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Congratulations on your ACA results! Now you have qualified you have most likely found yourself at a crossroads - this is the time for you to evaluate your career choices which can often be difficult for newly qualified accountants. There are many options available to you and no-one can tell you with certainty the right step to take; it’s up to you to use your judgement and make the decision that’s best for your future career. So what are your options once you qualify? We will explore: - Firms - Specialisms - Career Development 1. Firms There are a number of options from which you will make your decision - you may either progress within your own firm, move to another firm of a different size, or make the move into Commerce & Industry. Some newly qualified accountants will decide to move from practice into industry, which can be a very diverse career path offering a new challenge. The C&I list is vast, ranging from FTSE 100 companies to start-ups, and each option comes with its own pros and cons. Often, people see C&I as an attractive career path as opposed to practice, however this is often because they may not enjoy the nature of audit. It is important to consider that roles in practice are changing and becoming more advisory focused with the use of new technology and artificial intelligence. In practice, you can expect a fast-paced culture allowing you to maintain client interaction and potentially develop into an advisory role. Decide on where you gain most job satisfaction - is it in the variety of work and clients, or do you want to directly contribute to a firm’s strategy? Firms of varying size all have their own individual merits. For example, working at one of the Big 4 or a larger practice not only offers global reach but can provide alternative career paths through secondments. If you work for a small firm, you may consider moving to a larger practice which would give you more exposure to a wider variety of clients as well as the chance to get involved in roles outside of audit - whether this may be corporate finance or working with stakeholders - which is an excellent opportunity for career development. Alternately, choosing a smaller firm is the right path for some people. If you are in a bigger firm and not getting the experience or responsibilities you want, you have the option of moving to a smaller firm where you would get more managerial experience and the opportunity to progress to Partner more quickly. This is a route which would also allow you to have a direct input on strategy and growth due to the likelihood of a close Partner group. Whichever route you decide to take within practice, whether you choose a small independent firm or aim to work for one of the Big 4, be sure you want to pursue a career in practice and plan a route that ultimately leads towards your career goals. 2. Specialisms Obtaining your ACA qualification opens up exciting potential career paths - at the beginning decide if you want to specialise immediately or create a broader experience base to progress from later. Either way, make sure to grab opportunities to gain exposure to specialisms and different service lines early on! After all, expanding your knowledge and skill set can only further your career later on. Often, coming from an audit background means your most likely role within C&I would be very technical and usually based upon financial accounting. Whereas the progression on offer within practice often allows you to manage more people and move into a more client-facing, advisory position. Accounting is an option which gives you the opportunity to use the skills gained in your current role and is a good way to gain technical experience at specialised firms early on in your career. Audit is often used as a stepping stone into the wider business for many accountants, and with a career in audit you can also benefit from internal secondment opportunities within different parts of a business, such as Corporate Finance, ultimately expanding your skill set to the benefit of your future career. It can seem like an overwhelming task to decide so early on the right route for you to take, but getting advice from industry experts could help you make an informed decision! 3. Career development Whichever route you decide to take, make the most of any training and development facilities available to you. Many firms place importance on career development, offering yearly appraisals, learning and development departments for high-quality training and counselling managers. Accountancy practices are often eager to help staff reach their full potential, so make sure you have clear goals, objectives and a strategy laid out in your appraisals. Ongoing training and building up of experience are keys to success in every field. Use the early years of your career to differentiate yourself from your peers with diverse experience through secondments and if Partnership is your long-term goal, ensure you engage in Business Development early on. Stand out from your peers, and people will notice you and support your career ambitions! Passing your ACA opens up so many avenues, from becoming a specialist in a particular field, to working with large corporate companies or even launching your own enterprise. 83% of all FTSE 100 firms have at least one ICAEW Chartered Accountant on the board, which showcases the wealth of opportunities that ACA careers offer. Most importantly, you have the opportunity to shape your career to suit your own interests and aspirations. Ultimately, your decision will come down to culture, progression opportunities and professional development. As long as you keep these things in mind while considering your options once you have qualified, you will be well-equipped to make the best decision for your future career in finance. If you would like more information on this article, or to speak to our finance recruitment experts about your next step, contact Tom on 020 7269 6349 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOVERNANCE Garden Bridge fiasco risks undermining charities The Garden Bridge project in London risks undermining public trust and confidence in charities, according to a report from the regulator. The Charity Commission said that the project to build a pedestrian bridge over the Thames, which was cancelled in 2017, was a "failure for charity." There was no evidence of mismanagement at the Garden Bridge Trust but the commission said the episode raised serious questions about how a newly created charity was given responsibility for spending a sum of £50m. “We have made clear to the trustees that the charity has not displayed the level of transparency and accountability that we would expect, given the nature and profile of its work,” said the report, which describes the project a “high profile and expensive failure”. Charity Times Civil Society UKFundraising Trustees removed after probe into cash couriering The Charity Commission has dissolved Worldwide Ummah Aid (WUA), a charity which operated to relieve poverty in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, after charitable funds were found to have been misused, cash was taken overseas, and trustees used funds for personal expenses. WUA has been removed from the register and its charitable funds redistributed to another charity. Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations Team at the Charity Commission, said: "Charities hold a special status in society and trustees should be their careful custodians, ensuring all decisions are taken in the best interest of the charity’s mission and purpose . . . Through their misconduct and mismanagement the trustees jeopardised the trust that donors placed in those responsible for the charity. It’s therefore right that the Commission acted to disqualify the trustees responsible." Accountancy Daily GOV.UK Details of new Code of Fundraising Practice are revealed The chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator has revealed details of the new Code of Fundraising Practice that is to come into force later this year. Gerald Oppenheim has said there was "broad support" in the consultation period last year for changing the code and it will be written in plainer English and include definitions of legalese to aid comprehension. The code, which is expected to come into effect in October, is also to be made more accessible online. Civil Society STRATEGY Charities and government to create Youth Charter Youth charities including The Scouts, The Prince’s Trust, UK Youth, Step up to Serve, Youth United Foundation, British Youth Council, Girlguiding, NCS Trust and National Youth Agency are partnering with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to create a new Youth Charter to coordinate government youth policy. The charter seeks to centralise different youth services and offer young people the opportunity to raise concerns about societal issues. In a joint statement, the organisations said: “We are backing a new Youth Charter to put young people where they belong, at the top of the agenda. Through developing and delivering a cohesive approach to services for young people we can improve inequality and social mobility, generate positive outcomes that benefit wider socie ty, and unlock cost savings in health, criminal justice, and social care.” Civil Society New online guides for smaller charities Inspiring Impact is a new website funded by the National Lottery and run by sector organisations that offers online guides and tools to help smaller charities measure the impact of their work. Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: "More community organisations and charities will be able to better plan, measure and improve their impact with Inspiring Impact’s new website and tools,” adding "with the help of peer learning networks and free online resources, more and more communities across the UK can thrive.” More than 110,000 individuals have already used the resources. Charity Digital News FUNDRAISING Tiltify launches to UK charities Peer to peer fundraising platform Tiltify, which helps nonprofits raise money through livestream broadcasting activities, has launched to UK charities. WaterAid will use Tiltify for livestream campaign fundraising in campaigns and the platform is also working with Make-a-Wish UK, Cats Protection UK and The Diana Award. Tiltify chief executive Michael Wasserman says: “Tiltify allows anyone and everyone to reach new audiences from around the world and capitalise on the opportunity with easy-to-use features unique to our platform – like polling, rewards and milestones – that engage and motivate donors to open their wallets.” UKFundraising Big Issue Foundation accepts digital wallet donations The Big Issue Foundation is now able to receive donations via digital wallet services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay following a partnership with Donr. Rhia Docherty, The Big Issue Foundation’s Individual Giving and Support Services Manager, said: “Donr’s Text Giving service is very effective, affordable and easy to use. This is also the first time we have been able to accept donation’s via digital wallet services like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Donr’s innovative platform will help us to future-proof donations in the digital age.” UKFundraising Charity Times Charity Digital News Awards celebrate nation of fundraising shopkeepers The Daily Telegraph talks with Rufus Bazley, marketing director of BusinessesForSale, about the Small Business Big Heart Awards. Launched in 2016, the awards celebrate small businesses and the impact they can have on their local communities through charity work. Mr Bazley commissioned research which found that 72% of small businesses in the UK donate in some way to one or more good causes. Ninety-two per cent of those businesses supported small, local and independent community organisations. The Daily Telegraph VOLUNTEERS Young people are keenest to volunteer Under 25s volunteer more than older age groups, according to research from GoFundMe . Two-fifths (41%) of people aged 16-24 volunteer twice a month – but only one-fifth (19%) of other age groups volunteered time to help charities or good causes in their communities. Meanwhile, three-fifths (61%) of people over the age of 55 said that they never volunteered time; only a quarter (25%) of those under 25 said likewise. UKFundraising RISK Cybersecurity grants for charities in Scotland Charities in Scotland are being invited to bid for grants of up to £1,000 to invest in cybersecurity. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is making the money available to help charities achieve accreditation in the nationally recognised Cyber Essentials scheme. The deadline for applications is 5pm, Friday April 26th. Charity Digital News CAMPAIGNS Scottish Government’s approach to mental health is lacking, charities say Scottish ministers are failing to do enough to tackle the growing mental health crisis in schools, campaigners have warned. Leading charities said the Scottish Government was too focused on the treatment of pupils once they had developed mental health issues. Instead, they want a greater focus on teaching pupils the skills they need to cope with stress. The Mental Health Foundation and Barnado's say personal and social education (PSE) should be placed at the heart of the school curriculum. Kirsten Hogg from Barnardo’s said health and mental wellbeing of pupils remained the "poor relation" to literacy and numeracy, and the focus on counselling “runs the risk of medicalising pupil experiences." The Herald Charity calls for non means-tested legal aid funding for inquests into state-related deaths The Ministry of Justice spent £4.2m representing prison officers at inquests, while paying out only £92,000 in legal aid for bereaved families at hearings that examine deaths in prison, according to figures released by Inquest. The charity, which supports families in coroner’s courts, is calling for automatic, non means-tested legal aid funding to families to pay for specialist legal representation immediately after a state-related death. Rebecca Roberts, Inquest’s head of policy, said: “Inquests following state-related deaths are intended to seek the truth and expose unsafe practices. Yet bereaved families are facing well-funded legal teams defending the interests and reputations of state and corporate bodies, who work together to shut down or narrow lines of enquiry.” The Guardian The Times Scheme aims to help the vulnerable stay safe The Keep Safe initiative, a partnership between Police Scotland and charity I Am Me, has been launched in Moray. The initiative aims to help ensure that disabled and vulnerable people feel more safe when out and about in their communities. The scheme will see networks of local shops, businesses and organisations set up, providing Keep Safe places for disabled, elderly and vulnerable people to go to if they are lost, scared, need help, or if they are the victim of a crime. Keep Safe has been successfully launched in a number of other local authority areas, with more than 250 participating premises across Scotland. Aberdeen Press and Journal Back to Charity Times archive >>
Soft skills? What are they and why do they matter? Business leaders are becoming more aware of the importance of emotional intelligence, the capacity to be aware of, control, and express emotions and the ability to handle interpersonal relationships with empathy. These are skills which cannot be quantified but have a huge handle on the success of an individual’s career. According to the World Economic Forum, by the year 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to those jobs today – while soft skills in the workplace will be in higher demand than the narrow technical ones. Here are 5 reasons why soft skills matter. 1. Soft skills are the new hard skills It might be your hard skills that get you the interview, but it’s the soft skills that bring you success in your career. Soft skills like awareness, curiosity and the ability to connect, refer to personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. They’re becoming the hard skills of today’s workforce - it’s not enough to be highly trained in technical skills without developing the understanding of how to work with others harmoniously. More and more organisations are including psychological testing as part of their recruitment process because of this. 2. The ‘super-powers’ that make us ‘super-humans’ We’re not describing the Marvel and DC characters on our cinema screens. We’re looking at real-life traits that enable us to foster trust, build relationships and make colleagues ‘human’, rather than cogs hired simply to be part of the organisational machine. Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center, has all concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills). We want to know that the colleagues around us can add value to each other emotionally as well as technically. Given that we spend more time with our colleagues than our friends and families, having a team around you who can empathise with you is what makes work a great place to be. 3. They are sculpting the future of work The workplace has evolved. The need for a dynamic of interpersonal skills are becoming ever more important and can’t be ignored. It’s important to be aware of the vital role that soft skills play within your team and your own personal development. The acts of listening, presenting ideas, resolving conflict, and fostering an open and honest work environment all come down to knowing how to build and maintain relationships with people. It's those relationships that allow people to participate fully in team projects, show appreciation for others, and enlist support for their projects. 4. They make good leaders What do we all look for in a good leader? Yes - technically skilled, experienced mentors all help to develop a good functional manager to maintain a status quo in the workplace. But what sets a manager and a leader apart is balancing those technical hard skills with the soft skills that are essential for a business to thrive. Having a leader who can make quick decisions and problem solve is important, but the ability to empower their team, understand team morale, and listen and recognise certain emotions in their employees is what truly makes a good leader. Gary Vaynerchuk has mentioned that although most people think of him as a "mouth," he promises he's really "an ear disguised as a mouth." As Vaynerchuk advises: "To be a great leader, you have to be a great listener." This rings true for everyone, inside and outside of work. And in the workplace, there’s nothing more motivational than having a leader who wants to understand you as a person, your goals as well as your gripes, as opposed to a boss who simply manages their team. 5. Soft skills cultivate a productive workplace Soft skills can be difficult to objectively measure (unlike technical qualifications, which can be tested). However, when you look around your own office, it is usually fairly easy to find those employees lacking soft skills. They are the ones unwilling to accept any kind of change, the ones unable to effectively work and communicate with their colleagues. As employers, as much as we should be supporting our staff in developing technical skills, we should be encouraging our teams to adapt and focus on emotional intelligence - this comes innate to some, but can also be taught through good leadership. Understanding, communication, empathy and harmony in the workplace makes the perfect recipe for success. For you as an employee, you want to be happy in your workplace; for you as an employer, you will see increased productivity. To conclude; people, it seems, still have one commanding competitive advantage over technology - the ability to understand other people. To express empathy, communicate persuasively, and seek common ground in a manner that allows groups to agree on an action plan and, more importantly, to feel collectively invested in its success, has far more value to an organisation that the collective focus on technical and vocational skills. It’s the companies that nurture these kinds of abilities that will have a competitive advantage which sets them apart from the competition. Soft skills are those that cost the least to develop, but in practice have the highest value. For more information about the skills organisations are seeking in the workplace or if you’re looking for more recruitment advice, please contact Pat Keogh on 020 7269 6311 or email email@example.com.
Deciding how long you should stay in one job can be difficult. Questions that are asked by many a candidate nowadays are; should you stay in one job for a long period of time? Is being a “lifer” a good thing or a bad thing? So what looks best on a CV? In my opinion, as an employee there's a fine line between establishing tenure at a company to show that you're not a job hopper, and staying so long in the same job you stop developing and learning new skills, ultimately leading to little or no progression. Good tenure is still highly sought after by employers. According to Amanda Augustine, career advice expert for TopResume, in an ideal world you should try and stay at each job for at least two years as employers may cast doubts on your employability if you have more short stints than long ones, and potentially question your judgement, career goals and performance as an employee. A Bullhorn survey also found that 39% of recruiters believe that the biggest obstacle for an unemployed candidate in regaining employment is having a history of job-hopping or leaving a company before one year. The BBC spoke to Claire McCartney, Senior Advisor for the CIPD, who had a very sensible approach to the subject and felt there was a minimum tenure for changing jobs. In her opinion, remaining at a job for between 6-12 months and then changing could make employers wary when considering whether to hire you. On the other hand, if you leave a company within 3 months it is normally because you turn up and the role or company culture is not as described at the interview, you have a change in personal circumstances, or it simply is just not the right fit for you and you know immediately. This type of tenure can (normally) be explained on a CV and if it only happens once in your career, can be the ‘blip’ that a lot of people have had to experience and overcome. When is the best time to change jobs? While it is true that constantly job-hopping may not send the right messages to potential employers, it is also fair to say that leaving a job doesn’t have the same stigma that it once did - particularly when a move makes sense in the context of your overall career goals. Employers like to see clear progression and professional development in potential candidates. This could possibly include the development of a diverse skill set across disciplines, departments or even secondments. I am of the opinion that the size of an organisation can be a potential factor in determining how long you decide to stay in a role, with larger companies offering secondments, more opportunities to progress through the ranks, and a broader spectrum of departments to gain exposure to - all of which are positive, both for future employers and for you in mapping out your career. As well as this, in certain sectors regular change is not only common, but favourable. In the sectors that we recruit for here at Pro-Recruitment Group, we often find that changing jobs - within reason - is highly sought after. People can gain exposure to different ideas and approaches, see how different businesses are run, gain technical expertise from varied roles and work within different sectors with a wide variety of clientele. Job switches may reward you with a broader skill-base and higher compensation than if you were to work for only one or two companies during your career. In most cases, changing roles every 3-5 years if you are looking for progression or variety is seen as a positive in the current hiring market. Gone are the days when a Partner is a Partner at one firm and one firm only. So how long should an employee stay at one job? To conclude, you can explain a ‘blip’ on your CV albeit only once, and you are encouraged to change jobs if a move offers progression, variety and a different way of learning something. However, if you are gaining all of the above and more in your current role it is not frowned upon to stay with one firm, so long as you can demonstrate movement, variety and climbing that all important career ladder. For more information on this article or to speak to our recruitment experts about your next career move, contact Alison on 02072696312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ed is a partner in BDO's London tax team focused on private equity funds and their investors. Typical examples of Ed's advice include structuring private equity funds, their management and advisory functions and also fund executive co-investment and carried interest arrangements. What three traits define you? Collaborative, focused and enthusiastic. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? I used to play a lot of music whilst I was in university (mostly guitar in various bands around London) but I’m not sure it qualifies as a job! How do you define success? Helping clients and the team succeed - for me it is all about seeing happy clients get the solutions that work for them and a happy team that is learning and developing. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? Something where I could create things and try to help people develop – given my mathematical background I’d most likely I’d be developing new maths, science or technology. What is your personal philosophy? Take people with you and share what you learn – the collective effects of a collaborative team where everyone can contribute and share ideas never ceases to amaze me. How do you start your day? Slowly – I’m more of a night owl so I’m not great in the mornings! What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? I think the culture at BDO is fantastic. Whether I’m talking to the leadership, the client team or the support staff I find everyone listens, helps each other and works collaboratively with lots of good humour. I like being in an environment where everybody wants each other to succeed. What are the secrets to good leadership? I think having a vision and allowing people to be part of it and make their contribution. We are lucky in that our industry attracts very bright people at all levels and roles who really want to make an impact and achieve something. I think the best leaders identify this and are generous and trusting in letting others help them work towards their goals and be part of the success. What makes your company unique? Following our recent merger BDO is the largest UK accounting firm focused on advising entrepreneurial businesses. I think the firm really understands and embraces the entrepreneurial spirit and culture of our clients whether they are companies, individuals or owner-managed businesses like professional practices and private equity houses and the clients really respond to it. Who do you most admire in your industry? It has to be David Marks who recently retired from Apax Partners – a leading tax advisor in private equity whom I admire greatly. Regardless of the issue, he is the kind of tax person you would want in your boardroom if you needed advice on something really difficult or complex. He would advise you in plain English, make it all seem surprisingly simple and straightforward (despite it being hellishly complicated) and have a bit of time left over to chat afterwards. A model for us all to aspire to! For more information about this article, or to speak to Rebecca about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696320 or email@example.com.
FUNDRAISING Charities aren't using tech to best effect A new survey suggests charities aren't making effective use of technology to increase giving. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)’s Charity Landscape 2019 survey of charity leaders found that only 29% of respondents believed charities are making optimum use of technology to boost donations. CAF is urging charities to embrace technology and calls on them to “seek out passionate employees and leaders to help demonstrate the potential for charities and those developing new technologies to work together.” The survey also found that almost two-thirds (63%) of charity leaders think Brexit will have a negative effect on their organisation, and exposes friction in the sector’s relationship with government. Only a fifth (21%) of charity leaders believe the government values charities’ advocacy role and ability to offer constructive criticism. Elsewhere, the survey underscores the challenges posed by negative media publicity following scandals involving fundraising practices and safeguarding. “All organisations are operating in a difficult political and social landscape at the moment; the charity sector is no exception to this,” said CAF head of research Susan Pinkney. Charity Digital News Charity Times UKFundraising Call for ringfencing of tampon tax money The Women’s Resource Centre (WRC), a women's charity umbrella group, says the levy from sanitary products - the so-called "tampon tax" - isn't reaching charities because the application process requires a minimum bid of £1m or more to be considered. An open letter to civil society minister Mims Davies says this means smaller charities can't access the fund and the signatories have called on the government to act as a “matter of urgency.” The letter states: "These charities are often grassroots, locally embedded and relatively small in size compared to larger generic charities that do not have a core focus or specialism in services for women. Due to the fund criteria, there are a very small number of women’s charities in a position to bid alone.” Civil Society Report supports expanding charity dormant assets scheme A scheme to reallocate dormant assets to charitable causes could be extended to the investment and wealth management sector following the publication of a government-commissioned report. The report, The Dormant Assets Scheme: A Blueprint for Expansion, was commissioned by the government from finance industry champions and details how to expand the dormant assets scheme and release more funds for “good causes.” It found that extending the scheme to other financial services, including the insurance and pensions sector, could "significantly expand the money available." City AM Civil Society Third Sector Remember A Charity launches new strategy A three-year strategy has been launched by Remember A Charity to grow the donor market and normalise legacy giving. The consortium says it's on target to reach its long-term aim of reaching 18% for the percentage of charitable estates "at probate" by 2021 and that over the next three years will focus on addressing the "current disconnect among those who are aware of legacy giving and those considering it." Civil Society RISK One in five charities hit by cyber attacks More than a fifth (22%) of charities have reported a cybersecurity attack over the last 12 months, according to a government survey. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019 found that the most common form of attack involved phishing, which was mentioned by 81% of charities that had been affected. The average cost of an incident was £9,470 in 2019, although the survey report suggests the cost may be much higher. "The indirect costs, long-term costs and intangible costs of breaches – things like lost productivity or reputational damage – tend to be overlooked . . . This means that, when organisations reflect on their approaches to cybersecurity, they may be undervaluing the true cost and impact of cybersecurity breaches,” the report said. Charity Digital News Third Force News Gov.co.uk GOVERNANCE Charities shortlisted for Charity Governance Awards Twenty-one UK charities have been shortlisted to receive one of seven Charity Governance Awards. Each award includes a £5,000 unrestricted grant. The shortlisted charities are: Contact, Manchester Young People’s Theatre Ltd; SignHealth; University of Bristol Students’ Union (Bristol SU); Home-Start Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow; Parents and Children Together (PACT); Sheffield Flourish (Recovery Enterprises); Camuscross & Duisdale Initiative; Coventry & Warwickshire Mind; The Unicorn Centre (Riding for the Disabled Association); Green’s Windmill Trust; St Peter’s Community Wellbeing Projects; The Commonwealth Resounds; Derry Well Women; Friends of St Ni cholas F ields; Muslim Women’s Network UK; FareShare; The Forward Trust; YMCA North Tyneside; Dementia UK; Dorset Mind; and The Patients Association. Awards chair Michael Jarvis said: "Our shortlisted candidates have proved that low budgets, limited resources and other pressures need not be an obstacle to digital innovation, building diverse and vibrant boards, or turning around the most difficult of situations.” UKFundraising Partnership will develop safeguarding resources A coalition of 13 national umbrella bodies and organisations, led by the NCVO, is coming together to develop a suite of free safeguarding resources for the voluntary sector. The Safer Social Sector Partnership will develop safeguarding tools and advice to ensure all voluntary organisations are a safe place for beneficiaries, volunteers and staff. Elizabeth Chamberlain, head of policy at NCVO said: “Safeguarding is a key priority for everyone within the voluntary sector, regardless of the size of the organisation or the activity it carries out. The strength and breadth of this partnership is testament to how committed we all are to getting it right by coming together to drive improvement, creating environments that are safe for all.” UKFundraising Civil Society Charities urged to reveal how much Gift Aid they receive Charity tax minister Robert Jenrick says he would like to see “greater transparency” over fees charged by donation sites and has called on all charities to reveal how much Gift Aid they receive. Mr Jenrick, speaking to attendees at the Charity Tax Group’s annual conference, said improved transparency was “vital to maintaining public trust” in the tax reliefs provided to the sector. He also said: “I would like all charities, led by the largest ones, to publicly report the amount of Gift Aid they receive . . . I have asked the Charity Commission to consider how this could be done." Civil Society WORKFORCE Gender pay gap at largest charities dips 7% Analysis of government gender pay gap statistics indicates that the pay differential among the 50 largest charities has decreased by 7% this year. Marie Stopes International has the largest pay gap in the sector, with a mean gap of 44.7% in favour of men. Civil Society CAMPAIGNS Charities slam ‘inadequate’ clean air funding Green campaigners have criticised the government’s announcement of £3m in funding to support 28 local authority air pollution projects as inadequate given the scale of the problem. Air pollution, including gases and particulates, is linked to 40,000 deaths in the UK each year, and conditions ranging from lung cancer to psychosis. While environment minister Therese Coffey said the funding “demonstrates the government’s commitment to supporting the local momentum needed to continue to improve our air now and for future generations,” Areeba Hamid from Greenpeace UK said: “Air pollution is a national crisis, so throwing as little as £3m at the problem is about as effective as chucking your small change into a wishing well in the hope a solution will appear.” Public Health England has estimated the health and social care costs of air pollution as likely to approach £19bn a year by 203 5 withou t drastic action. The Independent All secondary pupils in Scotland to get CPR training A national campaign by the British Heart Foundation Scotland has achieved its aim of ensuring all secondary school pupils receive CPR tuition, after Moray, Falkirk and Fife Councils pledged to join the other 29 local authorities already signed up to provide the training. David McColgan from BHF Scotland said it was “fantastic news,” and that the charity had been “absolutely overwhelmed by the response we have received to our Nation of Lifesavers campaign and delighted to have achieved our ambition in such a short space of time.” The campaign started in May last year, with Glasgow City Council becoming the first Scottish local authority to sign up. The Scotsman Glasgow Evening Times Aberdeen Evening Express Thousands struggling with guarantor loans According to data from debt charity Stepchange, appeals for advice from people with guarantor loans who get into debt difficulties have risen 35-fold over the past six years. Stepchange said that 6.2% of clients last year had guarantor debts, up from 0.3% in 2012. For those with guarantor debts, they amounted to 36.3% of their total debts, up from 19.1% in 2012. Peter Tutton, head of policy at Stepchange, called on the Financial Conduct Authority “to keep a close eye on where this small but growing part of the market may be creating problems for consumers - whether they are the original borrower or the guarantor”. The Times Back to Charity Times archive >>
What image does HMRC’s office conjure up to you? Do you see a drab and dreary office where the cracks of light are blocked out by sky-high paper towers of forms with hurried scrawling etched in desperation of making the latest deadline? That is all changing! HMRC plan to become a ‘world leading digital tax authority’! This is somewhat a contrast to their staid and bureaucratic approach that we have come to know and expect since they were founded in 2005. In fact, this shiny new initiative is just the latest step along the road to becoming a fully digital 21st century government department with digital income tax reporting being run out in April 2020. It is somewhat ludicrous when you stop and consider that we live in an age where in a couple of clicks (even less with face ID) you and your business can bank from your phone, claim expenses through an app or even book and manage business trips at a glance; and yet this fast-paced business world we all play in can be brought to a thunderous halt as we stop and scale through those mountains of paperwork and crumpled receipts, scratching our heads at complex regulations just to file a VAT return. What is the Making Tax Digital initiative? As of Monday 1st April 2019, we became fully cemented into the digital era. VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 will now be required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use competitive software to submit their VAT returns for VAT periods that started on or after 1st April 2019. There is no doubt that stepping into this digital-first world will make managing business finances much more straightforward and streamlined. Research has highlighted that 16% of SME’s use a shoebox to store receipts and tax details, 23% use manual bookkeeping, and 27% use spreadsheet, whilst only a third use tax digital software. This will be changing the way that the cumbersome tax system as we know it works and in doing so, it becomes more efficient, more effective and, perhaps most importantly, more transparent. Avoidable mistakes cost the Exchequer over £9billion every year. With the addition of the correct accounting software there will almost instantly be increased accuracy and accessibility which will not only eliminate this eye-watering total, but also reduce the risk of further (time and money) costly HMRC interventions; allowing businesses to fluently share these records with their third parties in real time without frantic searching for those lost receipts, handwritten errors or mistaken translations, and allowing you to do what you do best with your business. For more information about this article, or to speak to Rebecca about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the tax sector. Here are the key movements in March: PRACTICE LONDON AND CITY Partners EY has appointed Andy Baldwin as the next EY global managing partner – client service, effective from 1st July 2019; leading the go-to-market and client activities. Baldwin succeedsCarmine Di Sibio, who will now become the next EY global chairman and CEO on 1st July 2019. Cooper Parry has taken on a new workspace in London, based at WeWork in Moor Place. Wilkins Kennedy has appointed Phil Clark (ex-Moore Stephens) who brings with him more than 35 years’ accountancy experience to head up the arts and media team based in London. Wilkins Kennedy have also moved its London office location to Regis House, 45 King William Street, EC4R 9AN. Hentons has merged with C.C.Panayi & Co LLP, specialists in the entertainment sector, to form Hentons Panayi, based in Camden Town. Senior Appointments Grunberg & Co has appointed Rohan Mehra as a trainee in the tax team, who has a background in electronic engineering. SOUTH WEST Senior Appointments Baldwins has appointed Richard Clutterbuck as an Employment Tax director in the South Molton office. Meanwhile, senior managers Sean Smith, Pete McMillan and Russell Frayne have all been promoted to Associate Director in the South Molton office. Baldwins has promoted Ben Sharland from office manager to Associate Director in the Tavistock office. MIDLANDS AND THE EAST Partners KPMG has appointed Peter Workman from PwC as a partner in the firm’s legal services hub in the Midlands. He joins to lead a team of nine business structuring and transactions lawyers in the Midlands specialising in domestic and cross-border group reorganisations and business structuring activity as well as M&A and transactions. CFW Chartered Accountants has promoted Kim Parry to equity partner who specialises in audit, company formations, new business start-ups and trust taxation. NORTH WEST Senior Appointments MHA Moore and Smalley has announced the appointment of Sue Buckingham as a tax specialist in the private client team based in Preston. YORKSHIRE AND HUMBER Partners Garbutt & Elliott has recruited Becky Maguire as a business tax partner from PwC to lead the delivery of tax services to businesses ranging from owner managed to the largest listed companies throughout the region. Naylor Wintersgill has opened an office in Leeds based on Park Row. OFFSHORE Senior Appointments PwC Channel Islands has announced that Charlotte Beattie has re-joined PwC in a senior management role in tax, based in Guernsey providing UK and international tax advice to businesses and leading restructuring projects with a recent focus in leading Brexit tax projects for financial services businesses and the Fintech sector. Gerlind Smith also joins PwC Jersey as Human Capital Director from Johannesburg. Alvarez & Marsal has appointed Yvette Chan to Managing Director, based in Hong Kong, to lead the Asia M&A tax advisory practice. Prior to joining A&M, Chan was with KPMG in London and Hong Kong, where she most recently served as a partner in the M&A tax team in the Hong Kong office. Meanwhile, Richard Chen in Singapore and Colin Gater in Hong Kong have been promoted to managing director. COMMERCE & INDUSTRY McDermott has joined Monzo Bank from Smith & Nephew as Head of Tax. Caroline Hlahla has joined SoftBank Investment Advisers from Electra Private Equity, she is now VP Global Tax. Hilton have appointed Chris Thurston, who joins from Mothercare, as UK Tax Director. For more information about this article, or to speak to Rebecca about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696321 or email@example.com
It was a pleasure to host Vanessa Harvey (Milbank), Russ Hill (Squire Patton Boggs), Andrew Pannel (MJ Hudson), Emma-Louise Curley (MJ Hudson) and Justin Edgar (DWF) on our table at the coveted 22nd Annual Legal Business Awards this year, which took place on the 28th March, in the Grosvenor House Hotel. It was a fantastic evening, hosted by comedian Meeral Syal, celebrating the achievements of the legal profession’s finest. The awards catered to and highlighted the work of international firms operating in multiple jurisdictions, boutique law firms, alternative legal services providers, in-house teams, chambers, national and regional practices in the UK. A huge congratulations to all the winners, as well as all the nominees - for being recognised for their efforts in pioneering and spearheading the significance of the legal sector and profession. Pro-Legal were honoured to sponsor the Boutique Firm of the Year Award, a category that highlights some of the firms doing things differently in the market. A huge congratulations to all those nominated for the award as to reach that stage takes a great deal of work and effort. Cook, Young & Keidan came highly commended by the judges, however, it was sports-focused firm, Northridge Law, that took home the title along with our sincere congratulations. You’ll find some pictures of the evening HERE >>. Thanks LBA, we will see you next year! 2019 Winners Boutique Law Firm of the Year - Northridge Law Chambers of the Year - 3 Verulam Buildings Commercial Litigation Team of the Year - Simmons & Simmons/Travers Smith Competition Team of the Year - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Corporate Team of the Year - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher CSR Programme of the Year - Hogan Lovells Energy/Infrastructure Team of the Year - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner/Heathrow Airport/Pinsent Masons Finance Team of the Year - Davis Polk & Wardwell GC of the Year - Lucy Vernall In-House Team of the Year - Network Rail Insurance Team of the Year - Herbert Smith Freehills International Arbitration Team of the Year - King & Spalding International Firm of the Year - A&L Goodbody Law Firm of the Year - Pinsent Masons Lawyer of the Year - Richard Miskella Legal Technology Team of the Year - Bird & Bird Management Partner of the Year - Nick Thomas Private Client Team of the Year - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Private Equity Team of the Year - Kirkland & Ellis Real Estate Team of the Year - Clifford Chance/Eversheds Sutherland/Network Rail Regional/Offshore Firm of the Year - Ogier Restructuring Team of the Year - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Rising Star In-House Counsel of the Year - Frances Coats TMT Team of the Year - Bird & Bird US Law Firm of the Year - White & Case For more information on the 2019 Legal Business Awards or to speak to our team of Legal recruiters, contact Nick on 02072696328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the legal sector. Here are the key movements in March: Womble Bond Dickinson has made a headline appointment into their White Collar Crime Team, having welcomed Audrey Koh from Sidley Austin. Koh previously worked at the Serious Fraud Office. Fox Williams has recently added Rhys Griffiths to the partnership who has joined from Fieldfisher to head up the Travel Group. DWF has welcomed a new addition to their Banking & Finance Group, Brendan Slack, who has arrived from Dentons. Slack will be leading the Real Estate Finance Team in London as well as sitting in the Energy & Infrastructure Group. Akin Gump has announced an impressive double hire in the private equity funds space of Daniel Quinn and Aleksander Bakic. Quinn and Bakic will be joining the firm’s Investment Management Practice from O’Melveny & Myers. For more information about this article, or to speak to Nick about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696328 or email@example.com
Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in March: The audit team at BDO has been given a boost by the appointment of Leighton Thomas from PWC as a Partner. Leighton specialises in venture capital; private equity backed businesses and will support BDO clients from scale up through maturity and the potential exit. Accountancyage.co.uk Paul Smethurst has been appointed as a Partner in the forensic team of Menzies. Paul has 25 years’ experience in the sector most recently as Partner and Head of Forensic Investigation services at Carter Baker Winter where he spent 13 years. Economia.iceaw.com Goringe Accountants has appointed Mandy Chubb as Head of Management Accounts at their Reading office. Mandy has 25 years industry experience most recently at Vistra international. Financemoves.co.uk Joining BDO Reading as a Corporate Finance Partner is Matt Lister. Matt joins from PWC and will focus on transaction support to clients based in Thames Valley and the surrounding region. Financemoves.co.uk 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 02072696369 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Maintaining a good work-life balance can be difficult, but there are ways you can make sure that pressures of the UK’s work culture don’t negatively affect your life outside of work. Creating a good balance between time allocated for work and leisure is important to our overall wellbeing and happiness, yet research has shown that almost one-third of UK employees feel they don’t have a good work-life balance. The recent sophistication in personal technology has blurred boundaries between the office and home life, and this combined with the expectation in some workplaces to remain “switched on” makes it more difficult to “switch off” from work mode and have a separate life outside. However, there are various ways to achieve a positive work-life balance - we’ve listed some helpful tips in this short read below! 4 Tell-Tale Signs Of An Unhealthy Work-Life Balance Regularly working long days and feeling unhappy about the time you spend at work A study by the Mental Health Foundation found that as weekly hours increased, so did the unhappiness of employees, with 27% of respondents reporting feeling depressed, 34% feeling anxious, and 58% feeling irritable. Neglecting aspects of your life outside of work The same study also found that nearly two-thirds of respondents experienced a negative effect on their personal life as a direct result of work, including physical and mental health problems, poor relationships and poor home life. Regularly taking your work home with you If you find yourself checking work emails regularly at home, or working on the weekends this could be a sign of a poor work-life balance - research even found that 44% of employees did some form of work while on their annual leave. Constantly feeling physically or emotionally drained A noticeable increase in both physical and emotional fatigue and in your intake of caffeine, alcohol or nicotine could indicate being overworked and unable to concentrate properly at work or relax in your spare time. 4 Things You Could Do To Improve Your Work-Life Balance There are no set guidelines to follow when achieving a healthy work-life balance, but we can offer you advice on what to consider - it’s up to you to prioritise and work out what’s best for you! Take personal responsibility for your work commitments Switch off and leave your work behind when you leave the office, and avoid doing too much overtime. Also, try to be vocal where possible to your employers and speak up if your work expectations are beyond achievable - if you make them aware of any problems you can work together towards a solution. Take advantage of any benefits offered to you at work You should try to take advantage of any flexible working benefits available to you and take proper breaks throughout the day. A Glassdoor survey found that the average UK employee only uses 77% of their annual leave a year. Make sure you use up all your holiday and take the opportunity to unwind and recharge! Make time outside of work for relationships and leisure Put time aside for your friends and family outside of work, and don’t neglect your interests and hobbies - include them in your weekly routine. Do what you can to look after your own wellbeing Whether this means relaxing after work or trying new activities, don’t be afraid to be selfish in your own time, and exercise regularly! Research conducted by the NHS has shown that exercise reduces stress and the risk of mental ill-health, therefore making the time you do spend at work more enjoyable. Here at Pro, we believe a healthy work-life balance is key and we offer everyone in the Pro family flexible working arrangements as well as countless benefits, while encouraging everyone to pursue a good work-life balance. As a result of getting the environment and the culture right at Pro, the by-product is happy employees and company-wide success. For more information about this article, or to speak to Akhil about your recruiting needs or HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696350 or email@example.com.
GOVERNANCE Guidance for charities linked with non-charities The Charity Commission has published guidance on charities with a connection to a non-charity following a consultation on its draft guidelines last year. The guidance seeks to help charities profit from partnerships with non-charities while managing the risks, and includes specific applications to fundraising including corporate foundations, charities with trading subsidiaries, and charities that fund or receive funding from a non-charity. Helen Stephenson, the regulator's chief executive, said: "Operating alongside other organisations should always be well considered and trustees must manage the risks that can arise carefully, and with probity . . . No charity should ever use or be used by non-charitable organisations to pursue uncharitable interests.” UKFundraising Charity Times Civil Society Most complaints to Fundraising Regulator in 2017/18 were upheld Most (81%) of the complaints made to the Fundraising Regulator between April 2017 and August 2018 were upheld, according to the regulator's Complaints Report, based on 78 investigations over the period. The regulator found 63 of the cases constituted a breach of the standards expected of charities in the UK and the most common type of breaches were about general principles and complaints, third party fundraisers and personal data. Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said: “Our Complaints Report is vital to our understanding of fundraising standards in the UK and helps us inform our work. Complaints made by the public make an important contribution to the way we, charities and their fundraising partners learn from concerns and make improvements. We will continue to review and evaluate the complaints process and we look forward to working closely with charities to ensure high standards of fundrais ing prac tice are maintained.” UKFundraising Charity Times Good causes benefit following regulator's inquiry More than £13m has been distributed to charities following an investigation by the regulator into poverty charity Relief for Distressed Children and Young People. The probe by the Charity Commission identified breaches of trust and duty by trustees including the misapplication of funds and a failure to manage conflicts of interest. The charity’s former chairperson has been removed and disqualified from serving as a charity trustee or holding any senior management function of any charity in England and Wales. Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement at the Charity Commission, said: “Our inquiry has relentlessly pursued these funds so that a significant sum could be safeguarded and applied to good causes." UKFundraising Charity inquiry forces metal producer to delay results London-listed iron ore producer Ferrexpo has delayed the publication of its annual results for a second time amid an investigation into financial discrepancies at a charity it funds in Ukraine. The company said in February that it was carrying out an independent review because charity bank statements provided to Deloitte, Ferrexpo's auditor, contained "unexplained discrepancies." Last month it delayed its results after the independent review committee, working with advisers at BDO, also identified "a number of discrepancies on the application of funds by Blooming Land and its sub-funds, which indicates that the funds may not all have been used for their stated purpose." The Times STRATEGY Charities must ask themselves fundamental questions NCVO chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington has told the Council's annual conference that the charity sector must embrace change as its enters "a new economic phase" and he urged charities to ask themselves "fundamental questions" about how they operate if they want to stay successful. He told the audience gathered for his last annual state of the sector address at the conference that "Change can be uncomfortable . . . But change and renewal are part of life.," adding “Without change and renewal you will be overtaken by the world. That isn’t good enough for our sector. You must always seek to be in the driving seat, leading the way.” Civil Society LEGAL Government withdraws ‘myth busting’ guide The Department for Education has withdrawn a social care ‘myth busting’ guide after a legal challenge disputing its accuracy. Last month, children's rights charity Article 39 launched High Court proceedings against the government over claims the guide for local authorities "removes important statutory safeguards" for children. The charity has previously said that the guidance produced by the DfE's children's social care innovation programme features "numerous errors and misrepresentations of the statutory framework" on how social workers should support children in care. A joint letter detailing the legal inaccuracies in the document, which was signed by 50 charities and social work experts, was delivered to children's minister Nadhim Zahawi in September last year. The DfE said it had taken the decision to remove the guidance from circulation, rather than "divert time and public money to litigation". Children & Young People Now Community Care CAMPAIGNS Autism awareness campaign launched Third Force News reports on what charitable organisations in Scotland are doing during World Autism Awareness Week 2019. Inspiring Scotland is encouraging people to see autism as a different way of looking at the world instead of a disorder that can be cured. Celia Tennant, the charity's chief executive, applauded the Scottish Government's work to improve support for people with autism, saying: “We . . . welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving the lives of autistic people. These steps aim to increase society’s understanding of autism, to move away from stereotypes and to make clear the many strengths autistic people bring to society." Third Force News FUNDRAISING Taskforce will tackle sexual harassment in fundraising The Institute of Fundraising is setting up a taskforce to counter sexual harassment in fundraising. Amanda Bringans, the Institute’s chair, said: “Fundraising is a profession for everyone. We do brilliant things that raise vital funds for good causes. All this should be done in a safe and respectful environment. We will work to clamp down on unacceptable behaviour and ensure our fundraising community is a safe space for everyone.” The Institute said it could “name and shame” and then expel members who are found to have committed misconduct. "We want to actively encourage people to come forward and report complaints if they have experienced sexual harassment by a member of the Institute or at an Institute event, no matter when that incident happened. Those incidents will be investigated fully, even if the person complained of resigns their membership of the Institute," said Bringan s. UKFundraising Third Force News Charity Times £15m Tampon Tax Fund allocated to 10 charities The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced that the latest round of funding from the Tampon Tax Fund sees £15m awarded to 10 charity groups to focus on women's issues. The recipients of the fund are UK Community Foundations (UKCF), Homeless Link, Spirit of 2012, Gamcare, Crisis UK, SACRO, Southall Black Sisters, Changing Lives, Comic Relief and Youth Access. UKCF received the largest proportion of funding, with £3.5m. Civil society minister Mims Davies said: “It is absolutely right we invest money from sanitary products in projects to give more women and girls the help and support they need to address difficult challenges they face in society.” Civil Society HMCTS’ new legacy notification service - update The Institute of Legacy Management (ILM) and other professionals from the charity sector have attended the inaugural meeting of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) working group on the new system which will alert charities to donations in wills. This comes after its announcement that Smee & Ford has been given notice on its contract. ILM reported that the consensus of the meeting was productive, while HMCTS confirmed its commitment to openness throughout the process. Ed Owen, Director of Communications at HMCTS, remarked: “We held a very positive and productive first meeting with representatives of the charity sector on this issue, and we are grateful to them for their insight on key issues.” Today’s Wills and Probate OTHER Taunton cancer centre plans anger locals Residents say they are angry and disappointed after plans to build a £5m cancer centre in Taunton on protected land were approved. Taunton Deane Borough Council approved the Maggie's charity plan to build the centre on land at Galmington Playing Fields, next to Musgrove Park Hospital. Campaigner Bev Fernandes said: "I'm very disappointed but the fight will go on." Other critics have raised concerns over the lack of parking facilities which already causes problems around Musgrove Park Hospital. The new building is expected to make matters worse, say protestors. BBC News Back to Charity Times archive >>
You have navigated your way through all the interview preparation, from researching the company at-depth and mind-mapping the fit between your CV and this role. You have gone through three rounds of interviews and survived the psychometric testing. You have answered the competency-based questions in STAR format, and unless you are tested on your ability to perform handstands, this should be the end of the process – when you are asked for any final questions you may have. This is perhaps the last opportunity you will have to 'sell' yourself before an offer is made (or not). So, what questions can you ask your interviewer to really sell your business case offering? If we put the genuine ‘need-to-know’ questions aside, the typical questions asked by candidates are often intended to demonstrate an invested interest in the opportunity. The potential problem is that remarkable interest after ‘talking up’ your positives in the interview is not a 360 approach to selling yourself. “Telling is not selling. Only asking questions is selling.” – Brian Tracy A decent framework for asking questions in interviews is the ‘4 Cs’: Connect Your chance to build rapport, prior to going for the tailored questions. For instance, ‘what made you join, and how have you found it?’ Culture Your chance to bridge any distance between the person-company fit. For instance, ‘what kind of person would you see as really fitting into this team well?’ Challenges Your chance to bridge distances between the person-role fit from a corporate perspective. For instance, ‘what challenges are coming up, and how can my role contribute to these?’ Close Your chance to seal the deal – determining what more might be required from your candidacy, prior to proceeding with next steps in the process. Central point: this may be the last opportunity you have to manage any reservations your interviewer may have. Why focus on reservations? No candidate can ever be ‘perfect’. If a prospective employee can do anything and everything on the specification (blindfolded) – what would this person find interesting about the role? How will the employer know this ‘perfect candidate’ will not simply get bored and move on elsewhere after 3-6 months Some candidate developmental areas/challenges are desirable, without the gap between current capabilities and required standards being too vast to bridge. So the question to ask centers on what could prevent you from moving forward in the process, which you can elicit in the room to sell yourself against. This phrasing might take varied forms: Where might you see my developmental areas in relation to this role? No candidate can be totally perfect. What potential weaknesses do you think I might have for this role that we can use this opportunity to address, rather than 3 months in? Based on what you know about so far – what more might you need to hear from a candidate to think they are right for the role? Some people will see an inherent negative phrasing around this question and cringe a little about the idea of asking anything which could frame their offering as anything less than perfect. But this negative phrasing is the very reason you should be asking the question – it is much easier for you bring up the topic than it is for your prospective employer/employee to seem like they are shooting you down. On both sides, you would presumably rather be aware of any developmental areas from the start, rather than 3 months in when expectations fall short. A lot of the time, interviewers are not asking "what are your weaknesses?" just to probe on developmental areas, your degree of humility, or just for the cliché. Much of the time, the interviewer will hold a nagging reservation they would like to talk about. The “what are your weaknesses” question is thus an opportunity to raise a developmental area which may be somewhat awkward for the interviewer to pose outright. On both sides, the ‘weaknesses’ question is your chance to lay all cards out on the table. If you are successful in eliciting a reservation, then great work. This is a discussion you should prepare for. Sit down before the interview, and list any and every possible reservation the interviewer may hold about your candidacy against this role. Start with your developmental areas against the specification, and then extend your thinking on to general weaknesses. This exercise of 'bullet-proofing' has the advantage of preparing you for any curve-ball conversations which arise and bolstering your confidence that you will be able to cover any ground. If no reservations are shared, then it means either you have not covered the necessary ground (or rapport), or there is simply nothing preventing you from receiving an offer. For more information about this article, or to speak to Jay about your recruiting needs or in-house Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
STRATEGY Interview with new minister for civil society Mims Davies, the government's new minister for civil society, is interviewed about the Civil Society Strategy, her thoughts on the Charity Commission, and why she thinks volunteers are her "favourite people." The strategy was left up in the air at the end of last year after Davies' predecessor Tracey Crouch resigned over government plans to delay a clampdown on fixed odds betting terminals. Davies has just held a round-table event with sector leaders to discuss next steps. “It’s been a labour of love to get the strategy together, but actually everybody was so pleased and positive,” she observes, saying four areas are to be prioritised: youth opportunities, connecting communities, working with business, and using good and better finance. Davies also says the regulator must be adequately resourced if it is to successfully pursue its own new strategy, which will focus on improving the support it gives to charities while encour aging th em to behave ethically. Davies, who was previously a trustee of a small military charity, Building Heroes, concludes her interview with Civil Society by declaring “Volunteers are my favourite people . . . They are fabulous and they are always happy and positive.” Civil Society Charities should plan for no-deal, says minister Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has told charities, social enterprises, voluntary organisations and others ahead of a panel discussion about Brexit by Wales Civil Society Forum that they need to put aside normal activities and plan for a no-deal scenario. "We will have to mobilise every resource that we have in Wales, to help those who are the most vulnerable in our society, not to be overwhelmed by the difficulties that they may face," he said, adding "it will be the resilience of our civil society, of those organisations that work on the ground and who know where vulnerable people live . . . Those will be the resources that we will rely on, in those days that follow from a Brexit of the sort that I have described." Charity Today Food banks warned over big corporate partnership A letter to The Guardian from 58 academics and campaigners has warned the UK food bank movement is in danger of being "captured" by big corporations and supermarket chains that promote high-profile partnerships with charities as effective ways of solving hunger and food waste. Signatories to the letter include the former UN rapporteur on the right to food Olivier de Schutter, who criticised the way corporations and some charities frame food poverty as a logistical problem rather than a social justice issue. The letter is timed to coincide with the annual conference of the Global Foodbanking Network (GFN) in London. The GFN supports projects worldwide that redistribute surplus and waste food donated by industry and supermarkets that would otherwise go to landfill or to feed farm animals. The Guardian LEGAL ‘Missed opportunity’ over charity law reforms Audit firm RSM says Scottish Government plans in regard to charity law are too limited in scope and a "missed opportunity" for meaningful reform. The comments come in response to a consultation which proposes giving the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator powers including the ability to remove charities without clear connections to Scotland from the Scottish charity register, as well as giving the regulator the power to disqualify trustees. It would also make charities to have their annual accounts and reports published in full on the Scottish register. RSM says a broader review of Scottish charity law is required, urging the Government to consider how legislation could be structured so it is future-proofed “for new and existing technology”. Third Sector FUNDRAISING JustGiving removes platform fees for UK charities Online fundraising platform JustGiving is waiving all platform fees for UK charities as part of efforts to increase transparency. “This change means lower costs for charities, transparency and choice for their supporters, and a sustainable future for the UK’s biggest and best platform for giving,” said Keith Williams, JustGiving’s General Manager and Head of UK, adding “We believe that people who donate through JustGiving will be happy that more money will be going to their chosen charity, and by making a voluntary contribution to the UK’s most-trusted giving platform we can continue to help charities and individuals raise even more money for good causes.” But writing for UKFundraising, David Simpson says it remains to be seen how effective the voluntary contribution model to support the platform will be. He also says cutting off its supply of cash is not likely to be o f help to JustGiving if it wants to improve its customer support - which "does not have a good reputation," writes Simpson. Charity Digital News UKFundraising Civil Society UKFundraising Charities aren't integrating social media and fundraising A new report says charities are not integrating their social media use into a broader fundraising strategy. The report by Social Misfits Media examines changing social media use in the sector and offers tips on getting the most out of platforms including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Charity Digital News Housebuilder announces new community charity Barratt Developments Yorkshire West has launched a new charity scheme which will see a different charity or organisation receive £1,000 from the housebuilder every month. The Community Fund will support a local charity or organisation within the Yorkshire West region, which includes Barnsley, Bradford, Leeds, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Wakefield, Wetherby and Worksop. Yorkshire Post SUPPORT Funding for safeguarding training programme The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced £1.2m funding to develop safeguarding training for charities. NCVO is bringing together organisations to partner and develop the training and will announce details soon. The money is part of a £2m fund announced in 2018 when DCMS appointed a Safeguarding Programme Group with representatives from the Charity Commission, the National Lottery Community Fund, NCVO, Acevo, the Scout Association, the National Crime Agency, the Alzheimer's Society, Action for Children and NSPCC. Meanwhile, five organisations - Age UK Oxfordshire, Kent Coast Volunteering, Hastings Voluntary Action, Age UK North Craven and Sustain - are to shar e £250,000 from The Age-Friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Fund, launched in partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better. Civil Society Third Sector CAMPAIGNS Charities call for devolution of drugs legislation In a submission to Westminster’s health and social care committee, four Scottish charities have called for drugs legislation to be devolved to Scotland, to enable the establishment of special rooms for safe drug consumption. Nathan Sparling, chief executive of HIV Scotland, said: “The localisation of drug laws would allow the Scottish government to respond far faster and in a far more relevant manner than the current legal framework allows. Allowing the Scottish government to act in the best interests of its citizens in this instance makes perfect sense and we hope that the committee agrees”. Additionally, Glasgow City Council said: “A safer drug consumption facility would help save lives in Glasgow. Such facilities reduce accidental overdoses and syringe sharing, cutting the risk of infections. They also cut risks to the general public by reducing the number of syringes and needles in publi c places”. The Times Glasgow Live PANTS campaign hailed Over 50 people in Dorset working to help keep children safe are marking the success of the NSPCC’s PANTS campaign, which teaches parents to talk to their children about relationships in a simple, appropriate way. This comes as figures reveal as many as 1 in 10 children will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18, according to the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. Donald Findlater, Director of the 'Stop It Now!' helpline commented: “Too many children have experienced sexual abuse and they don't need to. If we all play our part in prevention, then they won't", while Sarah Elliot, chair of Dorset's Safeguarding Board remarked: "As much as anything it's about preventing Child Sexual Abuse. How can we make sure it's prevented in the first place? We really need to understand why somebody might become a perpetrator and get all of the agencies working together to think about 'how do we spot those early signs?’". WessexFM Charity calls for DIY smear tests Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust has called for DIY smear tests to be introduced as soon as possible in a bid to diagnose cervical cancer at an earlier stage. The latest NHS figures show only 71% of women are up to date on screening - the lowest rate since records began - and around 5m women are overdue. Robert Music, chief executive of the charity, said Denmark and Australia, which already use home testing, are seeing “fantastic results” in prevention and the number of early diagnoses. Separately, Superdrug is launching in-store no touch breast cancer consultations through a partnership with CoppaFeel!, a breast cancer awareness charity. Dr Pixie McKenna, Superdrug’s health and wellbeing ambassador, said: “Once you know how simple checking your breasts is, it can save your life. I am so pleased to see Superdrug nurses will be taking this initiative to all patients, everyone should be able to check whether on themselves or a partner, or even talking it through with a friend – the more conversations the better!” Daily Mail Daily Mirror The Independent Daily Express The i The Sun Campaigners demand action on Healthy Schools Rating Scheme More than 30 food campaigners are calling on the Government to act on its promise to prioritise children's health and wellbeing. Led by charity School Food Matters, the organisations say the Department for Education must look at how schools can support children to keep themselves healthy. They note how that although the Government proposed the Healthy Schools Rating Scheme in its 2016 childhood obesity plan, it is still on the DfE's to-do list. The charity's founder, Stephanie Wood, said: "Quite simply, the Healthy Schools Rating Scheme is needed to help schools keep good food on the menu." Yorkshire Post Charity warns against classroom dogs The Dogs Trust has criticised education secretary Damian Hinds for supporting schools which have classroom dogs, saying that it is not good for their welfare. The charity warned that animals may get “tired and stressed” in schools because they are “noisy and unpredictable”. Daily Mail OTHER Mining group delays accounts after donations probe Mining group Ferrexpo has delayed publishing its annual accounts after an investigation into its charitable donations found inconsistencies. This comes a month after Deloitte, its auditor, uncovered "unexplained discrepancies" in bank statements for charity Blooming Land, which was set up to carry out Ferrexpo's corporate social responsibility programme. The board launched a review last month, bringing in accountants at BDO to help, saying preliminary work has identified a number of issues that suggest the "funds may not all have been used for their stated purpose". The Times The Daily Telegraph City AM Surcharge debt hits £64m in 2018 Criminals failed to pay £64.5m in fines to victims' charities last year, marking a 28% increase on the year before. The Ministry of Justice said the victims' surcharge, introduced in 2007, ensures “criminals take greater responsibility for crimes,” adding: “We take enforcement seriously." David Spencer, of the Centre for Crime Prevention, said: "It was obvious many would be unable or unwilling to pay." The Sun on Sunday Back to Charity Times archive >>