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

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ACA - What Next?

Congratulations on your ACA results! Now you have qualified you have most likely found yourself at a crossroads - this is the time for you to evaluate your career choices which can often be difficult for newly qualified accountants. There are many options available to you and no-one can tell you with certainty the right step to take; it’s up to you to use your judgement and make the decision that’s best for your future career. So what are your options once you qualify? We will explore: - Firms - Specialisms - Career Development 1. Firms There are a number of options from which you will make your decision - you may either progress within your own firm, move to another firm of a different size, or make the move into Commerce & Industry. Some newly qualified accountants will decide to move from practice into industry, which can be a very diverse career path offering a new challenge. The C&I list is vast, ranging from FTSE 100 companies to start-ups, and each option comes with its own pros and cons. Often, people see C&I as an attractive career path as opposed to practice, however this is often because they may not enjoy the nature of audit. It is important to consider that roles in practice are changing and becoming more advisory focused with the use of new technology and artificial intelligence. In practice, you can expect a fast-paced culture allowing you to maintain client interaction and potentially develop into an advisory role. Decide on where you gain most job satisfaction - is it in the variety of work and clients, or do you want to directly contribute to a firm’s strategy? Firms of varying size all have their own individual merits. For example, working at one of the Big 4 or a larger practice not only offers global reach but can provide alternative career paths through secondments. If you work for a small firm, you may consider moving to a larger practice which would give you more exposure to a wider variety of clients as well as the chance to get involved in roles outside of audit - whether this may be corporate finance or working with stakeholders - which is an excellent opportunity for career development. Alternately, choosing a smaller firm is the right path for some people. If you are in a bigger firm and not getting the experience or responsibilities you want, you have the option of moving to a smaller firm where you would get more managerial experience and the opportunity to progress to Partner more quickly. This is a route which would also allow you to have a direct input on strategy and growth due to the likelihood of a close Partner group. Whichever route you decide to take within practice, whether you choose a small independent firm or aim to work for one of the Big 4, be sure you want to pursue a career in practice and plan a route that ultimately leads towards your career goals. 2. Specialisms Obtaining your ACA qualification opens up exciting potential career paths - at the beginning decide if you want to specialise immediately or create a broader experience base to progress from later. Either way, make sure to grab opportunities to gain exposure to specialisms and different service lines early on! After all, expanding your knowledge and skill set can only further your career later on. Often, coming from an audit background means your most likely role within C&I would be very technical and usually based upon financial accounting. Whereas the progression on offer within practice often allows you to manage more people and move into a more client-facing, advisory position. Accounting is an option which gives you the opportunity to use the skills gained in your current role and is a good way to gain technical experience at specialised firms early on in your career. Audit is often used as a stepping stone into the wider business for many accountants, and with a career in audit you can also benefit from internal secondment opportunities within different parts of a business, such as Corporate Finance, ultimately expanding your skill set to the benefit of your future career. It can seem like an overwhelming task to decide so early on the right route for you to take, but getting advice from industry experts could help you make an informed decision! 3. Career development Whichever route you decide to take, make the most of any training and development facilities available to you. Many firms place importance on career development, offering yearly appraisals, learning and development departments for high-quality training and counselling managers. Accountancy practices are often eager to help staff reach their full potential, so make sure you have clear goals, objectives and a strategy laid out in your appraisals. Ongoing training and building up of experience are keys to success in every field. Use the early years of your career to differentiate yourself from your peers with diverse experience through secondments and if Partnership is your long-term goal, ensure you engage in Business Development early on. Stand out from your peers, and people will notice you and support your career ambitions! Passing your ACA opens up so many avenues, from becoming a specialist in a particular field, to working with large corporate companies or even launching your own enterprise. 83% of all FTSE 100 firms have at least one ICAEW Chartered Accountant on the board, which showcases the wealth of opportunities that ACA careers offer. Most importantly, you have the opportunity to shape your career to suit your own interests and aspirations. Ultimately, your decision will come down to culture, progression opportunities and professional development. As long as you keep these things in mind while considering your options once you have qualified, you will be well-equipped to make the best decision for your future career in finance. If you would like more information on this article, or to speak to our finance recruitment experts about your next step, contact Tom on 020 7269 6349 or tom.eagle@pro-finance.co.uk.

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So, You’re a Qualified Auditor - What Next?

As a specialist recruiter into the audit and accounts market, I interact with candidates and clients on a daily basis across all levels of seniority. I work with professionals from a trainee just starting their career within the profession, with a positive mindset and the world in front of them; to experienced partners who have been there and performed the role for many years. One of the key staffing needs industry-wide and therefore one of the most engaging levels is at the newly qualified Audit Senior level. There are many reasons why this is a market skills gap but one of the key factors is that upon ACA/ACCA qualification auditors will look to explore their career options. You have just left a lengthy training contract; you have been employed in the same place for the last 3-4 years and it is time for a change. A common career choice is to leave the firm that has trained you and make the step over into a role within commerce and industry. People often make this move as they feel tired of audit, they have ended up on the same client cycle for two or three consecutive years and it is starting to become a little repetitive. In my experience, this can be a rushed and ill-informed decision with people swayed by the bright lights of industry. Some things to consider are the firm you are working for, the clients you are working on and even the Partners you will report to. When speaking with auditors the key thing they enjoy is client interaction, something that you will lose when working in-house. Whether you want to be working with financial institutions with turnovers in the billions, small owner managed businesses where you can be a key influencer in the business decisions or spending your time on site at recording studios, film sets or sports stadiums. The world of audit may perhaps be larger than you realise. If you are considering your next career move the importance of liaising with an experienced recruitment consultant who can provide advice cannot be overstated. 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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London or Local? The Pros and Cons

So it's Monday morning, and once again we're pushing our way through half-asleep commuters on the daily travel into London. We are all packed into what seems like a human sardine can on our way to our jobs in London. It was on this morning, whilst I stood there being propped up by a businessman and a builder, I came to realise that I am not the first to have this thought, is the commute really worth it? Money, money, money Let's be honest, money is the reason a lot of people commute into London and probably the most important factor when considering where to live and work, but here are a few other things to consider: Salary bands are often higher in London Rent prices are often lower outside of the City The cost to commute into London There are clearly a few options here and depending on various factors such as salary and expenses, any of the following could work for you: Live regionally but work in London - rent is a lot cheaper and your salary will still be at a premium, although travel costs may be significant Live and work in London - save money on travel but use a lot of that top end salary on higher rent prices Live and work regionally - generally earn considerably less but benefit from cheaper housing prices. The problem is that with less public transport, comes the need to potentially own a car, another sizeable cost. Time is of the essence The next thing to consider is the time it takes you to get to work. Working locally gives you the flexibility to drive to work, but do the local roads become a huge jam at 8am and 6pm? Will finding that elusive parking space add to your morning stresses? The commute into London isn’t so straightforward either. Do you live near a rail station? Does that go straight into central London or do you need to change? When you get to Central London, how far from the office are you? Do you need to take multiple tubes to get to work from the rail station? The Verdict With everyone’s situation being different, it is clear that different routines work for different people but you can always make an informed decision if you know all the facts. My advice would be to gain an understanding of salary differences in London compared to where you live and then look at the financial impact that both options have on your life. If you're commuting, it may be worth examining your current salary to balance the time and money. Factor in commute options and you can start to build a picture of which option works best for you. Considering the amount of time that we spend at work, I am of the opinion that we should ensure that we are happy not just in our jobs but getting to and from them as well. For more information about this article, or if you'd like to discuss career options in Finance in London or regionally, please contact Tom Eagle on 020 7269 6349 or email him at tom.eagle@pro-finance.co.uk

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CMA and Kingman review: Where are we now?

Following on from my recent article, The Big Four: Are the auditors ready to be audited? , the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are working through their report, and Sir John Kingman has started to release his initial thoughts and findings. This has prompted the initial response from the Big 4 and several challenger firms. Here we will consolidate that information to give us a picture of where we are to date and how this will define the audit market for years to come. The ICAEW have told the Competition and Markets Authority that they feel the current approaches to audit change are solving the wrong problem and will not solve the problems of corporate accountability. The ICAEW suggests that the proposed “ring fencing” of the big fours audit offerings would create difficulties since the integrated multi-disciplinary firms operate to a single standard of professionalism and ethics, and work within a consistent professional culture across their firm’s work. They have suggested the focus should be on strengthening the firms’ culture to ensure that auditors maintain objectivity when conducting the audit. However, were the CMA to go down the separation route that the requirement should initially only apply to the big four. To extend it to the challenger firms would be likely to act as a significant disincentive to joining the FTSE 350 audit market. It is great to see some agreement from all of the big four on where we are to date and cohesion in their thoughts of how improvements can be implemented. Leaders for PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY have all admitted to MPs that the quality of their audit work needs to improve. Speaking at the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee’s inquiry into the future of audit in the UK. They have all agreed that a market share cap was a good idea but that other proposals would not help improve quality – namely joint audits or spinning off audit processes. Bill Michael, UK chairman of KPMG, broke ranks to say that separating the audit firms is the “right direction of travel” but not “an electrifying” ring fence. The challenger firms however are mixed in their thoughts. Grant Thornton CEO David Dunckley said that the CMA recommendations “as a package” could open the barriers to entry for challenger firms auditing the FTSE 350. Where the results will lead remains to be seen but all firms are reacting in a positive manner and looking to embrace the required change within the market. 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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The 6 Biggest CV Mistakes

Writing a CV can be a daunting task on the face of it. You have to concisely summarise your entire working life into a few short pages and hope that your personality shines through enough that the HR manager will pick up the phone. With so much time and effort going into covering every single detail and crafting that perfect paper representation of you, are you missing the bigger picture? Our expert recruiters breakdown the six most common CV mistakes that may be killing your chances at success. 1. “I have good attention to detail” Ahh, one of the most frequently used terms in a CV when describing personal attributes, and what a great attribute to have! However, word of warning, if you are going to use this term make sure there are absolutely no typos in your CV. There’s nothing worse to be claiming to be something you’re not when it comes to applying for jobs. Always proofread your work, then proof it again and then get another set of eyes over it. Simple mistakes say a lot about a person and a huge 43% of hiring managers said they dismiss a CV because it contains typos! 2. Order, Order! It’s always a great idea to put the order of your previous jobs in chronological order, even better when you date them so it’s obvious where you worked, when and how long for. What’s confusing is when there is no order or reason behind the ordering of the past experience. It instantly sends out a bad message and reflects badly on your organisational and communication skills and almost immediately disqualifies you from progressing further. 3. Me, Myself and I One of the biggest bugbears that hiring managers have when looking at CVs is the use of I. Your name is at the top, it is implied that the document is about you and nobody wants to go through the repetition of “I did this” or “I did that”. It’s a surefire way to getting the reader to dismiss your CV almost instantly. Your CV is a factual representation of you be sure to keep it impersonal, concise and accurate. Instead of using “ I automated the hiring process...” opt for “Automated the hiring process…” 4. Tailor Made When writing a CV it’s always a great idea to tailor it to the role or firm that you’re applying to. Unfortunately, when it comes to CVs, one size doesn’t fit all. Whether you’re using a CV template or writing a CV from scratch, to really maximise your chances you need to really spell out the reasons why the hiring manager should choose you and the best way to do this is to match your experience up with the ideal candidate specification. Although it may seem like this may take a long time it is definitely time well spent. 5. OTT While it’s fine to show a bit of personality in a CV do not go over the top. Nearly 40% of respondents in a YouGov poll put poor design down as a reason to disqualify an applicant. So what counts as over the top? Unusual fonts for one. Stick with Arial, 11pt in black. Easily read, smart and formal it’s always a winner with recruiters. What paper should you use? Easy, white A4, that’s it. Do you need any snazzy borders to jazz it up? Absolutely not. Remember this is a professional document with the aim of selling you in a few seconds. You’ll definitely stand out using unusual formats, fonts and colours but not in the way that you want. Bullet points are your friend here. They’re to the point (no pun intended), easy to read and are great for people who are reading in a rush. 6. Honesty is the best policy Nobody likes being lied to. However, with one-third of CVs and job applications containing falsifications, it seems that the majority of applicants feel it is permissible to embellish their experiences to some extent. Now, by no means are we here to judge you, no, no, no we would just strongly advise against it for these reasons. Applicants tend to big up their CVs out of fear that their experience is not impressive enough. However, dishonesty is always risky, whether it is a small fib or a whopping great lie, chances are you will get found out. Companies usually carry out their due diligence and more often than not your white lie is uncovered and your reputation is left in tatters. Who wants to hire an ousted liar? If by some chance you don’t get caught out and get the job you now have to perform at the standard you perpetuated on your CV. This can get extremely awkward and embarrassing… There we have it if you are already avoiding these mistakes you're a CV superstar. If not, then why not? If you’re able to follow these simple steps your CV will be infinitely better. Remember if you need help or a professional point of view then our expert recruitment consultants are always happy to give you a few pointers. For more information on this article or to speak to Ashleigh about your recruiting needs or jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 020 7269 6324 or ashleigh@pro-tax.co.uk.

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Reasons to explore your career options with a finance recruiter

It’s good to see the innovation within our industry currently creating even more methods of helping you get in front of the right people and presented in the right way. I often find I am speaking with candidates who do not quite understand how we add value fully and I thought it may be beneficial for us to give you some background on our work. Relationships and Network Our specialist agency has been running for over ten years, growing alongside our database and client base. We know our clients very well, especially after meeting with them regularly and really getting to know them on every level possible. Your direct application may not get past an online portal directly, with us, it could land on the relevant Partner’s desk with our recommendations. Within just one conversation, our expert consultants who spend every day learning about such clients will be able to give you a snapshot each firm and help narrow down the ideal move. We will give you an insight into a firms’ progression, culture, their clients, benefits, remuneration and much more. On top of this, our experience allows us to map out your career plan from the starting point to where you want to end up. Time-Saving Let’s face it, audit doesn’t provide the greatest work-life balance. You are going to struggle to dissect the job market, study every option available (firm and role), interview with pretty much every firm (to learn more about them!) and weigh everything up accordingly. On top of this, you need to prepare for interviews and speak to others in the market to make sure you know what level of salary your position commands. As mentioned previously, a brief chat with one of our consultants can provide you with a conclusive list of options worth following up with. We map out commutes, match your CV with job specs, we know what type of personalities match with different cultures and we can send you tons of visit notes and extra information that will really help you figure out where suits you best. Moreover, your CV itself will be formatted by us – following on from an extended fact find over the phone. When suitable, we tailor your CV to the path you choose, and we will write it from scratch should this suit you better. Preparation We will help you fully prepare for any interviews/ processes, we know our clients well and we know what you will need to expect. A lot of the time, we predict the most likely questions (based on previous processes/ interactions), we provide useful documentation on how to answer such questions effectively, we will meet you in person to conduct mock interviews and we will ensure you feel confident before walking into an interview room. Negotiation Acting as a broker for you, we know where to push and where to hold off. We know what the market rate is for all levels and we know if you are under or overvalued at your current organisation. Thanks to our relationships, we can gently highlight when an offer is too low and give factual information as to why – helping to secure you the right number. This is something you simply cannot do as a candidate. What’s New? Marketing wise, recruitment is changing! We are now producing videos documenting roles, companies and candidates. Social media is becoming an important tool in the industry and our consultants are ready to take the bull by the horns and certify that you are presented in the correct manner and you find the ideal opportunity. To speak to Tom about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696349 or tom.eagle@pro-finance.co.uk

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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 Kate about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696363 or kate.green@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 Dominic about opportunities that promote diversity and inclusion, contact him at dominic.watt@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 Kate about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696363 or kate.green@pro-finance.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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