In practice, advisory often refers to services not provided for by their audit and tax teams. Advisory services generally include corporate services, mergers and acquisitions, business management, risks advisory, finance function effectiveness, loan applications support, corporate restructuring, business development and operational effectiveness.
Entry and progression
Business advisers are needed in all sectors, but tend to work in the practice sector where their clients are often from the corporate sector.
Employers tend to seek graduates although individuals with MBAs are particularly sought after. For candidates looking to work in practice could enter at associate or trainee level with progression opportunities available up to senior management or partner level.
The ACCA exams provide the knowledge and skills required by the complete finance professional and business advisers. Students working as business advisers, or aspiring to become business advisers, would do best to think about which area to specialise in and reflect this in the specialist options exams ACCA offer. Those working with clients in the corporate and public sectors would find P5 - Advanced Performance Management useful.
It is not just about exams. Getting the right experience helps trainees gain the competencies needed to enter and move up through their career in advisory. Experience should be gained in the area of specialism, and these areas will be covered in the performance objectives which need to be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER).
Career progression in this role can be supported by developing and demonstrating professional behaviours. Take a look at the behavioural competencies in the Competency Framework to reflect on the type of behaviours which are useful for business advisers.