Accounting/Finance Overview
Egyirba Walker-Arthur
Senior Program Manager, Career Program
Purpose of the Accounting
Department at an Investment Bank
• Enhance the company's competitive leadership position and strategic
flexibility and to ensure the accuracy of critical financial information
• Responsibilities Include:
– Market and credit risk management
– Treasury
– Financial & regulatory reporting and controls
– Corporate and strategic planning
– Internal audit
– Tax policy
– Regulatory supervision on a global basis
What’s the difference?
Public vs. Private Accounting
Private or corporate accountants perform the same types of tasks of public
accountants, yet these tasks are specific to the companies for which they
• Public accountants work for a
particular accounting firm and
serve various clients in ranging
• Involved in the collecting and
external reporting of financial
• Private accountants work as
internal accountants for one
• Involved in the internal use of
financial information to and
help managers within the
company make more effective
business decisions
Accounting Departments at
Investment Banks
• Business Unit Finance
Opportunity to merge other business interests
with accounting by working with Business
Units like Human Resources, Marketing, etc.
• Controllers
Great department if SEC and other regulatory
reporting interests you – you will be on the
frontline of interaction with investors
• Corporate Tax
If you like having input into creative tax
strategies and reporting, tax may be the best
fit for you
Accounting Departments at
Investment Banks
• Corporate Treasury
Be involved in the cash transaction and the
actual movement of money to and from the
• Internal Audit
A chance to travel and interact with business
unit management all over the firm
• Risk Monitoring
A role that is constantly redefined with the
proliferation of new credit and equity
products in the market every day
Typical Intern Tasks
SEO Accounting/Finance interns have worked on:
• Calculating daily or weekly P&L for specific products or trading
• Preparing budgets and forecasts for business units
• Analyzing trends in expenses and revenues
• Reconciling accounts
• Preparing and posting journal
entries to the general ledger
• Preparing ad hoc reports and
financial statements
Internship Requirements & Partner
• Minimum cumulative G.P.A of 3.0
• Minimum of three accounting courses with a grade of B or better in each by
the time the summer begins
• Broad knowledge of the finance industry
• Excellent quantitative and analytical skills
• Open to sophomores and juniors. Seniors who will have one semester to
complete at the time of the internship may be considered
Selling Points – Why Accounting at an
Investment Bank?
• Learn the business of running an Investment Bank
– Opportunity to gain a broad and deep knowledge of various
areas of a bank (Rotational Programs)
– Private accountants get to know a business more intimately
than their colleagues in public accounting who are only able to
obtain a high-level view
– Help execute strategic goals, drive disciplined growth, and
enhance operational efficiencies
• More Doors Opened
– Working in private accounting opens up career paths outside
of the specific disciplines of audit and tax which are the main
staples of public accounting
Selling Points – Why Accounting at an
Investment Bank?
• Less Stressful Environment than Public Accounting
– Private accountants work with the same group of colleagues
and tend to have a more relaxed lifestyle. Public accounts deal
with a wide variety of people and demands, thus their work is
inevitably more stressful
• Work/Life Balance
– Other than the account-closing month, private accountants
have more or less a 9-5 job
• Exposure to Senior Management
– Have the opportunity to work with industry leaders on
developing cutting-edge products, processes, policies and
Intern Perspective: What attracted you
to Accounting/Finance?
“What attracted me most to the SEO
Accounting/Finance Program was
the fact that it consists of extensive
on-line and in-person training, which
made it so that I was far ahead of
the curve at the start of my
internship. Furthermore, SEO
exposes its interns to top executives
from all over Wall Street; exposure
that one will not likely obtain in any
other program.” – Ariel Solomon,
Carnegie Mellon University,
Accounting/Finance Class of 2011,
J. P. Morgan