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Petra Brown

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Petra Brown

Managing Consultant | Interim Finance | Commerce & Industry

I am originally from Slovakia where I have studied Finance and Economics.  After graduating, I have moved to UK in Surrey where I started my career within Banking industry. 11 years ago, I moved into recruitment and became specialist within Finance particularly in Commerce & Industry sector.
 

I work in the Pro-Finance Commercial sector where I recruit interim and contract Accountancy, Finance, Transformation, Change Management and Business Intelligence staff. My clients include Global organisations as well as SME business across London and Home counties. I thrive on being able to consult with my clients and candidates and provide them with insight into the market as well as being able to be part of restructures which lead to long lasting relationships.
 

In my spare time , I am a very active person and usually you will find me playing golf or running – but only in nice weather. Walking my dog or doing numerous activities with my son is also a huge part of my life. We both love travelling and in 2018 , my son and I went travelling and visited Africa, numerous European countries as well as 10 weeks across Florida which was my memory building experience before he has embarked on school journey.

petra's latest roles

  • Group Accountant

    £40000 - £50000.00 per annum + company benefits

    Pro Finance has currently partnered with fantastic entertainment organisation seeking part/newly- qualified Group Accountant to join high profile Group Finance team. In this role you will provide accurate an...

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  • Interim PM - Process Improvement

    £40000 - £60000 per annum

    I am currently looking for Project Manager and Process Improvement Manager to join UK Continuous Improvement function. This business is looking to standardise & optimise key processes and requires an experie...

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What people say about Petra

Petra is a very good judge of character which makes her match's very compatible. The opportunities she presented to me were always in line with my brief and that made the interviews very successful. I would highly recommend her services.

Petra is a very convincing person which is the best quality for her job type. She really knows how to sell. She is very helpful and works with full enthusiasm and dedication to achieve the best results for her clients. My first job in UK was due to her. She helped me get an interview and then also cleared up all my confusions. Keep up the good work!

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Companies Petra has worked with

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Sky UK Limited is a British broadcaster and telecommunications company that provides television and broadband Internet services, fixed line and mobile telephone services to consumers and businesses in the United Kingdom

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petra's articles

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3 Reasons Why Hiring an Interim Finance Director Can Support You in Recruiting a Permanent Finance Director

Posted by Petra Brown

One of the most important relationships at the senior level is that of the CEO and Finance Director. so it’s critical to put time and resources into finding the right fit for the FD position. It can seem a costly, time consuming and overwhelming prospect, particularly if it involves C-Suite conversations, but it's essential that you take this time to reflect on the role, what you would like the next FD to oversee and shape the role to suit your growing business. Here is where an experienced Interim Finance Director can help you bridge the gap, allow you to better direct and shape the role and processes to suit your organisation’s needs, as well having someone onboard to keep your existing finance operations running. The changeover of a permanent FD can open up a mix of complications, which if left unaddressed could mean it is filled by the wrong person, which can have a domino effect and be detrimental to your finance department, so it’s beneficial to recruit the right Interim Finance Director to manage this transition. There are many benefits to hiring an interim finance professional, but here are 3 reasons why hiring an Interim Finance Director can support you in recruiting a Permanent Finance Director: Bridge the Gap The permanent FD required at present may not be available immediately and an experienced interim FD provides seamless cover and continuity to day-to-day processes, ranging from a few weeks to a few months. Sometimes, a team without a leader can be misguided and feel a little displaced, so the presence of an interim Finance Director will bring stability to a finance function at what can be an unsettling and uncertain time for the existing team. The C-Suite can then continue to concentrate on company revenue-generating activities without being distracted by accounting and finance responsibilities. Relevance During the Hiring Process A temporary solution to your Finance Department can support you with the recruitment process by providing a professional opinion. Your interim support will be experienced, highly knowledgeable and multifaceted with their approach. They can help you to draft the job specification; taking time to reflect on what you would like from the future permanent Finance Director, perhaps skills you didn’t have in the previous.  An Interim FD can help you review candidate applications. Knowing what is good and what is not so good in a CV can sometimes be hard to spot if you’re not working directly in the field, so the experience of the interim support can help you filter the best candidate for your position, Once the permanent candidate is recruited, the interim can cover the incoming FD’s notice period and provide a comprehensive handover to ensure they are fully briefed and able to seamlessly integrate into the business with a thorough onboarding program. Confidence and Reliability Beyond the recruitment process, many key stakeholders, such as your clients and investors will be reassured that a competent, knowledgeable and reliable FD is in place through the transitional phase, so as to not disrupt the ‘business as usual’ operations. Similarly, the interim FD can also provide additional support and mentoring to phase the incoming Finance Director into the new environment. Freelancers/Contractors do not require the additional provisions which are expected by a permanent member of staff, which may include additional costs to total remuneration, so the business rests assured that the hiring and onboarding process is the most efficient one, in both time and money. For more information about how an interim finance professional can help your organisation, contact Petra on  07791 400 731 or email petra.brown@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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Freedom Day Delay - Increased Demand for Hiring Contractors

Posted by Petra Brown

With the UK’s announcement to extend the final stages of lockdown until July 19th, and as Rishi Sunak rejects calls by businesses for furlough extension, there has never been a better time to consider hiring a contractor to bolster your finance team. More and more companies are turning to finance contractors rather than permanent staff during this unfamiliar time of economic growth. Real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown by 2.3% in March 2021, the fastest monthly growth since July 2020, as government restrictions affecting economic activity continued to ease. Firms are concentrating on temporary workers due to uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit. Demand for temporary staff has increased at the fastest pace since October 2018, according to new research. With firms looking for contractors at both executive and non-managerial levels, there are plenty of finance positions for contractors to find, which means a lot of temporary skills you can be brought into your teams to support timely projects or fill a skill gap temporarily. Here are some in-demand key skills the Finance Interim, Temporary and Contractors can offer your business: Commerciality Technical skills are important, but companies place a high value on temporary staff who can see how their skills fit into the rest of the business operation and functions for any given project. The understanding of facts, figures and data, and the ability to translate that into a commercial reality, describing how it affects sales teams and operations are key. Additionally, professionals with interpersonal skills and a commercial background are sought after and can add bursts of value to your teams. Big Data Analytics This has been a big part of business and financial operations for a while now, but there are no signs that companies’ appetite for data analytics is decreasing. In a financial context, this means understanding your data sources and finding ways of matching them to sources in other areas so that your clients can be more in tune with changes in their customers’ needs. Hiring a Contractor will allow you to bring in skills, understanding and flexibility to work to a brief which your current staff members may not be able to offer, but can learn from. Regulatory Knowledge The effects of the recent pandemic continue to affect the financial sector with regulation remaining a top priority for government and international bodies. Experience in dealing with regulators and understanding what their key warnings are is important for companies of all sizes, but particularly for SMEs, which often do not have much in-house experience of these issues. A temporary member of staff needs little training nor introduction to this area and will be able to bolster your teams with on-the-beat knowledge. Risk Management Linked to regulation is the growing risk management industry, with many clients I am speaking to, having a greater focus on risk during the last year or so – both the potential liabilities of taking risks but also the opportunities afforded in new areas. Many Interim and Temporary finance professionals have experience using financial instruments to deal with credit risk, market risk or foreign exchange risk, they are in high demand but add invaluable resources to your business. Finance contracting is a growing area of the market with plenty of opportunities for professionals and organisations alike. Here are more reasons to hire a temporary, interim or contractor to support your finance operations For a more detailed discussion about your finance recruiting needs and how I can best advise on a temporary solution, please call me on 07791 400 731 or email petra.brown@pro-finance.co.uk

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Hiring an Interim Finance Professional - Benefits to an Employer

Posted by Petra Brown

rWith the many changes to the economy, business activity and ways of working; A relatively recent development in the recruitment and job industry is that many employees are choosing to quit their positions in a company to work as a freelancer/contractor instead. As working from home and digital independance is on the rise, fixed-term contracts are becoming a popular option for those who don’t want to be tied down to a specific employer or who have been made readily available to employment due to redundancies during the pandemic. There are many reasons why hiring an interim finance professional may benefit your firm, but here are just five: 1. Flexibility HIring an interim finance professional or contractor allows you to meet business demands and manage fluctuations in the market. You may need to bridge a gap in your team temporarily, or bolster your team for a crucial deadline. There is more flexibility with a contracting than permanent employment, meaning that you can bring in workers during busy periods to help relieve the pressure on your permanent staff. 2. Cost Efficient Freelancers/Contractors do not require the additional provisions which are expected by a permanent member of staff, which may include additional costs to total remuneration. By very definition, contractors and freelance staff will work with you knowing they are only there to fulfil a role in a temporary time. Outsourcing contractors only when you need them is a more efficient way of running a business, and makes sure that you never have employees left with nothing to do. 3. Highly skilled with broader experience You will find that the majority of finance contractors come with a wide range of skills due to the number of assignments they have posted themselves to. Hiring a temporary contractor is incredibly useful in cases where you have a ‘gap’ in your company resources that needs to be filled for a short period of time; contracting is the best way to bring in someone with particular knowledge and skills when a specialist is required for a project. 4. Quicker hiring process With an interim professional or contractor you are hiring a specific skill set for a predefined period of time. Therefore the hiring process can be quicker as you do not have to factor in the cultural fit of the individual to the organisation and you can just concentrate on the requirements for the specific skill set. Less management is required when working with contractors, as they often only need a briefing or outline before going away and completing a task under their own esteem. 5. Try before you buy If you’re looking to develop a new role within your team, hiring an interim member of staff will allow you to test the waters and really help you shape a role within your team before having to put resources into onboarding a permanent member of staff. If you are really impressed with the work of a contractor, you can offer them a permanent role in your company at the end of their short-term employment. In summary, interim finance experts provide a efficient solution for organisations experiencing a staffing crisis. However, they can also inject specialist skills, deal with fluctuating workflow or form part of a business transformation project. A contract worker is hired on a fixed-term contract in order to offer their services to your business or work as part of a project. Typically, they are paid an hourly or daily rate and usually work independently. For more information about how an interim finance professional can help your organisation, contact Petra on  07791 400 731 or email petra.brown@pro-recruitment.co.uk

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IR35 - What's Changed?

Posted by Petra Brown

For years, the stigma of IR35 has been a concern for working Contractors across the board in the Public Sector, however, up until now the ‘impossibility’ of HMRC policing such an issue has allowed the majority of contractors to operate outside (whether they legitimately are or not!). So what has changed? As of 6th April this year, the liability on IR35 status and correct tax reductions have shifted from the contractor’s Personal Service Company (PSC) to the end client and agency payrolling the contractor. Before 6 April 2021, if your worker provides services to a client through you in the: Public sector, the client must decide your employment status Private sector, you must decide your worker’s status From 6 April 2021, all public sector clients and medium or large-sized private sector clients will be responsible for deciding your worker’s employment status. This includes some charities and third sector organisations. If the off-payroll working rules apply, your fees will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions. What does this mean and what have been the ramifications thus far? Well, the most apparent change is everyone involved has become more risk-averse, in the fear of being liable for up to 7 years of back-dated tax payments to HMRC. The end organisations, who are legally responsible for deeming whether an assignment falls inside or out, are largely taking the risk-free approach and are stating that everyone is ‘inside’. This has, in turn, meant that each assignment has received less interest by true professional interim contractors (who are used to consultancy-like assignments), and has limited the talent pool. For those that have accepted the changes, it has meant that they have to operate through an additional intermediary, such as an Umbrella company – where the contractor is forced to pay full tax and National Insurance (at 13.8%) at the source. Conversely, we have seen many contractors who have put themselves through the HMRC tool, deemed themselves as out, and have the prerogative to challenge the clients and ask at least for the due diligence that has led to their ‘inside’ decision. We have also seen a number of Housing and Charitable organisations who have managed to stipulate, quite confidently, that they are outside, and have been able to offer ‘outside’ IR35 assignments. The risk that professional interims take differs to that of a permanent member of staff. When professional interim finish an assignment there is no guarantee that they will secure the next assignment anytime soon. A contractor could quite easily see themselves out of work 2-3 months at any time whilst they look for another opportunity. A lot of interims also have their own specialist remits such as a particular system implementation, culture transformation and reviewing financial processes and procedures to name a few. Professional interims are important for all companies going through change. Change can be difficult for any organisation that is going through the transition as it means going into something new without reassurance that it is going to work for the better. A lot of projects/assignments focus around someone who has gone through this change period and perform the same project for different organisations. If every permanent member of staff stayed at their company for a year on average just to move on to another company this would cause a huge disruption in the market. One of the important factors for someone to consider permanent over interim is having that security and stability. Every person is different and in the same respect, everyone’s motivators are different. With the IR35 changes, should contractors really have to take a hit in the public sector whilst the private sector remains unaffected? For more information about this article, or to speak to Petra about your interim finance recruiting needs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 020 7269 6350 or petra.brown@pro-finance.co.uk.

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