Wealth Management Accountants


Exploring this Job

Talk with wealth management accountants, or those working in other industries, about their careers. Ask your accounting teacher to help arrange some information interviews. Join business and finance clubs in high school and college. Offer to manage the finances of a school club to get experience working with budgets, paying bills, and managing financial records. Check out the career Web sites of major wealth management banks such as UBS, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to learn about potential career paths, key skills for work success, and typical work environments. Finally, check out the following resources to learn more about WM and accounting.

  • Accounting Today-Wealth Management: https://www.accountingtoday.com/financial-planning
  • Start Here, Go Places: https://www.startheregoplaces.com/students
  • Accounting For Dummies (For Dummies, 2013)
  • Accounting Glossary: https://www.startheregoplaces.com/students/games-tools/glossary

The Job

Accountants at wealth management firms are sometimes forgotten amidst the high-stakes work of portfolio managers. But WM firms would be in big trouble if they lacked skilled professionals to ensure the integrity of their financial infrastructure, prepare financial statements, analyze data for tax filings, and perform a variety of other tasks. Job responsibilities for accountants vary by the size of the employer, their job titles, and other factors, but most perform the following duties:

  • providing monthly or quarterly accounting of investor contributions and withdrawals and computing profit and losses for the accounting period
  • monitoring cash account balances on a daily and weekly basis
  • maintaining monthly end market value reconciliations
  • communicating with the trading desk, portfolio managers, and custodian banks to resolve accounting-related transaction and reporting issues
  • preparing and submitting quarterly or annual tax filings, and being responsible for other tax-related issues
  • working with the compliance department to respond to inquiries from regulators such as the Securities & Exchange Commission
  • working with auditors during the year-end audit process
  • helping the chief financial officer with the preparation of financial forecasts and reports and on ad-hoc projects
  • providing advice to partners regarding tax, compliance, financial risk, and other issues
  • calculating net asset value and management fees, and preparing statements that detail this information
  • preparing and reviewing quarterly and annual financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles

Auditors are specially trained accountants who ensure that financial records are accurate, complete, and in compliance with local, state, and federal laws. Those who work as salaried employees of a company or other organization are known as internal auditors. Those who work for public accounting firms that provide auditing services to wealth management companies are known as external auditors.