What is transaction services and what does a transaction services professional do?

Transaction services (TS) teams support clients looking to buy a business, sell all or part of their business, merge with another business or list on stock exchanges through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). TS professionals perform a number of advisory roles throughout the deals process but are perhaps best known for providing due diligence services

In due diligence, a transaction services team will investigate a proposed deal to make sure the information provided by the buy side and sell side is true and fair. For a potential purchaser, due diligence performs a similar role to a survey in a house purchase, identifying potential issues with the company and allowing the purchaser to make an informed decision about valuation. For a company that is keen to sell, vendor due diligence is used to provide an independent assessment of the business to encourage potential purchasers.

Key responsibilities

Responsibilities will vary, but examples include:

  • Support or manage the execution of financial due diligence assignments (buy-side and sell-side)
  • Develop a detailed understanding of the business and its clients
  • Interpret and analyse financial information, reviewing past balance sheets, cash flow and trading
  • Manage the data room and review process often against very tight deadlines
  • Produce detailed and robust financial reports and ensure it stands up to challenge
  • Provide insight and advice/recommendations directly to clients, demonstrating technical expertise
  • Identify risks that may result in purchase price reductions, deal restructuring, or deal termination
  • At a more senior level, these professionals will project manage client engagements, including determining the project scope and resource requirements, and monitoring progress against budget and established timeframe

Why are they important?

Deals fall through for a number of reasons; however, transaction service teams provide a deliberate, forward-thinking approach to deal planning, execution and integration. They also ensure all information provided by all parties is accurate, minimising the risks of a deal failing to complete.

Skills needed for this role

The deals environment can be intense, and it is expected for Transaction Services Professionals to be able to work under pressure. Excellent problem-solving & analytical skills and a strong work ethic are also a pre-requisite. TS professionals will have regular client interaction and will need good commercial awareness and strong interpersonal skills. An Accountancy qualification, such as an ACCA, is essential for a career in this field

Strategic Professional Options examinations linked to this role

Advanced Financial Management

Career opportunities presented by this role

Career opportunities are excellent – graduates start as analysts or associates and can progress up to director or partner level. In larger organisations, transaction services teams can work on some very large and exciting deals.

Competencies

High level competencies required include:

  • Advisory and consultancy

    A. Gathers and understands financial and non-financial information to develop complete knowledge of the client business and the environment in which it operates.

    B. Provides expert advice that will add value to the business and gain advantage.

    C. Identify and advise on business partnering to develop strategic relationships to create opportunities, improve performance and solve business problems.

    D. Prepare and present business plans and advise on the actions to implement these plans.

  • Corporate and business reporting

    A. Prepares financial statements, corporate financial and integrated reports for external stakeholders using appropriate technology.

    B. Leads effective decision making through analysing, evaluating and communicating performance and position of entities.

    C. Prepares financial statements for groups of entities using appropriate technologies.

    D. Monitors, critically evaluates, and advises on the relevant accounting standards, regulations, conceptual and financial reporting frameworks.

     

  • Financial management

    A. Links developments in global trade, markets, business practices and the economic environment to required improvements in the financial and risk management of an organisation.

    B. Advises on business asset valuations, capital projects and investments using appropriate analytical qualitative and quantitative techniques.

    C. Identifies, evaluates and advises on alternative sources of business finance and different ways of raising finance.

    D. Communicates and advises on the impact on financial decision making on current developments in regulation, governance and ethics.

    E. Assesses and advises on appropriate strategies to manage business and organisational performance regarding business and finance risk and effectively communicates the impact.

  • Governance, risk and control

    A. Evaluates organisational structures and governance to protect the long-term interests of stakeholders.

    B. Recommends appropriate strategies to ensure adherence to governance structures and application of best practice internal controls.

    C. Identifies and manages risk appropriately.

    D. Uses risk management for the best interests of an organisation and its stakeholders.

    E. Monitors and applies relevant legislation, policies and procedures.

  • Stakeholder relationship management

    A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

    B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.

    C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

    D. Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.

    E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.

     

  • Strategy and innovation

    A. Applies business acumen and commercial awareness to deliver business objectives.

    B. Recommends a range of suitable strategic options from which to develop sustainable plans and objectives.

    C. Evaluates, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.

    D. Adopts and applies innovative methods to implement strategy and manages change.