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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

  • Audit and Accounts Senior

    Up to £50000 per annum

    Audit and Accounts Senior £50,000 Essex Tired of the commute into Central London? Do you want the Central London Salary without the exorbitant train fare? Are you ACA/ACCA qualified and looking for a social ...

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  • 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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  • Audit Supervisor/ Assistant Manager

    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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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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6 Advantages of Contracting

Posted by Callum MacRae

Pro-Finance have noticed a recent upturn in the number of clients and candidates who are considering contract or temporary employment. We began to ask why the rise in people exploring their temporary opportunities and the pros of contracting. Below I will explore the positives of contracting and whatever the reason, you will certainly find the world of contracting is extremely diverse and can help you develop invaluable skills for the future. 1. It offers flexibility - contracting allows you to pick when you work. Obviously, you must be upfront with your employer, but you can choose assignments which may be full-time, part-time, short-term or long-term projects. It is ideal if trying to fit in around childcare or caring for a relative. 2. It allows you to develop skills - each placement will be unique and will require different skills. You will be able to expand and improve your skill set which will enhance your CV. 3. It offers exposure - you will experience many different businesses, environments, and cultures and this will offer an invaluable insight into where you work best and where you might choose if you want a permanent role. 4. You can make contacts - working at lots of different places offers you the opportunity to make contacts that can help in the future. Never mind the contacts you make at your recruitment agency; who will really get to know you and your strengths with every placement. 5. It could lead to a permanent role - contracting allows both you and the employer to ‘audition’ each other. It is a far safer and less stressful way to see if you like a role and a practice. 6. The pay - when contracting, you can earn more than the permanent salary offered by working on an increased hourly or day rate. This is often to compensate for the risk and instability associated with a short-term assignment. For the businesses who hire a contractor, they offer a valuable and indispensable service on an often-short-term basis. It is an ideal solution to hiring challenges such as sickness, maternity leave, increased short-term workload and even allows them to ‘try before they buy’ when looking to recruit for a permanent role. Here at Pro-Finance, we have developed the flexibility to work alongside candidates and clients whether their needs be either contract or permanent. If you wish to discuss how best to structure your next career step contact us now. As impartial consultants with a wealth of experience, we are well positioned to advise on your next move. If you are interested in discussing your career further please contact Callum MacRae on +44(0)20 7269 6369.

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Where is your personal finish line and how are you going to get there?

Posted by Callum MacRae

A key part of my job is speaking with candidates and discussing their next career move. However, a worrying trend I am noticing that people are always thinking about the short term move and are not carefully considering their long-term career goals. I advise all candidates that I speak with to truly examine where they see themselves in 5, 10, 20 years’ time. A structured career path and defined goals are key to long-term career satisfaction and true fulfilment of your potential. If you don’t define your path it is easy to get lost amongst the woods. How do people set and keep to their goals? Be SMART about it. · Specific – Your goal must be clear and well designed. Vague goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction. If you don’t define the path it’s easy to get lost in the woods! · Measurable – Include precise dates and amounts so you can measure your degree of success. Without a way to measure your success you will miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something. · Attainable – If you cannot achieve the goals what will you gain from this process? Nothing positive that is for sure. By this perceived and avoidable failure, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence. · Relevant – Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your career path and life to take. This is the opportunity to ask yourself why you want to achieve this goal? Do you see yourself as a partner with the potential for long hours or would you rather be a senior manager working more relaxed hours spending time with the family? · Timely – Time is money! Don’t ever lose sight of this. Goals must have a deadline and this will allow you to know when it’s time to celebrate. Also, deadlines create a sense of urgency and achievement will come that much quicker. By following the above method, you will create a structured path and plan for your career and ultimately your life. Ensure you physically write them down and keep them visible. This makes it tangible and real whilst acting as a constant reminder of what your personal destination is. Remember why you have the goals and make sure you stick to them. Ensure the goals motivate you and constantly manage them. Goalposts can move, life plans can change so ensure the destination is relevant to the journey! Remind yourself of the rewards that achieving these goals will provide. Whether that is financial benefits, a new car, a holiday in the Maldives or moving to a new house. So what will you accomplish today?? You set the finish line we can help you get there…..

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Soft skills, why they are important and how they can help you secure that dream job!

Posted by Callum MacRae

Whether it’s not hearing back after sending your CV, being politely turned down after an interview or being overlooked for promotion, rejection hurts! It would be understandable to get depressed, angry and/or apathetic about it. Eventually, you’ll just move on. Or, you could take the initiative and reflect on the situation to analyse why you were rejected or overlooked. This is the much harder path, but it is significantly more therapeutic and increases your odds of success for the next time. Let’s say you applied for a job. You were one of ten candidates out of a hundred applicants to get to the interview stage. All of you are qualified to do the job, or you wouldn’t have made it this far! So what variables separated the successful candidate from the rest of you? Why were they offered the position? It was probably soft skills. According to a study from Harvard University, well-developed soft skills account for 85 percent of job success. Hard skills account for the remaining 15 percent. Broadly defined as “interpersonal skills such as the ability to communicate well with other people and to work on a team,” soft skills were first formalized by John P. Fry and Paul G. Whitmore in a 1974 report on leadership research in the U.S. Army. What counts as a soft skill varies depending on whom you ask, but a list published in 2012 by researcher Marcel M. Robles does a good job of summarizing some of the most valuable ones: Communication: speaking, writing, presentation, and listening skills Courtesy: manners, (business) etiquette, graciousness Flexibility: adaptability, willingness to change, teachability, adjustability Integrity: honesty, morality, doing what’s “right” Interpersonal skills: sociability, a sense of humour, friendliness, empathy, patience Positive attitude: optimism, enthusiasm, confidence Professionalism: poise, business-appropriate appearance and behaviour Responsibility: accountability, reliability, resourcefulness, self-discipline, common sense Teamwork: cooperativeness, supportiveness, collaboration, Work ethic: loyalty, working hard, taking initiative, self-motivation, showing up on time. Some of these qualities are quite subjective, such as being “business-like” or “adaptable.” Others are more objective, such as “taking the initiative” and “showing up on time.” Can you perfect all of them? No. Nobody’s perfect. If you think you are, then let’s add “humility” to this list. How can you improve your soft skills? It’s the same as anything practice! Volunteering, running a sports team, writing a blog, tutoring, mentoring, and joining a professional association are all good ways to practice these soft skills, especially those that relate directly to interpersonal communication. For the balance: follow the “Golden Rule”, be well groomed, dress well, manage your time, keep a calendar, and, the easiest of all, set your alarm clock! It’s hard to see ourselves as others see us, so consider asking trusted friends, colleagues, family members, and bosses for feedback on where your soft skills are strong and where they need improvement. People like to help each other out, and they’ll likely be flattered you asked. Your education and experiences will get you noticed, but your soft skills will get you hired. Employers know what they want. They hold all the cards. They’re in the driver’s seat. The truth is that you must fit into their expectations. Be accountable and realize that when it comes to soft skills, it’s you, not them. Fix what needs fixing. Here at Pro-Recruitment Group, our trained consultants have the ability to help and advise on the key soft skills and how to put them across in interviews. This approach leads to a higher level of interview success and leads to job offers.

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