Overview of a project
In the Transfer Pricing practice, a typical project team consists of 3 people: a vice president, an experienced project manager, and one junior consultant. Because each project team is small, every person on the team has a lot to bring to the table. As a junior staff member, I was able to take charge of a project, see it from start to finish, and have a lot of autonomy over the work product. After my work product has been reviewed by the project manager and the VP, it ultimately reaches the client. There is a great sense of satisfaction knowing that the work you put in, even as junior staff, ultimately reaches the client you are working for.
Being on a small team also allows junior staff to develop their technical and data analysis skills as they are the ones who know the client data the best. They are also able to develop softer skills, such as time management when balancing multiple engagements, communication skills when working with different management styles, and presenting your ideas and work to senior staff.
Transfer Pricing practice culture
The smaller team size results in a tight-knit culture. We occasionally plan group outings after work to grab dinner and drinks. We have an annual holiday party as well as a Lunar New Year dinner. On most days people within the team grab lunch together. Additionally, the Transfer Pricing practice hosts a practice-wide retreat once every few years where you can meet the other members of the practice from other offices and learn about current transfer pricing topics.
Being a smaller practice provides more opportunities for mentorship and training to help junior staff grow professionally and personally. As an analyst, you start with the entire CRA analyst class and participate in Research & Analysis Core (RAC) training together in the summer. This provides a great opportunity for you to meet your peers; get your groundings on basic Excel skills and general tips on how to work with managers efficiently; and provide excellent deliverables to clients.
Within the Transfer Pricing practice, you get a lot of one-on-one training during your first few weeks with different members of the team. Most of the training revolves around our work processes and basic transfer pricing concepts. Most of the learning thereafter happens on the job as you get staffed on more projects and work with your project managers closely.
Opportunities beyond project work
Outside of the usual project work, there are many other ways to get involved with the firm. I have been involved in recruiting efforts through attending on-campus recruiting events at UC Berkeley and interviewing candidates. I have also helped with business development efforts to grow our practice in other locations. Specifically, I have helped our VPs and Principals prepare slide decks to present at conferences, as well as researching firms to target our transfer pricing marketing campaigns. I have also helped our practice create Word and Excel templates to use for our projects, and a matrix that outlines transfer pricing documentation requirements by country that is regularly updated and uploaded online for the public to view.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about CRA and the Transfer Pricing practice. Personally, I have had a wonderful experience as a consultant within a fast-growing multinational company, and I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead.