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Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in March 2020: EY have announced the appointment of Hywel Ball as EY UK & Ireland Regional Managing Partner and UK Chair, effective 1st July 2020. Ball will be responsible for leading the business in the UK and Ireland, succeeding Steve Varley, who has been appointed as the first EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability. Financemoves.co.uk Thomas Westcott has appointed Ian Pring as Partner based in the firm’s Plymouth office. Pring has joined following a 30-year career at PKF Francis Clark, where he was Director of the firm’s Property and Wealth teams. Accountancydaily.co UHY Hacker Young have appointed Tracey Moore as Head of Charities and Not-for-Profit. She takes over from Subarna Banerjee who has headed the group for the last five years. Moore joined UHY Hacker Young in 2019 from BDO and has over 20 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector. Financemoves.co.uk Hugo Parson has joined Deloitte as a Partner to lead its Origination team for Private Equity. Parson was previously Global Head of Origination for Private Equity at EY, where he worked for over seven years. Prior to this Parson worked at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan. Accountancydaily.co Dominic Treays has been appointed as Commercial Director (Global Business Services – Tax & Accounting) at TMF Group. He joins from Cragus Group in Dubai where he was Managing Director and spent 12 years. Financemoves.co.uk For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or email@example.com. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>
COVID-19 has undoubtedly influenced the economy with much of the UK working from home and jobs, as we know them, rapidly adapting to this change. However, regional accountancy practices have been using methods of agile and flexible working for years, with lots of opportunity to work from home. Whilst working entirely remotely is somewhat in untested territory, accountancy practices have adapted swiftly and efficiently enabling the transition to be as smooth as possible. Agile working in Regional Accountancy Practices With most of the country currently working from home, agile working has been thrust into the forefront of employment. Employers and employees alike are still adjusting to the transition, with methods of communication, adapting to the virtual space, and self-discipline being key. Regional firms have long been offering flexible working policies with most already offering the opportunity to work from home – even across audit. This makes them well-suited to people with other commitments, such as return to work parents who need to accommodate for term times and the school run. Much of my client portfolio across Berkshire and Surrey offer flexible working arrangements, with perhaps 3 or 4 days in the office alongside working from home and remote working. Whilst the current situation surrounding lockdown and social distancing is not the norm, accountancy practices across the UK have shown “resilience, flexibility and above all the need to protect their staff while delivering the necessary services to ensure their clients survive” (Accountancy Daily, 23 Mar 2020). Recruitment Continues I work closely with accountancy practices across Surrey and Berkshire, many of which have had agile working policies in place for years, and for many of these firms, recruitment has not been put on hold. Currently, I am closely working with Top 15, Mid-Tier and smaller accountancy practices on urgent roles across accounts and audit. Some of the roles I am currently recruiting for: Audit and Accounts Manager – Slough Audit Team Leader – Leatherhead Outsourcing Senior Manager – Reading Accounts Assistant Manager/ Manager – Reading Audit Senior – Oxford Whilst times may seem uncertain, accountancy practices continue to recruit and stand strong in the face of isolation and social distancing. Now is the perfect time to update your CV and get a head start within the market. If you have decided that you would like a stronger work-life balance, whether this be by cutting down your commute, working from home or having flexible working hours, working regionally would be the ideal choice. If you would be interested in a confidential chat surrounding the opportunities Pro-Finance are currently recruiting for, please do get in contact with Jordanne Napier on 0207 269 6353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Baker is an Audit Partner at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm, Crowe. Richard joined the firm as a Trainee at the Walsall office in 1997, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2001. Richard is now a Partner based in the Thames Valley office, managing a portfolio of clients including SMEs, international businesses and listed companies across a variety of sectors and on local, national and international levels. Richard speaks with Jordanne Napier, Consultant at Pro-Finance, about working at Crowe UK, the first thing he notices in an interview, and offers advice for people looking to progress their career in audit. Tell us about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Crowe. I found that I enjoyed accounting at sixth-form college and, after accepting that I wouldn’t become a pilot or astronaut, I joined a small firm in the West Midlands as a Trainee Auditor. I studied for the AAT qualification and learnt how to prepare accounts from records of varying quality. I then joined Crowe’s Walsall office (now in Oldbury), which was experiencing significant growth. 22 years or so later, I find myself based in Reading at Crowe’s Thames Valley office, at which I head up the Audit team. How do Crowe differentiate themselves in the market? At Crowe, we pride ourselves on helping our clients make smart decisions that create lasting value. We do this by offering clients a range of tailored services which are delivered by our multi-disciplinary teams. Our deep sector knowledge and experience means we ensure clients are provided with the right expertise to meet their needs. Close working relationships really are at the heart of our effective service deliveries. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? We have a substantial team made up of talented individuals who possess an extensive range of experience, knowledge and expertise. This enables us to provide clients with a wide service offering and the right person for the job. In a candidate, we look for someone who is willing to learn and work collaboratively with colleagues as part of a team. They must always be prepared to do the right thing. How would your team describe you? You should probably ask them! I would probably say helpful and conscientious. What advice would you give to your younger self? I would say to relax more and take time to recharge. When you interview someone for your organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? Their greeting - is it warm, friendly and professional? That tells me the first impression they will give to our clients. What challenges, personally or professionally, do you think the next generation of finance professionals face? Adapting to rapid technological developments. Change has been significant over my career, making remote working possible, but I feel we are on the cusp of something even more significant. How do you think the role of Director/Partner has changed over the years? Some of my clients think I spend a lot of time on the golf course – if they saw me play I doubt they would continue to think that! I think the role has become more technical over time, with increased regulation, but the fundamentals are still there – you need to be able to build internal and external relationships. Clear communication is also more important than ever. Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career? Focus on where you want to get to, but be patient at the same time - you will probably be working for 50 years! Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? I have a really variable taste in music, which some may find surprising! I listen to virtually anything, from classical to rap. For more information on this article, please contact Jordanne Napier on 020 7269 6353 or email@example.com.
Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in February 2020: James Cowper Kreston is shaking up its management structure with a joint managing partnership model. Alex Peal and Sue Staunton have been elected as joint Managing Partners with effect from 1 May 2020, replacing Robert Holland who is stepping down after six years. This marks a significant shift from the traditional approach to running an accountancy firm, using a hybrid management model to grow the partnership Accountancydaily.co KPMG has completed the sale of its former pensions advisory practice, marking one of the first major steps by a Big Four firm to separate out non-audit work. KPMG UK’s current Pensions Partners have been backed by private equity firm Exponent, which is believed to have paid some £200m. Accountancydaily.co Wilkins Kennedy has appointed Paul Barwick as a Forensic Accounting Partner. Barwick, who has more than 13 years’ experience in forensic accounting, joins from Mazars where he spent seven years, and earlier in his career spent six years with Charles River Associates. Financemoves.co.uk Quantuma Restructuring has appointed Nick Parsk as an Appointmenttaking Director in the Thames Valley region. Parsk joins Quantuma from Wilkins Kennedy, where he spent 18 months as a Director, specialising in corporate insolvency and restructuring across the South of England. Financemoves.co.uk Tracey Moore joins UHY Hacker Young as Head of Charities and Not-for-Profit. Moore previously worked at BDO as Director for Charities and Not-for-Profit. Accountancydaily.co For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>
The finance and accountancy sectors are typically associated with a certain stereotype, and the gender pay gap has received bad press in recent years. However, accountancy firms are making inroads to improve gender equality within finance, and we have seen changes to working patterns and expectations of those in senior positions within the sector. Women are being encouraged to progress to Partnership and Directorship level within finance practices and although there are still improvements to be made, it is clear that as a sector we are moving in the right direction. By law, companies, charities and organisations in the public sector of 250 employees or more are required to publish their gender pay gap figures. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has said that enforcing companies to report their pay gaps is not enough to eliminate pay disparities - they have argued that employers also need to publish their action plans with specific deadlines and targets alongside the data. Historically the corporate world has been dominated by a certain stereotype, which has received a high level of bad press in recent years. The BBC were the first broadcaster to publish their gender pay gap in 2017 which showed a median gap of 9.3% and by 2019, they had reduced this gap to 6.7%. Due to the bad press surrounding the subject, companies are improving their diversity and inclusion offering and are working towards becoming more responsible about gender equality. The HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter has been signed by more than 350 firms employing over 880,000 people, covering banks, insurance companies, investment firms and accountancy practices, as well as the ICAEW. Signatories commit to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the finance sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and mid-tier level, and publicly reporting their progress in meeting those targets. The ICAEW, for example, has committed to having 40% women in senior management by March 2020, and two of the Big 4 have achieved gender parity with 50% women on the UK boards of EY and KPMG. With businesses under the spotlight, there has undoubtedly been an emphasis in recent years on encouraging women to progress into senior positions within the finance and accountancy sector, with many practices providing leadership training and coaching for individual development. In the audit and accounting sectors, just because you make Partner level this no longer means that a healthy work-life balance is unrealistic. The focus is on the quality of work and you are not expected to be in all hours of the day, and we are increasingly seeing accountancy practices offering working from home and flexible working policies to fit around school hours and term time. With this, the expectations of being a Partner in practice are gradually changing too. At Pro-Finance, we are speaking to more and more female Partners and Directors who are working 3-4 days a week, with a better work-life balance on offer. With increased agile working and the opportunity to have a healthy work-life balance, it is more common to have a family life without it being detrimental to your career. This is all helping women to take their career further within practice. Whereas in the past some women might have moved in-house for the flexible benefits and potentially fewer expectations at the senior level, there are a wide range of practices who are making inroads to improve this. Here at Pro-Finance, we are also finding more female candidates asking questions about their interviewers. From a company perspective, it is important to make sure you have considered the demographic of your interview panel - lots of people see a diverse board as a reflection of your business, so make sure you are not ostracising excellent candidates before they are even through the door at interview stage. There are still improvements to be made in terms of achieving gender parity in the finance and accountancy sectors, and the gender pay gap remains a problem that is not yet resolved. However, it is clear that recent years have seen companies making inroads to improve this, and this is certainly the case for women in finance. Pro-Group is an inclusive employer and we are proud to have a female heavy employee base, with 50% women in management and on the board. Looking at the companies and finance professionals we work with on a daily basis, women are being offered more and more opportunities to progress to senior levels in practice and going forward into 2020, we hope to see more of this. For more information on this article, contact Kate Green on 020 7269 6363 or email@example.com.
The government has confirmed changes to off-payroll working (IR35) rules, which will come into play from 6th April 2020. The new tax legislation will affect the private sector, including numerous charities and not-for-profit organisations, and could result in contractors paying 25% more in tax. The last changes to IR35 were introduced in April 2017 and were rolled out to the public sector to combat avoidance of employment tax and National Insurance contributions by contractors who chose to provide their professional services through an intemediary company, such as personal service or limited companies. Essentially, it was a way to prevent workers from "disguising" themselves as freelance contractors as a way to pay less tax, when in practice they are performing the same role as full-time employees. Previously, IR35 only applied to the public sector, meaning the majority of charities were not affected by the tax legislation rules - with the exception of high profile not-for-profit organisations including many universities, museums and public bodies. However, a significant number of charities and not-for-profit organisations will need to take action before the 6th April to comply with the requirements of the new IR35 rules. Until now in the third sector, it has been the contractor's responsibility to determine whether they fall within IR35. However, with the extension or IR35 to the private and voluntary sectors in a couple of months time, employers will be responsible for assessing whether contractors need to pay income tax and national insurance contributions. In a nutshell, as explained by Seb Maley, the Chief Executive of IR35 Adviser and Insurance Company Qdos Contractor, "contractors will not be able to set their own tax status unless they are engages by a 'small' or private sector company. This duty will fall on the medium or large business they are engaged by". Going forward, charities will no longer be able to assume that because they engage a contractor via a limited company that they can pay that company gross for the contractor's services. Instead, charities will need to consider whether the contractor is working in an employee capacity or only for specific projects. If working in an employee capacity, contractors will need to be pay the same PAYE tax as an ordinary full-time employee - in reality, this will include anyone who is employed to cover holiday, maternity or sick leave. Those who are employed to work on specific projects will retain the right to be paid outside of the IR35 rules. Charities and not-for-profits must meet two of the three thresholds over two accounting periods to fall under the new IR35 rules. These thresholds are an annual turnover of £10.2 million or more, a balance sheet total of more than £5.1 million, and having over 50 employees. The Charity Tax Group (CTG) has warned that charities need to be aware of the rule change, as even if they do not fall within the turnover threshold they may meet the other two. Richard Bray, Vice Chairman at the CTG and Finance Regulatory & Taxes Manager at Cancer Research UK has said "it is also important to appreciate that these changes are not about tax compliance alone, but could result in significant increases in a charity's cost base". For example, the new rules could mean that a charity needs to allocate extra costs to update and improve its payroll systems. These new tax legislation rules have left some contractors worried that companies will take a risk-averse approach to IR35 and unfairly or inaccurately place them inside IR35, meaning they will pay more tax. Before the new IR35 rules are rolled out on the 6th April this year, charities and not-for-profits will need to assess their relationships with personal service companies, and ensure that they are paying their contractors in the correct way and deducting PAYE in line with HMRC rules. For more information on this article or for help recruiting the right finance professionals into your not-for-profit organisation, contact Sofia Mussa on 020 7269 6339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in January 2020: Crowe has appointed Julia Poulter as a specialist Not-For-Profit Partner. She has over 15 years’ experience working with charities and social housing providers, offering both assurance and advisory services. Poulter previously spent over six years with BDO and before that nearly 12 years with PKF. financemoves.co.uk Mercer & Hole has appointed Dominic Dumville as a Corporate Advisory Partner. Dumville, a licensed insolvency practitioner, qualified accountant and corporate finance professional, joins the firm from Haslers, where he was an Insolvency Partner. financemoves.co.uk Jeffreys Henry has promoted Bhimal Hira to Business Development Partner, effective 6th January 2020. Hira joined the firm in 2008. Justin Randall, Managing Partner at Jeffreys Henry LLP, commented: “It is highly unusual for non-accountants to be promoted to Partner, but this is a testimony to the impact Bhimal has had at Jeffreys Henry LLP. Jeffreyshenry.com Roffe Swayne has appointed Alex Temlett as an Audit Partner. Temlett joins the firm from Rawlinson & Hunter and has over 18 years’ combined experience there and at Ernst & Young (EY) where he trained. He is a member of ICAS and a CIOT associate. He has particular experience in the pharmaceutical sector. financemoves.co.uk UHY Hacker Young has appointed Robert Kidson as Managing Director in the Corporate Finance team. Kidson joins from MHA MacIntyre Hudson, where he spent over four years and was Partner and Managing Director in Corporate Finance. financemoves.co.uk For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or email@example.com. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>
You're a qualified accountant deciding which career route to take - are practice or industry the only options? If neither of these options seem quite right for you, you might want to consider working for a corporate services provider. These high-profile companies are a perfect option for someone who wants the commercial aspect of an industry role alongside the variety of working in practice. So, why work for a corporate services provider? 1) Bridge the gap into industry If you want to work in a commerce and industry role, experience at a corporate services provider can offer the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap. Industry roles, as a general rule, only take on finance professionals with strong mid-tier, Top 10, or Big 4 experience. This is mainly due to the fact that working within a firm of this size, you often gain experience with large international clients which is highly-sought after by commercial companies. On the other hand, global providers are happy to hire people with experience from smaller independent or boutique firms. This means that if you don't have experience working at a mid or top-tier firm, working for a corporate services provider can give you the experience you need to take that next step into an in-house role. 2) Industry culture with the variety of practice work Working for a corporate services provider, you get the best of both worlds! You get the opportunity to think innovatively in a commerical business, with a culture similar to what you would find in an industry role. However, some people find that working in industry doesn't suit them, as it can lack variation with no client interactions. If you join a global provider you get the variety of work that comes with a wide portfolio of clients but with the coveted industry culture. 3) Bridge the gap to the Big 4/Top 10 Just like a role at a global provider can bridge the gap into a commerical company, it can also act as a step up into a top-tier firm. It can be notoriously difficult to secure a role at a top-tier firm, particularly one of the Big 4, so sometimes it's a good idea to look down other routes you could follow in order to reach your end goal. Should your long-term career goal be to work for one of the Big 4 or a Top 10 firm, the variety of work and portfolio of clients you will work with at a corporate services provider will expand your experience and skillset and give you that leg-up into a top-tier accounting firm. 4) Salary/Benefits The salary you will receive working at a corporate services provider will tend to be higher than the salary you would typically receive at an accountancy firm. You will receive a significantly higher salary for the same level role, but you will gain more experience and receive better training. These companies also offer excellent benefits across the board, typically including an excellent bonus scheme, private medical insurance, discounted gym membership, technology hire purchase scheme, travel discounts, interest free season ticket loans and a pension scheme. 5) Excellent training and development Corporate services providers tend to have excellent training programmes in place, particularly for juniors or those relatively new to the industry. The training you receive will be on par with the programmes offered at the Big 4, meaning you will be able to get the most out of the early years in your career and develop your personal skills and technical ability to the best standard. Not only will this improve your career short-term and see you progress at a fast pace, but having excellent training behind you will be invaluable when it comes to looking for a new job. 6) Work-life balance The typical working hours at these companies are 9am-5:30pm, which are standard hours for the city of London in general. When you compare this to the working hours of some practice roles which are heavily client-focused meaning hours can be unpredictable, a role in a corporate services provider can offer you the client exposure without the long hours. Many of these companies also offer flexible and agile working arrangements, including the option to work from home. This all contributes towards a healthy work-life balance, with regular working hours allowing you to spend more time on your personal life outside of work, or an agile working pattern that suits your lifestyle and personal commitments. 7) Clients Working in industry typically means you have no client interaction as you fully immerse yourself in one business, which suits some people as it allows you to get closer to the business and look at one commercial company in its entirety. On the other hand, working for an accounting firm will see you specialising in one practice area and working with a wide range of clients. If you join a corporate services provider, you will find yourself somewhere inbetween the two. You will have the opportunity to work with a wide range of high-profile clients across various sectors, including FTSE 500 and AIM listed companies with turnovers of up to 400 million, while also working in a commercial role. 8) Technical knowledge Due to the wide portfolio of clients you will work with and the range of sectors you will work across, your work will inevitably be complex. This, in turn, means that your technical knowledge will grow in complexity, and you will expand your specialised skillset. 9) International opportunities If you are looking for a role that includes international travel, then working for a corporate services provider could be a great option for you. Most London-based global providers actually have their Headquarters in Amsterdam and depending on the company you join, you will typically find they have offices in a large number of countries, meaning secondments to international offices are very common. 10) Offices and facilities Last but not least, these companies always have amazing London offices! If you want to really experience the best city working life, these offices tend to be centrally located with state-of-the-art facilities and investments in technology. So, if amazing offices will swing it for you, it's just another reason why working for a corporate services provider could be the ideal move for you! For more information on this article, or to find out more about working for a corporate services provider, contact Aaron Scott on 020 7269 6340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 Review: 2019 was another strong year for the Corporate Finance market. As MHA Tait Walker states, at times it has been an unpredictable and slightly 'nervous' market place, but this hasn't stopped deals from completing. Based on 2019 Q3 deal statistics, 2019 saw an approximate 16% increase on 2018 levels across disposals, mergers and acquisitions, and development capital and fundraising. Despite the challenging deal environment that presented itself in 2019 for corporate financiers and invesment bankers, deals remained robust across certain sectors including Consumer, Healthcare and TMT. The same can be said for the recruitment side of the Corporate Finance market - the past year has undoubtedly been challenging and unpredictable at times, but all in all, the market has flourished. Here at Pro-Finance, we did see a few Corporate Finance boutiques postponing their recruitment processes, but these were mainly smaller clients who were at greater financial risk. Overall across all firm sizes, figures to date show that recruitment activity levels have been maintained, which has been fuelled particularly by UK companies seeking international opportunities. 2020 Prediction: The uncertainty of recent years will hopefully cease now that the near future of the British Government has been determined, with the General Election giving a majority to the Conservative Party. With the end in sight and the deadline for Brexit fast approaching, we predict that economic conditions will improve allowing businesses to grow and develop, and private equity investments will increase alongside the UK's political and economic state. This is reaffirmed by Adam Avigdori, co-founder of BlackRock Income and Growth Trust - "The employment market is strong, with underlying growth in both nominal and real wages for the first time in recent years. Combined with increased fiscal spending, we believe the UK economic outlook is more encouraging". The speed of Corporate Finance transactions are also likely to increase in the coming year as the UK has remained attractive for foreign investors, but the fluctuation of the pound inevitably slowed down deals in 2019. With economic stability this is expected to improve, and the volume of new deal opportunities as well as the time taken to close transactions will improve over the course of 2020. Here at Pro-Finance, we have seen a rise in demand for specialised Corporate Finance professionals within a range of different sectors. This is the case across investment banks, boutique firms and large accounting firms. We have also seen a growing need for experienced senior M&A professionals, as well a continued demand for Transaction Services professionals at all levels of experience from Associate all the way up to Director, which we will see throughout this year as well. The smaller boutique firms who postponed their recruitment last year as a result of political and financial uncertainty have picked up their search for talent right away in 2020. Despite the European trading impact of Brexit being unknown, these firms have resumed their recruitment activity - we predict that lively January is a sign of things to come in the Corporate Finance market this year. For more information on this article, or to speak to James Thompson about your recruiting needs or opportunities in the Corporate Finance market, contact him on 020 7269 6365 or email@example.com.
Working in Audit and Accounts in a Reading-based accountancy practice can offer many benefits. While large London firms are often top of the list for finance professionals considering a career move, there are many ways in which working more locally for a regional accountancy firm can offer the same, if not better, benefits as a large firm in the city. Type of Work & Responsibility: With big-city firms, you will often find that your clients are scattered across the UK or even internationally. So, if you are looking for travel and overnight stays with your role you would be well-suited to working in the city. However, if this is not at the top of your list, working in audit in a local practice means you will work with local clients. Firms in the Top 10, Top 20, Top 50 and Big 4 have offices in Reading, so you still get the chance to work with big clients on important and market-leading work, just more locally. Working Hours & Work-Life Balance: Accountancy firms based in Reading tend to have two types of core hours, either 9-5 or 8-4, and the hours are very flexible. Rather than being based in the city where your hours can be based on client pressures, you will often find that working outside of the city of London means not working as late and fewer client pressures that affect your day-to-day working hours. Working close to home means you cut the London commute! You will save the time spent travelling to and from the city, which in turn allows for a better work-life balance as you have more time to spend on your personal life outside of work. The average cost of a monthly travelcard is around 58% lower in Reading compared to London, meaning that you will not only save lots of time on your commute, but also money. A good work-life balance comes with the flexibility of working for a local practice, as opposed to a corporate city firm that might not be able to offer the same degree of flexible or agile working. Working in a regional practice might be well-suited to people with other commitments such as part-time carers or return-to-work parents. A role in a local firm can be perfect when it comes to arranging your work schedule around responsibilities like school runs, with many practices offering on-site parking to make it easier for parents. Local accountancy firms can offer flexible working arrangements, with perhaps 3 or 4 days in the office alongside agile working from home, or a working pattern that suits your personal situation. Salary & Benefits: On top of saving the monthly cost of the commute into London, audit and finance roles based in Reading accountancy firms offer similar salaries to those in the city and bonuses often match those offered in London firms. As well as this, rent in Reading is typically 30-40% lower compared to London, and buying property can be over 50% cheaper than London, meaning your money can go further. When it comes to benefits, packages are largely dependent on the sector and business. Reading-based accountancy firms typically offer excellent policies regarding Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) which is not quite as common in city firms. In general, local practices offer excellent benefits which match those offered in London-based firms, including good study support and registered trainers who can train you within your practice, high pensions, medical care, holiday allowance and more often than not, the same benefits you would receive working in a corporate city firm. Progression & Ease of Finding a New Opportunity: Regional accountancy firms still offer plenty of opportunities to progress and develop, all the way up to Partner if that is your end goal. Working in a London-based Big 4 office you can face a long path to Partner, whereas a smaller local practice can almost offer a fast-track route to Partnership. A role in a regional firm can be positive in several different ways when it comes to new opportunities. Not only can they offer excellent progression routes if you stay with that one firm, but they can also be a good stepping stone into a larger city firm or Big 4 office in London. Or, working locally in Reading might be a good option for you if you have already worked in the city and you are looking for a firm that offers more flexibility, less of a commute, and better suits your lifestyle. Here at Pro-Finance, we work closely with many Big 4, Top 10, Top 20, and boutique accountancy firms based in Reading who are looking for auditors of all levels to join their successful and close-knit teams. As impartial consultants with a wealth of experience, we are well positioned to advise on your next move, so should you wish to discuss how best to structure your next career step, please do get in touch. For more information on this article, or to speak to Jordanne Napier about a move into a finance audit role in Reading, contact her on 020 7269 6353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2019, we saw day rates for Audit and Accounts professionals rise dramatically. Considering the current market with continuous gaps at the senior level we expect 2020 to be the same, and predict more and more contract or temporary roles to be opening up throughout the year. Over the past year, Pro-Finance noted an increase in the number of clients and candidates who are considering contract or temporary employment. We began to ask - why the rise in people exploring their temporary opportunities and the pros of contracting? Whatever the reason, you will certainly find the world of contracting is extremely diverse and can help you develop invaluable skills for the future. Below, we explore the various positives of contracting as an Audit or Accounts professional: 1. Contracting offers flexibility Contracting allows you to choose when you work. Obviously, you must be upfront with your employer, but you can choose assignments which may be full-time, part-time, short-term or long-term projects. It can be the ideal arrangement if you work in Audit or Accounts and are trying to fit your career around childcare or caring for a relative. 2. It allows you to develop your skills Whatever your specialism within the finance, Audit and Accounts sectors, each interim placement will be unique and will require different skills - both technical and personal. You will be able to expand and improve your skill set which will enhance your CV and allow you to develop your own personal progression. 3. It offers exposure When contracting, you will experience many different businesses, environments, and working cultures. This will offer an invaluable insight into where you work best, what best suits you as an individual, and where you might choose if you want a permanent role further down the line in your career. 4. An opportunity to build up your contacts Working at lots of different places and in a wide range of businesses offers you the opportunity to build relationships and make contacts that can help in the future. As well as this, also consider the contacts you make at your recruitment agency who will really get to know you and your strengths with every placement. 5. It could lead to a permanent role Contracting allows both you and the employer and business you are working for to ‘audition’ each other. It is a far safer and less stressful way to see if you like a role and a practice, and can give you an insight into which parts of audit you are best suited to and what aspects of a role you would like to continue with throughout your career. 6. The pay When contracting, you can earn more than the permanent salary offered by working on an increased hourly or day rate. This is often to compensate for the risk and instability associated with a short-term assignment, so if you are looking for a short-term way to save money while buliding up your skillset and experience, contracting could be the right path to take. For the businesses who hire on an interim basis, contractors can offer a valuable and indispensable service on an often short-term basis. It is an ideal solution to hiring challenges such as sickness, maternity leave and increased short-term workload, and even allows them to ‘try before they buy’ when looking to recruit for a permanent role. Here at Pro-Finance, we have developed the flexibility to work alongside candidates and clients whether their needs be either contract or permanent. If you wish to discuss how best to structure your next career step, contact us now. As impartial consultants with a wealth of experience, we are well positioned to advise on your next move. For more information, contact George Tatnell on 020 7269 6357 or email@example.com.
Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in December 2019: Baldwins have appointed Malcolm Cook as a Partner in the Corporate Finance team based in Birmingham. Cook, who has more than 20 years’ transaction services experience, joins from Clairfield International and before this was a Partner at BDO. Financemoves.co.uk RSM have appointed Andrew Mason as Partner in the East Anglia office. Mason joins RSM from Price Bailey where he was a Director, having spent most of his 25-year career working in the Cambridgeshire market for mid-tier firms. Accountancydaily.co PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has named Dame Fiona Kendrick as the new Chair of its Public Interest Body (PIB). Kendrick, the former chief executive and chairman of Nestle UK, joined as an independent nonexecutive in July 2019. She will take over as chair from Lord Gus O’Donnell, who is stepping down after four years on the PIB. Financemoves.co.uk PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has appointed Michael Stewart to the newly created role of Global Leader, Corporate Affairs and Communications. He has also become a member of PwC’s global markets leadership team and chairs PwC’s global public policy board based in London. Financemoves.co.uk Alvarez & Marsal has appointed Wayne Jephson as a London-based Managing Director in the Global Transaction Advisory Group. Jephson, who has 18 years’ experience, will specialise in providing financial due diligence services with a specific focus on infrastructure investors and private equity transactions. He joins from Ernst & Young (EY) where he most recently served as a Director within its Infrastructure Transactions Group. Financemoves.co.uk For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>
2019 was a year of change for the finance market. From the Bryndon and Kingman reviews raising issues around audit quality, to recommendations to separate audit and non-audit services of accounting firms, to the introduction of the PCAOB and Making Tax Digital, the past year has undoubtedly shaped the finance, audit and accounting sectors. 2020 will prove to be no different, with changes in regulation and technology promising to reshape the market as we move forward into the next decade. 2019 Review: The Bryndon report was undoubtedly one of the biggest things to happen within the audit and accountancy sector in 2019. Sir Donald Bryndon’s year-long review into the British audit industry recommended a breakaway from the accounting profession and the formation of a separate industry with its own governing principles, and also gave recommendations on how to increase confidence in the audit sector and ways to prevent unnecessary corporate collapses. Simon Dingemans, the new chairman of the Financial Reporting Committee (FRC), also called on the government to enforce the separation of audit and consulting at the Big 4 accounting firms, stating that breaking up Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC was a ‘critical’ measure to improve the quality of their audits. However, these recommendations have been resisted by the Big 4 as well as mid-tier firms across the industry who believe this break-up would challenge firms’ resilience. Additionally, John Kingman’s independent review of the FRC recommended that the governing body should be replaced with an independent statutory regulator called the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Business Secretary Greg Clark has responded that the government will take forward the recommendations from the Kingman Review and replace the FRC with the ARGA, a body which will “build on our status as a great place to do business and form an essential part of the government’s continued efforts to grow trust and public confidence in business and the regulations that govern them.” Specifically, both the Bryndon and Kingman review raised issues around audit quality, the current role of the FRC and the position of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) - the new quality oversight body to check audit quality. Both Kingman and Bryndon also used their reports to call on ARGA, the audit governing body that is set to replace the FRC, to set new qualifications for the sector. The various reviews and reports focusing on the accounting and audit industries undertaken in the past year, have collectively recommended so many changes that could reshape the profession going forward. 2019 also saw the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD). As of Monday 1st April 2019, we became fully cemented into the digital era. VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 are now required to use the MTD service to keep records digitally and use competitive software to submit their VAT returns for VAT periods that started on or after 1st April 2019. Looking forward into 2020: As mentioned above, the implementation of the PCAOB as the new quality oversight body will reshape the audit sector. UK audit firms who play a substantial role in the audit of US issuers, brokers and dealers can now grant access to their audit working papers if requested by the US authorities, and the PCAOB will establish auditing and related professional practice standards for registered public accounting firms to follow in the preparation and issuance of audit reports. Firms registered with the PCAOB will range from sole proprietorships to large firms with extensive global networks, and the governing body will use its investigative authority to address serious audit deficiencies and impose sanctions and penalties. The implementation of IR35 will inevitably affect contractors in the coming year. As well as this, the new rules of IR35 in the private sector will apply from 6 April 2020 to medium and large businesses. Although the legislation will not come into play until April of this year, audit and accountancy businesses need to start considering the potential impact of IR35 and ensure they are managing their PAYE compliance effectively. Last year saw a multitude of uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Going forward into 2020, due to the outcome of the election we can predict more stability around the subject on the basis that Brexit will be going ahead, and we are likely to see investors starting to invest at a higher rate. There was inevitably a hold on stock investments into the UK for a period, but now people are looking at how to best spread their money and in turn, are utilising accountants to provide advice on the best route to invest. Companies are also likely to see Brexit as an opportunity and we predict that there will be plenty of activity in the market fuelled by private equity money, particularly in the region of mid-market entrepreneurial businesses. As touched upon in the 2019 recap, Making Tax Digital is undoubtedly another area to watch in 2020. MTD for income tax went off the agenda due to the hung parliament but it is a key part of HMRC;s strategy to digitise which means that it will be a key focus going forward this year. Moving away from matters of regulation, technology and automation will continue to cause issues for those in the accounting and audit sectors. Going forward into 2020 we will inevitably see even more investments in technology and AI, which means more automating processes. These new technologies are revolutionizing finance and accounting work, which means that it will become even more important for finance professionals to ensure that their soft skills and technical skills are up to scratch. There is certainly a lot ahead of us for 2020 and in the finance market; here’s to a new year and many new and exciting beginnings. For more information on this article, or to discuss your recruiting needs for 2020, please contact Callum MacRae on 020 7269 6369 or email@example.com.
For Finance Directors looking to move into the charitable sector, you will often find that the responsibilities are very similar to that in the private sector - the role of Manager, Bookkeeper, and Financial Controller. So, what are the main reasons why Finance Directors decide to move into the Not-For-Profit sector? The key difference between roles in the private and third sectors are the strategic relationships your role will involve. In the third sector, you will face exciting challenges that are unique to the Third Sector, including generating income and funds for your Not-for-Profit organisation. The past few years have seen Britain in a period of uncertainty, which in turn has presented a unique set of challenges to British businesses. Charities and Not-For-Profit organisations face many unique challenges that other sectors do not come up against, and ongoing funding challenges and potential changes with EU funding that could be presented by Brexit have potentially tightened government and NHS contract margins even further. Uncertainty and economic instability surrounding Brexit has undoubtedly impacted many markets, including the Third Sector, although some claim the charity sector has bounced back and in the past year or two, we have seen the UK government finally talking about the charity sector. Although basic salaries tend to be lower than those offered in the commercial world, there are many other benefits, challenges, and reasons why Finance Directors choose to make the move into the charitable sector. 1. The feel-good factor Making a difference is cited as one of the main reasons senior-level finance professionals make a move. Sometimes, a personal calling and an affinity to a particular cause such as religion, animals, disability, health, the young and/or the elderly or poverty relief will drive this, whereas sometimes it may just be a general desire to give back and help, rather than generate profit for shareholders. 2. Charities tend to be more agile and reactive Not being answerable to shareholders, charities tend to attract a unique set of individuals who are bound by their principles and integrity and as a result, have a strong sense of wellbeing which can be refreshing in comparison to the private sector. Many cite their organisation's culture and working environment as a reason for working in the Third Sector. Being able to work in an environment where you are not restricted by red tape and shareholder’s demand for profit allows you to be agile and reactive to the causes you work so hard for. The challenges faced by a Finance Director in Not-for Profit organisations are very different, and as a result, can be much more rewarding. Whilst basic salaries are often lower, the benefits offered can be comparable if not better than the private sector with generous pension and holiday entitlements. and flexible working as well as softer wellbeing and lifestyle benefits often also offered. As a whole package, therefore, third sector roles can often be highly comparable to the private sector. 3. New opportunities and a diverse working environment As touched on above, the charitable sector tends to excel in compassion to the commercial world by offering a flexible and diverse working environment. Working patterns, hours or contracts which suit both parties or maybe offering the opportunity to travel internationally / be posted overseas for those charitable organisations which support global causes. The roles offered within the sector are often diverse and can range with regional staff on the ground supporting the people the charity supports, to retail and commercial operational teams, fundraising, lobbying teams, journalists, care and support staff through to the full array of corporate roles mirroring the commercial world such as Marketing, Finance and HR. What all these members of staff tend to have in common is that they are passionate and united by the cause they support which is very powerful and rewarding. These professionals share a passion and fight to help their cause and the sector which those in the private sector may not get. Ultimately, in your role as a Charity Finance Director, your commercial acumen gained from the private sector can be key to the charity not only surviving challenging times but in helping it thrive. In addition, you will be in a unique position the charitable sector offers in helping some of society’s most vulnerable by controlling costs, managing investments to generate more income, controlling capital projects, the financial management of key contracts and relationships, and ensuring the financial wellbeing of the charity. For more information on this article, or to speak to us about making your move into the Not-For-Profit sector, contact Claire Stradling on 020 7269 6351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.