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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.


June 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in June 2019: Romy Comiter has been appointed Managing Director, global assurance services at FTI consulting. Romy was previously a financial services Partner at Mazars where she spent eight years leading the insurance consultancy team. PwC is promoting 69 new equity Partners, up from 54 last year. Together with 13 direct Partner hires recruited during the year, the firm’s total UK Partner number is now 944. This year 38% of the newly promoted Partners are women and the firm says the pipeline of women coming through into senior roles is also stronger, with 38% of newly promoted Directors female. In addition, 16% of the new Partners are black, Asian and minority ethnic and 27% are based outside London. Jamie Lane has joined Saffery Champness as a Partner based out of their Bournemouth office. Jamie joins from Smith and Williamson where he operated in an audit and transaction services role. Jamie trained through the firm rising to Partner prior to his departure. Business advisory firm Quantuma has appointed Duncan Beat as a Partner to its Chelmsford and London offices. He is a licensed practitioner with over 30 years’ experience in corporate insolvency matters. He joins the firm from Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP, where he was Managing Partner. During his time in the industry, he also established an insolvency department for a major firm. Prior to this, Duncan has held roles at RSM, Cape and Dagleish, Elliott Woolfe & Rose and Stoy Hayward (BDO). Cooper Parry has quit the PKF network in the UK after being part of the group for over five years. There was understood to be a geographical conflict over an office opening which competed with another PKF UK member firm. 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


60 Seconds With: Nigel Walde, Partner at Saffery Champness LLP

Nigel is a Partner in the Saffery Champness' London office, providing specialist advice on claiming the creative sector tax reliefs. He also has a depth of experience in the UK Cultural Test and qualifying co-productions, as well as providing auditing and accounting services. Nigel acts for a wide range of clients, from small independent film and television production companies to major US Hollywood film studios. He also advises video game and theatre companies. He has been providing advice, audit and accounting services to the media industry for 12 years, having previously worked in the film team at RSM Tenon. What three traits define you? I care about the clients I work for and the people who work around me. I am conscientious and sometimes a little impatient. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? There have been a couple, cleaning the letter cubby holes in my local post office and working in the laundry room of a large hospital – I was told it would do me good at the time. How do you define success? Being the ‘go to’ person or company in the industry you work in. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? I would like to do something entirely different that involves me spending my time outside – I have always liked the idea of farming! What is your personal philosophy? I believe that to feel truly satisfied and progress you need to be well outside of your comfort zone as much as possible. How do you start your day? Jumping on my bicycle and riding to work, it is a great way to get you going in the morning! What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? It is full of bright, energetic and enthusiastic people who have an appetite to succeed and have an interest in the success of our clients. What are the secrets to good leadership? Remain composed no matter how difficult the situation is, show encouragement and allow people to do what they are good at. What makes your company unique? We work in specialist sectors and excel in the work we do and the advice we give in those areas. What has been the biggest challenge since you have been promoted to Partner? As a new Partner growing the team, business and winning new work for the firm is challenging. You are also very quickly required to start running the business. However, it is all enormously rewarding and a great learning experience. For more information about this article, or to speak to Kate about your recruiting needs or Finance opportunities in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696363 or


Interview Preparation Tips for Auditors

Whether you have a 1st class degree in Mathematics from Oxford and ACA 1st time passes or not… You need to prepare for your interviews. Here at Pro-Finance, too many times have we worked with candidates who genuinely believe they do not need any help from a recruitment consultant in order to prepare for their interviews, and despite the obvious loss on our side when candidates come across too arrogant or unenthusiastic and get rejected – a knockback is sometimes necessary to prove the importance of interview preparation. If you are serious about finding and securing the best role for you, you need to commit to the processes you chose to apply for. So when it comes to due diligence and mentally preparing for your interview, what should you be doing? Our specialist finance recruiters have put together advice on 7 key areas to prepare before your interview! 1. Research the company Read everything there is available on the company! Don't just read one line on the 'About Us' page. You want to read their mission statement, research the sector specialisms, check for awards, news articles, previous mergers and acquisitions, look at the company LinkedIn profile, the Glassdoor profile and reviews. 2. Who you are meeting? This is essential - your questions at the end of the interview are key to getting enthusiasm across and a personal buy-in from your interviewers. Showing you have done your research and being able to ask personal questions creates a personal interest for example; “I noticed you moved across from Top Firm & Co three years back, what attracted you to this particular firm?” 3. Research the role itself Make sure you have read the job spec carefully - you want to match your CV with the spec as best as possible and also note down any questions you have with regards to the role. You do not want any nasty surprises to creep up on you and find out you are wasting everyone’s time. 4. Prepare for CV-based questions You want your reasons for leaving each role to be fluid, no hesitations and everything to make complete sense. Never bring any negatives into an interview so please, do not tell them how much you hate your old boss for twenty minutes. 5. Prepare for competency-based questions Strengths, weaknesses, difficult clients, difficult colleagues… You want as many questions to already be answered in your mind so when someone says to you, what is the largest client you have worked with – you don’t say “ERRRRR… I’m not sure…. ERRRRR”. You want to come straight back at them with a structured answer, with specific details of actions you personally took and the results that followed. 6. Have questions ready You must have a couple of questions regarding the role and the firm to get your enthusiasm across and, even better, you should try to engage with your interviewer/s with a personal question. 7. Book a mock interview with your consultant! After all of this preparation; that’s when you are ready for your mock interview. Once you have finished your mock interview, you want to take all of that back home and revisit your preparation to brush up your answers. Aside from these key preparation points, you should also ensure you give yourself some time to fully relax the day before and ALWAYS call your recruitment consultant the second you leave the interview. If you give the wrong answer to a question but call the consultant immediately, he/she may be able to call the relevant Partner immediately to explain the nerves may have crept in and rushed an answer you know was incorrect – giving them the opportunity to overlook it. The moral of the story is, trust your consultant to help you prepare and never think you are beyond preparation. No matter what level you are; preparation is always important. For more information about this article, or to speak to Kate about interview preparation tips or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696363 or


The Benefits of Working in a Finance Charity Role

Working in a finance role in the charity sector offers you the opportunity to use your skills in finance and accountancy to support a cause you are passionate about. Many finance professionals who work in the charity sector note that job satisfaction, a good work-life balance and the chance to give back are just some of the benefits of working for a Not-For-Profit organisation. The third sector offers a huge range of opportunities, from varied roles to different working environments, many of which are just as exciting and fast-paced as the commercial sector. Considering a career change? Our specialist charity finance recruiters have provided insights as to why you should consider moving into a finance role in the charity sector. Joining the finance department of a charity or Not-For-Profit organisation puts you right at the heart of the organisation. Working in finance in this sector offers variation - you could find yourself working to raise the profile of fundraising projects one week and ensuring donations are accurately recorded the next. It is important for charities to have a strong financial infrastructure as well as committed and motivated employees to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation, all the while contributing towards its cause. Whether you are managing gift aid, maintaining financial records or developing profit projections, the way in which an organisation’s finances are run allows for goals to be reached and for invaluable work to continue successfully. Due to the importance of an effective finance department within charities, there is a constant demand for finance professionals who have a genuine interest in the sector - or even better, a genuine connection to a charity’s cause. Moving from a finance role within a large corporate company to work for a smaller charity is incredibly beneficial, as you can use your commercial background and awareness to add value to a non-profit organisation. While the emphasis in a purely commercial organisation is on profitability, the focus across many NFP organisations is now on surplus and return on investment. There are many ways in which the knowledge that comes with having a commercial background can be utilised in the charitable sector. NFP organisations often have trading companies underneath them selling a product and using the money from sales to invest back into the organisation’s valuable work. For example, the income of the British Council is projected to being in the region of 2 billion by 2020, the majority of which is going to come from commercial activities. This is similar for a charity like Marie Curie, where profits from sales and retail operations are invested back into funding care and support. While these are examples of larger organisations, smaller charities also often have a commercial function to maximise the impact of donations and funding towards the core goals of the charity. This is why charities and Not-For-Profit organisations need finance professionals who have a commercial background, as having commercial awareness means that you appreciate profit and loss, ROI, scenario planning and dealing with commercial products and sales. Salaries and benefits will depend on the size and location of the organisation, and while larger charities may have the means to offer larger salaries, smaller charities will have smaller finance departments which means more responsibility and the chance to make a big impact. Laura de Poitiers, Finance Manager at Belu Water Ltd surmises, ‘the best part of my job is seeing the work I do have a real impact on the profits we can make, the carbon savings we can deliver and the transformations these actions can effect on the world and its inhabitants.’ The main reason many people choose to work in the charity sector is wanting to give back and make a difference, as opposed to benefitting shareholders. As cited by the ICAEW, whether you want to support your local community, the natural environment or causes that affect people all over the world, you can work for an organisation and a cause that means something to you. The charity sector can be overlooked by finance professionals searching for roles, but no longer is the charity sector seen as a dusty old sector or the ‘poor cousin’. In reality, organisations within the third sector are often exciting, commercial and fast-paced and can offer a rewarding career, and you often see people who have this ‘world first mentality’ move from corporate organisations into small charities and Not-For-Profit organisations. Working in a finance charity role, you get the best of both worlds! It is an opportunity to utilise your commercial experience as well as making a real difference in society. For more information on this article, or to talk to Matt about your next finance charity role in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6323 or


Finance Practice vs. Industry: The Big Debate

Once you become a newly qualified accountant, you will inevitably come up against the decision of whether to build a career in practice or to move into an industry role. Both have their pros and cons, and your decision will ultimately come down to what type of person you are and what is important to you in your career. Making this decision can often feel daunting, but our specialist finance recruiters have put together key advice to help you make an informed decision! Type of Work Many newly qualified accountants are attracted to industry roles because the companies themselves often seem more interesting, or just because they’re not audit roles! But in reality, although moving from practice to industry gives you the opportunity to use your skills in a very different environment, roles in industry can lack variation and excitement. You will find yourself working on the same or similar things on a day-to-day basis and you will most likely lose the client-facing aspect of a role in practice. If you are looking to be involved in the business development side of the firm you work for, you are best to seek a role within practice as opposed to industry where business development focused roles tend to be limited. As well as this, with a finance practice role, you will find you have a varied workload and responsibilities with certain busy periods throughout the year. Depending on your firm and department, your work could be audit, tax-focused, or accounts-focused to name but a few, and you will have autonomy in your work. Every week will see you working with different clients across different types of work that can vary in size and topic. Salary & Benefits Newly qualified accountants are often drawn into industry with an attractive pay rise compared to starting salaries within practice. Salaries within industry for a new-qualified accountant are typically around the £45,000 mark, occasionally going up to around £55,000 in certain sectors like Financial Services. However, the initial pay gap between industry and practice has reduced considerably and the salary for a newly-qualified candidate within practice can actually be higher than in industry, with many firms now matching the money offered in order to retain the best talent. Not only this, if you were to stay in practice and become a future Director or Partner, the pay would more than equal itself out and you would be looking at earning more further down the line. When it comes to benefits, packages in industry are very variable depending on the sector and business, however, more often than not they do include a bonus and a wide variety of benefits. Benefits within practice are typically better for two reasons - they are better-established companies with defined risk & reward teams, and you will also receive benefits in line with longevity of service, compared to industry where it would be a new role. Working Hours Industry roles tend to be busy when it comes to month-end but, again, that is very dependent on the size of the business. Practice roles will have seasonally busy periods throughout the year, but it’s also important to note that accountancy firms are very bottom-heavy meaning there will always be juniors carrying out work that is perhaps more menial, which is often not the case within industry. Typically, working in an industry role offers the opportunity to have a better work-life balance, with regular working hours and no late nights in the office! However, improving work-life balance is something that a lot of firms are increasingly working towards for their employees. The Big 4, for example, are not known for having the best work-life balance but this is improving on a daily basis with more firms understanding the value a healthy work-life balance adds to employee happiness. Progression Prospects Progression will depend entirely on the organisation and its structure. It can be possible to progress quickly within industry depending on your personal performance, as these companies do not have a rigid structure. However, progression within these companies is often very competitive! Teams tend to be smaller and while this is good in terms of extra responsibility, these teams typically do not offer a set career path and it is more difficult to stand out. On the other hand, a finance role in practice tends to offer a clear career progression path. This is particularly true when you get towards higher levels and there are targets to hit to move up in the company. The path for progression is very clear and structured into people’s careers, all the way up to Partner with equity in the firm, and CPD training and development is often a primary focus. Ease of Finding a New Opportunity If you are looking to move from practice into industry you will find yourself in a highly competitive market, particularly if you have trained in a smaller practice as you will be competing against Big 4 ACA qualified candidates, as well as industry-trained CIMA/ACCA candidates who will have more relevant experience in industry-specific roles. Therefore, it is often worth moving into a Big 4 or Top 10 firm to gain the experience and skills needed to open up a range of options for your next career step - whether this be a move into an industry role, a role at a smaller practice or SME, or remaining and progressing within a larger firm. Once you have chosen a route in industry it can be difficult to move sector or change your role type. For example, if your first move from practice to industry is within a Financial Accountant role, you will rarely be able to move within the same company to a Management Accountant role. It can also be challenging to move back into practice if you change your mind later down the line, particularly after a period of time longer than 12-18 months, as advances in the profession and working towards the new reporting standards would require a significant catch-up. However, within practice there is room for movement between different aspects of the business, offering variation and the chance to decide what type of role is best for you. Ultimately, your decision will come down to what type of work suits you and what you want from your career as a finance professional. If you are looking for a role within a company whose brand and household name excites you, then a role in industry may suit you. However, if you are looking for a client-facing role that offers autonomy and variation in your day-to-day responsibilities with a clearly defined career path, you should pursue a finance role in practice. For more information on this article, or for advice on your next career move into a finance role in practice, contact Aaron on 020 7269 6340 or


60 Seconds With: Alicia Crisp, Partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Alicia joined MacIntyre Hudson as a graduate trainee at the North London office in 2007, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2010. Alicia is a Partner in the London office, managing a portfolio of clients, and her key focus is working with owner managed businesses across London and south Hertfordshire, from new start-ups to long-standing companies. You have an impressive career with all of your time being at Macintyre Hudson, what do you think the benefits of staying with one firm throughout your career history are? For me, a huge part of being an accountant is working with people. Being at the same firm means that whether I'm trying to support a new trainee with a problem, mentor someone looking for promotion or deal with a technical client query I have some idea of what they are going through. It also means if I’m not comfortable with the way something is working I know how to go about trying to find a solution. It has its limitations too though, whenever I recruit someone from another firm I encourage them to suggest different approaches to doing things. You must be very proud of being promoted after only 10 years of joining the firm. Are you one of the youngest people that have made Partner? While I was the youngest Partner for a while, I certainly wasn't the youngest ever. I was 22 when I started whereas some of our Partners have started as school leavers at 18. Last year I was awarded number one in the Accountancy Age 35 under 35 just before our AGM. While I was thrilled it also felt slightly awkward, I have never thought I am doing anything special and my fellow Partners certainly helped keep me grounded with the jokes about the advantage of being the only partner under 35 at the time! On day one you never know what lies ahead of you. When did you realise that Macintyre Hudson was the firm you wished to be a Partner at and why? I am quite a loyal person, MacIntyre Hudson has always presented great opportunities and variety which made it easy to want to stay and I'm not someone who would leave just in case there is something better out there. I have had opportunities to move on and have always chosen to stay – while things aren’t always perfect, as a firm it really does suit me, I like the level of client contact that I have had from the beginning, we are small enough that hard work and a good attitude mean you can be recognised and rewarded but large enough to have some top-level specialists that mean we can give a level of client service to be proud of. What is great about working for Macintyre Hudson? I can get a bit over-enthusiastic about why I think MHA is a great firm to work with or for - it has changed a lot in the time I have been here but growth has brought with it lots of opportunities. Inevitably we lose a number of our newly-qualified staff to industry each year, but the feedback we always hear when they come back to visit is realising just how much great training and support they have received at MHA compared to other people out there. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone who would apply to be part of the team? My immediate team is seven people but I dip into other teams a lot and at peak times can have as many as twenty people working for me. As one of the staff partners in the London office and someone with a growing team, I do a lot of interviewing. The best advice I can give is to be open about who you are and what you value. A key strength in any team is the diversity of skills, abilities and life experiences. Be frank about what you can bring to the table and authentic about what motivates you - while you need to have your interview answers prepped you need to let through some of yourself, it isn't all about scripted answers to questions! How would your team describe you? Tough question! I’d guess fair, approachable and if I am honest possibly a bit demanding. I am a firm believer that you get back what you put in, that doesn't mean that you have to work twelve hours every day of the week, but I want everyone to make the most of the opportunities to learn and develop, it will make people want to invest in you (and also makes it easier to accept the days when you maybe lose your focus a bit!) While I can be out of the office a lot, if someone on the team is experiencing a personal issue, supporting them is a key priority so I will endeavour to stop and make time for them. What advice would you give to your younger self? Maybe to do a couple more life-experience type things before settling down for a career, it feels like there's so much pressure to get a job and start moving forward with life when really another year or two of travelling or learning a language wouldn't have hurt, as long as I could have worked enough to pay for it. That said, I was lucky enough to take a sabbatical in 2013/14 to do a ski season in France which was a great opportunity to catch up on something I wished I had done before. When you interview someone for your team or organisation what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? I really try hard not to be distracted by first impressions, it is easy to be put off by someone rushing their words due to being nervous or distracted by lack of neat presentation. Although, neat and appropriate clothing and a sensible handshake will always help get things off to a good start! What challenges, personally or professionally, do you think the next generation face? There are a lot of unknowns about technology, things are changing so rapidly I can imagine it will be hard for people to plan what to study when things are changing so much. The cost of studying is increasing too so there is pressure on making the ‘right’ decision. Apprenticeships such as the AAT are a great way to balance getting professional training while earning money. It is never too late to change your mind or take some time out, accountancy was a last minute career change for me coming out of university and I have never looked back! What do you do to unwind outside of work? I love doing things that are different from the day job, particularly being active. When I can, I go climbing or to a dance workshop, but at the very least I try and get to the gym or go for a run even if the thought of finding the time is stressful. Aside from that, even if my day finishes late I try and end the evening with a couple of pages of a book - it really helps to switch off Thanks for your time Alicia, and as a little treat for all of our readers…do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? Theme parks - every year I take at least one day off to go to somewhere like Thorpe Park or Blackpool Pleasure Beach, genuinely one of my favourite days every year. I recently heard someone say one of the great things about having kids was getting to go to theme parks again and I thought 'wow was I supposed to have grown out of that?'. That and the Christmas Movies channel, but that’s a bit seasonal..! For more information about this article, or to speak to Tom about your recruiting needs or Finance opportunities in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696349 or


May 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in May 2019: FRP Advisory have strengthened its St Albans team with the appointment of Simon Carvill-Biggs as a Partner at the specialist advisory firm. Joining from his position as a Director at Menzies where he spent more than 6 years. Carvill-Biggs brings with him more than 20 years’ experience having also held positions at UHY Hacker Young, BDO and Moore Stephens. Sam Mills has joined EYs Manchester office as a Director in their restructuring team. Mills has a background in financial services joining from PWC where his 9 years was spent as a Senior Manager in financial advisory and then as a Senior Manager in deals and advisory. David Rule has been appointed to the newly created role of Executive Director of Supervision at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The role will entail overseeing supervision and monitoring of audit and company reporting and will report to FRC CEO Stephen Hadrill. “[Rule] joins the FRC at a time of strategic importance and will play a significant role in driving further improvements in audit and reporting quality,” Haddrill said. Peter Smithson has joined BDO as an Audit Partner in the technology and media team of their London office. Peter has over 17 years of sector experience having worked for Baker Tilly, Grant Thornton and most recently as a Partner in the West End office of Kingston Smith. 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


12 Tips to Become a Successful Recruiter

As a recruiter, it's your job to get the best talent through the door and provide your company or client with the right candidates who will make an impact. While each recruiter has different specific strengths, there are numerous commonalities among effective recruiters. Becoming a great recruiter takes skill, intuition and lots of practice, and our recruitment experts here at Pro have put together 12 Top Tips on becoming and remaining a successful recruiter. So, what makes a good recruiter? 1. Answer/return the call The most successful recruiters will always get back to people whether it is good or bad news and offer full feedback, or even just a quick update call. Don’t be that ever-elusive recruiter who doesn’t get back to their candidates or clients! If you went for a job and no one got back to you, even if you were not successful, would you be happy with this? 2. Make the most of your day Recruiting is like juggling plates. You will have business development calls, candidate calls, interviews, meetings, adverts, applications and emails amongst a barrage of incoming calls. Plan your day to make sure you hit your targets and deadlines, even when you find one situation takes up most of your afternoon unexpectedly! 3. Network Building your network of both existing and potential clients and candidates is key. Keeping in regular contact with active job seekers and clients you have placed with will keep you fresh in their minds to come back to. Attending industry events and lunches, alongside social networking are all effective ways to increase your means of generating the best candidates. 4. Build your personal brand Make sure you are delivering the best service to both clients and candidates alike! When you are generating business from a referral or placing candidates because you have been recommended, you know what you are doing is working! If you do a fantastic job, that candidate you placed last year will remember your excellent service and when they are recruiting for their own team, you will be the person they think of to contact. 5. Listen As a recruiter, you need to listen to both your clients and candidates alike to ensure that you fully understand every detail of what that individual wants. Just because you have recruited for a similar role for a competitor, both the role and what another client wants from a candidate will not necessarily be the same. The same goes for your candidates - understanding their wants, needs and goals will help you to match them to their perfect opportunity. 6. Drive and Determination To be a successful recruiter you need the drive and determination to succeed. You will need to pick up the phone to make cold calls, call candidates, headhunt the passive market and be proactive in your approach. 7. Never stop learning Making sure you are up to date with your knowledge and methods of working will help you stay ahead of your game. As an industry, recruitment is always changing and developing. Trends in the markets change, and tools and techniques are ever evolving. It’s hard to imagine a time without LinkedIn and social media as a recruitment tool; yet not that long ago it was unknown. The way clients are now recruiting is also changing to suit their needs, especially as we are now in such a buoyant market. 8. Ask questions Every successful recruiter has managed to hone their questioning skills to ensure they are finding out more than their competitors and able to make the best matches. Ask the right questions and don’t be afraid to dig deeper to clarify the answers. Knowledge is power in recruitment. 9. Have a thick skin There is a lot of rejection, and some days you may not get the results you want. The important thing is to be able to bounce back, keep positive and stay persistent. If you continue to be proactive you will be a huge success! 10. Think outside the box The most successful recruiters show entrepreneurialism and innovation in the ways they can source and fill vacancies. There is a lot of competition out there from thousands of other agencies. Make sure you are finding new and clever ways to work with clients and candidates alike and show you are different and why. Don’t be afraid to change the way you work because you are comfortable with your processes. 11. Work as a team There is a wealth of knowledge and skills across your business. Work alongside successful recruiters and you will pick up tips and styles to help you improve. Even the most seasoned recruiter can learn from a junior member of the team, and sharing knowledge and best practices will widen your skill set to ensure you are a top performer. 12. Know your market If you work in a specialised vertical sector then make sure you are up to date with industry news and market knowledge - to be the best recruiter you need to know your market inside-out! Here at Pro-Recruitment Group, our teams specialise in Tax, Legal, Finance, HR and Marketing recruitment. Each team prides themselves in being market specialists, who research and learn every day from a wide range of resources available to them. We hold events within these specialised areas to network with professionals and ensure our teams are up to date with their knowledge. We also source Consultants who have worked in these industries previously and so have hands-on experience within their sector, including Solicitors, Partners of Law Firms, Tax Seniors and Accountants. As a company, we are in a period of growth. If you are interested in becoming a market specialist and developing your career with Pro-Recruitment Group, contact our Head of Talent Loren on 020 7269 6358 or


April 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in April 2019: Julie Teigland has been appointed as EY's Area Managing Partner for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA). This is the first female EMEIA leader for EY and Julie will command more than 115,000 people across 98 countries with revenue in excess of £10.6bn. Julie has been with EY for more than 17 years and will also join the EY global executive committee. Baldwins accountancy group, a member of the CogitalGroup has made a further investment in Wales through the acquisition of MHA Broomfield Alexander. This South Wales firm has been established for over 100 years and currently employs more than 110 professional staff with an annual turnover of £7.5m Crowe has appointed Mark Allen as a Partner in its Corporate Finance Team based in the Thames Valley office. Mark joins from Deloitte where he led their Corporate Finance Team in Reading prior to moving to London as a senior member of the technology, media and telecoms team. The TC Group (previously Taylorcocks) has significantly expanded its presence in the south-east through a merger with Essex firm Jamesons. This Merger will provide TC Group with two more offices in Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea consolidating its position as one of the largest accountancy firms in the region. This brings the total offices of the TC Group to 13 offices nationwide. 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


Never Underestimate The Influence Of Company Culture on Staff Attraction

Due to the competitive nature of the market, high-quality candidates are often presented with four or five offers of employment for their next position. As a result, clients are constantly asking my advice on how to attract and retain the best talent out there! Whilst excellent rates of pay and opportunities for progression are two of the most obvious ways to attract the right team members, there are various other more subtle and engaging ways to maximise your staffing potential. According to Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. With that being said, below we will explore some creative ways to motivate and reward your employees when they go above and beyond. Not to mention ways to create a company culture that'll be the envy of your competitors and attract the top talent in the market! So what can your company do to attract and retain staff? Social functions We spend between eight and ten hours a day with our work colleagues so having positive relationships is important for both productivity, employee relations and staff morale. Having regular social functions strengthens these bonds and leaves your staff looking forward to going to work! It is also beneficial to break down some of the hierarchal barriers that can unconsciously arise in a formal office environment. Extra holiday allowance for charity and community work Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been a key areas of focus across various industries in the past year and what better way to engage with your team than support them in causes close to their own heart. Deloitte found that 76% of Millennials now regard business as a force for positive social impact. Whilst CSR benefits the employee directly they will feel that you as the employer see them as more than a body on a chair and are aligned with their motivations and ideologies. Flexible lifestyles need flexible working A common market misconception is that flexible working means an hour either side of rigid core hours in one location. In fact, flexible working is so much more than this, due in part to technological advances. According to a survey conducted by PowWowNow, 67% of employees polled wish they were offered flexible working. On top of that, 58% of people believed that working away from the office would help them become more motivated. Several of my key clients have implemented flexible locations whether this is working from home, regional offices or WeWork spaces. If you are reactive to your employees’ needs, chances are they will be appreciative. Let staff chose their own benefits and incentives Not every employee is the same and every individual will have key drivers as to what would make them feel rewarded. By allowing employees to have an input in their own personalised incentive scheme you again reinforce that you are a people focused company. Whether this is additional time off, financial reward or something more tangible such as a bottle of wine or meal with a loved one, allowing them to chose can really pay off. These are just some of the ideas that we at Pro-Recruitment Group have suggested to clients, which have been implemented across several offices. If you feel that your company does not value you as an employee, or indeed you are an employer looking to attract and retain the best staff in the market, please do get in contact with our industry experts! For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or


How To Close That Interview

So you’ve got the interview- good start. But now it’s time to get the job, and everything you say in the interview is crucial, so don’t neglect the standard “Do you have any questions for me?”. It’s incredible how many people spend hours preparing for interviews, do really well during the meeting itself and then get to the end only to say, “No, no questions, I think we have covered everything”. What does that say to the potential employer? Because from a recruiter’s point of view, I think it says “I’m not that interested" or "I just have not prepared". In reality, you are interviewing the role and the company just as much as they are interviewing you! This process is a two-way street - you need to come out of that interview and think "that's the best place for me", and the best way to know that is to ask focused questions and find out as much as possible about the role you will potentially be accepting. In my opinion, there are always questions that you could ask, whether it be about the culture of the team you will b working with, the future of the firm, the firm's specific client base, or even the background and career journey of the person you are meeting. So what questions could you ask at the end of an interview? My advice would be to formulate open-ended questions that you know won’t be covered by most interviews. Try to steer clear of "yes" or "no" questions, and avoid asking too much about salary and benefits in the initial interview stages. The likelihood is that the main part of the interview will involve talking about you as an individual, your relevant experience and the role itself, which leaves plenty of questions to ask which leave a good impression and build rapport. The chances are that at least one of these questions will not be covered by your interview: “Can you tell me about the structure of the team?" “Can you give me an example of some recent projects you have worked on?" (this will bring the role to life!) "What would be my goals/objectives for the first 6 - 9 - 12 months?" “I see you have come from a larger/smaller company, what was the transition like?” “What would my career path be like with this company?” "Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?" "Can you tell me about the team's culture?" (this will give you a chance to find out about the fun stuff!) Questions like the above show that you have done your research, looked into who you will be meeting and show that you are genuinely interested in joining them. Fingers crossed you will have multiple interviews, so the above questions are going to help you determine that this is the right firm for you! Just remember- first impressions count but it is how you leave the meeting that will leave a lasting impression, and smart, well-thought-out questions may just show that you are the perfect hire. For more interview tips, or for jobs in London or Nationwide, contact Kevin on 020 7269 6321 or


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


7 Steps To Getting A Promotion In Your Legal Career

Do you think it’s time for your promotion? The thing to note about career progression is that you’ll need more than simply the correct experience. Knowing what else you need to address with your employer, as well as how to bring the issue up, can be the key to getting your desired outcome from the conversation. Here are 7 handy steps you can take to get the promotion you’re after to propel your legal career. 1. Ask your employer The first thing to do is make sure you’ve stated your aspirations to your manager in clear terms. Set up a meeting with the appropriate authority to talk about your career, and the direction you’d like to take it in. Make clear how you see yourself progressing, and offer an ideal timeframe. Letting your employer know what your goals are may further incline them to move you up when the opportunity arises. An ideal conversation would also expose you to the opportunities currently available within your organisation. This should help you plan your next move. Generally, higher positions will involve greater freedom and autonomy, but also greater responsibility. You can’t go wrong by requesting greater responsibilities. Signalling a wish to do more important work should make your intentions clear in a non-obtrusive way. The old saying goes: ask and you shall receive. The first step, then, is to ask. 2. Sell yourself If asking alone got us the results we wanted, we would all be living out fully idealised lives. You need to do more than just ask – you need to display your credentials. Take notes of the work you’ve done to help your firm reach its strategic goals. Keep these achievements in a log, and make them prominent during your meeting with your manager. Beware: stating that you simply deserve to be moved up is by itself not a good tactic. Showing why you’re an important asset to the firm is better. Basically, you need to quantify your results. You might even show them some of your lesser-known accomplishments. Try to promote yourself in a way that also casts your colleagues in a better light. 3. Acquire additional skills Often, your current experience may not cover the requirements for a promoted position. Some positions you would like may require additional qualifications or skills, required even for internal applicants. Find out what these requirements are and take matters into your own hands by acquiring them. As technological skills change rapidly, you need an ever-increasing skill set to keep up and stay ahead of the game. Spending extra time to learn new things for a role you want is almost always worth it. If for some reason you miss the promotion, you’ll still have gained a new skill to add to your CV, which will help you if you choose to seek a new job. 4. Move sideways Instead of keeping your eyes on the role above you, perhaps try looking to the side. Sometimes a movement to a different but related niche or a different role at your same level may be a more lucrative career move. Not every promotion involves a direct movement upwards. This is especially useful in cases where someone directly above you is blocking your progression. Trying new responsibilities may even come with a pay rise or more flexible hours. You’ll gain new skills and expand your portfolio, which better equips you for when it’s time to move up. 5. Start asking questions Building a strong team allows managers to outsource expertise to their employees. As an employee, you should ask your questions to demonstrate your own value. There’s no creed that dictates employees must agree unequivocally with everything managers say. At times, it’s better to be inquisitive. But there has to be a balance: interested is not the same as irritating. Learn how to inquire with integrity, with the correct backup, and when to continue. 6. Realise your shortcomings It’s easy to take credit when things go well. Showing that you’re able to take blame when things go wrong, however, is a greater display of responsibility. It’s generally nicer to admit to your own failures and work on them, rather than hear about them from someone else. When things aren’t running smoothly, communicate this with your manager in a professional manner. The next step is to make clear how you’ll improve the situation, and show willingness to tackle it. Promotions are about accountability just as much as pay rises. Prove your accountability and maturity, and the rewards will come. 7. Keep working hard Amidst all this, it’s important to keep a cool head and remain focused on the work you’ve been currently delegated. Taking time to consider greater goals and larger-scale projects is useful, but not at the expense of your day job! Promotions are rarely certain. If you struggle with your current work, you’ll have a harder time convincing those above you that you’re suited for more senior responsibilities. If you feel like you’re stuck in a position with no progression, the industry experts here at Pro-Legal can help you find your next career move. For more information on this article, or for Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact Henry on 020 7269 6328 or



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