, assignments involve identifying the issues facing a business, before working with stakeholders (management/investors/banks) to address the under performance and effect a recovery.
Formal insolvency appointments include:
Acting on behalf of a secured lender and realising a company's assets in order to recover a debt due.
Acting for a troubled company in accordance with protective orders to facilitate the survival of the company.
Winding-up the affairs of an insolvent company.
As a consequence of market conditions, vacancies currently exist in Big 4, medium tier and small accountancy firms for those with recovery/insolvency experience.
Demand for candidates' ranges from six months' experience at the junior levels through to those with 5+ years project/client management experience for senior management opportunities. There is also a high demand for candidates looking for temporary and contract opportunities.
Applicants must have a logical, methodical and commercial approach to problem solving, and must possess strong report writing and reviewing skills. Excellent communication skills, both oral and written are also essential in this market.
Corporate finance is one of the most dynamic areas of the profession encompassing deal generation and execution, due diligence and financial modelling.
Broadly speaking this exciting and challenging area can be split into two camps, lead advisory and due diligence.
This is very much at the sharp end of corporate finance involving advice on selling or acquiring businesses, management buy-outs or buy-ins, raising venture or development capital. In practical terms this will involve winning business, helping it to grow and then advising on each successive stage of evolution. Probably one of the most satisfying aspects of this work is the direct contact with wealth creators and entrepreneurs. Understanding a client's personal objectives and how they align with business objectives is a key attribute for working in lead advisory.
An ability to work in fast unpredictable situations and view constant change as a challenge rather than a crisis will be key factors for success in this role.
Due diligence/transaction support
Commercial and financial due diligence are crucial aspects of business acquisition. A key aspect of the role will involve helping clients produce a strong negotiating position. Working as a team, providing an expert commercial assessment of each deal and any risks attached forms a large part of the due diligence role, as does the drafting of warranties and indemnities.
For many newly qualified accountants, this role provides a first step into corporate finance and a platform to develop future deal making skills.
With the growing complexity of the business environment and the growing number of business related investigations, forensic accounting professionals are increasingly asked to assist in the investigation of financial and business related issues.
The integration of accounting, auditing and investigative skills yields the speciality known as forensic accounting.
Forensic professionals provide financial, economic, and statistical services to companies and their attorneys involved in litigation, arbitration or mediations, and regulatory investigations or other regulatory issues. They advise on claims processing, serve as expert witnesses, and conduct fraud and forensic investigations.
Forensic accounting encompasses both litigation support and investigative accounting.
"Litigation support" provides assistance of an accounting nature in a matter involving existing or pending litigation. "Investigative accounting" is often associated with investigations of criminal matters.
Demand for forensic accountants remains consistently high and opportunities currently exist with Big 4 firms, Top 20 firms and forensic boutiques. Applicants must possess an analytical, methodical and investigative approach to accounting and demonstrate sound professional judgement, creativity and confidence whilst in the work place.
In addition to these areas, we also specialise in:
Tax and human capital services
Technical and training roles
Internal audit/risk management