Career News, Updates & Insights

An inside look at Transfer Pricing – Part 1

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by Linda Zhong

Hi! My name is Linda Zhong, and I am a Consulting Associate in the Transfer Pricing practice in our Oakland office. I first learned of CRA through on-campus recruiting at a consulting forum hosted at UC Berkeley. After attending the additional information session and networking events afterwards, I interviewed on campus and was invited to interview in the office for my final round. I was fortunate enough to receive a full-time offer, and I was thrilled to accept. What attracted me to CRA was the variety of project work, being able to work with different clients in different industries, and the collaborative, intellectually curious culture in the office.

Overview of the Transfer Pricing practice

We help our multinational clients with their intercompany pricing, transactions involving intellectual property, and audit defense. We ensure our clients are compliant to the most current transfer pricing regulations around the world.

The Transfer Pricing practice is one of CRA’s smaller practices, with staff in Chicago, NY, the Bay Area, and Toronto. We have offices across the nation as well as the world, spanning from Chicago, New York, and Bay Area in the U.S., to Canada and the UK internationally.

We serve clients in all stages of development (from small start-ups to major public and private multinational organizations) in a variety of industries, including high-tech, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, retail, energy, and chemicals.

Recruiting – what we look for

The most important characteristics we look for are candidates who are willing to put in the time and effort and work hard, as well as those that have a hunger to learn. One thing we do explore is a candidate’s basic knowledge of financial and accounting principles. This is not a requirement, as analysts will learn most of this on the job, but it is a nice to have.

Typical day as an analyst

The day-to-day of an analyst can look very different depending on the projects you are currently staffed on. Generally, as an analyst, you are spending most of your time researching industry and market trends, keeping up to date on transfer pricing regulations, analyzing client data, creating financial models, pulling data and running comparable sets, and putting together client deliverables, usually in a report form. I would say half of an analyst’s time is spent in Excel and the other half in Microsoft Word or researching online.

The different databases an analyst uses to pull data are Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ and Bureau van Dijk’s Orbis databases. We occasionally use Duff & Phelps’ cost of capital platform online and Mergerstat for IP valuation projects. To keep up to date on transfer pricing regulations, a good source of that comes from IBFD.

Come back next week for a closer look into the Transfer Pricing practice as Linda shares an overview of a project and describes training and extracurricular opportunities.