Fancy a career in Debt?

Insolvency work is a small profession that deals with BIG business issues.

What’s insolvency?

Insolvency is when a company may have to close because it can’t pay its debts. In this situation, the company’s owners, creditors (a person or company owed money) or the court can put the company through a process called a “formal insolvency procedure’’.

There are many kinds of insolvency procedures, but they have one thing in common which is they are controlled by an insolvency practitioner (or ‘IP’) who has a professional licence to do this kind of work.

IPs do their best to make the process go smoothly, and if the business is forced to close they get the best price for the items of value owned by the business, which are sold to pay creditors what they are owed.

IPs to the rescue

A lot of insolvency work is about IPs using their skills to rescue businesses, helping them to make profit again, without having to put them through an insolvency procedure that ends in the business closing. IPs look at the books and explore the options to improve the business’ finances.

IPs step into tough situations where they look at whether a business can continue in spite of its debts and offer advice to business owners on how this can be done. It’s challenging, but rescuing a business and saving the jobs of people who work there can be rewarding.

The skills you’ll need

IPs need good people skills and to be able to work with creditors, stressed out business owners and employees who are worried about their jobs.

Another crucial skill is being sensitive as the business has essentially failed and the owners may well be upset if it has been their life’s work. IPs have to be tactful when dealing with everyone involved. At times, it can be a bit like walking through a minefield.

Personal Debt

More people in the UK are in debt than ever before. This is why it’s crucial that they’re given the right advice to help solve their debt problems. IPs can do this and also work out payment plans, which is what they can afford to pay back over time.

Becoming an IP

IPs are accountants who specialise in insolvency work. Once they pass the Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JIEB) exams, they can apply for a professional licence. They normally work as advisers in accountancy firms, professional service companies or banks..

By Mike Smith, Managing Director at 


CareersWeb editor