How to move from Audit to Transaction Services (TS / TAS) – Part 3 of 3: Myths & Things to watch out for

In this 3-part post we’ve broken down – for those of you who have explored your accounting & audit exit opportunities and are certain of where you want to go next – the fundamental ways to help you stand out from your peers and make the move from Audit to Transaction Services / Transaction Advisory Services (TS). We’ve split this into:


In this Part 3 we’ll discuss areas you should be very mindful of when considering and executing your move from Audit to Transaction Services as well as myths we commonly hear from our awesome TheSwiftExit readers & clients.


Part 3 will cover:

  1. Audit employment contracts
  2. TS employment contracts
  3. Niche divisions of TS
  4. Unsuccessful applications & meeting requests


1.Audit employment contracts


Be sure to review your audit/accounting contract thoroughly before planning your move.


Each of you will have obtained your Audit contract through a different means (e.g. some will have started on an apprenticeship vs. graduate programme) and at different points in time.


Employment contracts evolve and HR change them all the time. You need to know what YOUR contract says about paying back exam fees to the Audit HR team you were recruited by as well as notice periods as you will need to be able to discuss these with prospective employers.


Remember that notice periods and exam fees can be negotiated, but this is not guaranteed. If you’re aware of any exam fees you might be liable for then you can also mention this up front to any prospective employers. They are generally happy to pay for it, but you need to let them know before the contract with your new employers is written up.


2.TS employment contracts


A common, and incredibly frustrating, clause in a TS employment contract can require you to move back to Audit during busy season, the very thing that you probably wanted to avoid!


This means the Audit HR team maintains their position of power to pull you out of TS whenever they want you, likely not just the dreaded busy season.


It’s difficult to turn down a great opportunity in TS because of this clause and your eagerness/excitement to move away from full time Audit. If you do decide to take the role despite this clause I’d recommend requesting an addition to the clause which sets hard time guidelines (i.e. only Jan-March and nothing further).


3.Niche divisions of TS


Be mindful that there are some exceptionally niche areas of TS that could make your CV/Resume look more technical, “accounting”, and niche/specialist than before. Nobody wants to pigeon-hole themselves and limit your career options, especially if you’re not entirely sure what your end goal is.


If the role sounds overly technical, then the chances are, it very much is! It’s not worth moving into TS for the sake of it. Heck, we’ve helped a multitude of clients who unintendedly progressed into all sorts of technical accounting/niche areas after spending time in TS (e.g. “Head of Financial Modelling”). Of course, roles like this might be your intention, and that is absolutely fine. But given that you’ve found, you’ll likely want to break into more strategic & commercial roles.


If so, make sure you understand the different divisions of TS, how they operate in the financial landscape, where each role leads and why exactly it would be the most useful experience to support your next move.


If you’re unsure of the different areas of TS, how TS interlink with one another/stakeholders and also how your previous audit experience can be valuable for this (i.e. to help you in your applications & interviews) then you should check out our digital Exit Options | A Guide to the Landscape. Be sure to use “exit-options-loyalty-20%” code at checkout for a discount!


4.Unsuccessful applications / meeting requests


If you’re getting negative responses/feedback from your applications and reach out emails then don’t take it personally.


It’s simply your application, approach and CV/Resume that need reworking, not you. From your time in Audit you have most definitely built an ample skillset and portfolio of experience that is highly relevant for TS. You just need to make it shine through.


Don’t rush to send off more and more applications.


The next step for you should be to revisit and fine tune your previous applications and CV/Resume before you make any further applications. Each time you apply to a role with what may be an unsuitable application you’ll be diminishing an opportunity within a TS team. Even if you weren’t relevant or the best candidate for that specific role, if you looked interesting enough to them you may very well have secured an interview for a different role in their team.


Wrapping up…

  • Carefully review your current Audit employment contract and any new TS contracts before accepting as you might be unknowingly getting yourself into a hot mess.
  • To ensure you pick a TS role with the career trajectory you need, fully understand the different divisions of TS, what role each division plays in a transaction, which stakeholders they interact with and the likely career paths for each. 
  • A better knowledge of TS will also help you highlight your relevant skillset for TS in your applications.
  • If you’re having no success with your applications then refine your CV/Resume and approach before you continue applying.


So that’s it! Your 3-part series on How to move from Audit to Transaction Services (TS / TAS)


If you’d like more personalised advice from one of our Co-Founders to review job specs, step change your applications, discuss negotiating tactics and more… we’d be happy to support and work with you via our coaching packages here.


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!


Want to land (and master) more strategic and commercial roles?

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

We’ve created a 50+ page digital guide specifically to help those of you applying for more commercial & strategic roles. Our straight-talking CV/Resume advice for Accountants/Auditors is the only guide that is highly-specific to the traditional accounting & audit background: we give you real-life good & bad examples for showcasing your experience for strategic roles, the best structure & content to win over recruiters, a strategy for distributing your CV/Resume, interview advice, and more!

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