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We deliver the best recruitment news and advice to the Tax, Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing sectors, including market updates, CV tips, interview advice, and exclusive interviews.


The Unique Challenges and Rewards of Working in Charity HR

Neither employment law nor candidate’s needs and expectations change from sector to sector, yet working in an HR role for a charity does come with certain challenges specific to the charity and non-profit world. Despite the challenges that come along with HR work in the third sector, there are various rewards including work-life balance, autonomy in your role and job satisfaction which undoubtedly make charity HR a career path worth considering. Our specialist charity and Not-For-Profit recruiters have provided insight into the key challenges and rewards that come with working in a charity HR role. The Challenges of Charity HR Funding & Resourcing Priorities It is not surprising that funding is one of the key challenges faced by HR professionals in the charity sector. Charities are accountable to their funders and often need to be more transparent than private sector companies, and it is important to make beneficiaries feel confident that their donations are being spent wisely and the charity’s budget is being maximised. With Not-For-Profit organisations often under the spotlight about budget spend on administration and overheads, HR professionals can find themselves having to justify spending charity budget on systems or people-related initiatives. The spending of donations on every job advert, new product, training day or induction may need justifying, and getting the message across that HR initiatives are actually highly cost-effective and will deliver savings for the charity in the long run can be a challenge. Recruitment Some HR professionals find it very easy to fill vacancies within charities, often with people who are passionate about the cause and mission of the charity and who are keen to get involved and make a difference. However, recruiting within the third sector does come with its challenges. Frontline staff, particularly staff or volunteers working with vulnerable individuals or children need to be strictly vetted. Additionally, salaries are generally lower in the charity sector which makes recruiting the right people tricky when the best talent could get higher salaries elsewhere or in the corporate sector, particularly with back-office roles like finance, legal or marketing. The key to overcoming this challenge is to develop a creative approach which focuses on building the charity’s brand and cause and highlighting non-financial benefits like flexible working, good work-life balance, learning and development opportunities, and the chance to make a real contribution. Commercial Drive More and more charities are having to take a more commercial approach in their work and charging for services that may have been previously free. This can lead to unrest among employees, particularly if they feel these changes are counter to their values, and charity HR professionals can find themselves having to work hard to communicate the necessity for commerciality to staff members, to keep up staff morale. Ethical Issues There are pressures on charities to be more transparent than ever regarding their policies and practices. Charity HR staff are faced with the challenge of finding the right balance between fulfilling the charity’s aims and making difficult people-related decisions. In other words, balancing a fair, practical and consistent method for effectively managing employees without compromising the atmosphere of passionate care which is often at the heart of the working environments of many charities. It is also very important that HR policies reflect a charity’s mission. For example, a mental health charity should undoubtedly have an excellent internal support structure and resources available for employees, and a children’s charity should have flexible working opportunities and childcare available for working parents, and policies such as these will need to be drawn out and implemented by the charity’s HR department. The Rewards of Charity HR Making a Difference Many HR professionals who end up working in the third sector do so because they have a commitment or draw to a particular cause. But regardless of this, working for a non-profit organisation can provide a great sense of job satisfaction and a feeling of making a difference in society, and therefore employees are often people who are very passionate and value-driven - which only makes the day-to-day experience of a charity HR professional an enjoyable and fulfilling one as well. Autonomy & Progression As of October 2018, there were 168,186 registered charities in the UK, and the majority of these organisations aren't able to go out to an agency for HR - everything needs to be done in-house. This means that teams are smaller - you may have a team of 3 or 4 instead of a department of 20 in a larger organisation, which in turn means that an HR charity role involves wearing lots of different hats and taking on a generalist role as opposed to a role focusing on one specialist branch of HR. This grants you autonomy in your role, more opportunity to implement change, and the chance to broaden your experience and skill set as an HR professional, and you may find there is a shorter route to progress within the organisation. Other Benefits Charity roles can sometimes be overlooked by HR professionals but no longer is the charity sector seen as the ‘poor cousin’. In reality, third sector organisations can be equally exciting and fast-paced as the commercial sector and also come with benefits like a better work-life balance and the opportunity to utilise your HR skills and experience in an organisation that is contributing towards a cause you are passionate about. For more information on this article or to speak to our specialist recruitment consultants about your next HR role in the charity sector, contact Loren on 020 7269 6358 or


An Interview with Sarah Goulbourne, Co-Founder of gunnercooke

Sarah Goulbourne is an award-winning entrepreneur and co-founder and board member of the gunnercooke Group. gunnercooke is a challenger law firm. It challenges the way that legal services are delivered to clients. It challenges the way that lawyers balance their lives. It challenges the way our communities are served by those of us more fortunate. Sarah speaks with Tamara Salem, Managing Consultant at Pro-Legal about life at gunnercooke, the difference between gunnercooke and the traditional law firm and how she sees the legal market changing over the next few years. Tell me about yourself, how your career started and what you do at gunnercooke? I qualified as a solicitor and developed my career as an in-house lawyer becoming a General Counsel and Company Secretary of a FTSE 250. After completing an MBA I wanted a new challenge so I teamed up with Darryl Cooke to set up gunnercooke. I’m now on the board of gunnercooke supporting our strategy and promoting the firm. My particular interest is around recruiting new lawyers to join the firm and coaching our lawyers to develop their practices. What are the benefits and differences between gunnercooke and a traditional law firm? gunnercooke throws out the restrictive elements of a traditional law firm such as timesheets and targets, giving lawyers time to focus their attention on their clients. We offer partners the freedom and flexibility to run their own practice, set their own hours and choose who they work with. Partners retain most of the fees they earn, working as independent consultants with the support of our infrastructure and brand. We are also client centric in our approach to pricing; offering price certainty as much as possible. This approach ensures that our objectives are fully aligned with our clients, with no hidden costs or running clocks. How have you adapted to working through lockdown and through the changing landscape following COVID? Lockdown has been a challenging curveball for all of us. At gunnercooke we have always been set up to allow lawyers to work remotely, which has meant the transition has been relatively smooth compared to other businesses. However, home working can be lonely, so our focus has been on ensuring our communications are as strong as possible, that partners still feel supported and part of a team. We run a diverse programme of virtual sessions, which ranges from social ‘drinks’ and networking, to training on how to re-evaluate your business plan and even to wellbeing, such as how to remain resilient in challenging times. What kind of person does well at gunnercooke and what do you look for in potential joiners? At gunnercooke partners are given the autonomy to run their own practice so it’s essential they have ambition and a passion for what they do. A typical gunnercooke partner is someone who has deep expertise in their field, and truly acts as a trusted advisor to their clients. At recruitment stage, we take time to understand the lawyer’s business plan – they must have a solid client following. We have an extensive range of services which support our lawyers, but essentially you must be a self-starter – you have to have the confidence to build your own practice, without the relative ‘comfort blanket’ of a salaried role. Alongside this, I think the people who get the best from our model are those who are very collaborative. It’s a misconception that this is model for siloed working; we operate a vibrant internal referral market and there is a huge opportunity to work with other lawyers on providing a brilliant service to their clients. How does gunnercooke differentiate themselves in the market compared to other alternative structures? Many law firms with an alternative business structure pride themselves on being a virtual law firm. But there is nothing virtual about the way we run our firm. Our role is to facilitate as many opportunities as possible for lawyers to collaborate, and we feel that the emphasis we place on this is unlike any other ‘fee share’ model. Culturally, we treat all of our lawyers as businesspeople, as such our training reflects helping them to adopt an entrepreneurial ‘growth mindset’. We set up a sister company Operating Partners, to provide high quality business growth advice to our clients and again this is a key differentiator. Whilst the pandemic has thrown us a challenge, our culture encourages flexible working, not just from home but also in our three offices and though networking events. Other firms can adopt the same fee share model, but it’s our culture that can’t be copied, we have an incredibly strong internal focus on vision and values. Feedback from our partners is that gunnercooke is unlike any firm they have ever been at before. We are very personal in our approach and look at the little things that create a big culture; personal cards, thoughtful gifts, ways to show we care about our people. How does the referral network within gunnercooke benefit the Partners in the wider business? Whilst our partners run their own practice, they are not working in siloes. As mentioned, the people who do best are those who collaborate. We encourage a culture of referrals through regular internal networking events, which give partners the opportunity to learn more about each other’s specialities. We have a fantastic rewards programme and partners receive a minimum of 10% of the fees generated through a referral. Last year over £5m of fees were cross referred between our lawyers and this is growing. How do you think the role of Partner has changed over the years? In the traditional model, the ‘Partner’ typically has a myriad of roles; management of the firm, developing people, committee member of all sorts of groups. The higher you climb, the less time you spend practising the law, and many of the lawyers I interview say that this is something they miss. A model like gunnercooke allows partners to get back to doing what they do best: offering quality legal advice to their clients. Our aim is to develop people that consider themselves businesspeople and not just lawyers. The modern partner is much more than management; they are businesspeople in their own right, and are flourishing in their field of expertise. How do you see the legal market changing in the coming years? The legal market has changed drastically since we launched gunnercooke ten years ago, and the next decade is set to be just as fast paced, not only due to the impact of Covid-19. I expect we will see more advancements in technology including virtual collaboration tools and AI. We are also seeing other types of professionals becoming part of the legal team, including technology or data experts, and consulting or finance. Finally, it’s likely there will be more mergers and fewer large firms as new market entrants drive innovation and challenge the traditional structure. What challenges, personally or professionally, do you think the next generation of legal face? Many sectors are facing years of recovery from the impact of Covid-19. Lawyers are having to adapt to the challenge of home working, whilst continuing to offer a quality service to clients who are in a period of crisis. For lawyers starting out in their career, it’s going to be more difficult to learn and develop virtually, without having access to senior colleagues. It’s important that firms invest time to make sure the next generation are getting the support they need, whether that be face-to-face or through virtual webinars and training. What advice would you give to your younger self? Be open to new opportunities that come your way. Different experiences will add to your growth. Don’t be afraid to take some risks to get to where you want to be. Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their legal career? Work out which area of the legal sector you think you will enjoy the most and aim to move into that area as soon as you can. For more information on this article or to take part in our exclusive Interview series, contact Tamara Salem on 020 7269 6368 or


COVID-19: How it affected my maternity leave, my business and changed my focus!

With many returning to work in the office, and new patterns of working emerging across the employment landscape, the Director Team here at Pro-Recruitment Group are sharing their experiences and insights around the returning to work post COVID-19 Alison Humphries, Board Director, shares her experience of returning to the workplace after maternity leave, and rediscovering the unprecedented new ways of working. Alison: I am one of the owners of Pro-Recruitment, I have been in the business for 13 years and been in the working world for 20 years without ever really having time off. I went straight from education to work, even in my teen years I worked on weekends. Other than a 2-week holiday or a few extra days over the Christmas period I am admittedly a bit of a self-confessed workaholic! In October 2019 as I walked out of the office I was about to embark on a new journey through maternity leave…I was excited, I was nervous, I was scared. I was about to have a baby, my body, my heart and my head were about to be turned upside-down and on top of that I had to relinquish control of my business . To say this was going to be hard was an understatement, as i've been involved throughout the whole 'Pro-Journey', but after working with so many experienced consultants and developing and training a knowledgeable Management Team, I knew it was being left in good hands. Fast-forward to January 2020 I’d given birth to a beautiful little girl called Charlotte, everything was starting to get back to normal and I was feeling like my old self. Everything at work was going so well, I had been into the office and all of my teams were reporting success. As an owner of the business I was keen to know how the company was performing (that’s the workaholic in me), so I had committed to attend every Board Meeting from January onwards and I was so pleased that things were going so well. Maternity leave wasn’t so bad…I booked myself and my daughter onto swimming lessons, rhythm time, baby sensory…you name it we had signed up for it. It was important to me that Charlotte was sociable from day one and that I made some mummy friends in the local area. My focus slowly changed and allowed me to realign myself from the workaholic and enjoy being a mother. The Unthinkable During the week we would stay at our flat in London and at the weekend, we would head to a place that we had recently bought in the Midlands as it was close to my family. On March the 15th I waved my other half off to work. Unexpectedly I got a call at midday, he was coming home that evening and working from home indefinitely. The UK was being hit hard by COVID-19, it wasn’t going away and businesses across the country were telling people to work from home. Luckily for us at Pro-Group, we already had the infrastructure in place for us to make that swift move without causing to much disruption to our day-to-day work. Pro-Recruitment made this decision on March 15th and then what was to follow was unthinkable. We went into lockdown on March 23rd. The range of emotions that followed included fear, anxiety and dread. I had brought a baby into the world and this was our generation's war. Were we going to survive, how serious was all of this if the world was now in lockdown. Pro-Group was impacted heavily, like everyone else in the UK, we were moved to reduce our team size, we had to think strategically, we had to act fast, we had no idea how long this was going to last and if we were even going to have a business at the end of this. I was being informed of decisions that were being made, furlough schemes that we were using and many other things that were impacting our business and we had no control over any of it. I wanted to be involved in calls, decisions, meetings that were loaded with information, but I also had a baby that was breastfeeding, teething and was struggling to sleep - finding this balance was challenging, but upon reflecting, it feels like an accomplishment to balance work and life as this extreme level. How could we make this a more positive experience? We had to make this a positive experience, it became apparent as places like Wuhan started to ease their lockdown that this wasn’t going to last forever, we would come out of the other side. I took advantage of the time that we had as a new family of 3. My partner was there for every bath time and bedtime, he was there when we were having a bad day of crying just to ease things for me, even if it was only for half an hour so I could shower and have a cup of tea. We took advantage of the late summer evenings and beautiful weather; we have transformed our garden and I have become somewhat a pair of “green fingers”. We made time for each other and made every evening a time to cook, talk and enjoy dinner together. We became really close to our neighbours and would now consider them friends. All of these things would be interrupted ordinarily by work, travel and other outside factors. August came around, before I knew it I was thinking about heading back to work on 1st September. Our business had halved, I had relocated and life was so different. I had to put Charlotte into nursery and think of a back to work plan. Given the amount that I had been in touch with Pro-Group whilst I had been on maternity leave we started talking about my return fairly early on. I had a plan, a strategy and lots of time to think about how we could get out of the other side of this pandemic. Pro-Group had been excellent in considering my return to work I have come back to work 3 days a week and 1 day is working from home. I have the full support of my co-Directors and walking back into the office on Tuesday 1st September was daunting. It felt as if it was my first day at school again, I was nervous, had I forgotten how to do this? Turns out I haven’t thankfully, in fact I am even more focussed now than I have ever been. With only 3 days a week at work every minute counts. I have to be extremely productive on those days, I have time on the train to work and think of ways in which I can help my team, I am refreshed when I get to work and I feel like I have a new found energy and enthusiasm to help my company out of a slow market and back to winning ways. ​In Summary Maternity leave was completely interrupted by lockdown and COVID-19, but I tried to make the very best out of a very disruptive situation. I don’t feel like I have stood still for six months, the world hasn’t passed me by, I have had time to re-energise, re-focus and be in a better mindset coming out of this. Whilst it saddens me that the business I have helped to build for 13 years has changed dramatically, I have managed to better my personal life in a way I hadn’t imagined I would. In my opinion, flexible working and taking into account a good work-life balance and a happy home life is the most important thing in the world and allows you to be at your best when you leave your house in the morning ready to face whatever the world throws at you. For advice and information about returning to work after maternity leave, or for a more detailed discussion with Alison about her experience, email or call on 020 7269 6312


60 seconds with: Kate Tongue, Head of Corporate Tax at Argenta Group

Kate Tongue is the Head of Corporate Tax at Argenta Group. Argenta Holdings Limited has a diversified portfolio of businesses focused on the Lloyd’s market in London. Kate speaks with Jay Sky, Senior Consultant at Pro-Tax about life at Argenta Group, the contrasting practice and in-house environments, and shares insight into the effects of COVID19 on the Lloyd’s market. For anyone who isn’t aware – who are Argenta, and what do they actually do? Argenta Group is headquartered in London, employing around 200 people globally, with office locations in Singapore, Australia and a presence on the Lloyd’s China platform. We are proud of our unique and rich history of trading in the Lloyd’s market. In 2017 Argenta was acquired by Hannover Re, the third largest reinsurer in the world, which has helped strengthen our position in the market and is expected to bring some exciting opportunities in years to come. Argenta Group has three key businesses in the UK, operating within the Lloyd’s market; Argenta Syndicate Management Limited, which manages Syndicate capacity of c£570m, Argenta Private Capital Limited, which prides itself in advising c550 clients and represents almost £2.4bn of capacity, and Argenta Tax and Corporate Services Limited, which provides tax, accounting and company secretarial services to around 800 clients and supports the internal group. What does your role at Argenta involve, and what do you enjoy about your work? I am a Director of Argenta Tax and Corporate Services Limited and head up the Corporate Tax team. I am responsible for client delivery, new business, finances and team development. I am also responsible for tax within the Argenta Group and support associated companies with tax compliance and reporting. I enjoy the variety of work and freedom and flexibility to focus my efforts where I choose. For example, my weekly workload can include tax provisioning, supporting potential new clients with structuring their underwriting vehicles in the most tax efficient manner, developing our processes and assessing our requirements under DAC6, and looking at the tax implications of possible acquisitions. The office atmosphere is extremely professional and everyone is very friendly and supportive. I’ve only been at Argenta for just over a year and its thanks to the people who I work with that I settled in so quickly and really feel at home. How would you describe the culture at Argenta? The people are key at Argenta and we have a long standing workforce who we recognise as our greatest asset. It’s an inclusive, friendly and social group who work collaboratively towards common goals. I’ve found it a great place to learn and grow, and that hard work is recognised and rewarded. The team spirit has been maintained throughout lockdown through regular formal and informal catch ups. Why did you join Argenta personally, and what milestones have there been for you since? I was looking to move away from practice and try something new. I enjoy the challenges that come with working in the Lloyd’s market and the opportunity to head up a team with the flexibility to direct it how I choose. It was a great opportunity. It’s also a unique role with responsibilities both in-house as well as having a large number of external clients which appealed to me. Milestone wise, I am proud to have set up new processes around tax risk and compliance, and initiated more cohesive working between tax functions across the wider Hannover Re group. I was appointed to the Board last year which presented new challenges to overcome! Some are not aware that Argenta provide tax services to a large client base. For anyone with a practice background who is keen to consider in-house options, how would you characterise working at Argenta? Argenta Tax and Corporate Services has over 800 clients which certainly keeps us busy. The majority of clients are small family owned businesses operating as Lloyd’s corporate members. We do personal tax for brokers and individuals and manage a mix of LLPs and limited companies and also some large international groups, so again a unique role for someone who understands the tax issues affecting Owner Managed Business type clients such as loans to participators and share buy backs, and wider insurance tax issues such as BEAT, transfer pricing and DAC6. Or someone who is willing and quick to learn! It is a mixed role both in terms of client base but also with the in-house role requirements which include Argenta group tax compliance and operations, tax reporting, restructuring, acquisitions etc. How are Argenta responding in the given climate, and how would you describe the impact of Covid-19 on the Lloyd’s market? Really well – we are largely all still working effectively and efficiently at home and are in the process of working out how to get some of the team back in the office safely. The business has made it clear the safety of its employees and their families is key. The economic shock of Covid-19 has weakened the insurer's balance sheets all around the world. Analysis by the Corporation of Lloyd’s suggested that $100bn of asset value has been removed from the global insurance industry’s balance sheets. However, as a result, rates are increasing considerably making 2021 a good opportunity for new investors. What kind of person might you keep an eye out for in the Tax Team? I would be interested in someone who is versatile, hardworking and keen to take responsibility and operate autonomously, but with the ability to ask for help and guidance when needed. Someone who is keen and quick to learn with experience in the Lloyd’s market and with both an accounting and tax qualification (or significant experience), who is able to build relationships with internal stakeholders and key contacts in the market. What advice might you offer to anyone considering applying for a role in your team? Make sure you are aware of issues affecting Lloyd’s limited liability vehicles and are prepared to work hard in return for good rewards. For more information on this article, contact Jay Sky on 020 7269 6343 or Back to 60 Seconds archive >>


60 Seconds with: Benaifer Bhandari, Chief Executive of Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre

Benaifer Bhandari joined Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre as their Chief Executive in November 2018, prior to this she worked various roles at the breastfeeding support charity La Leche League GB. Benaifer speaks with Nicholas Ogden and Pro-Marketing about working at Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre where their mission is to enable BAME women to actively participate in society and make informed decisions that enable them to achieve their aspirations. Additionally Benaifer, kindly offers interview tips, and shares her views on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed/adapted fundraising. Tell me about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre? I started as CEO in November 2018 and it was a monumental moment for me. As a BAME woman, the door to CEO roles doesn't always open easily and I fell in love with Hopscotch in my preparation for my interview. It's a remarkable organisation that is built on compassion and sound governance practices. My previous charity, La Leche League GB, was the same. I served here as a trustee and as a director of the accreditation department. This involved heaps of international work, including complex policy writing which would serve the very different parts of the world where mothers breastfeed. Now at Hopscotch I have the privilege of working with colleagues who are experts in their own fields of health and social care, domestic violence, employment and welfare advice. We also have experts working with older and young BAME women. It's inspiring to be surrounded by such high skill levels and keeps me motivated to keep Hopscotch going fiscally and keep our work growing. We have an excellent reputation locally for being a one stop shop for women who need specialist BAME support, and we are now expanding around London to be able to share our knowledge and skills to help even more isolated and underserved women and girls. How do Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre differentiate themselves in the market? We are unique in the holistic approach we have. We run services which, individually, may be replicated elsewhere, but our centre puts all our services together and we work with each service user at her pace, according to her ability and motivations and working with the barriers she in particular faces. We move her seamlessly between services as she feels ready to disclose her needs and at all times being respectful of what it means to be a disadvantaged BAME woman in London. An example is a service user (B) who came to us seeking urgent support after surviving domestic abuse. Our advocate was there for B in her hour of need and in the weeks and months to come, making sure she was safe, fed and plugged into the statutory bodies needed. Our welfare advocate stepped in, as needed, for the housing and welfare issues which came up. In time B was able to express her desire to work (which previously she hadn’t been allowed to) and our employment development team supported her in improving her English and helped her work on her CV writing and interview skills. Eventually B was ready to step into the job market and chose to interview with our own Homecare service and was successful! She is now working flexibly as a care worker and having her own income for the first time in her life. Our Better Employment advisor is now working with her to develop her skills further with workshops which B can attend around her care work, so that she avoids the in-work poverty trap so many Londoners face and can start to dream big and live the life she deserves. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? We have a 23-person office-based team and 50 incredible care workers. We are nearly always recruiting, as grant funding comes in and we are always looking for more care workers to join our expanding Homecare service. We have a great social media presence where you will find all our opportunities and our website also has lots of information on how to apply. Always consider getting in touch first, have an informal chat with us so we can get to know you even before we’ve received your application. That’s a sure way of getting us excited to receive your email. How would your team describe you? This is awkward to respond to! OK, so we are accredited by various bodies like the Care Quality Commission and Advice Quality Standard. Here are bits from our last Matrix (Employment auditors) report:- “Leadership and management is another area of strength. A number of staff and partners commented on the fresh energy and new approach brought by the new CEO” “Increased networking, and with a background in counselling, an in depth understanding of women, but also how working with them can bring stresses” “A breath of fresh air, loads of new ideas, already adding things to our programme”. “The new composition of the Board has led to a timely review of Hopscotch’s vision, mission and objectives. Staff described being given relative autonomy; but it was also clear that there is a structured framework of meetings now in place at both manager and practitioner level to oversee performance” “I think we have finally got there in terms of managing things, the right level of oversight” What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t always listen to your teachers. Absorb the positive things one or two of them said to you over those 12 years. The horrid things said to you consistently are all about them and not you. You will find yourself attracting inspiring people soon enough and they will help you find your passion for working with those in need. When you interview someone for your organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? Their smile and their answer to “Why Hopscotch?” Both tell me how comfortable they are expressing their connection to our charity and how they might fit into the family vibe we work hard at maintaining. How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic has changed or adapted fundraising? It has put Hopscotch and our many peer organisations at risk of closure. Through sheer hard work we have fundraised crisis money to be able to keep going until March 21 – but what happens when that money runs out? How do we replace the losses incurred in Homecare, our social enterprise, because of C-19? How do we continue our important work of reaching women who are unreachable by others? This uncertainty has meant a more ferocious fundraising strategy has been needed, including spending a lot of time thinking of creative ways to raise unrestricted income. What advice would you give to someone looking to make a move into a not-for-profit organisation from another sector (especially during this pandemic)? It’s not for everyone – you need to have a combination of empathy, determination and big picture vision. If this is you, there are lots of great platforms where jobs are advertised and then for charities like Hopscotch who cannot afford these platforms, call directly or go to the website and apply! There is crisis funding around, there are programmes starting or extending their run, so there are jobs out there right now – mostly only for the few months until the funding runs out, but it’s a great way to start. For those who can, I always say the best way to test the water and find out if the third sector is for you, is to volunteer. If you were not working for a charity or not-for-profit organisation, what would the dream be? I would work with children from disadvantaged backgrounds for whom either school let them down or isn’t the right place. I home educate my lads, so I have experience of another – non-institutional – way of learning where children are empowered and motivated and have the time to learn important skills like conflict resolution and socialising with people of all ages and abilities. Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career in the charity sector? The charity sector is filled with people who have to manage strict governance and tight finances, but who also think outside the box. Part of that is having the capacity to hire those who are passionate and have skills beyond academics. It’s a beautiful place to grow as a person, navigate life with like-minded people and have the opportunity to give hope – which could be directly to those in need or it could be indirectly by helping the organisation flourish. The third sector is surprisingly fast-paced, as funding comes and goes, needs fluctuate and people who care move about at quite a speed! Find your passion, work out what sector that fits into and then find the organisation that understands the needs of that sector. Volunteer with them until they have the space to take you on and then fly! Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? I am known for my views and actions against patriarchy but LOVE ‘Say Yes To The Dress’. Sshhh, don’t tell anyone! For more information on this article, or to find out how you can get involved in Pro-Marketing’s 60 Second interview series, contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or


COVID-19 Lockdown Reflection – Fundraising for The Voluntary Sector

On 23 March 2020 the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a televised address that brought in widespread lockdown measures. Four months on from that, the UK has now found itself in a position where some are returning to work, organisations are exploring flexible working measures more than ever before, and the fundraising and voluntary sector had an urgent surge in demand. Here is a brief reflection of how the fundraising landscape has changed, and the effects of the pandemic on future giving. History has shown that in times of crisis people often pull together to become their best selves, this was reflected by the March 2020 recruitment for NHS Volunteers to help COVID-19 being suspended as more than three times the expected number of people signed up. These responses were impressive and Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England was “absolutely bowled over” by this. During Lockdown Lockdown and self-isolation have enabled people to think about vulnerable people and causes in their communities. Hopefully, in turn this awareness and spirit will continue post COVID-19 to benefit the voluntary sector. Captain Sir Thomas Moore took donations in the run up to his 100th Birthday, in aid of the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. His efforts were a beacon of hope despite everyone’s hardships. With a target of raising £500,000, he had phenomenally raised almost £38million with over 1.5million donations, breaking records on JustGiving, the global online platform for charitable giving. However, research from Charity Aid Foundation found that although sentiment to give was high, 12% of Charities did not have the digital technology in place to collect funds online. As cash remains the most common way to give to charity (53%), many not-for-profit organisations who already had digital donation platforms in place, found a spike during the March and April months of 2020 found a spike in digital donations, whilst some reported a drop in donations due to lack of technical resources. Revolut has revealed figures highlighting a swell in charitable giving among UK consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The average amount given through Revolut Donations increased across all age groups during lockdown, by an average of 59%. Those in older age brackets gave significantly more than they did prior to lockdown, with the biggest rise seen in the 50+ age group, where donation amounts soared by 147%. Those aged 41-45 increased their average donation amount by 91% and those between 46-50 by 75%. But it wasn’t just older consumers who gave more to charity during lockdown, Gen Z increased donation amounts by an average of 13%, those aged 26-30 by 8% and those aged 31-35 by 23%. Post-Pandemic Post COVID-19 we should all continue to support vulnerable people and causes in our communities. Charities will learn a lot from this period to catalyse their efforts going forward. With 18% or charities reporting that they see the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to modernise into newer technical resources, many are now accelerating their plans to shift their fundraising towards online efforts Without doubt, this lockdown has hit many financially, but research from Opinium tells us that many charitable supporters encouragingly will be providing the same level or more support going forward once lockdown is lifted and life starts to return to normality. Of those that are donating more than usual currently, 12% say they will donate more money to charity when they start to return to normality, while three in four (76%) will continue donating at the same level that they are currently. Similarly, of those that are donating more than usual, one in five (20%) say they will do this more when things return to normal, while 70% will continue to donate at their current level. Kate Whiffen, Senior Research Manager at Opinium Research commented: Charities are currently going through some challenging times due to Covid-19... Knowing how charities can adapt and move forward in these times is key. We have heard some very positive stories from the public as to what makes them support more now and what would do in the future, but it’s the challenge of communicating and educating the long term impact Covid-19 will have on the charity sector and learning from new initiatives that have been successful that would work in the future. Charities will need to think of innovative ways of Marketing to support their fundraising efforts, with many events being cancelled, and cash donations becoming less regular, smaller charities have had a stronger recovery than the larger charities, which have been more greatly affected due to those wider event cancellations. Jo Barnett, Executive Director at Virgin Money Giving said: "Many charities have been impacted hard with reduced income during COVID-19...We’ve seen some fantastic ways people have been raising money for charity during lockdown, and there are lots of ways people are able to fundraise as we emerge from lockdown when the traditional routes are still not open to them. From virtual pub quizzes, running 5k in your back garden or taking part in a virtual 50k bike ride, we encourage people to continue to do what they can do to raise money to support the charities close to their hearts." To conclude, this period has been a pressing but eye-opening time for many organisations and people alike. NFP teams are exploring alternatives to raise funds, social media has seen a surge in charitable cause posts. Now more than ever, those who were not already regularly donating are now supporting causes closer to home and those affected by the pandemic. Who knows what else is to come in the second half of this year? However, let’s continue to pull our efforts together to help the most vulnerable in the hardest times. If you are looking for ideas or like to share your thoughts on this, please give Nicholas Ogden a call on 020 7269 6338 or email me


Is this the end of office culture? What happens post COVID-19?

It is widely believed that conventional office culture will not be the same beyond the Coronavirus pandemic. Here we take a closer look at what experts suggest this might look like. This pandemic will eradicate the traditional working environment. Here is what some organisations, leaders and reports suggest. Jes Staley CEO of Barclays said “The notion of putting 7,000 people in the building may be a thing of the past” Colliers found in a survey of 4,000 people working from home that 73% thought that their productivity was the same or higher, while 76% thought their work/life balance had improved. 81% wanted to carry on working from home for one day a week or more Keith Froud, Managing Partner of Eversheds Sutherland stated that they will “redirect more on technology rather than office space” Research from Upwork, a US freelancing firm, researched that by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers. Today, millennials and Gen Z workers make up only 38% of the workforce, but in 2028, they’ll amount to 58%. So there will only be changes to come as the ‘New Norm’ makes its appearance. Organisations that operate with large corporate spaces will certainly need to think about the foreseeable future and will need to prioritise adhering to Government guidelines to keep their employees safe. However, businesses that can provide appropriate safety measures and contingency plans for their staff also have many reasons why they should continue to invest in office space and why larger organisations may need to reassess post pandemic before permanently abolishing office spaces. Why some businesses shouldn’t eradicate their office space and environments Melanie Phillips, journalist for The Times, comments that “Zoom shuts away the essence of humanity” and that senses are removed (and are irreproducible). These are key disadvantages for any businesses that are people focused Brodie Boland Associate Partner of McKinsey & Company suggests that remote working does not enable some people to get needed mentorship or help facilitate casual, unplanned but important conversations with colleagues Paul McDonald a contributor to Forbes discusses in detail in his article ‘Why A Positive Company Culture Is Especially Critical Today’ about organisations needing to create an inclusive and positive corporate culture. For many this can take the form of a fun place to work with development and social offerings that cannot be replaced remotely. Happiness is widely considered amongst many reports the most important factor for generating high productivity and therefore business leaders will need to take this into account when thinking about why their employees come to work for their business Here at Pro-Recruitment Group We are discovering in our sector that many are missing the office environment, shared working space and the buzzing team culture. As it stands, Pro-Recruitment Group is thrilled to be opening the office on a trial part-time basis in August, allowing the team the option to voluntarily come in on a rota whilst allowing for flexibility in hours. As part of this trial, Pro is generously reimbursing all employees’ travel costs and has already followed government guidelines with risk assessments and implemented strong safety measures. As an organisation we are delighted to be returning. Here is our advice to employers looking to reintroduce employees into the workplace. To conclude, there is no one-size-fits-all solution as some businesses will look to get rid of the traditional office environment whereas others will need it to continue and flourish. Regardless, the pandemic has provided a huge opportunity for change to the future of work which is exciting and interesting. For more information about your recruitment needs, please contact Nicholas Ogden on 020 7269 6338 or email


Managing your employee’s return to work: Post COVID-19 lockdown

As the UK starts to ease lockdown we are speaking to many organisations about their return to work. How do you feel about your team coming back? Has lockdown given you time to reassess flexible working options? Do you have the right team in place? As well as keeping up-to-date with the latest Government guidance, here is our advice to employers looking to manage their team’s return to work: Communicating with your teams Phased return stages Workplace Risk Assessment Coming into and leaving the office New ways of using your workspace Managing holidays and employee wellbeing Communicating with your teams As an employer, it will be your duty to ensure that you discuss any plans for your employees to return to work as soon as possible. We suggest talking about: When they might return to the workplace How they will travel to and from work How health and safety is being reviewed and managed – you should share the latest risk assessment where possible, more advice on this will follow below Planned adjustments to the workplace, for example additional hand washing facilities, staggering start and finish times to avoid overcrowding or floor markings to help people keep 2 metres apart If there will be a phased return of the workforce, for example some staff returning before others Flexible/working from home arrangements and support Wherever possible, you should speak to your staff before making a decision or putting plans in writing. This can help you better understand their needs and concerns and supports an ethos of being included in organisational decisions. Phased return stages Where employees have been furloughed, you should consider to operate a phased return. It is necessary to reduce the numbers of people at the workplace to comply with social distancing, plus the workload is likely to slowly increase over time rather than immediately returning to pre-pandemic levels. WIth many worried about their employment status during and after this pandemic, it’s important to ensure that you communicate that the phased return is purely for employee welfare and safety and not necessarily a reason to doubt future employment. Across London and the rest of the UK, thousands of employees are being asked to return to work. But many employers are faced with a furloughed employee who refuses. If this situation arises, you will need to look for compromises. Be proactive in speaking to the employee to determine their specific issues and concerns and then work with them to look at alternative options. Can they work from home and, if an employee is unable to work from home, what specific health advice is available to you as their employer that could be shared with them. Could they be placed in an alternative role in the business in which they do feel safe? These factors will need to be taken into consideration during what is a concerning period for many. Workplace Risk Assessment Preparing the workplace is essential. Setting out clear standards and processes will reduce the worry for your teams and minimise health and safety risks for you and your employees. In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing, and surface cleaning Government guidelines suggest that employers should make every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option. Where working from home is not possible, workplaces should make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government (keeping people 2m apart wherever possible). Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full, in relation to a particular activity, such as meetings and group activity, you should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between your staff. i.e: Ensuring the activity time is as short as possible Using markers/barriers to seperate people Side-to-side working rather than face-to-face Fixed teams/partnering to reduce the number of people each person comes into contact with. With limited people in the office/workplace per day. Introducing a one-way systems One-to-one assessments with every employee returning to the workplace must be conducted to establish the level of vulnerability to COVID19. The government has clearly stated that No one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment. Coming into and leaving the office The government has highlighted that the steps that will usually be needed are: Staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace, taking account of the impact on those with protected characteristics. Providing additional parking or facilities such as bike racks to help people walk, run, or cycle to work where possible. Limiting passengers in corporate vehicles, for example, work minibuses. This could include leaving seats empty. Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the workplace. Providing more storage for workers for clothes and bags. Using markings and introducing one-way flow at entry and exit points. Providing handwashing facilities, or hand sanitiser where not possible, at entry and exit points and not using touch-based security devices such as keypads. Maintaining use of security access devices, such as keypads or passes, and adjusting processes at entry/exit points to reduce risk of transmission. For example, cleaning pass readers regularly and asking staff to hold their passes next to pass readers rather than touching them. See here for further government guidance on travelling to and from work. New ways of using your workspace Reduce movement and discourage non-essential trips within the office, for example, restricting access to some areas, encouraging use of telephones and cleaning them between use. Restrict access between different areas of a building. Ie. 2 people in the kitchen at any one time and Sharing the responsibility of wiping down surface areas upon leaving the space. Reducing job and location rotation. Introducing more one-way flow through buildings. Reducing maximum occupancy for lifts, providing hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts and encouraging use of stairs wherever possible. Managing use of high traffic areas including corridors, lifts turnstiles and walkways to maintain social distancing. Managing holidays and employee wellbeing As an employer, you know it's your duty to ensure that you support your team’s physical, mental and environmental wellbeing. Your approach to holiday is likely to depend on how much work there is in the pipeline. If, even after lockdown restrictions are lifted, workload is low, you may want to consider preventing employees from cancelling their previously approved holiday to ensure employees are available later in the holiday year when workload may increase. Quite fairly, you may have employees who are reluctant to take holiday whilst many travel restrictions are in place, as an employer you can also require them to take leave, subject to legal requirements under the Working Time Regulations/any procedure set out in a collective agreement or contract of employment. You should also be mindful of various issues including health and safety obligations in ensuring that employees have reasonable breaks for their mental and physical wellbeing. Share government health advice and helplines for wellbeing if they need further support that you feel you are not able give, To conclude, there are many factors to consider to ensure that you, your business and your employee are safe during this period of further transition back into the workplace. The CIPD suggests that it is important to ensure you can meet three key tests before bringing their people back to the workplace: Is it essential? Is it sufficiently safe? Is it mutually agreed? We are speaking to many clients who are phasing returns for their teams and will make it our duty of care as recruiters to share best practice. If you need any support with your plans, we are here to help. Contact your specialist recruiter for immediate support Here, email or call 020 7269 6333


What to Expect When Joining the Big 4? "My Experience at PwC"

Joining a Big 4 firm can seem daunting when you don't know exactly what to expect or what you'll be doing when you first join. Maisie Horrell, Consultant at Pro-Tax, spoke with a female tax professional who recently joined PwC. She previously worked for a Top 10 accountancy practice for five years before making the move to the Big 4 with the help of Pro-Tax. Below, she speaks about the interview process at PwC, what happened in her first week on the job, and the difference between working at a Top 10 and a Big 4 firm. What were your reasons behind wanting to move to PwC? I wanted to make the move to PwC primarily because I wanted to gain more exposure working with larger clients and I wanted to work in a larger team that would enable me to learn from others around me. I was slightly worried at first that as a Big 4 firm, they were going to want ‘blood sweat and tears’ as this is often a common perception, but since my very first meeting with PwC I have been pleasantly surprised! What was the interview process like and how did you find it? The interview process at PwC was surprisingly stress-free, slick and very informative. It consisted of a first stage meet-and-greet with two Directors, where I was able to find out more information about the team I would be joining, the role, and what my day-to-day role would look like. I received feedback within just a couple of days and my final-stage formal interview was arranged very quickly. As opposed to the first meet-and-greet stage this interview focused more on technical questions and my suitability for the role, but I still felt at ease and comfortable the whole hour I was being interviewed. Three days after my formal interview I received an offer, which I was delighted about! The fact that it was such a quick process which made me feel at ease, made the idea of moving to PwC all the more attractive to me. I was invited back again to meet other people on my team in an informal setting, just so I could get a feel for the working environment and culture, which was fantastic as it meant that on my first day I already knew some friendly faces. What was your first week at PwC like? Day 1 - PwC Induction I was invited to listen to guest speakers who talked through how to manage stress and the best ways to achieve a good work-life balance, which in today’s world I think is incredibly important. Day 2 - Tax Induction There was a group of around 30 people from across all areas of tax within PwC, and we participated in group interactive exercises. Day 3 - Office Tour On the third day I had a tour of the building and I met my allocated buddy. Day 4 - Introductions I had my first day in my team with introductions to everyone I would be working closely with and getting to know the ropes. What have you found positive moving from a Top 10 to a Big 4 Firm? From day 1 you are allocated a ‘career coach’, who is usually a Manager or Senior Manager within your team who helps you with all areas of your career development, including promotions, work allocation, options to specialise, and secondment opportunities (whether this is internationally or to different departments within tax or the wider business) Every Wednesday my particular team has a fundamentals session for juniors - this is a training session where as a group, we discuss new tax legislation On Thursday each week we then have a Business Development session and discuss how we can take new cases to market, which is very helpful in enabling the team to become more commercially minded - something I have noticed about everyone at PwC from the very beginning of my career here I have also noticed that the way PwC advises is a lot more innovative than at my previous firms - the ways in which people work here is inspiring, and they continuously spot opportunities in other areas of the market that I don’t think other teams would right away I have found that I am working with such a mix of personalities - both my team and the wider business are so diverse and I’ve met such a wide range of people which makes work all the more interesting. This also means that I can bounce ideas off more people, making my work well-rounded as I learn from the people around me The business is all completely paperless which means everything runs smoothly and efficiently, with processes you wouldn’t always necessarily find at a smaller firm Unlike the common perception I haven’t found myself, or anyone else on my team, working crazy long hours, and having a healthy work-life balance is encouraged from day one Working at PwC I have noticed a much quicker turnaround in terms of work - when comparing this to firms outside of the Top 10, firms can sometimes lack innovation and urgency Everyone delves much deeper into the technical analysis of everything we do so that we can improve and innovate constantly, and as a firm PwC invests so much in improving themselves as well as their technology and systems One final and important thing that PwC do really well, is investing in people. They invest so much into personal development - you are encouraged to carve a niche for yourself from the beginning and to ask for feedback on everything, so you can improve after every piece of work you do. Your career is totally in your hands and you are given every opportunity to progress and develop. I think that working at PwC is going to make me a much more well-rounded advisor and for me, it's the best place to be for self-development and career progression - it’s an opportunity that I don’t think I fully appreciated until I actually got here! For more information on this article, or to speak to Maisie Horrell about making your move into a Big 4 firm, contact her on 020 7269 6337 or


Utilising Your Extra Time to Help Your Future Job Search

Your job search may not be top of your priority list at the moment, but I thought I would give you some of my thoughts, on how to you can use your free time to assist you with your next job search. DUST OFF THAT OLD CV Creating the ideal CV can be a tricky task, but the perfect Finance CV is the very first step towards your dream job. To avoid your CV being dismissed and missing out on that all-important job interview, there are things you need to consider. Client Experience: • What types of clients are you dealing with, are they just within one niche sector, e.g. Asset Management or do you have cross sector experience, property, construction, retail, solicitors, charities and hospitality? Make sure you list your full breadth of experience after all it might just be might the type of experience your future employer is looking for given their own client base • What are the turnovers of your clients? Always list your range from smallest to largest and include on average, e.g. £1m-£100m on avg. £30m. This demonstrates the types of clients you are most used to dealing with whilst also showing your range • Do you have international client experience, or experience of working with UK subsidiaries of international clients? Any exposure to IFRS? • Do you have experience of working with groups of companies and/or consolidations? Managerial Experience: • Are you managing a portfolio of clients? If so, how many clients are in your portfolio. Make things tangible where you can, if you only state you are managing a portfolio of clients – this could be any number from 2 clients to 100,000!! • Are you responsible for WIP and Billing, and if so what is the annual fee income of your portfolio e.g. £500k. Together with the number of clients in your portfolio, this will indicate if you are doing low volume, high fee work or if you are predominantly high volume and low fee • People management is important too, so what is the largest team you have managed or supervised, and do you have any direct reports? Do you have responsibility for appraisals? Do you do training and development? • Are you reviewing the work of juniors? If so, what type of work are you reviewing, is it bookkeeping or accounts preparation and if so, how many sets of accounts are you reviewing? Business Development: • Are you actively involved in business development, if so, how much new business have your brought in in the last 12 months? E.g. £250k in new business through referred work and/or tenders • Are you involved in group sales and marketing activity, including leading client pitches, attendance at group networking, and other marketing events? • Is most of your business development through word of mouth and referrals? Overall, you should keep the general CV formatting simple, avoid using the first person and stick to bullet points when detailing experience. A comprehensive list of your systems experience will go a long way, as more firms move towards cloud-based software, it is good to show your IT skills are up to date. WHAT IS YOUR LONG-TERM GOAL? If your long term goal is to stay within practice, then there are plenty of different routes to go down but you should start thinking about which way you want to steer your career now, so you are best equipped to navigate the best path; Specialize in a particular sector; join a firm where you can completely specialise in particular area such as Charities/NFP, Real Estate, Insurance, Film & TV and so on Specialize in a particular service line; choose a role which is entirely audit, outsourcing or accounting/financial reporting Become a true general practitioner; join a firm where you can gain exposure to audit, accounts and tax Move into a new service line; step into a more advisory focussed role by moving in transaction services/corporate finance Move into a more managerial role; become responsible for both a portfolio and team in a position of leadership If you are considering a move, I would be happy to send over some job specifications for you to see if you are ready to make the leap or help steer your career down a certain route. Even if you are not looking at new jobs now, now is the perfect time to let me help you prepare your CV, review you Linked-In profile and more importantly beat the rush when the recruitment gates open! For a confidential discussion, or advice on your CV – contact Kate Green on 0207 269 6363 or email


A Career in Tax - Seriously Worth Considering

“I want to be ‘X’ when I grow up”... A phrase we have all said at least once at some point in our lives. I know for a fact that I pondered on this thought at every milestone of my life growing up. Primary school: Astronaut, Secondary School: Footballer and College: Lawyer. I’m not sure if it was just me in this boat but it was a daunting task to think about what I genuinely wanted to do, career-wise, longer-term. Having now spent several years specialising in tax recruitment, advising individuals at various stages of their career, I thought it was a great opportunity to reflect on why a career in Tax could be highly rewarding for anyone considering this route. Especially with the market being in demand for high-quality individuals! So, what is Tax? Tax: “(an amount of) money paid to the government that is based on your income or the cost of goods or services you have bought" For most, paying tax seems like an endless chore. However, its fact of life and something that affects individuals and businesses alike. As a Tax Professional, you can be the Batman to Gotham but instead, help save money on tax bills. In a nutshell, key responsibilities will include knowing tax law, breaking this down into layman terms, identifying new ways to save money whilst ensuring it's all done in a fully compliant and timely manner. Types of Tax: Broadly speaking, there are three main types of taxes: Corporate Tax: Tax for companies and businesses. These could be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Owner Managed Businesses (OMB’s) or Large and Listed (FTSE100). There are specialisms within this such as Transfer Pricing, M&A and Employment tax to name a few. Personal Tax: Tax for individuals. There is also the option to specialise here, including Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Trusts. Value Added Tax (VAT): Tax on goods and services. Where to work: Accountancy Practices: This can range from the small boutique/independent firms through to mid-tier, all the way to the largest being the ‘Big 4’ (PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG). They act on behalf of a range of clients and across varying sectors. Commerce and Industry (In-House): This is where you will be solely working for one business and handling all their taxes, say Vodafone for example. Career Path: In an accountancy practice, your career path and opportunities to progress will be very linear. You’ll start as a Graduate/Tax assistant, progressing through to Tax Semi-Senior, then Senior. After this it will be Assistant Manager, Manager, Senior Manager and then comes Directorship. The final piece of the puzzle will be becoming a Tax Partner. Of course, there may be a few additional steps depending on the firm in question, but this gives a rough idea. On the flip side, a career in-house will look different from that in terms of titles and promotions. On occasion the teams tend not to be as big as those in the larger accountancy practices, thus meaning fewer levels to climb. As a result, an ‘upwards’ move may take slightly longer. Qualifications: The two main qualifications in Tax are ATT and CTA. ATT will help those starting their career and gives a solid understanding of core compliance principles. This is vital in ensuring client’s tax returns are completed accurately and filed on time. CTA is the next big milestone after ATT and is when you become a Chartered Tax Advisor. Being an advisor switches the focus to the problem solving, consultancy side of tax. It’s about knowing rules and legislation inside out, to take advantage of any loopholes, thus making the client’s finances as tax-efficient as possible. For anyone looking to further their career in some of the specialist fields, there are options available such as ADIT and STEP. Lifestyle and remuneration: Work-life balance is a very hot topic in today's working world. For those working in practice, hours tend to be longer especially with key deadlines to be met and this could result in additional evenings and weekends where you are required to work. However, the accounting world is continuing to develop and has become hugely accommodating to agile and flexible working to be competitive. Salary will rise steadily and is usually dependent on the firm you work for, your experience and qualifications. Broadly speaking, someone with a few years tax experience with the ATT qualification will be compensated around the 35k mark, this is likely to increase by at least 10k with a few further years’ experience and the CTA. After this, the world is your oyster and salaries can easily reach six figures and (in some cases), much higher, especially Partners in Big 4. Those working in Commerce and Industry are likely to be remunerated at a greater level than in practice and likely to see enhanced benefits packages (pension, days holiday etc). However, there are fewer opportunities available, thus making it more competitive. In summary A career in tax can be highly prosperous and rewarding, not only financially but also in terms of professional development. It offers a genuine chance to progress, ensuring your career does not stagnate. With tax legislation changing all the time, you will be sure to be kept on your toes! Here at Pro-Tax we focus primarily focus on tax opportunities for those with a minimum of 12-18 months of experience and who are likely to be studying for their ATT. For those wishing to embark on a career in tax, please do familiarise yourself with the Accountancy Age Top 50+50: This will give you a good insight into the top 100 accounting firms in the UK, all of which are likely to advertise their graduate programmes and entry-level positions. The above is simply an insight to those interested in a career with tax and there is certainly more to this than meets the eye! Regardless of whether you are just learning the ropes in tax or if you are seeking genuine career advice as a more experienced tax professional, please do not hesitate to contact Dominic Watt on 0207 269 6310 or


March 2020: Finance Movers and Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in March 2020: EY have announced the appointment of Hywel Ball as EY UK & Ireland Regional Managing Partner and UK Chair, effective 1st July 2020. Ball will be responsible for leading the business in the UK and Ireland, succeeding Steve Varley, who has been appointed as the first EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability. Thomas Westcott has appointed Ian Pring as Partner based in the firm’s Plymouth office. Pring has joined following a 30-year career at PKF Francis Clark, where he was Director of the firm’s Property and Wealth teams. UHY Hacker Young have appointed Tracey Moore as Head of Charities and Not-for-Profit. She takes over from Subarna Banerjee who has headed the group for the last five years. Moore joined UHY Hacker Young in 2019 from BDO and has over 20 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector. Hugo Parson has joined Deloitte as a Partner to lead its Origination team for Private Equity. Parson was previously Global Head of Origination for Private Equity at EY, where he worked for over seven years. Prior to this Parson worked at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan. Dominic Treays has been appointed as Commercial Director (Global Business Services – Tax & Accounting) at TMF Group. He joins from Cragus Group in Dubai where he was Managing Director and spent 12 years. For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>



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