A role calculating the net assets of a fund and its entities
A Fund Accountant role is a great role for getting into both the accounting and funds sector. Most companies are looking between 1- 4 years of experience at this level.
Depending on the area, the candidate should already have a good background knowledge in either book-keeping, or fund-level accounting or audit.
The role of a Fund Accountant is to be responsible for preparing (consolidated or local country GAAP) accounts and reporting for different funds. Funds can mean both traditional investment funds such as UCITS or Alternative Investment Funds such as Private Equity, Real Estate and Private Debt funds.
Nearly all roles will be looking for individuals who have completed a relevant university degree (such as Accounting, Economics, or Business Management, to name a few). Most employers will also be open to looking at those from an Audit background as well, as this requires some of the same skills that are needed to become a successful Fund Accountant.
Strong Financial Accountants can sometimes make great Fund Accountants
Many of our clients in Luxembourg focus on the Alternative Investment sector, therefore in these roles it is key to have this experience in your work history. However, since the Private Equity and Real Estate sector requires a more boutique approach to accounting, a lot of the tasks can also include more typical A-Z accounting, and bookkeeping of entities such as SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles). So there may be instances where strong financial accountants can make the move across, and develop knowledge of funds over time – especially in PERE companies.
You can also find fund accountants in management companies and their associated fund structures
Our fund clients usually have between 1-8 people on their accounting team depending on size and structure of the company. Within Fund Administration businesses, the team sizes are much larger, but you will rarely see accounting teams with more than 10 staff before being divided into sub-teams, as they become too large to manage at this point.
At the more senior levels, and in order to work at the highest levels of fund businesses, accounting employees have to be a Chartered Qualified Accountant, or hold an ACCA or ACA qualification. Many of our clients do not hire Fund Controllers that are not already in possession of a fully qualified accountant status.
Companies assess the employee’s experience to date in order to evaluate if they are up for the job. Because most candidates will be working on funds within Luxembourg, the candidate will often need to be familiar with IFRS and LUXGAAP (local GAAPs such as UKGAAP or USGAAP are also seen as an advantage). Some companies require IFRS mainly, others specifically need LUXGAAP, it really depends on the type of funds and structures they have domiciled in Luxembourg, and whether they perform the consolidation locally.
Due to this, many companies prefer candidates with working experience in Luxembourg, or at the least with Luxembourg-domiciled funds, however some employers will be more flexible based on personality and fit, especially if they feel the person is highly technically competent and could learn quickly.