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

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Christmas Tax Facts and Trivia to Raise a Seasonal Smile

Are you a Tax Manager, Tax Director or tax professional? Do you think you know all there is to know about tax? Well, with Christmas around the corner and the festive party season underway, what could be more appropriate than Christmas tax trivia and facts? Who knows, it may even be a topic of conversation around your Christmas dinner table this year… Let the Trivia begin! Christmas shop: · The average home will splash out £809.97 at Christmas; on food and drink, travel, decorations and presents, with the latter accounting for 58.5% of the budget. · Tax accounts for more than half of the total cost of the average family’s Christmas alcohol shop, a study by the wine and spirits industry has found. While alcohol duties are typically higher per head in Finland, Ireland and Germany, British consumers pay more alcohol tax than the citizens of most other European Union member states. Decorations: · The cost of decorating your office is tax deductible as running costs of the office. Candle Taxes: · From 1709 to 1831 Great Britain had a candle tax and forbade people to make their own candles without a licence. This tax condemned generations to rushlights (candles made from dipping rushes in animal fat) or darkness, not just at Christmas but throughout the year. You could light both ends at once but rush lights burnt quickly - hence the term ‘burning the candle at both ends’. The unpopular tax helped to ensure that the means of candle production was controlled. Snowballs: · A VAT tribunal found that a Snowball (the marshmallow variety you eat) is, in fact, a cake, so just like Jaffa cakes, Snowballs are zero-rated for VAT. The Christmas day service: · 13% of families in the UK always attend church on Christmas Day, a number of countries in Europe have a church tax including Austria, Iceland and Germany Christmas turkeys: · 10 million – The number of Turkeys cooked in the UK every Christmas. It is often traditional for some employers to provide their employees with a small gift of a Christmas turkey, a bottle of wine or box of chocolates. The tax rules are that if employees earn at the rate of £8,500 per annum their benefits must, therefore, be declared on form P11D and they are taxed at the cost to their employer. Christmas Day tax filing: · While millions of people are exchanging presents, feasting on turkey, and nodding off in front of the television, 1,600 people are expected to take time out from the yuletide festivities and do their tax return online. Hopefully, this stockingful of tax facts and trivia have been of interest and that you enjoy the festive season to come! For more information about this article, or to speak to Christina about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696357 or christina.ayling@pro-tax.co.uk

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Falling into my career as a Finance Recruitment Consultant

In 2016, I was working in a bank; bored, unmotivated and unsure of where I was going with my life. I decided finding a role in the city would be the best thing for me and I was interviewing with several other financial institutes when I was invited to an assessment day at Pro-Group where I must have applied for by mistake! This was an assessment to join the Associate Consultant program here at Pro-Finance. I had no intention of finding a sales focused role and thought I would be terrible at it! After succeeding in my application, I fell in love with the company and industry and smashed it out of the park. Fast-forward to today, I am now Managing Consultant here at Pro-Finance, after achieving four promotions, and still progressing in my role. I broke the company record of quickest promotion from Associate Consultant to where I am now, and this was all due to the support provided and determination to succeed. Last year ended with me in the top 3 out of our 60 consultants last year. I was nominated as best newcomer of the year in the coveted Institute of Recruitment Professional awards and celebrated all of this success by earning a place at Pro-Group's annual spring break ski trip in what's been voted the worlds best ski chalet in Les Gets. Naturally, I've earned far more than I could have imagined and have loved the incredible journey I accidentally fell on to. If you are hungry to make something of yourself, with some self-motivation and a good work ethic, you can succeed in this incredible role and do far more than you can probably imagine. Not to mention, this 360-degree position will train you in marketing, sales, branding, pitching, presenting, advertising, negotiating and many more skills to mention. All of which are needed to succeed in almost every profession, a best-selling author is just an author without the sales support behind it. If the above makes sense to you please contact Loren von Sternberg to discuss your move into recruitment at loren@pro-recruitment.co.uk or call 020 7269 6358

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Ben Hooper, Head of Outsourcing at ABG

Ben Hooper, Head of Outsourcing and Financial Accounting at Arram Berlyn Gardner has gained extensive experience in the UK providing professional services to a wide range of clients. Ben spent 4 years working in the Cayman Islands with a Big 4 firm with a particular focus on the Captive Insurance industry. He now specialises in supporting UK and international businesses with their internal accounting and finance matters. What three traits define you? I take pride in being reliable – inside and outside of work. I’m collaborative; I like working in a team and don’t believe its good to try and do everything yourself. Most of the time I think I’m patient – but maybe just not when I’m driving! What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? I had a weekend job in a garden centre when I was a teenager; watering plants, sweeping up and helping people carry bags to their car. Not exactly a springboard to a career in accountancy but it was fun. How do you define success? I think it's important that you can take pride in your work and enjoy it at the same time. If you can go home at the end of the day saying those two things you are doing pretty well. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? I would love to have gone to chef school – so maybe I’d have my own restaurant. Nothing too fancy though! What is your personal philosophy? Never think you know it all. Always be open to learning or experiencing something new. How do you start your day? Always with a coffee. I really enjoy my 20-minute walk to the office from the station in the mornings too. What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? It’s a very friendly firm and, while we all work hard, there is a more relaxed atmosphere than many places I’ve worked before. There are lots of opportunities to get together socially which helps maintain that. What are the secrets to good leadership? For me, it's about creating space for your team to get outside of their comfort zone while always feeling the support is there. You are only as strong as the people around you so it's crucial to keep them developing. What makes your company unique? I know its a cliché but it’s the people. Right now we have some very talented staff coming through the ranks and it will be exciting to see how we’ll develop as a firm over the next five years. Who do you most admire in your industry? Right now I am hugely impressed with the pace of change in cloud accounting and the software companies that are driving this development. They have completely changed the game. It’s a fantastic time to be in Outsourced Accounting as there are constantly new ways emerging to differentiate yourself as a provider and improve both service quality and efficiency. For more information about this article, or to speak to George about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696318 or george.tatnell@pro-finance.co.uk

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Create a culture where everyone has equal opportunities

There has been a growing recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace over the years. This year it has been very refreshing to learn how firms are promoting a positive integration between work and life, to create an environment that influences career development and that empowers everyone. Furthermore, promoting an environment regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, religion or sexual orientation, encourages individuals to feel valued for being the person that they are. Take some time to read some examples of how the Big 4, Mid-tier firms promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace: Big 4 PWC EY Deloitte KPMG Mid-Tier Grant Thornton BDO RSM Encouraging diversity at Pro-Recruitment Group: Here at Pro-Group, recruitment consultants are trained on diversity and inclusion and for each individual piece of recruitment we do, we will ensure that we present a diverse pool of candidates to our clients that match the brief. We have strict guidelines on equal opportunities and diversity and pride ourselves on ensuring our attraction methods reach as diverse a pool of talent as possible in-line with our client’s own policy. Some examples of this include: - GDPR compliant recruitment website & CRM system. - Drafting advertisements in a way that encourages applications from all suitable backgrounds. - Support for the unemployed – offering interview training and coaching free of charge for those in long-term unemployment. We also provide business attire and dry cleaning in preparation of interview as well as working with a firm who work exclusively with ex-service personnel looking for employment. - Engagement with colleges, universities and schools. An example of this is when Tom Eagle, Associate Director, recently presented to students at LSBU about a career in tax and finance and provided key interview tips and guidance. - Engagement with groups such as LGBTQ, disability, communities and BEME groups. This is an ongoing progress and championed by our own diversity and LGBTQ champion here at Pro – Matt Davidson – Principal consultant in our Not-for-profit team. - Women in Tax – Alison Keogh, Director, is part of a network for women in the profession to raise the voice of women. We have also chaired an event with Sue Kukadia (Global Immigration Specialist) on diversity and inclusion and an event with BDO challenging views on disabilities and those facing long-term unemployment. - Our Not-for-profit and charities team have key relationships with many charities that exist to serve the disadvantaged and a wide section of the community and society. We regularly engage with our contacts in these organisations when searching for talent both for specific pieces and on an ongoing basis. - Our CRM system has over 90,000 candidates on it from a wide range of industries and backgrounds. Example of our own Findings Below is our analysis of that last six months placements around D&I and gender: - Out of the placements we have made this year in tax across both in-house and consulting, 65% of them have been male. - Out of 22 placements that we have made in-house 12 male and 10 female. - Out of 111 placements that we have made in consulting 64 male and 47 female. - Out of the 22 placements that we made in-house, from consulting firms only 3 were female and 5 were male. - Out of the other 14 people that we placed in-house they were all from in-house tax teams 7 were male and 7 were female. - In terms of advertising, 53 of the 111 were from advertising the rest were from pro-active approaches on our database and LinkedIn. - Out of the 53, 24 of them were female and the rest male but its about 50/50 from in-house and consulting. - Diversity and inclusion have a big influence towards my role and the relationships that I have with my network, to ensure that I can deliver the needs of both my candidates and clients that I am working with. For more information about this article, or to speak to Christina about opportunities that promote diversity and inclusion, contact her on 02072696357 or christina.ayling@pro-tax.co.uk

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5 Things You Must Know Before You Take The Job

Are you a Tax Manager looking to move jobs within the new year? Taking a new Tax job, whether it be a Tax Senior Manager to a Tax Director, can be exciting but also an overwhelming experience. Besides using a Tax recruiter to ease you through the process, there are a number of things you should think about before committing to a role. In this short article, I'll give you my top five considerations when deciding on whether to accept a job offer or not. Why do they do what they do? Whether it’s a Big 4 firm, a commerce or industry business, a Top 10 or a boutique firm, it is important to understand exactly why they do what they do. The passion behind the senior stakeholders in the business will directly affect how they work and how they work with you, as well as how the entire business operates. It is also important to join a business that has beliefs aligned to your own. If your work ethic is different to the company you join, you may find it difficult to adjust. Culture and Office Environment There is nothing worse than going through the entire interview process, meeting colleagues and feeling assured that this was the right place for you, to then find on your first day a culture you are just not happy with. Always ask in your interviews what the culture is like. Do they have nights out with the team? Do they have regular sporting activities? How do the team deal with another member being sick? What are the company values? These questions and the responses will allow you to evaluate the company’s culture. The discussion about the office values will also help clarify the position’s work-life balance and will allow you to fully understand how the team support each other. Workload Would you want to go into a job thinking you will have a few small projects to start with, only to find out that there is a huge job that you will be working solely on for months? It is important to know what your workload will be before you join so that you can prepare yourself and efficiently manage your time. Are you ready to take on the challenge of restructuring a tax team, or would you rather join a firm that is more established for you to develop in your own role? Current Events You should research the current events before going for an interview. It is even more important that you know exactly what is going on within the team you are joining so that you can hit the ground running. Every industry has sources to keep you abreast of the news in both your sector and your company depending on which organisation you are looking to join. The past & the future How long has the company been around? What were the major events that lead the company to be the way that it is now? What are their successes and failures? The way a company and senior stakeholder team learn from mistakes will tell you everything you need to know about how they will manage you and your team. A senior leadership team that takes the time to train and develop a team who have mistakes may suggest a better attitude towards their people, whereas a leadership team that let go a team that makes mistakes may allude to their priority for excellence only. As for the future, while all companies will be focused on growth, it is how they plan to grow that can tell you a lot about the business and how that business will run with you. After taking the time to assess the above points and talking them through with a tax recruiter, you should not only have a better understanding of the company but also a better idea of exactly what you want to get out of this new opportunity. To speak to Kevin about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696321 or kevin.racher@pro-tax.co.uk

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Outsourcing in Practice – Bridging the GAAP

If you have been keeping an eye on the market, you have probably seen the ever-growing outsourcing divisions developing across the Top 100. From a recruiter’s perspective, I have seen individuals from an accounting and business development background setting up outsourcing divisions and then looking to grow at a rapid rate. Why are accountancy practices increasingly looking to outsourcing departments? Well, it is down to the fact that organisations benefit a great deal from the use of outsourcing departments, it makes them far more efficient, supports business decisions, reduces costs and ultimately, allows them to become far more competitive. A Broader Market An outsourcing department will typically house a range of functions for their clients to utilise and can include everything from company secretarial to compliance and business advisory services to payroll. Thanks to the broad spectrum of services covered, outsourcing divisions are producing exceptional, well-rounded candidates, even in the larger, more niche organisations. Exposure to Clients Outsourcing divisions seem to be renowned for providing exposure to client management much quicker, with everyone spread across so many functions and with the extensive client interaction required. In summary, you will become well-rounded, you will better your interpersonal skills, you will learn to manage portfolios and you will be able to advise business to a much greater extent. Bridging the Gap to Industry I have heard many a story of an Outsourcing Senior or an Outsourcing Manager moving to an internal role with one of their clients – this often stems from an ‘Interim FC’ secondment offered to them or simply a great relationship built over years of service. Many of our clients in practice are aware this can happen, and that outsourcing helps candidates bridge the gap to industry, however, many divisions are now shaped to be fluid and adapt to his natural progression. Outsourcing bridges the gap to industry but not only this, as outsourcing covers the wider spectrum of services and small firms are known for creating great generalists, the big firms are looking for people with small or Mid-tier experience. It’s a huge game changer in the world of accountancy! The response to outsourcing by accountancy firms and the way the market has swung towards this service line shows what huge potential lies in this area of practice. It is a fantastic demonstration of the accountancy world taking a modern outlook in what is considered a stereotypically traditional world. Given the growth of some of the divisions we have been working with, many are already planning on succession, giving managers goals to become Partners and Seniors goals to become Managers. You may find you join a Mid-tier practice with the aims of going into industry or a Big 4 firm but then find you progress rapidly, love the environment and decide to stay put for the long run! The important thing is that you open doors in all directions. So, if you are working as an Accountant and want to fast-track your progression, open doors in all avenues and probably earn more doing so – I recommend checking out a few Outsourcing teams. For more information about this article, or to speak to George about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696318 or george.tatnell@pro-finance.co.uk

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Sue Lucas, Partner at Moore Stephens

Described by clients as the ultimate professional, Sue Lucas has advised a large portfolio of large and small companies, developing areas of expertise including the construction sector and corporate structuring. What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to make Partner? To identify new business opportunities, know your own strengths and weaknesses and work on them, continually develop technical ability, and understand how to manage change and people. Most importantly ensure your contribution to the whole firm is positive and profitable. What do Moore Stephens do well? Offer consistent and effective high-quality solutions to both our clients and our team whilst staying true to our values. What is your biggest bugbear about CVs? None really. Everyone communicates differently, however good structure, clear detailed explanations and of course an ability to spell is always desirable! How would your team describe you? Passionate, driven and approachable. If not in tax, what would the dream be? I have a mixed client base who always require tax solutions, the variety keeps me engaged and interested so I have no desire to change other than perhaps running an OMB. Biggest superstition/fear? Nothing really frightens me other than the terrible horror movies my teenage sons' watch! What is your morning routine before work? Walking through the woods to the river with my 10 year old black Labrador. Skiing or beach? Both, the more holidays I take the more effective I become. Who is your hero? Derek Corke, he is the partner that mentored and promoted me 25 years ago, a wise and empathetic individual who empowered myself and some of my current partners to think about an accountancy practice in a different way! What is your life hack/top tip? Be happy, family first, know who you are and stay true to your personal beliefs. For more information about this article, or to speak to Ashleigh about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696324 or ashleigh@pro-tax.co.uk

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All I Want for Christmas Is a HR Interim Role

Are you a Senior HR professional looking to secure a HR Interim role in the New Year? Why Wait? In the current market, we are increasingly seeing Senior HR Professionals move into the world of interim, new approaches to work-life balance, exploring personal interests, engaging in new challenges and a simple way of experiencing different industries are some of the many reasons. In this short article, I'll look at why it's a good idea to start looking for a HR Interim role before the new year really kicks off and what benefits an interim role can offer. Why Interim HR? Interims are viewed as being specialists in their chosen areas and can come in with a fresh outlook on projects and challenges making them invaluable to organisations. The benefits of working as an interim/senior temp in within HR are numerous, as mentioned above, work-life balance is high on the list along with having the opportunity to select the most interesting projects or the ones that you feel will give you that additional edge going forward. High-level HR interims tend to feel a greater sense of job satisfaction to permanent fixtures as they have more ability to control their working life and have an end goal which suits results-oriented project focused HR managers. Why Apply for HR Interim Roles Now? We are fast approaching the end of 2018 and it can be tempting to think ‘I’ll look in the new year’, this mindset could cause you to miss out on fantastic opportunities to join a new organisation, take on an interesting new project and hit the ground running in the new year, as opposed to joining the many other immediately available, qualified professionals in the race for the right new role in January. Historically January is a quiet time on the recruitment front, people returning from the festive break, settling back into their roles and picking back up on previous personnel requirements meaning the process can essentially start from scratch, if you are already in there, this won’t happen! Now, let’s talk Christmas, it costs a lot of money! There are the parties, the presents, the drinks, the lunches and the travel to organise. Securing yourself a great new interim HR role before the Christmas break means more Christmas spending money, less stress looking for work in the new year and something to look forward to! Interim HR professionals tend to work on the more niche, interesting and challenging roles and with this, comes a higher financial reward. Pro-HR works tirelessly over the holiday period ensuring our clients are fully stocked and ready to hit all their new year goals straight off the bat. Currently working on some great roles and with some amazing Senior Interims. Now would be a great time to get in touch, whether you are looking to explore the interim HR world, looking for your next interim HR role or just want an informal chat about the HR market and possibilities. For more information about this article, or to speak to Stacey about your recruiting needs or interim HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696334 or stacey.kerrigan@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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How You Can Make the Most of December in HR

Christmas is always a tough time for professionals working in HR, especially HR Directors. As a HR recruiter, I’m always torn as to whether I’m looking forward to Christmas or not, from a work perspective at least. Whilst I must note that I absolutely love Christmas, it can have a negative effect on the workforce or those on the market. So with so much going on in December how do you keep motivated and keep productivity up at work in December? In this quick 2 minute read I'll look to give you the best ways to combat December head on, keep the best talent coming in right up until Christmas and ultimately start the New Year off in the right way. Christmas is a great time to plan for the year ahead and finish off any existing projects but for some businesses, Christmas can prove to be challenging. So what are the most common issues facing HR in companies during this festive period? Well, I've listed the top four positives and negatives that keep coming up when I speak with HR professionals: Pros Cons Secret Santa Recruitment delays which can lead to a negative experience for new candidates Drinking on a school night isn’t frowned upon Availability to meet/interview with senior staff/ key stakeholders is near impossible An endless supply of food on desks Sickness Great morale An influx of annual leave 1. Recruitment delays All the above in the “Cons” section are a recurring issue that several businesses face during the Christmas period, but for those who can combat the above have an excellent chance of starting the New Year on the front foot. But how do you combat these issues? Whilst I’d be keen to hear how HR directors and HR managers combat Sickness and the flurry of annual leave, I have listed my thoughts below on the other areas: Be clear on how desperate you are to get this person/s in; Is it business critical? What impact will it have if you push the recruitment into January? Do you or your team have the time and capacity to recruit this person? Do you have the budget to recruit and what is the difference in costs between recruiting direct or via an agency? 2. Availability Relating to interviews, is it possible to block out time in someone’s diary in advance so that you have pre-agreed interview slots? The further ahead of time where you can book such meetings the greater chance that candidates can make arrangements. Remember it's important to consider what impact a delayed or cancelled meeting may have on your brand or chances of securing the best talent? 3. Motivating staff It's imperative to keep staff motivated throughout December in the lead up to Christmas. With shopping, partying and socialising all ramping up towards holidays employees can sometimes check out both entally and physically. The best way to combat this is to try to create a fun environment. Having spoken with a number of HR Directors some of the best suggestions that I've encountered are: Team competitions Decorations Be a bit flexible when it comes to working hours – If people need to leave earlier or start slightly later, this can have a very good effect on morale. Gee up the troops! Set short term and long term targets and highlight wins, no matter how big or small 4. Plan your year While the new year may seem like a hazy dot on the horizon it'll come round a lot quicker than you think. Have a plan and get working on it so that when January comes around you aren't blindsided by a hundred different things and lose focus on the bigger picture. Discuss plans for next year and in particular what your staff's personal goals are. If you can visualise the end goal or measure the success, how are you going to get these? What do you want to achieve next year? What do you want to change in your life? How are you going to measure success? What do you need to do for the remainder of the year to start on the front foot for next year? While it can be easy to let December slip away and get swept up in all the jollities of the season, being organised and planning ahead can really minimise the impact that Christmas has on your business. If you manage to really nail your HR functions in December ahead of the January rush then you'll hit the ground running in January. For more information about this article, or to speak to Richard about your recruiting needs or HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696353 or richard.grove@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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The Big 4: Are the Auditors Ready to Be Audited?

With 97% of the UKs FTSE 350 companies currently being audited by just 4 accountancy practices, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has called for an inquest into the audit market. Recent high-profile failures such as the collapse of BHS and Carillion have only added to the growing concern that the audit market is broken and in need of reform. But how can the Big 4 put their best feet forward and show that they are doing everything they can to improve their auditing processes? In this 2 minute read I'll look at the feedback given by the Big 4 to growing criticism amid their auditing process and whether or not they're doing enough to answer their critics. The so-called “Big 4” Accountancy practices PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY have all issued statements highlighting where they feel there is room for improvement. "the audit function needs to change to improve audit quality" EY issued a public response stating: “In order to ensure capital markets are trusted and what companies report to the public is trusted, the audit function needs to change to improve audit quality and the audit itself needs to be modernised to meet public expectations. It is vital that this should be accompanied by further reforms to ensure healthy regulation fostering greater accountability of auditors and management, new corporate reporting rules, an enhanced audit product, stronger regulation and reinforced public interest. Reforms to audit alone will not restore public trust, sustained confidence or prevent corporate failures.” PWC focused their response around three key areas; quality independence and choice. These issues are “interconnected and will require a holistic package of measures to address them effectively particularly in the context of the wider global market. We also believe that the sequencing of those measures will be important in ensuring that the right solutions are put in place to support the audit of the future.” Bill Michael Chairman and Senior Partner of KPMG LLP commented; The purpose of audit needs to evolve and quality needs to be enhanced to meet the challenges of evolving markets and needs of stakeholders; potential conflicts need to be demonstrably managed more clearly and effectively; and the market needs to be accessible and attractive to firms capable of delivering high-quality audits. "there is no one simple or quick solution that addresses all of the CMA’s concerns" Deloitte has acknowledged; “We are clear that there is no one simple or quick solution that addresses all of the CMA’s concerns. A small number of solutions that have been discussed, such as breaking up the largest four firms, would not solve the question of choice and will undoubtedly impair audit quality. Consequently, a constructive, aligned and complementary set of remedies is required.” It seems for once that the Big 4 are all in agreement! There does need to be wholesale and industrywide changes to address the public concern and restore consumer confidence. These changes must be implemented cohesively and with the support of the mid-tier firms who will undoubtedly benefit from the increase in competition that will be offered. The future of audit is changing, to what we do not yet know. The market study is expected to be completed in 2019 and I for one will be interested to see their findings as to whether the market is working as it should be. 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 callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Peta Newlin, Interim Head of Human Resources

Peta Newlin is an accomplished and qualified Head of HR professional with extensive managerial experience, working as part of the Senior Leadership team across the whole spectrum of HR, L&D, OD and contract management. She has worked in private and public sector in strategy development, recruitment, payroll, employee engagement, process redesign, cultural change, policy review and design, OD, systems, data analytics, ER, benefits. What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to become a senior leader in HR? Three things; 1. Don’t underestimate your ability; keep believing. 2. Learn from your mistakes. No one ever improved without making a few mistakes along the way. 3. Don’t be afraid to ask your team if they can they offer solutions to issues; they’ll be only too pleased to help! What is your greatest career achievement? Taking on a role in an area which I had little strategic expertise in. I worked hard and within eighteen months with the help of the most fantastic team, I had rolled out employee self service on a HR/Payroll system to 5000 staff at multi sites, obtained IiP status where it had previously not been achieved, procured and rolled out a Management Development Programme, designed and launched a start up apprenticeship programme & launched e-learning to all staff. All of which linked to our People Strategy. Who is the best manager you’ve worked for and why? Anne-Marie Scott; she encouraged me, steered away from micro managing me, was approachable and very knowledgable. She believed in my ability and encouraged me to do the same. I still go to her for advice now. How would your team describe you? Ooh, I think you’d have to ask them that! My last sizeable team provided me with great feedback, stating that was I was clear about our objectives, incredibly fair, kind and supportive. They were fabulous too. I knew I could trust and rely upon them to deliver. If not in HR, what would the dream be? Organising big events like weddings, balls and charity do’s. I love all of the detail of planning, buying beautiful things and making people feel special. Biggest superstition/fear? Not walking under ladders! What is your morning routine before work? Builders tea (X2), shower, check the weather before I get dressed and some meditation if I have time. Finally, kiss my husband goodbye. Favourite holiday destination and why? Cyprus, it’s my little bolt hole in the sun. Lovely long walks on the beach, relaxing, shopping & reading all the books that I haven’t had chance to read all year. If you were able to invite four people to dinner (alive or passed), who would you invite, and why? My Dad who passed away way too early, Dr Mark Kilgallon who has coached me and is so inspiring, Alan Sugar, who would make my ideal boss and Micky Flanagan for the crack. What is your life hack/top tip? Don’t put off today what you you can do tomorrow. For more information about this article, or to speak to Richard about your recruiting needs or HR jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696353 or richard.grove@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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5 Signs That One of your Team is Considering a Move

Every manager dreads that conversation with a valued team member, often pre-empted by the email that reads ‘can I have a word?’ We have done a lot of research at Pro-Legal to help our clients retain their best people and being able to spot the tell-tale signs of dissatisfaction so that you can proactively manage the situation. I am not going to be so facile as to list: short notice leave requests, dubious “Doctor’s appointments” (people rarely book a Doctor’s appointment for the middle of the afternoon, by the way) or furtive whispered conversations on their mobile in a meeting room with the lights off or in the stairwell. These are all signs that someone is at final interview stages and in most instances, that’s too late. As an aside, if you are on an interview, never take or make calls in a stairwell, impaired lines of sight and how far sound travels in a stairwell are the perfect ingredients for being overheard by someone you don’t want to overhear you! But I digress… For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on those very initial stages when people are considering a move. How can you spot a festering dissatisfaction at an early enough stage? Not wanting to talk about their career aspirations If a team member is evasive or non-committal when asked about their career aspirations, they are starting to feel that you might not be a part of their career aspirations. Lawyers are ambitious virtually without exception. This is not to say that they all want partnership or to be a GC but they all want continuous development. Bland appraisals and one-to-ones I am always amazed by the number of times I hear something along the lines of, “The resignation came out of the blue, we had his/her appraisal about a month ago and he/she said he/she was everything was fine…” I have never known EVERYTHING to be fine! If we as managers are honest with ourselves, we often suspect that we are being fobbed off but we are scared of pushing the point and hearing something that makes us uncomfortable. No manager has a monopoly on reason or good ideas and consistently asking your team members what they would change about the current set up will open up the possibility of them suggesting improvements that could really make a difference and give you the edge. It also enhances communication and their feeling of enfranchisement. It will also give you an early warning of them losing their commitment to your cause. They are ambivalent to change Lawyers are, generally speaking, a risk-averse bunch. They will meet any change, such as those to working practices, strategy, policies, reward structures or hierarchical structures, with scrutiny. That scrutiny will result in them concluding that it is a good or bad thing for them and reacting accordingly. If the reaction is ambivalence they are not considering the change to be something that will affect them for very long. They have booked a holiday for a few months’ time but not booked the time off The situation here is quite advanced; they (possibly subconsciously) have an exit timeframe in mind. You have no choice but to confront them about this but do it in a way that will precipitate a meaningful, productive conversation. “You’re an important member of this team and experience tells me that when someone books a holiday without booking annual leave, they’re checking out…” They have had the same job function for over 18 months and there is no sign of it changing in the next 6 months 64% of lawyers we surveyed said they would consider a move but that number rises to a whopping 86% when just surveying those who have been in their current role for over 18 months. If we exclude the lawyers who are currently in practice and want to move in-house, the most common reasons for leaving are to get more seniority, responsibility or complexity. In short, if an individual isn’t progressing internally roughly every two years, they start to think about looking externally. It is all well and good to be able to spot these signs but dealing with them is another matter. It is important to remember that a) you may not be able to change their mind and b) the sacrifices you might have to make to change their mind may not be worth it from a commercial or personal perspective. It is also worth remembering that prevention is better than cure and that there is no panacea for the broad spectrum of staff disquiet. Moreover, nothing will eradicate staff turnover entirely but being able to spot these things will help you prevent departures in some instances and be it will prepare you for departures and enable to plan accordingly in other instances. For more information about this article, or to speak to Nick about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696328 or nick.allen@pro-legal.co.uk

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