3 reasons to work in fund accounting

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Fund accountants are vital to financial services organizations, responsible for the day-to-day accounting for one or more assigned funds. If you’re a newly qualified accountant looking for a route into financial services, then a role in fund accounting could be for you.

Chris Stringer, Manager at Robert Walters New York shares the three top reasons newly qualified accountants move into fund accounting.

Career progression

 “Working as a fund accountant presents an exceptional opportunity to develop a deep technical understanding of fund structures while developing relationships with senior stakeholders and provides a chance to truly understand how the firm you’re working for operates,” says Chris.

“There are a number of career paths available and a long-term career in fund accounting is a valid route to a CFO or COO position within a fund or private equity firm.”

“The experience will also give you the transferable skills that you can use to move into other roles within financial services whether that be investor relations, fund allocations, more project based roles or, in some cases, revenue generating positions,” he adds.

You’ll make the most of your skills

 “Working in fund accounting is a great way to start your career in accounting and become an industry specialist,” says Chris.

As a fund accountant, you’re responsible for the day-to-day accounting of your assigned funds; this will include reviewing and preparing fund financials. While developing your general accounting knowledge, you will also be developing your skill set as a subject matter expert on the specific type of funds you’re assigned to.

“The role will allow you to harness and develop a niche skill set while also offering breath and variety as fund structures evolve and change and as you become involved in any other projects or process improvement work.”

 “There are different challenges and day-to-day duties – you’ll likely be working on multiple funds with a variety of different structures. The role will be exciting and challenging. Almost all financial services firms have funds and therefore they need these specialized accountants.”

“A common misconception I hear from candidates is that they feel they’ll become pigeonholed, and they’ll only be producing nav packages, however, a fund accounting career offers a great way to continue your learning in a role that offers both progression and varied opportunities,” he adds.

You’ll become the go-to person

“Positions in fund accounting will differ with regards to both the type of fund and size of fund,” says Chris.

“You may work on multiple funds within the same role or perhaps you will be limited to fewer or just one larger or more complex fund. Either way, the fund accountant will become the ‘go-to’ person when it comes to finance related queries within specific funds.”

Key stakeholders from within the organization, external stakeholders and investors will be relying on the fund accountants for accurate reporting and analysis of a fund’s performance.

So, what does it take to be a successful fund accountant?

Fund accountants are organized professionals with the ability to handle deadlines under pressure. Employers prefer candidates with strong funds knowledge and the commercial acumen to add operational value to the firm. Good MS Excel skills are beneficial, and as this is a business facing role, fund accountants are always team players.

The right attitude is vital, especially during interview stage. Employers are looking for people who have a strong interest in the funds industry and have a desire to progress within this area.

With an increase in demand within the sector, the potential for travel, career progression and a potentially lucrative salary, there is no doubt that fund accounting is a very attractive career proposition.

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