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Charity Times - 19/08/2019

CAMPAIGNS Charity is 'overwhelmed' by selfie campaign More than 19,000 people have participated through a social media campaign from mental health charity YoungMinds encouraging people to share pictures of themselves as five-year-olds. The charity's #5YearOldSelfie campaign aims “to help young people going through a difficult time and encourage empathy, love and compassion towards themselves.” Emma Thomas, chief executive of YoungMinds, said the charity was keen on making better use of digital channels to deliver services. She said: "Through exploring new digital solutions, collaborations and partnerships we can develop further support and opportunities to meet [the needs of young people and their families]." Civil Society Celebs share family photos for dementia campaign The Alzheimer’s Society has launched an online campaign showcasing the family photos of celebrities, including Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Philips, singer Roy Stride and actress Sally Lindsay, who have a personal reason to support people with dementia. Six celebrities are participating in the campaign to promote the charity’s Memory Walks, sponsored walk events taking place in September and October. Charity Digital News Campaign focuses on threat to rhino reproduction The Save the F***ing Rhino fundraising campaign from Save the Rhino International is focused on the threat posed to rhino reproduction and the populations of the most endangered rhino species in the world. There are fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos and fewer than 70 Javan rhinos, according to latest figures from the charity. The charity says the campaign is the “biggest, boldest and most urgent” campaign in its 25-year history. Charity Digital News WORKFORCE Call for 'urgent action' to tackle sector racism A campaign has been launched which calls for “urgent action” to tackle racism in the charity sector. The move follows Citizens Advice apologising and promising to launch an investigation after a training slide designed to assist its staff when working with BAME communities was criticised as “horribly racist.” Fatima Iftikhar, who uncovered the training material last week, said it was not a “one-off.” She is encouraging people to share their experiences of racism in the sector. “A few of us are coming together to launch this campaign #CharitySoWhite to kick-start wider conversation and action in the charity sector . . . We want people to understand that the Citizens Advice training is not a one-off shocking incident and that urgent action needs to be talking about institutional racism across the sector,” she said. Civil Society EU nationals in no-deal fear The 3 Million, which represents EU nationals in the UK, has said that plans by the home secretary, Priti Patel, to end rules allowing EU nationals to move to live and work freely in the UK suddenly in the event of no deal, were "reckless". Nicholas Hatton, co-founder of The 3 Million, said: "Ending freedom of movement without putting legal provisions in place for EU citizens who have not yet successfully applied through the settlement scheme will mean millions of lawful citizens will have their legal status removed." Stephanie Dawoud, spokesperson for Imix, an immigration communications charity, said: "It will be up to employers, the NHS and landlords to check whether someone has the right to be here or not. It is another announcement that feeds into the worst fears of EU citizens in the UK." The Guardian Charity criticised over £434k pay for boss Family planning charity Marie Stopes International has been criticised for handing chief executive Simon Cooke a £434,000 pay package in a year that saw it cut 1,100 jobs. Mark Flannagan, a former chief of the charity Beating Bowel Cancer who now works at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, called the remuneration deal “obscene,” adding that Mr Cooke should turn down a bonus equal to his basic salary of £217,250. Writing in Third Sector, Mr Flannagan said: “I cannot see how anyone can justify almost doubling what is already an extremely large salary for a charity boss.” Daily Mail Third Sector DIGITAL Outward Bound Trust is going digital Charity Digital News reports on how the Outward Bound Trust is going digital with digital transformation "quick wins" including a new digital portal for trustees that embraces technology already in place. Rob Sharpe, Digital Transformation Project Lead at the outdoor sport and activity charity, said: “The platform uses existing technology and has been a fairly short sharp win in terms of pulling the technology together . . . Because we’ve built it on existing infrastructure there is no additional cost to the Trust in doing this, but it will hopefully make a big impact in the way we engage with trustees moving forward.” Charity Digital News More than a third of charity staff lack digital skills Analysis by NCVO has found that over a third of voluntary sector organisations have reported that their staff don't have necessary digital skills. Thirty-six per cent of voluntary organisations said their staff are missing such skills, compared to 33% in private organisations and 53% in the public sector. Megan Griffith Gray, NCVO’s head of digital, data and planning, said the digital skills gap is a “serious strategic weakness for the sector.” A new initiative called the Catalyst, of which NCVO is a founding member, aims to provide more support for charities to boost digital skills. Civil Society RISK International Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019 International Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019 takes place between October 21st and October 25th and seeks to help the charity sector become more resilient to fraud. The main aims of the week are to: raise awareness of the key risks affecting the sector; promote and share good counter-fraud practices; and promote honesty and openness about fraud. A key feature of this year’s campaign is a free online awareness hub developed by the Fraud Advisory Panel, UK Finance and the Charity Commission. It's a one-stop shop for information, guidance and case studies, bringing together charity professionals from across the globe to discuss and share ideas on how to protect the sector. GOV.UK UKFundraising Charities report growing number of data breaches The Information Commissioner’s Office received reports of 118 data breaches from charities in the three months to March 2019 - exactly double the number received in the corresponding period of 2017/18. The charity sector accounts for 3.6% of the total number of incidents reported to data regulator. Civil Society LEGAL Shelter threatens Glasgow with legal action Shelter Scotland has sent a letter to Glasgow City Council (GCC), accusing the local authority of acting "unlawfully" in denying homeless people temporary accommodation. The charity says it has prepared a legal case to seek a judicial review at the Court of Session in the event of no response from GCC. Graeme Brown, Shelter Scotland director, said: "Quite simply, enough is enough. The facts are clear; Glasgow City Council is breaking the law; homeless people are being forced on to the streets.” Glasgow City Council robustly denied the charity's claims and accused it of creating an “unhelpful distraction.” “Rather than raising money for court action, it would be helpful if Shelter worked constructively with us to tackle the pressing issue of homelessness. We share a common aim and threats of legal action are an unhelpful distraction to this crucial work,” the local authority said in a statement. The Scotsman Third Force News The Times Woman admits Dogs Trust fraud A Northern Ireland woman has admitted abusing her position at a dog welfare charity to defraud it of more than £5,000. Adrianne Peltz pleaded guilty to using a Dogs Trust credit card for personal expenditures. The Dogs Trust is the UK's largest dog welfare charity and cares for more than 15,000 dogs each year through a network of 20 rehoming centres in the UK. A Dogs Trust spokesperson said: ""We have taken appropriate steps to recover the funds where possible, so that we can put them back into the vital work we do." BBC News FUNDRAISING Amazon to donate unsold items to charity Amazon says it will donate to charity hundreds of thousands of brand-new products that fail to sell. The company has announced a new programme that will ensure unwanted or unsold products from its third party merchants will go to a selection of British charities, including Barnardo’s, Newlife and the Salvation Army. A series of recent investigations had revealed that Amazon has previously sent millions of products to incineration or landfill when they cannot be sold. The Times Third Force News UKFundraising OTHER OSCR seeks new chief executive The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is seeking a permanent replacement for David Robb, who stood down as chief executive at the turn of the year after seven years in the role. A spokesman for OSCR said: “This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in OSCR’s vision for effective regulation which contributes to a flourishing charity sector in which the public has confidence.” Third Force News Back to Charity Times archive >>​​


Working in Corporate Finance: What to Expect and How to Get There

A role in Corporate Finance gives you the opportunity to be at the centre of how a business operates. Playing an active role in the commercial success of a business is both exciting and challenging and can be a very rewarding career choice. But what can you expect from a career in Corporate Finance, and how difficult is the jump? If you want to be at the heart of what makes businesses tick then a career in Corporate Finance might be the right path for you. You will get to see first-hand how organisations source funding, handle capital and complete takeovers and your role will cover a broad range of activities which are primarily concerned with transactions in which capital is raised in order to increase the value of the company or clients you are responsible for. There are a number of professional roles that fall under the umbrella of Corporate Finance in which you could find yourself working on a wide range of matters including mergers & acquisitions, raising startup or expansion capital, or financing joint ventures. As Corporate Finance is so integral to business and covers such a wide range of duties, the opportunities are vast. Roles can vary depending on the firm and the team you sit within, but typically you will work within transaction support of M&A or lead advisory, although more firms are beginning to offer hybrid roles which allow you to develop a broader skillset early on in your career. Many choose to qualify then remain as an advisor within an accountancy firm, or you can choose to make the move into a professional services company, whether this is an investment bank, brokerage firm or independent advisory firm. A role in Corporate Finance is forward-thinking, strategic, proactive and entrepreneurial in nature, and if you have good commercial awareness and a natural interest in business, it could be the right career path for you! How can you make the jump from Audit to Corporate Finance? We often find that people with an academic background in accounting & finance or economics are suited to a career in Corporate Finance. While no other specific qualifications are needed, we are seeing a rise in the number of people taking specialised financial modelling courses and having your ACA/ACCA/CFA will put you in a strong position and give you the necessary foundations to understand the fundamentals. Corporate Finance is a popular choice for lots of chartered accountants which, naturally, means there is a lot of competition - you will most likely find the market is swamped with your fellow audit and advisory colleagues as well as existing employees of banks, boutiques, and Big 4 M&A teams that may rank ahead of you as the ‘ideal’ Corporate Finance candidate. There are things you can do to help the progression of your own Corporate Finance career. You could move to an established firm with a large Corporate Finance division which provides the opportunity for secondments or ad hoc exposure. Training within the Audit team of an accountancy firm and studying for your ACA/ACCA will allow you to establish foundations that make the move into Corporate Finance more natural. Search for exposure that will differentiate you from other members of the audit team, develop your soft skills, and focus on the professional qualifications that will stand you in good stead when it comes to applying for the Corporate Finance roles available. Here at Pro-Finance, we have helped candidates make the jump from Audit to Corporate Finance, whether this is because we have placed the Partner they are meeting and they want to recruit externally, or because it’s a specialist boutique and they only take candidates with top-notch academics and experience from top-tier firms. Speaking to a specialist recruiter about your options in the market and the opportunities available can put you in a good position, help you stand out from the crowd, and help you to plan your career path in Corporate Finance. For more information on this article, or to speak to James about your next career step into Corporate Finance, contact him on 020 7269 6365 or


What to Expect from Different Types of Law Firm

Choosing the law firm that’s right for you can be a daunting task. There are positives to every type of law firm and your decision will ultimately come down to what you are looking for in your future career as a lawyer. According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, as of last year there were nearly 10,500 law firms in the UK, all offering a unique and varied experience in terms of what to expect from your legal career. Here at Pro-Legal, we have outlined the main points to consider when choosing which type of law firm is best suited to you as an individual, from top Magic Circle and US firms right down to smaller boutique law firms. Magic Circle firms If you are looking to relocate to do banking, finance, corporate and international work, London’s Magic Circle is the place to be! For the past 15 years the ‘Magic Circle’ has consisted of a distinct group of five - Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May - and all are top of the list for revenue and partner profits, offer a broad scope of work (both national and international) and excellent training and development programmes in a fast-paced environment. Of course, there are pros and cons, but training and working at one of these top UK firms is highly desirable to many solicitors. Silver Circle firms London’s large commercial firms - otherwise known as those in the ‘Silver Circle’ - are not hugely different from the Magic Circle in terms of specialisms, work, hours and progression, but they fall just below them in terms of turnover. Silver Circle firms include Ashurst, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Herbert Smith Freehills and Macfarlanes, and all of these firms post significantly higher profit per equity partner and revenue per lawyer than the rest of the UK’s legal market. US firms US firms based in the UK can offer excellent salaries, hands-on experience early on in your career, and access to the US market. American firms based in London include Kirkland & Ellis, Skadden and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and these firms are generally characterised by the finance and corporate international work that is involved. However, US firms also come with their own unique culture, which often means longer working hours and the added pressures that come with fewer associates, billable targets and a higher salary. Mid-sized commercial firms These firms often enjoy similar profitability to those bigger London firms. You will find these mid-sized firms work primarily in business law and focus less on international work than, say, Magic Circle firms. These mid-sized commercial firms, including Addleshaw Goddard, Simmons & Simmons and Mishcon de Reya, offer a high degree of client contact and a much more intimate atmosphere than large law firms, and present fantastic opportunities for newly-qualified and trainee associates to gain exposure and work directly with well-established Partners. Smaller commercial firms London’s smaller commercial firms could be the right place for you if you are looking to relocate for better hours or are interested in real estate law. There are many of these firms throughout London, including Wedlake Bell, Memery Crystal and Russell-Cooke, but you may need to be willing to take a pay cut if you are moving from a larger London firm. Most of these smaller commercial firms are full-service law firms focusing on a broad range of practices, although some have built up a reputation within certain industries to specialise in one or two practice areas. Niche firms If you are looking to specialise in once niche practice area, there are also many law firms throughout the UK that can offer this. There are firms which specialise in areas including media, energy, insurance and intellectual property, and if you have experience in a certain industry a firm like this could be the best place for you. Some of the best niche firms in the UK include Vinson & Elkins (US), Clyde & Co and Bristows. Regional firms If you are looking for opportunities outside of London or have ties to a specific region within the UK and want to develop your legal career in that area, there are some fantastic regional firms including Burges Salmon, DAC Beachcroft and Ashfords, that could be right for you. Ranging from small offices to vast operations within their own right, regional firms don’t all fit the same mould, but they all offer a fantastic chance to venture beyond the capital. Although salaries across the board tend to be lower at regional firms in comparison to large London firms, living costs outside of London are also significantly cheaper. These firms are based around the UK and tend to focus on the needs of top regional clients, offering you the chance to become an important part of your local business community. National/multi-site firms Whether you want to work in London or outside the capital, you may choose to join a firm which has a strong UK-wide market recognition and presence in several major UK cities. National and multi-site firms perform large-ticket work and have massive operations based outside of London - for example, Eversheds Sutherland has nine branch offices across the UK and many more overseas. In this kind of firm, you will focus on more Commercial, Real Estate, Private Client and General Banking, and these national firms also offer a high degree of mobility and the chance to move across the country with the same firm. Small firms Solicitors choose to relocate to smaller, boutique law firms for various reasons. Although the work at these firms can be incredibly rewarding and involve daily client contact and a wide variety of cases, the salary at these small firms is typically the lowest. But, if your motivation behind practising law is to see how your work is affecting and helping individuals and the community in which you are practising in, and if you are looking for a very good work-life balance, relocating to a small law firm may be the right choice for you. For more information on this article, or to speak to our specialist legal recruiters about the next step in your legal career and which type of law firm is right for you, contact Henry on 020 7269 6342 or


60 Seconds With: Marie Pearse, Head of Tax at Pennon Group PLC

Marie Pearse is a dedicated corporate tax specialist with over 19 years of experience - 17 of which have been in in-house roles, and Head of Tax at Pennon Group PLC since September 2017. Marie is ACA, CTA and AAT qualified with first time passes and has gained experience in a number of international and UK corporate tax areas. What’s great about working for Pennon? I like the exposure to the different sectors (Water and Waste Management) that it allows. Everyone here has a ‘can-do’ attitude and is keen to discuss alternative ideas and consider new ways of doing things if they improve on historical processes and procedures. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone who would apply to be part of the team in years to come? Currently, we are a team of five but soon to be six as we are bringing in a Graduate to train up. With regards to advice to anyone considering applying to become a team member, I’d say get as much exposure as you can to as many different types of tax as possible. Also key now is to get experience in tax technology solutions, that’s an area which is becoming more and more important but there are very few people with this skillset on the market. When you interview someone for your team or organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? It’s actually before someone even gets to interview and comes back to a person’s CV and/or covering letter. I want this to really demonstrate a desire for the role which is supported by some relevant experience. When it comes to interviewing, I’m keen to see that the candidate has prepared fully and thought about the key tax issues that the business faces. In your opinion, has the role of 'in-house tax professional' changed much over the years and if so, what is the biggest change? Things have changed massively over the years. Early on in my career the focus was on minimising a Group’s ETR and making use of planning structures. Now it’s much more about making sure you have good corporate governance and controls in place and you’re paying your fair share of taxes. Tax is much higher up the board agenda now which can only be a good thing. What challenges, personally or professionally, do you think the next generation of tax professionals face? Generally, I think there is a gap in the technology side of things, it can be hard to find people with good tax systems experience. The ability for individuals to multi-task across different taxes also needs to be worked on. With people generally become specialised the number of people who can multi-task appears to be diminishing. You have both in-house and private practice experience and a very impressive career to date. How was this transition for you, between practice and in-house? It was actually quite easy, helped by the fact that I made the move early on in my career and to a MNE that was then in its early stages, so I was able to grow with it. The difference between the two is stark but being inhouse gives you a much more commercial outlook and you get to see ideas through rather than giving advice and not really knowing what happens with it. I also don’t miss billing and timesheets! What advice would you give to your younger self? I would tell myself to get broader financial experience as I would like to consider becoming a finance director however, I don’t have as much experience in that area and switching to a role like that may mean taking a considerable downwards step initially. How would your team describe you? Reliable, organised, supportive, meticulous, methodical, happy to roll my sleeves up and forward-thinking are a few words they have suggested! What do you do in your downtime? I play in brass bands. I play the tenor horn and have been doing so longer than I have been in tax! It’s like another job with daily practice required and lots of travel. Sadly though, it’s unpaid. For more information about this article, or to speak to Marianne about your recruiting needs or Tax opportunities in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696319 or Back to 60 Seconds archive >>


Phone Interviews - 7 Foolproof Tips

More and more companies are beginning to use phone interviews as the first stage of their interview process, and you will most likely have a phone interview at some point during your job search. They are a great tool for saving time but it can be very difficult to read body language and bounce off the interviewer - particularly in comparison to a face-to-face interview. With phone interviews around for the foreseeable future, it is wise to familiarise yourself with the best practices for succeeding in this kind of interview! They can seem daunting, but in reality, phone interviews give you a great opportunity to sell yourself before even meeting the employer. Here at Pro-Group, our specialist recruiters have put together 7 key points to remember when it comes to preparing and carrying out a phone interview, and while some of these points may seem obvious, it’s surprising as to how often a client or candidate’s feedback has mentioned an unfortunate misstep. 1. Location Avoiding anywhere noisy may sound obvious but if you’re taking a call at lunchtime and the only place to do it is in a coffee shop at peak time, you may not have the interviewer’s full attention and vice versa. Noisy pets and family members are also worth taking into consideration. Consider a meeting room, a quiet room at home or even a (parked) car. Also, remember to check your signal - avoid talking in locations that are particularly bad for phone reception. If a landline isn’t available, consider phoning a friend or a member of your family beforehand, just to ensure the signal is at its strongest. 2. Make sure you are ready early and leave yourself enough time You may be expecting a call at 3pm so be ready at least 10 minutes beforehand. With the possibility of both parties’ timepieces being slightly out of sync, you could easily miss that initial phone call and, while hitting redial takes no effort at all, you run the risk of ruining that first impression. Make sure to have leeway the other side as well, and leave plenty of time should the conversation flow and take longer than expected. Having the opportunity to further affirm your interest and leave a deeper impression on the interviewer, can only be a positive. Those extra few minutes could make all the difference, showcasing your ability to build rapport. However, ensure you don’t stray towards filling the conversation, just to keep the interviewer on the phone. 3. Avoid cutting the interviewer off We all have a tendency to get over-excited, and talking over one another happens more frequently on the phone (we all do this when we talk to friends and family, don’t we?). Be aware that this behaviour over the phone could potentially come across as much more abrupt and aggressive, particularly as the interviewer will be unable to read your body language. To avoid this, have a quick pause to make sure you are not interrupting before you begin to answer. 4. Ask questions and prepare An interviewer will always ask if you have any more questions; ensure you have a few key questions to hand as opposed to ending the conversation with a “no”. These could be questions about the company's work-life balance, opportunities for progression or simply about the interviewer's experience at the company. This is your chance to show how interested you are if you like what you have heard so far, otherwise, it’s quite an anticlimax for the interviewer who has taken time out of their diary to discuss the role with you. Also, make sure you take the time to familiarise yourself with the company and the role you are applying for. With only your voice to focus on, a seasoned interviewer is able to easily spot when they don't have your full attention, so prepare as much as you possibly can to ensure you are able to engage with the interviewer. 5. Don't be afraid to use notes People sometimes feel they can't use notes for a phone interview, almost as though they're 'cheating'! However, this isn't the case at all, feel free to jot down key points and things to remember to have in front of you. This could be a summary of your experience and dates, a list of your strengths and weaknesses, the questions you have prepared to ask the interviewer or even points you want to try and weave into the conversation to sell yourself. Even better, have a notepad ready to jot down notes during the phone interview to refer back to - these could come in handy in the next interview stage. 6. Don't forget it's still an interview Make sure you take a phone interview just as seriously as a face-to-face interview! It may not always seem it as a phone call can seem less pressured than a formal interview, however, there is no doubt that an interviewer will form a lasting impression of you during the short time you spend on the phone. Speak clearly and confidently, demonstrate why you are a strong candidate for the role, and let your personality come through. 7. Practice As obvious as some of these points may seem, sit down and work with your recruiter in a mock interview scenario. Having to spend a lot of time on the phone interviewing people, we can help you avoid pitfalls such as “dead air”, construct concise yet informative answers and ensure you are getting as much out of the conversation as an interviewer would expect to. For more information on this article and to find out more about how Ethan can help with your recruitment needs, contact him on 020 7269 6362 or


Charity Times - 13/08/2019

STRATEGY Funding call to help charities prepare for no-deal Brexit NCVO chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington has written to new civil society minister Baroness Barran and urged her to ensure that charities are not overlooked when no-deal Brexit preparation funding is distributed. “A funding package should . . . be set up specifically for charities that can help support communities with a range of needs in the event of a no-deal EU exit. This should provide grants that are easily accessible and require minimum administration, in order to ensure a swift distribution that can support the services that they will need to provide,” Sir Stuart wrote. His letter also called for the establishment of a “resilient communities fund” for local charities. Meanwhile, writing in The Guardian, David Brindle says Lady Barran has "a tough job to ensure charities don’t fall off a cliff" in the post-Brexit era. He notes that charities are increasingly anxious about the loss of European Union funding after Brexit and a lack of plans from government to replace it. Civil Sector Third Sector Charity Update The Guardian LEGAL Families allowed to make tax decisions for incapacitated relatives A judge has ruled that a family may make tax exempt gifts on behalf of a wealthy relative who has been in a coma for several years. District judge Sarah Ellington ruled in the Court of Protection that millions of pounds of gifts to family, charities and political organisations, which would reduce tax payable on death, were in the best interests of the man, who is in a persistent vegetative state. Lynne Rowland, a private client tax partner at Kingston Smith, called the ruling "ground-breaking," saying it sets a precedent for carers to cut tax bills, and has “huge implications for inheritance tax." The Daily Telegraph GOVERNANCE Share of charities not complying with suppression requests down 37% The Fundraising Regulator says the number of charities failing to act on Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) requests has fallen by 37% since March. Thirty-seven charities have transgressed the right afforded by the Data Protection Act 2018 and reflected in the Code of Fundraising Practice that anyone can object to marketing using personal data. Twenty-four charities have acted on the suppression requests since their failure to do so was published in March. Charities are required to access the FPS within 21 days after a suppression request from a member of the public. A spokesperson for the regulator said: “The number of charities accessing their FPS requests has risen steadily. There are several reasons for this, including the decision to name charities not acting on their requests as well as greater awareness of FPS and charities’ obligations under data protection law and the Code of Fundraising Practice." The spokesperson added: “The numbers will always be relative to the number of people using the service, and a spike in demand may mean the list of charities grows.” Third Sector Civil Society FUNDRAISING Livestream gaming is an opportunity for charities Livestreaming gaming platform Twitch is a great opportunity for charity fundraising, writes Chrissy Chiu for Charity Digital News. Twitch, which has more than 15m daily users, allows people to watch live video gaming and chat with other fans. More than $30m has to date been raised for charities on the platform by making use of popular games and the advocacy of gaming champions. Jeremy Wells, fundraising events manager at Médecins Sans Frontières, an experienced partner for charity livestream fundraising, says: “The impact is big and getting bigger. Summer Games Done Quick is our biggest fundraiser of the year – it brought in $2.1m last year out of $4.7m for our whole events program.” Charity Digital News Royal couple choose 15 charities to follow on Instagram The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have chosen 15 charities and NGOs to follow on Instagram. The charities chosen by the royal couple for their Instagram account are: BeesCause, Pawsitive Change, Children International, BlinkNow Foundation, Love the Oceans, Art of Hope, Tiny Tickers, Global Wellness Day, Beyond Blue, Lion Guardians, Earth Day Network, Plan International UK, Free Wheelchair Mission, Waves For Change, and Rafiki Mwema. Simon Bishop, Plan International UK’s deputy chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be among their Forces for Change. We know the girls we work with want to see this kind of high-profile support for achieving gender equality, and we hope the Sussex es will continue to be champions for change.” Civil Society Daily Mail Concern about lack of 1p and 2p coin production Shadow charities minister Vicky Foxcroft says she is concerned about the potential impact on donations of a halt in production of new 1p and 2p coins in the UK. No such coins were manufactured in the year to March 2019. Civil Society notes that this is the first time this has occurred in decades. Foxcroft said: "Donating loose change remains one of the easiest and most popular ways for people to donate to charities . . . These small, one-off donations add up for charities and ditching small coins will have a damaging knock-on effect on small charities, and the causes they support.” A Treasury spokesperson said the halt in production does not signify a phasing out of the coins. Civil Society WORKFORCE Survey will record BAME workers' experiences of racism A survey to record Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) charity workers' experiences of racism in the sector has been launched by ACEVO and Voice4Change England. Dr Sanjiv Lingayah, research lead on the 'Making Diversity Count' project, said: “[The survey] is an effort to centre the diversity debate around BAME voices and experiences . . . [it] is a response to an evident lack of a focus on race equality, diversity and inclusion in the charity sector.” A report will be published in spring 2020. Civil Society DIGITAL Charities Trust is now in the cloud Donations management charity The Charities Trust has revamped its operations and customer service technology by adopting the cloud-based Appian Platform to improve its fund management systems. Lee Blackburn, Chief Technology Officer at Charities Trust, said: “Appian allows us the flexibility to remain unique in our business offerings, and the power to personalise our service for our clients and donors.” Charity Digital News RISK Auditors must help charities manage risk Charity auditors are well placed to help organisations in the sector manage risks, and not just financially but also around governance, safeguarding and regulation, writes Steve Harper, charities director at tax adviser Haysmacintyre. Accountancy Daily CAMPAIGNS Premier League clubs criticised for living wage failures Citizens UK has criticised several Premier League clubs for not paying their staff the living wage, despite spending some £ 1.41bn on player transfers this summer. Only four clubs - Liverpool, Everton, West Ham and Chelsea - pay their staff the living wage of £9 per hour UK-wide and £10.55 per hour in London, according to the Living Wage Foundation. The charity said that many cleaners, kiosk and ticketing staff and caterers to VIP boxes can earn as low as £7.50 an hour. A spokesperson for Citizens UK said: "Premier League clubs are huge profit-making global brands, but football clubs are supposed to be all about community. It can't be right that their pay policies leave workers struggling to stay afloat financially." The Independent BBC partners with charities for debt advice map The BBC has launched an interactive map with details of almost 500 charity partners who can provide financial advice to people struggling to pay their television licence. Dennis Hussey, money adviser at National Debtline, said: “Many callers are often afraid or embarrassed to discuss debts with even their family or close friends – I am often the very first person they’ve confided in.” Civil Society ​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>​​


60 Seconds With: Nicole Moriarty, Tax Manager at Revolut

Nicole Moriarty is Tax Manager at Revolut. Revolut launched in July 2015 with the vision of becoming a progressive financial partner and global bank. Nicole joined the company in October 2018 from Smith and Williamson, and has experience in R&D, capital allowance, VAT, UK direct tax and managing banking compliance. We spoke to Nicole and she has shared her thoughts on working for Revolut, her experiences working in an in-house tax role, advice for those looking to get into the industry, and challenges for future in-house tax professionals. So, for anyone who isn't aware: who are Revolut, what's it like working for them? So, Revolut is an E-money institution and challenger bank launched in the UK four years ago. We are an alternative to your traditional high street bank and have a strong focus on foreign exchange and crypto-currency. We offer a product and service that eliminates all of the crooks, creaks and inefficiencies that the current high street banks offer their customers at the moment. In utilizing tech, we don't have any high street presence and also allow people to be both more mobile and international. We’re all about the challenger bank mentality of giving the power back to the people. And in terms of what it’s like working for Revolut, because it's such a young company you get to see all of the products being developed from an early stage. You sit with the people who are developing the products and new offerings and get to actually impact these. For example, tomorrow I might be involved in reviewing the tax on how a new product is going to be offered to the market or advise on a contract with a new Partner. So in my role, it just makes what I do on a day to day basis more real and impactful. It's probably the most driven team I've ever worked with. Everyone is really keen to achieve their goals. People don't sit back on their heels and it means that there's a lot of collaboration so everyone just gets it done. You are currently expanding at a rate of 500% each year. What does this mean for your role, and what makes tax interesting here? Well, the first thing is that my job isn’t just about compliance. It also means that no two days are the same and the speed at which we’re expanding means that I'm also having to upscale my skills at the same time. I am expected to know the answer to a whole host of different tax issues and as we're expanding in so many different jurisdictions it creates a lot of unknown complications. So, our growth means that I'm having to learn and develop myself. And on the note of growth, you are hiring two roles beneath and one role above you as well, which is rather unusual. How has this been, and what have you learned? I'm really confident in my position at the moment, but I'm also very aware that within the next six months we are going to be operating as a bank in a vast number of jurisdictions, globally. And it's important to know where my limitations are and to bring someone in for the greater good of the team. From my perspective, having this expertise in the team will offer further risk-proofing and sound-boarding for my own development. What’s the phrase, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. The team and I need somebody to come in who knows the unknowns. What advice would you give someone who wants to be part of the team? I see a lot of people leaving practice to go into industry because they think it's going be easier, less of a challenge, or more of a relaxing ride. While this may often be true, my experience with Revolut has proven the complete opposite. So first of all, you need to be open to things outside of your job specification and to not just rely on the security of working within a box. You just really have to think outside of that box and get involved in things, maybe not even in the tax team, but in things which will eventually benefit the tax team. For example, I often help the HR Team with employee-related information because it then helps us with the employee-related returns. The advice of rolling your sleeves up and learning to get stuck in and collaborate as a team would apply just as much to a first-time mover from practice, as it would to a Group Tax Director from a really big bank. How was the transition in-house for you? The transition in-house for me has been great, and I think the relationships I have fostered in previous companies have proven very helpful in making this transition. My old colleagues at Deloitte – Kevin Cummings and Tyler O’Callaghan, for example, have been extremely helpful. Without these types of relationships in place, I would have struggled – you need to be able to trust your advisors well. How do you think the role of the in-house professional has changed over the years? I think that traditionally, the idea of the in-house tax professional was very compliance-based. And I think with the introduction of technology, businesses can obviously automise compliance with greater efficiency and with this, the in-house tax team is streamlining and becoming more advisory-focused. The second way that in-house tax has changed involves risk. Right now, tax risk is a big consideration for the board. So where previously people may have focused on being quite aggressive in their tax nature, it’s now all about how tax risk is managed in terms of policies, governance and the right frameworks. What challenges do you see on the horizon for the in-house tax professional? Well, I think the challenge is getting the experience in the right places. Moving forward, we need to ask ourselves where do the junior tax practitioners get their compliance-focused experience at the start of their career to then be able to take a step back and advise? For instance, does it make sense to go right from graduate to a transfer pricing specialist? I think this would mean a lot of grads and newly quals might step into tax without seeing hands-on the impact of changing just one number on a return. So the challenge will be a question of marrying up these skills, in light of growing tech advancements. We recently ran an interview preparation blog. What’s the first thing you personally notice about someone in an interview, and what might you be interested to read on? I’d say one of the main negatives is that candidates just do not seem to know their own experiences well enough, and also perhaps haven’t reflected on why they are applying for that particular company. As I said, the changing nature here and to an extent in any business means your role likely won’t be exactly that on your job specification every day, and you’ll need to do a little more. And to be confident that you are eager to do a little more, we need to feel that passion and enthusiasm in your reasons for really putting yourself forward for the company. I think for your blog, I’d be keen to read on what’s actually important to tax candidates when they are looking for new roles. I know what was important to me when I made the move, but that doesn’t seem commensurate with priorities for those in the market right now. Also, it would be good to get your insight on pointers on how to conduct the interviews in the best way possible – as in, what’s best practice in tax? Which role would you say you found the most challenging in your career so far? Honestly, I think I’d have to say that my experience at Smith & Williamson was perhaps the most challenging, but certainly rewarding. That's probably where I developed and grew the most prior to Revolut. I went from the Big 4 to a mid-tier firm, and it’s here where I acquired a vast array of experience for the first time for my clients. Going in as a Manager meant I was expected to know the things that you just don’t have exposure to in the Big 4. So the challenge here was a lot of independent upskilling, which made it all the more rewarding to see myself develop. When you’re advising a client with a mid-tier firm, every penny can matter to them and in this sense, they can expect much more from you. I actually think there’s a lot to be said for going into a mid-tier firm, and this can be a great introductory step into the in-house context. Where do you see your own career building? Honestly, it’s difficult to say. I've been here now for nearly a year, and it is probably the fastest year of my life. I used to plan the years in chunks of 3 – though I see the company growing so fast that I know that my responsibilities are only going to increase. Revolut is a great company because if I have a passion to get involved in anything, I can just put myself forward. The company is growing so fast that I'm growing at the same rate. For the first time, I don’t feel like I need to have a plan. How do you find your downtime? So, I do a lot of Yoga – without that, I would have cracked up some time ago. It’s important to have a hobby, passion or a side project. This way, work doesn’t become all-consuming. Even though somebody appears to have stolen my yoga mat this morning, that didn’t stop me – it’s as habitual as brushing my teeth. For more information on this article, please contact Jay Sky on 020 7269 6343 or Back to 60 Seconds archive >>


10 Interview Questions to Ask That Reveal a Company's Work-Life Balance

British workers spend an average of 3,515 full days at work over their lifetime, and creating a good balance between time allocated for work and leisure is important to employee wellbeing and happiness. The interview stage presents the perfect opportunity to find out about a company’s policies on work-life balance. Making the decision to move jobs is an important one which shapes your career path. But how do you get the information you require about a company’s flexibility, culture, work environment and work-life balance? In the short time provided in an interview setting, here are the 10 best things you can ask your interviewer to get the information you need about a company’s work-life balance, and to ensure you are happy in your next role! 1. What would the typical day of somebody in my role look like? Often, people are advised to ask their interviewer ‘what does your typical work day look like?’ However, you aren’t applying for their job! If you are meeting a Senior Manager or Director, for example, the chances are you will be joining at a lower level than them, which will inevitably mean a completely different workload. It is much more worthwhile asking about what a workday looks like for someone in the role you are actually applying for. Asking an interviewer to walk you through your own typical working day will provide an insight into how much responsibility you will have and the extent to which your everyday life will need to adjust. 2. How do you measure goals, timelines and success? Leaders who base their employees' success on their quality of work and give promotions and rewards based on performance, as opposed to time served and hours worked, are goal-oriented which is what you want from a leader! By asking this question, hopefully, your interviewer will be able to give you specific examples of somebody who has previously excelled in the role and how they have achieved their career goals. It is also important to remember that once you have asked this question, it is most likely that your interviewer will turn the question back to you and will want to know how you have previously achieved your goals and how you have measured your success. When answering questions like this in an interview situation, remember to use the STAR method - the specific Situation you were in, a Task you were faced with, the behavioural Actions ‘you’ (not ‘we’) took, and the Results you achieved. 3. How do you set employees up for success? Asking a question like this can reveal potential micromanaging. If your interviewer's answer suggests that you are expected to follow preset practices with little room for applying your own approach, this hints at a workplace that doesn’t allow you to work in the way that’s most productive for you. On the other hand, this question can also reveal a well-balanced and open-minded work environment if it is clear that you will be given the tools, as well as the encouragement and support to succeed in the best way for you. 4. How have you found your own professional career development? If your interviewer has been at the company for a while, perhaps even starting at the level you are applying for, they may be able to demonstrate how they have progressed through the ranks and succeeded. This can reveal how the company can support your professional development in terms of resources and training, steps and initiatives you are able to take to progress your own career, and can also show that people have chosen to stay and progress which demonstrates employee satisfaction and retention. 5. What is your company’s mission statement? A company’s mission statement can reveal how the organisation values its employees. Often a company’s mission statement can be found online but this question is important in differentiating what it actually means. If the mission statement is focused solely on business goals as opposed to placing value on employees and relationships, it may be that the company is less likely to take care of their employees. 6. How do you incorporate employee feedback in the day-to-day operations of your company? How a company listens to its employees is incredibly important, and also shows how much they value people. Find out if they hold employee forums, if they have a suggestion box, or if they hold open meetings with Managers and Directors, and ask what they do with the feedback they receive! You want to know that your opinion will be valued, including any views you have on work-life balance and support - employers who listen to and implement feedback to improve the day-to-day lives of their employees are those who care about their team. 7. What benefits do you have that are focused on work-life balance? Many companies often shout about ‘flexible working arrangements’, but in reality, this can mean so many different things! Many companies are beginning to move away from simply flexible working, e.g. flexible lunch breaks or allowing employees to start or finish work an hour early or late, and moving towards a more agile working framework, which often includes individual laptops and the ability for employees to work remotely or from home. It is also important to ask about welfare benefits - does the company have provisions in place for mental health in the workplace, or physical fitness allowances or perks? Asking these questions can indicate where and to what degree a company is focused on its employees’ well-being. 8. What provisions do you have in place for returning to work parents? Following on from finding out the company’s policy on flexible and agile working arrangements, asking this question can provide a more accurate insight into the extent of agility the company really offers. The majority of UK workers consider flexibility and agility in their workplace as very important, and this is particularly true for new or returning to work parents. So many businesses unwittingly neglect this employee group, but more often than not there may be the perfect candidate who just needs a couple of days working from home for a short while. If a company has provisions in place that demonstrate they are supporting and tapping into the returning to work parent workforce, it is a clear indication that they value their employees. 9. Does your company have a CSR policy? Corporate social responsibility is a self-regulating business model that helps a company ensure they are socially accountable, and whether or not a company has a CSR policy can reveal how they place priorities outside of work responsibilities. Ask about whether they allow extra days annual leave for charity events or for volunteering, and find out if they have a corporate charity and what they do to support them - this can reveal a lot about a company! 10. What is your work environment and social culture like? Finding out how employees engage with one another and whether the team you will be joining spends time together socially, particularly if there are company-arranged activities, will show you what kind of work environment you will be joining. Some organisations arrange lunchtime clubs and activities, offer team nights out and prizes as perks, and even take their employees away on trips, all of which show that an employer recognises the value of a good work-life balance for their employees. Understanding a company’s policies and views on work-life balance is incredibly important when it comes to choosing a new role, and whether a company is right for you. Research has shown that almost one-third of UK employees feel that they don’t have a good work-life balance. But, by asking any of these key questions at the interview stage, not only are you demonstrating that you are taking the opportunity seriously, but you also get the chance to discover what the flexibility, culture, work environment and work-life balance is like before you consider accepting an offer! For more information on this article or for more interview tips, contact Callum Macrae on 020 7269 6369 or


5 Key Benefits of Working at a Big 4 Regional Office

There are many benefits of working in one of the regional offices of the Big 4. You will work with high-performing teams, a range of diverse clients and will gain the same professional qualifications and experience as someone in the same service line in London. Here at Pro-Tax, we work closely with the regional offices of the Big 4 and our regional tax recruitment experts have provided key insights into the 5 key benefits of working in the regions. 1. Broad scope of work Working in a regional office for one of the Big 4 can offer a broad scope of work. This is not to say that the quality of work will do down outside of the London offices - you will still work with massive clients but your scope of work is likely to be broader and you can expect to cover more aspects of tax, enabling you to build a broad and diverse portfolio. However, specialist tax teams are now pushing out into the regions as opposed to simply staying within London. M&A teams, for example, are building out in regional offices including Reading and Cambridge, so if you are looking for experience in certain niche areas of tax this can also be found in some regional offices. Not only this but working at a smaller regional office will give you the chance to work directly with more senior members of the team. This, in turn, means you will learn a lot and gain valuable experience that you may not have had to chance to experience in a London office. 2. Work-life balance Working in a regional office can offer a better work-life balance in some respects. You may find you have better working hours, and avoiding a 2-hour commute in and out of London will cut down your working day. Regional offices offer good car allowances and cutting out the London commute will also save you money, as will the lower cost of living outside of London. It is estimated that in areas outside of London the price of living costs up to 60% less - avoiding the high costs of London living can provide opportunities to get onto the property ladder and invest earlier on in your career. Regional offices also tend to offer a more relaxed culture in comparison to the London offices of the Big 4. They often have flexible and agile working benefits, and opportunities for dress-down or ‘dress for your diary’ policies, all of which contribute towards a better work-life balance. 3. Clear scope for progression Although there are more and more people choosing to work outside of London, the capital is still one of the top destinations for tax professionals seeking work. There are so many people in the London offices for the Big 4, which inevitably means more competition. In the regional offices, because teams tend to be smaller and less established than the larger London offices there are fewer people competing which therefore means a clearer scope for progression. There are still ample opportunities for promotion and the chance to build up a team in the region, but you most likely won’t find yourself in a situation where you are competing against ten other Managers for the Senior Manager position! 4. Exposure There is sometimes a perception that London is the ‘only place to be’ to get the experience to succeed in tax, but in reality, this could not be further from the truth. Yes, working in a London office does come with many positives when it comes to building up your experience, but so does working in the regions. Many of the large companies coming over from the US place themselves outside of the M25 - Cambridge, for example, is the base for many large tech companies. This is due to the fact that there is more space, it is not as expensive and it is still incredibly easy to commute into London. This, in turn, means that working in the regional office of a Big 4 firm comes with exposure to these large companies and there is a continuous work-flow coming to the regional practices. One of the Big 4 has estimated that two-thirds of their clients are served by regional offices - you will have a lot of contact with these clients and gain more responsibility which will only benefit your career. 5. Help the regions grow By moving to a regional office you’ll be using your knowledge and skills to improve towns and cities across the UK and grow communities of industry experts outside of London. You’ll be aiding clients nearby in growing and expanding their business, and business development is a large part of working in the regions. There is only so much expansion the London offices can achieve in terms of capacity, and you will play a big part in helping your regional office grow and expand. For more information on this article or to speak to Ashleigh about your regional Tax recruiting needs, contact her on 020 7269 6324 or


Charity Times - 06/08/2019

FUNDRAISING Significant growth in payroll giving The Association of Payroll Giving Organisations (APGO) has reported substantive growth in the participation of companies and their employees in payroll giving schemes. The association awarded almost 65% more Payroll Giving Quality Marks this year. A total of 3,458 employers were awarded the quality mark in 2019, almost 1,500 more than were awarded in 2018. APGO chair Panikos Efthimiou said: “Payroll giving continues to demonstrate itself as a vital, robust and sustainable source of income for all charities . . . We are delighted to see this positive increase in quality marks." Civil Society UK charities can use Instagram donation stickers Instagram has extended its Stories donation function - first made available to US nonprofits earlier this year - to UK charities. The donation sticker on Instagram Stories is available to both charities and supporters to create a 24-hour fundraising campaign on the Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform. Aibhinn Kelleher, strategic partnerships manager, social impact team at Facebook EMEA, said: “People are using Instagram to raise awareness of the causes that matter to them . . . the Instagram donation sticker should be a valuable tool for the charity sector." UKFundraising Charity Digital News Website revamp for Rethink Mental Illness Rethink Mental Illness has undergone a "digital facelift" as it seeks to respond to growing demand for mental health awareness and support. The charity has collaborated with Dam Digital in the development of the site to enable quicker access to information and support. James Harris, associate director for communications at Rethink Mental Illness, said: “We really wanted our new site to bring a complete packaged experience to our users." Charity Digital News WORKFORCE Charity jobs could soon be enhanced by AI Charity Digital takes a look at how artificial intelligence could soon be doing the sector tasks that charity workers find repetitive and boring, thereby creating time to focus on innovation and growth. AI-powered processes have the potential to revolutionise the work of fundraisers, support services assistants, conservation scientists, and medical researchers. It’s noted that data and AI-driven approaches could make charity advice a commodity available to everyone and connect charities with their ideal donors. Charity Digital News FINANCE The first ever Charity Finance Week The first ever Charity Finance Week takes place from October 8th-12th. It's a dedicated week of events, content and thought leadership organised by Civil Society Media to focus on the challenges charities face, showcase their successes, and consider their impact. Julian Chislett, chief executive of Civil Society Media, said: "We see on a regular basis the vital role that charity finance professionals and their advisers play in building a resilient and dynamic charity sector, and wanted to give them the recognition they deserve," adding "the job of building and enhancing financial capability in the charity sector never ends, and Charity Finance Week will act as an essential resource for charity finance professionals and trustees." Civil Society VOLUNTEERS Fewer people are volunteering, survey says The latest annual Community Life Survey from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport suggests fewer people in England took part in formal volunteering last year. The survey says 36% of members of the public volunteered at least once in the year to March 2019, the lowest level recorded since the survey began in 2012. The number of people who volunteered at least once remained at 22%, the same level as the previous two years, but lower than in 2013 to 2015. Almost half of respondents (49%) who did not volunteer said work commitments prevented them giving up their time for good causes. Civil Society RISK Charities and cyber-crime Rachel Heath looks at the impact of cyber-crime on charities and how they can go about reporting breaches, highlighting that the National Cyber Security Centre has issued a guide on how charitable organisations can improve cybersecurity. The UK’s four charity regulators have held a governance review of the constitution and composition of the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice committee and the SORP making process, with this undertaken by an Oversight Panel which comprised a representative from each of the regulators and an observer representative nominated by the Financial Reporting Council. BHP Christmas appeal will build on online improvements Samaritans has hired agency WPNC to build on recent digital improvements for its forthcoming festive campaign. The mental health support charity has been using a digital brand management platform to roll out its new identity across 201 branches in a bid to make it more accessible, easier to navigate and appeal to a wider audience, including young people. Charity Digital News GOVERNANCE Kick It Out vows to improve governance Anti-racism charity Kick It Out has completed an internal probe into claims of staff bullying at the organisation. The investigation followed a report in the Daily Mail that some workers had left the charity in recent years after being “verbally abused” by senior staff. The charity, which aims to tackle racism in football, denied the allegations but its independent QC-led investigation has now concluded with a pledge to improve its governance, support structures and policies for all employees. The charity said in a statement: "This year will see the arrival of a new chair at Kick It Out and the trustees will support the organisation in putting in place recommendations from the report . . . to ensure all are able to do what Kick It Out does best: ridding football of injustice and prejudice.” Kick It Out said it would not publicly release the findings of the review. A Charity Commission spokesperson said: “We have an ongoing regulatory compliance case into the charity Kick It Out . . . We will be reviewing the charity’s recent independent review as part of our case." Civil Society Charity Update Interim manager appointed to Christian charity The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries International, a north London based charity which exists to promote Christianity. The commission last year opened a statutory inquiry to look into a number of concerns at the charity, including the repeated late filing of financial information, and a failure in the administration which resulted in opportunities for significant losses to the charity to occur. The regulator is concerned over the trustees’ unwillingness to report serious incidents and also has questions over the governance of the charity. Charity Times PEOPLE New fundraising lead at Cats Protection Catherine Cottrell has been named as new director of income generation at Cats Protection. She is currently the executive director of fundraising and partnerships at Comic Relief and will assume her new role on September 23rd. “Cats are wonderful companions to so many people in the UK, and I believe Cats Protection can become a greater part of their lives, helping the charity see through its mission,” said Cottrell, who was also previously director of fundraising at Unicef UK and group head of fundraising at the RSPCA. UKFundraising CAMPAIGNS Workplace harassment advice line launched A free legal advice line for those experiencing sexual harassment at work has been launched. The service, which is backed by Time’s Up UK’s justice and equality fund, and managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls, will see advice provided by the charity Rights of Women. Actor and activist Emma Watson said the fact that the service is the first of its kind in England and Wales is “completely staggering.” Launching the service, she said: “It finally feels like people are realising the scale of the problem,” adding that she hoped global standards such as the International Labour Organization treaty on harassment at work will deliver “a new climate of prevention and accountability.” Deeba Syed, Rights of Women’s senior legal officer, said workplace sexual harassment remains a hidden problem, despite reaching “epidemic levels.” The Guardian Kids home alone during holidays The NSPCC has seen a surge in reports of children being left unsupervised at home during school holidays. The charity has urged parents to think carefully before leaving their children on their own after it published data revealing that 5,737 calls and emails were made to its helpline in 2018-19 about the issue. Of the 1,824 times the helpline was contacted about the issue last summer, 70% of cases were judged so serious that they were referred to the police or social services. The Independent Daily Mirror ​ ​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>​​


Should Charities Be Looking Outside of the Sector for Fundraising Talent?

Recruitment of fundraising professionals in the third sector is becoming more and more difficult - especially for more specialised roles. Charities tend to recruit from within the sector, but the fundraising landscape is changing and perhaps it is time that recruiters started looking for fundraising talent from outside the sector. Why is there a lack of fundraising talent in the charitable sector? There are several reasons that this lack of fundraising talent in the third sector can be attributed to. Salaries can be lower and benefits packages aren’t as good as the commercial or corporate sector, and fundraising skill sets are becoming more niche. Just like marketing roles where it is becoming more common for professionals to specialise, this is the same for fundraising. There are various different fund disciplines - including community, events, major donor, trust and foundations and corporate - each of which currently requires a more niche skillset and relevant experience than, say, street or telephone fundraisers. It is also fair to say that charities often make high demands whilst seeking fundraising talent, which is understandable considering fundraisers are a charity’s main source of income and the backbone of an organisation. However, perhaps charities are looking in the wrong place? Charities are often reluctant to stray from the requisite ‘charity sector experience’, which in reality is a rather vague and undefined requirement. Many recruiters in the charitable sector value more specialised skills and ‘tried and tested’ fundraisers, and are reluctant to look for candidates with a broader skillset including those transferable and soft skills that are so important in a potential employee. So, what can charities do to increase their fundraising talent pool? Perhaps it is time that charities considered the vast and diverse talent pool outside of the sector itself. Candidates from outside the third sector can find it tricky to move into charity fundraising, but in actual fact, many of these people have similar roles in a commercial setting and therefore have the relevant broader and softer skills needed to succeed. Bringing in candidates from the commercial or corporate sectors offers several advantages. Not only do they present a chance to absorb some of the successes from corporate sectors, but they can also bring in fresh approaches and ideas and offer a commercial and unique approach. But what actually makes a good fundraiser? Someone who is organised, persuasive, emotionally intelligent, focuses on team success, who has a passion for a cause and brand, and someone who can really ‘sell’ the organisation. These are all qualities that can be found in a huge variety of candidates outside the charitable sector, including professionals in sales, business development, marketing, PR and communications, to name but a few. Those with experience in marketing, PR and communications should perhaps be the easiest to recruit from outside the sector, as these roles require skills that are often directly transferable across sectors and that can be applied to a charity fundraising setting. Events professionals, in particular, probably offer the most relevant skillset. However, it is also not uncommon for salespeople or recruiters to move into fundraising, particularly corporate and major donor fundraising, which relies on building accounts with companies and firms - all transferable skills that should be valued by talent recruiters in the charity sector. People with voluntary experience should also not be overlooked. A charity worker who gets paid can be equally monetary-driven as passion-driven, whereas having voluntary experience demonstrates passion, commitment and dedication to a cause - invaluable skills in an employee in the third sector. More often than not, people who are looking to move into charity fundraising from outside the sector are overlooked, despite the other skills they have which would make them the perfect candidate for the role. If charities recruited from the corporate and commercial worlds, they would find a vast untapped talent pool who have proven experience in generating income, negotiating with high net worth individuals, and building and maintaining good relationships - all of which can easily be adapted to fundraising. Ultimately, when recruiting fundraising talent in the charity sector, it is important to start considering candidates from outside the sector and thinking about who is the best person for the job. Instead of simply focusing on where their previous experience has come from, maybe it is time to focus instead on where someone’s relevant and transferable skill set can add value to the charitable sector. For more information on this article, or to speak to Ethan about your fundraising recruitment needs, contact him on 020 7269 6362 or


60 Seconds With: Martyn Atkinson, Partner, Head of Audit and Accounts at Sopher + Co

Martyn Atkinson has been with Sopher + Co for over 20 years and is now Partner and Head of Audit and Accounts. At Sopher + Co, Martyn manages a significant portfolio of corporate clients and owner-managed businesses. His client base crosses many industry groups but his main focus is in financial services (including hedge funds), media and entertainment and professional services firms. You have an impressive career with all of your time being at Sopher + Co., what do you think the benefits of staying with one firm throughout your career history are? The ability to grow strong client relationships. At Sopher + Co one of our core values is putting the client first and during my time here I have been able to create long-lasting relationships with clients understanding their needs and tailoring our services as their businesses and circumstances change. I have also enjoyed watching my team grow and being able to act as a mentor gives me immense job satisfaction as I watch them progress through their career. On day one you never know what lies ahead of you. When did you realise that Sopher + Co. was the firm you wished to be a Partner at and why? Established in 1975 as a family business, the firm have kept the same values at its core. This allows for decisions to be made at a rapid pace as there is an open-door policy with all Partners. This also means for those individuals who are willing to work hard there is more responsibility and progression routes available. What is great about working for Sopher + Co.? Over the years I have watched the firm grow its strong reputation and with this comes the opportunity to work with a diverse portfolio of clients spanning over 20 industries. This includes some of the most influential entrepreneurial individuals and businesses in the UK. As a top 50 Accountancy firm (Private Client) we have a key focus on growth and professional development of our colleagues with study packages available and a great working environment. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone who would apply to be part of the team? Within our Audit and Accounts team, there are 76 fee earners spanning all career levels. As an interviewer, I look for a range of qualities within candidates – enthusiasm, attention to detail, confidence within their own abilities and good interpersonal skills. Candidates who are ambitious, hard-working and are good at what they do can progress and reach their potential at our firm. How would your team describe you? You will have to ask them… but I would hope: methodical, collected, approachable and knowledgeable. What advice would you give to your younger self? Be your own self-advocate in order to drive your own success. Make the most of every opportunity you are given, even if you don’t recognise it as an opportunity at the time. Don’t be afraid to take risks and ask questions– as we all have to learn! When you interview someone for your team or organisation what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? Generally, before the interview, I engage in some small talk and this together with body language and the handshake gives a good idea of somebody’s personality and a real idea of where and how they would fit into the team. What challenges, personally or professionally, do you think the next generation face? I think the next generation will have to embrace change at a more rapid pace, particularly as further technological advancements are made. Whilst there is a lot of uncertainty within the finance sector currently, I believe automation and AI will play a much bigger part in the role of accountants in the future. What do you do to unwind outside of work? I play hockey at the weekends as well as going to the gym to try and keep fit. Thanks for your time Martyn, and as a little treat for all of our readers…do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? I am a fan of Eurovision! ​ For more information on this article, contact Callum on 020 7269 6369 or Back to 60 Seconds archive >>


60 Seconds with: Michelle Deans, Tax Director at Gravity Media Group

As Tax Director of Gravity Media Group, Michelle Deans is responsible for the management of the tax function across the business. Michelle is an experienced Head of Tax who has worked across a number of industries as well as in public practice. She joined the Gravity Media Group in 2013 to establish the internal tax function. As an international tax specialist, Michelle has experience working in numerous tax jurisdictions. In your opinion has the role of the “in-house tax professional” changed much over the years and if so, what is the biggest change? The role of the "in house tax professional" has changed significantly over the years. In the early 2000s, a key responsibility of the tax team was to drive down the effective tax rate of a company using a number of widely available structures. In recent years the focus is more on compliance: ensuring a company is able to say with integrity that it complies with tax legislation globally and pays its fair share of tax where it should. You have both in-house and private practice experience, for you what has been the most challenging of all roles and why? Definitely in-house roles have been the most challenging and by far the most interesting for me. As an in house tax professional, you need to be able to intricately understand the business you work for in order to be able to advise on a variety of issues from the highly complex to the mundane. On top of that, you are responsible for ensuring your tax knowledge is up to date so that your advice is relevant. Gravity Media Group is extremely acquisitive how has this affected your role? The acquisitive nature of the business provides challenges but definitely keeps me on my toes! Our internal tax team has not expanded at the same rate as our business and we need to continuously find ways to streamline our processes whilst learning about a new division at the same time. Each acquisition has enabled us to expand our knowledge and has introduced us to some fantastic people. What is great about working for Gravity Media? There are many things, however, two that stand out are the people and the interesting nature of our work. I work within a strong and supportive leadership team and genuinely enjoy the company of my colleagues across the board. That is important to me. In addition, as we operate globally in the live entertainment and broadcast industry, you never know what you are going to be called upon to look at next: the tax implications of a major football tournament in a country we don't have a presence in, supporting the team on 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here..' or evaluating the tax implications of a potential acquisition. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone who would apply to be part of the team in years to come? We have three tax advisors for the group, including myself. We also rely on the support of our strong financial directors in each of our key jurisdictions. Advice for future team members? Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and dig into the detail to really understand the business - that's when you give the best advice. How would your team describe you? Commercially minded, expressive, supportive and thought-provoking. What advice would you give to your younger self? Don't sweat the small stuff, it will work out in the end. Focus on where you want to be in the long run and plan how you might achieve it. Deal with each issue as and when it arises. When you interview someone for your team or organisation what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? Body language. Good eye contact and a quietly confident manner speak volumes about a person's ability to deal with our commercial teams, which is an integral part of our role. What challenges, personally or professionally, do you think the next generation face? I think the next generation faces the challenge of overcoming the 'snowflake' stereotype, which certainly doesn't hold true in my experience. Also, we are seeing the increase of part-time and flexible working practices across the board, particularly with the younger generation. It will be fantastic to see this generation demonstrate that creating value doesn't necessarily require full-time presence in an office during standard hours and that there are more flexible ways to deliver value. Thanks for your time Michelle, and as a little treat for all of our readers…do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? My colleague suggested this must be my love of reading tax legislation in the middle of the night, but no, I have a (previously) well-hidden love of country music! For more information about this article, or to speak to Alison about your recruiting needs or Tax opportunities in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696312 or Back to 60 Seconds archive >>


Charity Times - 30/07/2019

POLICY New minister for civil society Baroness Diana Barran has been announced as the new Minister for Civil Society by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Barran founded the charity SafeLives in 2004 to help survivors of domestic violence and their families. She was CEO at the charity for 13 years before leaving in 2017. She has also worked at the charity sector think tank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) and been a trustee at charities including Henry Smith Charity, Comic Relief, and The Royal Foundation. Baroness Barran takes over from Mims Davies who has been appointed as parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions. Meanwhile, Nicky Morgan, the new Financial Secretary to the Treasury, will retain responsibility for charity taxation following last week's Cabinet reshuffle. The Treasury said that Morgan will still be responsible for “charities, the voluntary sector and gift aid”, in her new role. UKFundraising Civil Society RISK Charities report annual fraud losses of £8m Data released by Action Fraud indicate UK charities reported fraud losses of almost £8m last year. Accountancy firm RSM obtained the figures through a freedom of information request to the UK’s national reporting centre and found that charities filed 1,057 reports of fraud totalling £7.85m in the year to March 2019. The highest level of fraud losses was the result of employee fraud (£1.68m), followed by abuse of a position of trust (£1.63m), and mandate fraud (£1.23m). Nick Sladden, RSM's head of charities, said: "If staff receive the right training and if the correct controls are in place, there's no reason why these types of fraud attempts should be successful . . . While no-one wants to work within a culture of distrust, charities still need to be alert to the threat of insider fraud and ensure that proper checks and balances are in place to minimise the risk." He added: "While some larger charities may be able to absorb the losses from fraud, for smaller charities already struggling with cash-flow issues, a loss in the thousands can prove critical." Civil Society FUNDRAISING Increasing benefit from mass participation events Social causes are seeing growing benefit from mass participation events with the income accrued by ‘non-medical’ charities increasing, according to mass events agency Massive’s annual Top 25 ranking of the most successful charity-owned mass fundraising events for the year. The three fastest-growing events according to the ranking were Dryathlon with a 53% increase in income from 2017, Kiltwalk (46% increase) and Cupcake Day (25% increase). John Tasker of Massive said: "Over the last six years we’ve regularly seen new events successfully launch and deliver significant income in their first year and older campaigns refresh to reverse declines so it does feel like there is space for more innovation . . . Two of the fastest-growing events in the Top 25 were introduced less than two years ago and four out of five of events that are less than four years old grew in 2018 suggesting there is an opportunity and appetite out there for new mass participation events.” UKFundraising Animal charity launches rehoming text alerts Animal rescue charity Battersea is launching rehoming text alerts for donors who want to know whenever a dog or cat in the charity's care finds a new home. Each time the text is received the donor will automatically donate 25p to the charity via their phone bill. Jo Stone, Battersea's Public Fundraising Head, said "this service [is] a great mechanism for supporters to give to us in a new way, through their mobile phones . . . The great thing about this way of giving is that anyone can do it, as long as they have a mobile phone (smart or non-smart phone). When they sign up, we ask donors to can select their maximum weekly cap which they can change at any point, ensuring they are always in control of how much they donate.” Charity Digital News Digital wallet boosts NSPCC Charity Digital News looks at how digital wallet donations have led to an increase in giving for the NSPCC. An upgrade of the charity's fundraising operations with a focus on digital wallets was carried out in partnership with agency WPNC. The NSPCC and WPNC are urging other voluntary organisations to ensure they are making their digital giving process easy for donors. Louise Corden, lead digital producer for the NSPCC, says of digital donations: “When you are entering information for a direct debit you are entering your name and address and lots of extra fields, it can be off-putting . . . With PayPal, for example, you have those details already in your PayPal account. It already has your name. It already knows who you are, so in the background we can grab that information . . . For the potential donor, they feel more secure as they are not having to enter their bank details.” Charity Digital News Lady Hale in charity appeal for people who can’t fund lawyers Lady Hale, the President of the Supreme Court, has appealed to the public to donate to a charity supporting people involved in civil cases who cannot afford legal advice. Speaking on BBC Radio4 Appeal, Lady Hale asked for donations to the Personal Support Unit. "I know how intimidating the civil and family courts can be for people without legal knowledge or help," Lady Hale, who is patron of the charity, told listeners. “The problem is in private law cases, that is cases where the disputes are within the family, not between the family and the local authority, and by and large legal aid is no longer available for private law cases unless there's been an allegation and evidence of domestic violence,” she added. The Guardian Local charities can get up to £20k of funding Local charities and community groups are being urged to apply for funding of up to £20,000 from a £3m funding pot raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The funding is available through three different trusts, each supporting projects focussed on specific themes. Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Between the three trusts, there’s scope for a huge array of projects to benefit and I would urge all groups to look at the funding guides and apply.” More than 300 groups were awarded grants earlier this year. Charity Today PEOPLE A new chair at the Association of Chairs Danny Curtin is replacing Ruth Lesirge as chair of the Association of Chairs (AoC) in September. The AoC is a membership organisation supporting chairs and vice-chairs of charities and social enterprises in England and Wales. Curtin, who is already a trustee of the AoC and has founded and chaired a youth charity and been CEO of a second youth charity and a social enterprise, said: “The association has been massively important to me. Five years ago, still in my mid-thirties, I was a new chair and in joining the AoC I found the support and expertise I needed. I look forward to playing my part, as chair, in helping to contribute to the next phase of our growth.” Civil Society GOVERNANCE Regulator freezes bank accounts of fund for refugees The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a charitable fund for Rohingya refugees, which never registered as a charity, after concerns about how it was operating. The inquiry was launched in April 2018, after the Commission received information from a partner agency about their separate investigation into the fund’s two trustees Mohammed Hasnath and Ruksana Ali. The inquiry could not be announced until now due to the risk of prejudicing that investigation, which the Commission has been informed has now ended. The fund raised money between July 2017 and March 2018 for the prevention and relief of poverty of Rohingya refugees, via two online donation platforms and through social media. Civil Society LEGAL Liberty loses surveillance law challenge Liberty has lost its latest High Court challenge to surveillance laws. In its challenge to parts of the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) 2016, the civil rights group argued that government surveillance practices were incompatible with human rights law. The charity told the court that the ability to interfere with computers, mobile phones and other equipment amounted to the greatest invasion of individuals' privacy. The group said the ruling allowed the government "to spy on every one of us". The Guardian OTHER Charities warn about Scotland's future Scotland could face a “dystopian” future, charities warn, with a heroin crisis, social disorder and economic difficulty following a mass cyber-attack. The RSA and the Orwell Foundation, taking inspiration from Black Mirror, have released a collection of stories designed to raise public awareness about future problems in an increasingly tech-dominated world. Third Force News ​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>​​


July 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in July 2019: Darren Reeds has joined CVR Global as a Partner for the Insolvency and Restructuring firm. Darren joins from Deloitte where he spent over five years as Head of Financial Advisory Services for the Big Four firm’s insolvency and restructuring division in the British Virgin Islands. He specialises in fund recovery, and cross-border litigation and enforcement procedures and will be based at the London office. Nick Andrews has joined BDO as a Forensics Partner. Nick will be based in their London office after joining from Grant Thornton, where he was Partner in the forensic and investigation services department Simon Dingemans has been appointed Chair of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), and will lead its transition into a newly established regulator called the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Simon is the recently retired CFO of the FTSE 100 pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline. Specialist corporate finance firm Verde Corporate Finance has hired Mike Fenwick FCA as Associate Director to boost the senior management team. He has over 30 years’ experience and spent 28 years in practice including 21 years at PWC before being appointed finance director at Wild Water Group. MHA MacIntyre Hudson has appointed Robert Blech as a Director to join their professional practices sector team. He has 17 years’ experience in accountancy, 14 of those as a Director at Accura Accountants. He will specialise in accounting for the legal sector including SAR audits. 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 Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>



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