Sonya Moorhead on her seven year journey at EY

  • Sync NI caught up with Assistant Director, Strategy and Transactions at EY Sonya Moorhead to discuss her seven year journey at the company.

    Sonya graduated with an accountancy degree at Queen's University before joining EY as part of their graduate program within the Audit department. Sonya tells us she has ‘’never once got bored in seven and a half years'' as “there's continually different learning opportunities and a stream of exciting projects and clients to be working with.”  Having moved internally between a number of different roles within the company during her time at EY Sonya says these have presented her with countless opportunities.

    Sonya currently sits within Transaction Diligence in the Strategy and Transactions department of the company. She explains: “I know most of the Big 4 have an umbrella term of corporate finance and they'll work across all areas (Restructuring, Mergers and Acquisitions and Transaction Diligence), but we specialise solely on Transaction Diligence, acting for Corporates or Private Equity when investing in another company or divesting. This will include identifying and presenting the key business drivers of the company, telling the revenue growth story of the business and ultimately how that coverts to cash.”

    Over the course of nearly a decade the team’s working practices have evolved considerably as a result of technological advances. Due to ever advancing technologies, companies are now recording significantly more data than ever before. Sonya explains: “Using our expertise in market leading technology, we can utilise the significant volume of data now available from an ever-increasing base of sources. We analyse the data and layer this with our financial data on the Target and in doing so we are unearthing deeper commercial insights versus older traditional due diligence ways.”

    Sonya tells us that EY has been at the forefront of adjusting to this surge in data, using different tools and the latest technology currently available to provide value for clients.

    To remain at the forefront of these evolving systems, Sonya went on secondment to work with EY’s London team who had recruited a specialist Director within transaction analytics. She spent five months getting up to speed with the latest technology and methods and, armed with these insights, is now helping train and embed these skills in the team in Belfast.

    Sonya tells us: “Technology changes all the time and there's so many different analysis we can now bring to our clients. Clients record their data in new and different systems and now we can pool this information and also incorporate external data to analyse the businesses in much greater depth than ever before”.

    Sonya also adds: “There are businesses that are starting to catch that wave of recording data, but can’t effectively use that data or understand what it actually tells you. At times this is due to the volume of data or the quality of data, but we're able to work with large datasets, cleanse it and apply logic to make it more meaningful. From this we can retrospectively build out their KPIs which underpin their projections”.

    Sonya also explains that the pandemic caused the industry to temporarily pause in April – May 2020 as businesses took stock of how COVID would impact them. However, this, understandably proved to be a temporary lull and Sonya tells us there has been “a record-breaking number of transactions over the past 2 years which is a trend that is set to continue”.

    The success of the business means that the EY team is growing. The company is continually recruiting new members of staff particularly for Transaction Analytics. The company offers a wide range of benefits. Sonya explains that not only has the company a great culture and working environment, but EY also offers a Tech MBA and a Master’s degree in Business Analytics in partnership with Hult International Business School to all staff members.

    Overall, Sonya accredits her seven and a half years working at EY to the company's ability to always have new and exciting opportunities that aim to help clients. She concludes: “EY is a fast-paced environment. No two jobs are the same when you're working with clients ranging from veterinary clinics to beauty retailers and music festivals to funeral homes. The analytics that we're performing is adding such value to our clients, helping them transact with greater confidence and something that I’m proud to say is we are at the forefront of in the market.” 

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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