Should I work in Big 4 Restructuring? – Work-life reality, exposure & exit opportunities

In this mini-series, we explore some of the most talked about Accounting & Audit exit opportunities to uncover what work-life reality is really like, what it can do for your career trajectory & the available exit opportunities. Articles in this mini-series include:


In this article, we’re covering Big 4 Restructuring – a division dedicated to helping companies rebuild after experiencing severe financial underperformance.


Have you ever wondered:

  • What Restructuring is actually all about?
  • How does Big 4 Restructuring differ from Private Equity?
  • How much travel is involved?
  • What clients, teams, senior partners etc. will I get exposure to?
  • What is the work-life reality like?


Let’s start from the top…


Why does the Restructuring team exist?

When a company is at risk of defaulting on its debt (and becoming bankrupt), quick and drastic measures are required.  


The solution – typically – is to “restructure” the company’s capital structure and operations in order to avoid collapse, and this is where the Restructuring team comes in.  


Senior Management of the company in question typically call in one of the Big 4 (or other) Restructuring teams to make recommendations for the company turn around.


Work life reality & client/senior exposure

  • Contrary to popular belief, this team don’t typically make the actual decisions on cost cutting, headcount-reduction, asset dispositions, liquidation measures or finance renegotiations (as you might in Private Equity). Such decisions are primarily for the distressed company’s Board of Directors (or their direct funders if they have already defeaulted).


  • Rather, this team make recommendations to the company execs and lenders based on detailed analysis of the financials, asset valuations & modelling, and analysis of contractual and financial obligations.


  • Lots of travel will be required off-site i.e. to distressed company locations in order to observe their day-to-day operations and make realistic recommendations grounded in operational reality.


  • Whilst your Senior Partner will hold the main partnership with the client’s Board of Directors (and thus any conversations around strategic direction), you’ll still likely get lots of exposure to both C-Suite Execs and operational mangers across the business.


  • Your work will become very technical and accounting-oriented – you’re ultimately responsible for counting every scrap of value left in the business.


  • You’ll also likely work closely with the law firm also brought on board and will find yourself rummaging through loan agreements, debt covenants and other legal obligations of the business in partnership with the lawyers (and, surprisingly, on your own).


  • It’s great exposure, but very challenging at times. You’ll be working very closely with – and making recommendations for – people who are very likely to lose their jobs. It WILL get heated at times.


This mini-series intended to give you a quick and dirty overview to some of the most talked about Accounting & Audit exit opportunities. This particular post covered Big 4 Restructuring – a division dedicated to helping companies rebuild after experiencing severe financial underperformance, with other roles coming soon!


Now if this is an area you’re considering, I strongly encourage you to check out our map of the landscape of Accounting & Audit Exit Opportunities, including Restructuring to find out:

  • How does Restructuring compare to other roles in the Finance realm?
  • What are my accounting & audit exit opportunities after spending time in Restructuring?
  • How does the career trajectory in Restructuring differ from others I’m considering
  • Are there other post-audit career paths suited to me?
  • And more…!


Exit Options | Mapping the post-accounting & audit landscape

A lot of the clients we coach ask about moving into more strategic & commercial roles after spending time in traditional accounting & audit, but don’t know where to start or even what opportunities exist …so-much-so that we’ve put together a map of the landscape of accounting exit opportunities, which I encourage you to check out!


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Spice up your CV/Resume for the post-accounting & audit world

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