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Aaron Scott

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Aaron Scott

Consultant - Finance

I joined Pro on the Associate Consultant programme in July 2018, and shortly after I made the transition to the Finance team. I specialise in recruiting accountancy professionals across London & Buckinghamshire at all levels, from Trainee to Partner. I work with a vast client base, from members of the Big 4 to specialist boutique firms.

 

I have come from an insurance broking background which has allowed me to make the smooth transition into recruitment and life at Pro. My interpersonal skills and my ability to understand and meet the need of clients has resulted in my time at Pro being successful so far (hopefully it will continue).

 

In my spare time, I spend most of the time playing football, cricket and golf (unfortunately I’m not any good at any of them). Also, I'm a huge West Ham fan - I go to most home and away games, and love spending time with friends and family. 

 

My best holiday would definitely be Australia - I’d highly recommend Rottnesst Island to anyone who is visiting Perth, it was an unbelievable experience. 

aaron's latest roles

  • Audit Manager

    £60000 - £65000 per annum + fantastic benefits package

    Audit Manager London Up to £65,000 Are you looking to join one of the top 20 as an Audit Manager? Would you be interested in joining one of the most ambitious accountancy firms in the UK? Progression is the ...

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  • Accounts Manager - Creative Sector Sp...

    £45000 - £65000 per annum + free season ticket loan

    Accounts Manager - Creative Sector Specialists London Up to £65,000 Are you looking to join a market leader within the creative sector? If so, this is an excellent opportunity to join a fantastic practice, w...

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  • Audit Manager - Japanese Speaking

    £48000 - £60000 per annum

    Audit and Accounts Manager - Japanese Speaking London Up to £60,000 Are you a fluent speaker in Japanese? Would you like to work in one of the most vibrant places in London? Are you looking to manage an exce...

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What people say about Aaron

Aaron was extremely helpful throughout my entire job search with Pro-Finance. He was then very supportive once I got an interview offer, providing specific detail on the company as well as general interview tips, and was very quick with answering any questions I had on the role...

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Companies Aaron has worked with

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Haines Watts is a Top 15 accountancy practice with a strong presence across the UK. The network consists of 60 offices which are independently owned to uniquely combine an independent working environment with a leading corporate name.

The North View Group operates under three brands; Kensington Mortgages, Acenden and New Street Mortgage, they provide mortgage products, servicing, underwriting, analytics and securitisation. They are Private Equity backed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and TPG Special Situations Partners.

BKL is a Top 60 accountancy firm boasting over 180 staff working out of 2 offices, London and Cambridge. BKL deals with a wide array of clients and offers a large range of specialist accountancy services, whilst offering a sociable and flexible working environment for ambitious accounting professionals.

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aaron's articles

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Finance Practice vs. Industry: The Big Debate

Posted by Aaron Scott

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 aaron.scott@pro-finance.co.uk.

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Why I Chose a Career As a Finance Recruiter

Posted by Aaron Scott

"I made the right decision and I can’t wait to see what the future holds…" Having completed an intensive four-week training program designed to introduce new colleagues to the 360 processes of recruitment, Aaron Scott was given the task of choosing his sector specialism and ultimately his new team. Here are the reasons why he decided to choose a career in finance recruitment. After four insightful weeks, my rigorous training had finished and I was now a fully fledged Associate Consultant. It was time to move into a team and while for some it may have been a difficult decision, it was a no-brainer for me. I had known for some time that I had wanted to join Pro-Finance. I immediately established a great relationship with the team and they really helped me settle in and find my feet. Whilst the Finance Team played a part in my decision, I believe the role itself was the most suited to me. I based this from my experience working with the team during my training, Finance was the industry I picked up the quickest and felt most confident about. I felt comfortable with talking to candidates and clients in the finance industry at such an early stage in my recruitment career. The team has such a diverse portfolio, recruiting Finance Analysts, Financial Controllers, Accounts Assistants through to Audit Seniors. I’m now specialising in placing Auditors and Accountants into a range of Accountancy practices, from the Big 4 to specialist boutiques. Currently, I'm working with a variety of candidates from Trainee level to Partners. All of this ultimately made my decision a lot easier (let’s just hope I made the right one!) Since joining the team, it’s been intense but on a completely different level. To be honest, I don’t think I would want it any other way. I’m glad I have one industry to focus all my attention on now instead of trying to split my time between Finance, Tax, Legal and HR. I’ve learned more about the world of Finance and Accountancy Practices as well as the client side of recruitment. I can’t wait to start forging my own successful client relationships in the future. The training I've had at Pro has been excellent. We’ve had continuous monthly training sessions with Jim Atkins at Enabling Change which has been very beneficial. He has taught me so much we’ve had sessions on headhunting, candidate obstacles along with how to sell solutions to clients and candidates. He is truly an excellent trainer and I wouldn’t have progressed so quickly without his training. Thanks Jim! I made the right decision and I can’t wait to see what the future holds… If you're looking to make a move into recruitment, I highly recommend you speak to Loren von Sternberg, who can offer a great insight into opportunities available at Pro-Group.

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My First Two Weeks In Recruitment - Aaron Scott

Posted by Aaron Scott

Well, what a start to my recruitment career it has been! I joined Pro-Group two weeks ago and I haven’t looked back since. The assessment day during our interview process gave me a real understanding of what to expect on a day to day basis here at Pro. Since I joined It’s been hectic, intense but most of all fun all similar to what I experienced during my assessment day, I believe I’ve made the right decision to make the move from insurance and I couldn’t be happier. Over the past the couple of weeks I’ve been in and out of training learning the whole 360 cycle of recruitment, how to write adverts, source candidates and plenty more. The training at Pro has been fantastic. For someone who is such a beginner and really opened my eyes to the world of recruitment. The training has been external and internal, we’ve had Jim Atkins from Enabling Change come into the office for two days and it was fantastic. It really helped me to understand how to move forward when speaking to candidates and clients. Also, we had Lisa Jones from Barclay Jones, who hosted a great session on advert writing with us and how to make the most of the advert. I would highly recommend both trainers to anyone who is starting out in recruitment. One of the main reasons for joining Pro was the culture has a real family-orientated atmosphere and the people are great! They do really value their staff and make you feel so welcomed into the Pro family as soon as you join, which is great. I’m so excited to continue to keep learning and move forward within the company, I’m still quite open in terms of which team I will go into, I’m sure over the coming weeks this will all fall into place. If you're looking to make a move into recruitment, I highly recommend you speak to Loren von Sternberg, who can offer a great insight into opportunities available at Pro-Group.

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Psychometric Tests – Accurate Portrayal or Creator of Doubt?

Posted by Aaron Scott

The psychometric test has made its mark on the recruitment process across a range of sectors up and down the UK. The most interesting increase has been at the professional level where there is a real labour shortage. It raises the question, are these tests enhancing the recruitment process or reducing chances of making a successful hire? Team fit is undoubtedly a crucial element in the recruitment process. Given how subjective this element is, it is widely recognised as a potential flaw in assessing prospective employees. A variety of external (and irrelevant) factors could have an influence on the process. The introduction of the psychometric test aims to provide a defined, clear and more importantly 'fair' assessment of team fit and personality. However, imagine that you have been searching for the ideal candidate for the last 6 months and suddenly that perfect CV lands on your desk, you meet them, you're hugely impressed and they appear the perfect fit… only for a psychometric test result to lead to the rejection of what you believe to be the perfect candidate. You could be creating an opportunity for your competitors to gain an advantage. Confidence in such tests has risen with the increased development of technology and E-recruitment. Out of the companies that used psychometric testing, 81% said that they expected to make more reliable and less risky decisions, compared to only 67% who said the same thing in 2010. The percentage of employers who believed that psychometric testing can predict future performance rose from under half (49%) in 2010 to 57% in recent years. The majority (94%) of organisations who used psychometric assessment did so during the hiring stage. The largest rise in the use of testing was in employee development activities, where 63% of companies now utilise them compared with only 43% in 2010. However, asking staff to take a test as they leave the firm has remained uncommon compared to the more personal exit interview. Psychometric tests undoubtedly have their benefits and their rise in popularity amongst a range of sectors clearly shows they have a place in the recruitment process. How are they effectively used though? Experience suggests a case by case basis. Having seen both sides where my clients have missed out on candidates by treating these results as gospel and others where it has significantly improved the hiring process. It should be an additional consideration to an interview process which is where it adds value, not the defining factor where it becomes a hindrance. For more information about this article, or to speak to Aaron about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 0207266340 or aaron.scott@pro-finance.co.uk

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