Do you have prior accounting experience and enjoy working with others? If the answer is yes, becoming a fund accountant could be the perfect career step for you.
A fund accountant is primarily responsible for tracking a fund’s value at a hedge fund. They work closely with fund operations, investor relations, compliance and other teams related to the fund’s administration and report directly to the fund manager. Although different from the traditional accounting role, fund accountants leverage the same skill-set to fulfill their responsibilities. Extensive knowledge of the hedge fund market though differentiates the fund accountant role.
Fund accountants are responsible for reporting and communicating the fund’s status across all levels at the firm. On a daily basis, you’ll be managing the fund’s cash flow, assisting with investor requests, measuring risk, and analyzing fund activity. Quarterly and annual reports on the fund’s status are expected, though overall reporting frequency depends on the team. Other responsibilities could include maintaining healthy relationships with investors, helping the hedge fund manager with financial decisions, and identifying risks and inefficiencies. From monitoring market value to applying new strategies for improving the fund’s value, all of these responsibilities are a crucial part of being a fund accountant.
Most fund accountant positions require at least two to five years of previous accounting experience. Moving from public accounting at a Big Four is a common career transition but additional knowledge of the hedge fund space is usually required. Fund accountants are expected to crunch numbers quickly and accurately so the ability to work under pressure is a must-have for many hiring firms. CPA’s will have better hiring prospects, even if hedge funds only list it as preferred instead of required. Being a CPA, along with having strong excel skills, will set you up for success at the role.
Excellent communication skills are also expected in Fund accountants as they are in constant communication with investors and hedge fund managers. Other necessary soft skills include being detail-oriented, having a high level of integrity, and the ability to work in a fast-paced dynamic environment.
According to the Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide, the average salary for a fund accountant ranges anywhere from 50K-60K for people with one to three years of experience. Salaries have risen since 2016 on an average of 3.6-3.7% regardless of career level, showing promising job prospects for the years to come. Fund accountants with three to five years of experience can expect a salary range of 68K-88K while managers can make anywhere from 93K-130K.
There’s no doubt that fund accountants have promising career prospects. If you’re willing to put some extra hours in besides the traditional forty hour workweek, you’ll be well rewarded for your time. Search open fund accountant jobs on OneWire to get started.