Transaction advisory services (TAS) groups in accounting firms help organizations evaluate and navigate corporate transactions, with services that include business modeling, M&A, and valuations. A career in transaction advisory is a lot like investment banking and can therefore involve very long hours with lots of stress and extreme attention to detail. The competition for positions is intense, as most accounting firms only have small TAS groups relative to the rest of their divisions.
The personality of someone suited to work in the TAS division of an accounting firm typically has the following character traits:
Highly ambitious/driven to succeed
Attention to detail
Polished and presentable
Ability to work long hours
Interview prep is similar to investment banking and so we recommend following the same steps we’ve laid out for landing an i-banking job. Please review the important steps to prepare for an interview in our guide to getting a job in IB, and have also provided an example of a real interview form used by an investment bank to hire analysts.
There are various entry points into TAS groups at accounting firms. Some enter straight out of school, others move into the group from another division in the firm, and others are recruited from outside the firm, typically with investment banking or corporate development experience.
Professionals in transaction advisory services have several options: they can move up within the group and have a very rewarding career, they can move into another group in the accounting firm, or they can move to the corporate side.
Below is a guideline of how much you can earn in TAS. It should be noted that there can be a wide range based on the accounting firm, the year, and the city you’re working in.
Consultant (entry-level): $60,000 to $90,000 (base salary plus bonus)
Manager: $90,000 – $150,000 (base salary plus bonus)
Director/VP: $150 – $300,000 (base salary plus bonus)
Partner: $300,000 – $1 million+ (including equity)
It’s important to start with a solid understanding of accounting fundamentals. Next you should have a solid Excel crash course under your belt, which will teach you the basics including shortcuts, formulas and functions. From there you can progress to financial modeling courses, which will be required for your day to day work. By taking a several different courses you’ll learn about various industries and see different types of model.