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Callum MacRae

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Callum MacRae

Consultant - Finance

Working within the Finance team, I recruit accountancy professionals into specialised and generalist roles within the London Market. I recruit at all levels from Trainee to Partner level. 

I liaise with a large client base from the Big 4, through the Top 100 and more specialised boutique firms. Working alongside my highly experienced team, we have had great success placing high-quality candidates with their next exciting career opportunity. 

Coming from a strong sales background and dealing with high wealth individuals, my career path has covered a broad range of clientele. I have a real passion for fully understanding my candidates and clients’ motivations and matching people to their next exciting job role. 

Outside of work I have a passion for football. Living in Essex I support my local team Manchester United (ahem!) and play for two slightly more local teams. When not on the football field or golf course you will find me with my three-year-old daughter Evelyn. 

If I was not a recruitment consultant I would play up front for Manchester United breaking all existing records. Failing that, anything that allows me to assist people realise their goals and maximise opportunities. I enjoy sharing in the success of others and seeing happy clients and candidates makes me a happy consultant!

callum's latest roles

  • Senior Audit Manager

    Up to £75000 per annum + Route to Partner

    Job Title Audit Senior Manager Location London Salary Up to £75,000 + Route to Partner Fantastic opportunity in a growing London based practice for a Senior Audit Manager. Highly progressive role with route ...

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  • Audit Director - Partner Track

    £85000 - £95000 per annum + Generous benefits package

    Audit Director - Partner Track West London location paying £85,000+ with a generous bonus scheme and a clearly defined route to Partnership. My clients are a top 50 ranked accountancy practice based in Centr...

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  • Audit Supervisor/ Assistant Manager

    £48000 - £54000 per annum + Additional Benefits

    Just moments from both underground and overground stations, this progressive practices modern offices are located in the City of London surrounded by a wealth of vibrant bars and restaurants. On offer to the...

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What people say about Callum

Callum made finding a new role effortless and quick; a very personal service which was tailored to me and around my working hours. I received invaluable advice on interview techniques, salary negotiation as well as lots of CV tips.


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Companies Callum has worked with

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HW Fisher is a top 25 accountancy practice with two offices based in London and Watford. With over 30 Partners and 300 staff. 

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callum's articles

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CMA and Kingman review: Where are we now?

Posted by Callum MacRae

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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January 2019: Finance Movers & Shakers

Posted by Callum MacRae

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in January: Robert Brooker has been appointed as co-head of the forensics and fraud team at PKF Littlejohn. Prior to this appointment Brooker was head of fraud for Transport for London where he worked for ten years after leaving Bentley Jennison (now RSM). economia Andrew Hoyle has been promoted to partner at the Leeds office of Mazars where he has been a part of the team since 2005 having started his career as a graduate. Prior to his promotion he was a director of Mazars UK. economia EY has announced that Carmine Di Sibio has been elected the next EY global chairman and CEO effective from July 2019 succeeding Mark Weinberger. Di Sibio is currently serving as EY global managing partner – client service. Finance Moves Ian West has been appointed UK head of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice at KPMG succeeding Alex Holt. West has been with KPMG for 18 years and also operates as the joint lead for their c-suite programme. Finance moves 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 Big 4: Are the Auditors Ready to Be Audited?

Posted by Callum MacRae

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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November 2018: Finance Movers & Shakers

Posted by Callum MacRae

James Saunders has joined Kingston Smith as a partner in their not-for-profit team. With other 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit and charities sector James joins from RSM. Finance Moves UHY Hacker Young has appointed Myles Jacobson as a partner in the turnaround & recovery team in London. Jacobson has over two decades of experience in insolvency and restructuring and joins form Streets SPW where he was a partner. Finance Moves Dave Dunckley has been appointed as the new CEO of Grant Thornton following the departure of Sacha Romanovitch. Dunkley has been with the firm since 1998 after moving from Rawlinson and Hunter and has been a partner since 2007. City AM Dianne Petit-Laurent has been appointed as a new corporate partner in the Manchester office. Joining from Deloitte Diane services a large portfolio form the technology, manufacturing and retail sectors. Economia

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Never Underestimate The Influence Of Company Culture on Staff Attraction

Posted by Callum MacRae

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 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. 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 one of the industry's key areas of focus for 2018 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 the become more motivated. Several of my key clients have implemented flexible locations whether this is working from home, regional offices or we workspaces. 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 I have suggested to clients and 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 call for an initial discussion. For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk

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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Lee T Murphy, Managing Director at The Accountancy Partnership

Posted by Callum MacRae

Lee T Murphy MAAT ICPA is the Managing Director at The Accountancy Partnership, with over 8 years’ experience in accounting and finance and 10 years’ experience in business. The Accountancy Partnership is focused on providing an affordable and quality accountancy service to business of all sizes across the UK. What three traits define you? Determined, Innovative and Forward-thinking. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? Calling random customers to see if their Yellow pages had been delivered! How do you define success? By the impact you have in your industry and by how much you can improve customer’s lives. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? I would start an educational company focused on tailoring education to how an individual learns with the courses only teaching what is relevant in their chosen industry. What is your personal philosophy? To do my best work every day. How do you start your day? I list three things in Trello to do that day which are focused on improving the company which I then prioritise over the day to day work. What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? The people. We have such an innovative and friendly team that it’s a pleasure to work amongst them. What are the secrets to good leadership? Lead by example Listen to employees Keep the structure as flat as possible What makes your company unique? The whole service we offer is completely unique in the UK. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of what an accountant-client relationship is and we’re first to market with lots of innovative software features. Who do you most admire in your industry? This may sound strange but I actually admire HMRC. Whilst they’re a long way from perfect they are very focused on technology and improving systems every day. The HMRC developers we have worked with have always listened to input and tried to adapt where possible. 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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How England's World Cup Progress is Strikingly Similar To The Interview Process

Posted by Callum MacRae

What a tournament England are having! There is a sense of optimism building nationwide that this year could be our year and football is indeed coming home! After watching the highs and lows of some of the teams across the tournament I found myself comparing the World Cup with the recruitment process and how a good recruitment consultant can be your very own Gareth Southgate. Qualifying Stage This is where we review all the potential roles available. A good recruitment consultant can help you get a favourable pot and ensure you are not matched with roles you would not be a good fit for. Group Stage Thanks to your consultants’ expert guidance, you are now considering a group of suitable roles and are applying only to roles that are a good fit for your skill set, desires and experience. What will ensure you stand out in this group stage is interview preparation and techniques provided by your consultant to ensure you progress from the group. Round of 16 First stage interviews – You will now put into place all the guidance and coaching that your consultant has provided to ensure you stand out from the opposition and make it through to the next stage. Quarter Finals The second stage interview process – In preparation for this next round of interviews you will already have a strong knowledge about the company and role that you are interviewing for. A further meeting with Gareth Southgate will coach you on how to navigate this next stage and how to navigate this potentially tricky tie. Semi-Finals Negotiation of offer – The semi-final is where Gareth will truly add value to your campaign. By knowing their clients’ needs and motivating factors they can use expert negotiation skills to ensure they get you the best offer they can. The Final The final game, the main event. The job offer! Whilst your consultant will have ensured that the offer provided is all that you are looking for there is still further hurdles to overcome. Handing in your notice, dealing with negotiations on notice period and start date there are further areas of focus that a good consultant will be able to assist with. After all of this…..IT’S COMING HOME. A well-deserved victory parade; or a celebratory lunch/dinner with your consultant to celebrate your new position! If you want your very own Gareth Southgate to assist you to bring it home, then speak to myself or a member of my team so we can help you source your next exciting position!

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Why you won't succeed in accountancy without soft skills

Posted by Callum MacRae

The accountancy profession is changing – fast. There has been a profound shift in the role of accountants in recent years, from bean counters to strategic business partners. Firms are now embracing new technology, providing services that deliver added value and helping their clients beyond just the numbers. As a result, the way employers define top talent has changed. No longer are qualifications and technical skills the sole focus. Whilst these requirements remain important, equally as valued are skills such as commercial acumen and entrepreneurialism. So, what does this mean for professionals seeking to progress their finance career in today’s market? One key point is to work on your soft skills. Take a look at any job description these days and you are likely to see a request for ‘excellent communication skills’ or ‘ability to build strong relationships’. These are soft skills. They are not new by any means but are more important in the workplace now than ever before. However, unlike hard skills which can be proven and measured, soft skills are intangible and difficult to quantify. There are a number of different skills within this category but, based on feedback from senior business leaders on the lookout for their next rising star, here are two key skills we suggest focusing on. Business Acumen Sometimes referred to as commercial awareness, this often takes a back seat in accountancy in favour of technical competency. However, organisations are now looking for their accountants to act as strategic business partners, being proactive in identifying solutions to complex problems and new ways to add value. Business acumen takes effort to acquire but often comes at no other cost than a bit of your time. Try the following: · Follow key developments in your industry, reading up on emerging practices and successful business strategies. Try setting Google Alerts so that you receive breaking news directly to your inbox · Follow industry experts and commentators on social media that foster strategic thinking and recommended tactics · Learn from others. Perhaps seek out a mentor who can help you better understand how a company and sector works Communication The official definition of the word communicate is to ‘share or exchange information, news, or ideas’. Well, we can all do that but how effective a communicator are you? Did your parents ever tell you ‘it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it’? Strong written and verbal communication skills are vital in accountancy as you will often be required to collaborate with multiple departments and stakeholders. Successful business development is also achieved by making new connections and nurturing relationships. Here are some tips to help you improve your communication skills, which you should find useful both in the workplace and in an interview scenario: · Listen. Really listen. Pay attention, put away the distractions (phones, tablets) and engage with what the other person is saying · Adapt your communication style to your audience. Whether you’re talking to your boss, a co-worker or the CEO of a global organisation – adjust how you speak according to who you are speaking with · Ask questions and repeat back some of what has been said. This shows you are listening and interested in what the other person is saying · Be aware of your body language. Even when you are not saying anything, you are constantly communicating. Making eye contact, avoiding crossed arms and not fidgeting are a good place to start These are just two of the vital soft skills required to perform well in a modern accounting firm. If you would like to stay ahead of the game by polishing up on these skills, get in touch with Pro-Recruitment for further tips and advice.

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