Jonathan Heah

Senior Executive, Transaction Services

What did you do at university?
I chose to study business management at the University of Sussex, as the course provided an insight into modern day business practices by incorporating a range of applicable subjects such as economics, finance, marketing and management theories. The degree also touched on basic accounting principles. However, it was not sufficiently in-depth for my area of work. Due to the initial difficulties I faced on the job, I decided to pursue the ICAEW Chartered Accountancy programme. Accounting is an extremely important subject in respect of the work carried out in Transaction Services and a firm grasp of thesubject is necessary.

Why did you choose a career in your field?
I chose to join BDO due to its supportive emphasis towards professional studies and development as well as its wide range of clientele from various fields and industries. Initially, I joined the Audit department, which provided useful insights into the working functions of a business. Subsequently, I was transferred to the Transaction Services department. What attracted me to Transaction Services was the opportunity to be involved in various corporate exercises, including mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals through due diligenceexercises.

What do you do in your job?
I am mostly involved in due diligence activities, which include analysing and commenting on the performance of the business at hand by studying a company’s files and records as well as identifying any potential issues that may arisein a potential M&A deal.

What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy the exposure to different industries as well as the workplace culture, which is friendly and places a great emphasis towards mentoring and teaching juniorstaff.

What skills do you consider to be essential for your job?
Being able to critically evaluate andanalyse the financial statementsof a company as well as being ableto produce a report within a shortspace of time. The basic technicalskill required is accounting, and thefoundation for this can be gainedthrough courses in university andthe ICAEW programme. The keysoft skills required – such as timemanagement, client interactionand organisation skills – aredeveloped through learning on thejob.

What are your future plans?
At the moment, my main focus is to complete my ICAEW programmeand to develop my career at BDO.

Some Advice
Working in a professional accountancy firm is challenging in terms of the demands and the expectations of the quality of work produced. I would advise anyone wanting to work in this industry to pursue an internationally recognised professional qualification and to undertake an internship to better understand the functions of an accountancy firmbefore applying for a position.