The Professional Services sector is made up of various disciplines which suit different graduates depending on their skills and interests. We've summarised these main areas so you can work out which one might be the best fit for you.
Actuaries (single: actuary) are professionals who use statistical methods to assess financial risk. These stochastic methods include probability, economics, finance and computer programming and the aim is to help clients prepare for any eventuality.
Ideal for: Graduates who like using past data to predict the future and who like to get out and about to their clients' offices.
Chartered Accountants are those who have completed the highest level of training and consequently their qualifications open up a diverse world of opportunities. They are principally concerned with getting to know a business: the figures which are the driving force in the organisation. From revenue to tax to overheads, an accountant's job is to assess and advise. That might sound a simple proposition, but when you're dealing with huge corporations spread over continents, or high growth start-ups about to launch an IPO, it's anything but straightforward.
Ideal for: Graduates who like crunching numbers and have a superb eye for detail.
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Tax is a hugely important area of professional services, not only because of the implications their work has on their clients, but also because of the firms' work on governmental policy changes. Essentially, a tax professional aims to help businesses or individuals comply with the complex rules to operate efficiently. The regulations and methods are constantly changing and therefore this discipline suits a graduate who wants to be kept on their toes. Tax can also be more of a Law-like role than, for example, Accountancy.
Ideal for: Numerate graduates who may have considered Law as a career.
Risk management is the challenging field of evaluating the risk from financial investment/decisions and consulting on how to lower or offset that risk. Poor risk management can cause global problems and sink huge corporations, for example the Lehman Brothers in 2008. Therefore, risk management is highly specialised and tailored to individual clients and their portfolios. It is also a future-facing form of consultancy because risk management forms a vital part of a company's strategy decisions.
Ideal for: A graduate who like statistical analysis, comparing data - and risk.
5. Assurance & Audit
The aim of assurance is to reduce risk caused by misinformation, and it does this by testing the validity of financial and non-financial data. There are various disciplines within assurance, one of which is risk management, and another audit.
Audit is the examination of a company's financial report by an independent auditor. The auditor wants to find out if the organisation's assets are what it says they are, and whether their profits and losses are reported correctly. Companies are generally legally obligated to have an audit every year, but they may conduct one for other reasons too, for example a takeover.
Ideal for: A graduate with a detective-like brain as it entails asking questions of employees, examining records and testing internal controls.
Use our handy application deadline list for the latest Accounting, Tax and Audit graduate schemes today to get your career off the ground.