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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

  • Big 4 Outsourcing Senior

    Up to £45000 per annum + Great Progression

    Big 4 Outsourcing Senior £45,000 + London Do you want to work for one of the Big 4 accountancy practices? Are you currently working in a UK Practice performing an outsourcing function? Are you ACA/ACCA quali...

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  • Outsourcing Manager

    Up to £60000 per annum + Unrivaled progression opportunities!

    Accounts Manager £60,000 London - Big 4 Opportunity! Do you dream of working for the Big 4? Are you currently an Accounts Manager looking for a fresh challenge with diverse and exciting clientele? Do you wan...

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  • Audit and Accounts Semi Senior

    Up to £36000 per annum + Study Support

    Audit & Accounts Semi Senior London £36,000 An exciting top 100 firm with rapid growth plans has instructed Pro-Finance to source a candidate for their vacant Audit and Accounts Semi Senior position. The suc...

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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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March 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Posted by Callum MacRae

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in March: The audit team at BDO has been given a boost by the appointment of Leighton Thomas from PWC as a Partner. Leighton specialises in venture capital; private equity backed businesses and will support BDO clients from scale up through maturity and the potential exit. Accountancyage.co.uk Paul Smethurst has been appointed as a Partner in the forensic team of Menzies. Paul has 25 years’ experience in the sector most recently as Partner and Head of Forensic Investigation services at Carter Baker Winter where he spent 13 years. Economia.iceaw.com Goringe Accountants has appointed Mandy Chubb as Head of Management Accounts at their Reading office. Mandy has 25 years industry experience most recently at Vistra international. Financemoves.co.uk Joining BDO Reading as a Corporate Finance Partner is Matt Lister. Matt joins from PWC and will focus on transaction support to clients based in Thames Valley and the surrounding region. Financemoves.co.uk​ For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk

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

Posted by Callum MacRae

As a specialist recruiter into the audit and accounts market, I interact with candidates and clients on a daily basis across all levels of seniority. I work with professionals from a trainee just starting their career within the profession, with a positive mindset and the world in front of them; to experienced partners who have been there and performed the role for many years. One of the key staffing needs industry-wide and therefore one of the most engaging levels is at the newly qualified Audit Senior level. There are many reasons why this is a market skills gap but one of the key factors is that upon ACA/ACCA qualification auditors will look to explore their career options. You have just left a lengthy training contract; you have been employed in the same place for the last 3-4 years and it is time for a change. A common career choice is to leave the firm that has trained you and make the step over into a role within commerce and industry. People often make this move as they feel tired of audit, they have ended up on the same client cycle for two or three consecutive years and it is starting to become a little repetitive. In my experience, this can be a rushed and ill-informed decision with people swayed by the bright lights of industry. Some things to consider are the firm you are working for, the clients you are working on and even the Partners you will report to. When speaking with auditors the key thing they enjoy is client interaction, something that you will lose when working in-house. Whether you want to be working with financial institutions with turnovers in the billions, small owner managed businesses where you can be a key influencer in the business decisions or spending your time on site at recording studios, film sets or sports stadiums. The world of audit may perhaps be larger than you realise. If you are considering your next career move the importance of liaising with an experienced recruitment consultant who can provide advice cannot be overstated. For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk

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February 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Posted by Callum MacRae

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in February: Mark Cardiff has joined BDO as an international audit partner based in London. Mark joins from Grant Thornton where he was a partner for more than 15 years. Financemoves.co.uk Also joining BDO as a partner is Fiona Davis. Having spent nearly 20 years with PWC Fiona joins the risk and advisory services team in London. Financemoves.co.uk PKF Littlejohn has taken on the staff and clients of the London-based firm Welbeck Associates. London-based Welbeck Associates has one office with 17 employees and two partners. As part of the deal, Welbeck Associates director Jonathon-Bradley-Hoare will be returning to PKF Littlejohn, where he was previously employed and become a partner in the firm’s capital markets team. Economia Price Bailey has appointed Michael Cooper-Davis as a director in the corporate team, in their city of London office. Michael is joining from haysmacintyre where he worked as a senior manager in the charities team. Financemoves.co.uk For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk

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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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