Key Points:

  • Requires a blend of interpersonal, communication and analytical skills.
  • Accountants working in insolvency can choose from a wide range of industries and accountancy or specialist firms of all sizes.
  • The support you give can help individuals and companies through uncertain and often sensitive situations.

Insolvency is a term that can apply to either an individual or a business. A business is said to be insolvent when it is unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due. Bankruptcy refers to a similar situation where an individual is unable to pay their debts.

Chartered Accountants can help both individuals and businesses in a number of ways. They can offer advice on how to improve cash flow, and provide ways in which restructuring finances could enable the business to continue trading, or the individual to finance their debts. If a business cannot be saved or a personal situation turned around, Chartered Accountants can provide guidance through assisting with a structured wind down process which will often involve the sale of assets and repayment of creditors.

Pablo Arenas CA"If you want to really understand how businesses run, why they fail and the difference you can make in turning them around, then a role in Insolvency might be the right role for you."
Pablo Arenas CA, Accountant, William Buck

Why insolvency could be the right fit for you

Insolvency offers you the opportunity to provide valuable advice to businesses or individuals during challenging, stressful and difficult times. The support you give can assist individuals and companies navigate through uncertain and often sensitive situations. If the situation moves to insolvency you will be helping the wind down process run as smoothly and fairly as possible, with the ultimate goal of maximising the return to all creditors.

Insolvency can be very challenging at times so you will need to have strong emotional intelligence, resilience, be able to show sensitivity to the situation while remaining professional, and be prepared to provide advice the business, individual or their creditors may not want to hear. This requires strong interpersonal and communication skills.

You could work with businesses of all sizes and from all types of industries while engaging with banks and professionals from other disciplines such as lawyers and valuers.

Liz Stamford CA"While it can be stressful telling a creditor that they won’t get all their money, knowing that your involvement means the situation is being wound up fairly and honestly provides great satisfaction. There are many challenging situations which need you to be on your toes and thinking outside the box to get to a good solution."
Liz Stamford CA, Audit & Insolvency Leader, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Who can you work for?

This sector could give you the opportunity to work within accountancy or specialist firms of a range of sizes. You could work for a large multinational firm, or for a smaller specialist practice. Insolvency accountants are often recruited by banks to assist investigations and lending decisions. The commercial aspects of running insolvency proceedings are also often in demand in corporate finance roles. You could specialise in formal insolvency, personal insolvency, or turnaround situations.

Key skills:

  • Negotiation
  • Commercial awareness
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Diplomacy
  • Time management and prioritisation
  • Ability to work with a range of stakeholders