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I manage a team of experienced recruiters placing finance professionals into accountancy practices across audit, accounts and corporate finance. Our aim is to use our extensive knowledge and experience to provide a personalised approach to all clients and candidates
We work with all practices from the Big 4 to smaller specialist boutique firms and aim to provide a first class service to both candidates and clients at all levels from Senior-Senior to Partner.
I embarked on a career within Financial Recruitment in 2008 initially with CMC Consulting Ltd. Having progressed to a position of Regional Manager within CMC, early last year I made the move into London to join Pro-Group
Outside of work I am a huge sports fan including football, golf and horse racing. Whether you would consider it football is debatable but I support Ipswich Town and continue to waste money on a season ticket. If I wasn’t in recruitment I would have liked to have been a professional footballer, although that would have been forgotten once I discovered pubs!
Audit Senior, Top 20 Firm Reading New role released!! This role has arisen due to an increased workload with the audit team of my client. A fantastic Top 20 company is looking to hire an ambitious Audit Seni...Read more...
New Role!! Audit Manager, Top 20 Firm £55,000 - £60,000 + Car I have been instructed on a new role this week as a result of my client winning several new projects during the lock down period. This Top 20 fir...Read more...
Tom has always been a great help in Moore Stephens recruiting needs and one of our most effective agencies. What has been most consistent is his ability to deliver across Audit disciplines and levels. He is always contactable, pleasant to deal with, honest and up front.
Raffingers is a Top 100 UK firm of chartered accountants based in Woodford Green providing a variety of services including audit, accounting, tax and corporate finance to their established and expanding client base.
Moore Stephens is an established Top 10 accounting and advisory network, with offices throughout the UK and members across the globe operating within 106 countries. Their clients range from individuals and entrepreneurs, through to large organisations and complex international businesses.
Gerald Edelman is a top 70 accountancy practice with offices based in Essex, Central London and North London. Established for 70 years, they have 16 Partners spread across the three offices and deal with clients from a wide mixture of sectors ranging from sole-traders to multi-national organisations.
Mental health and employee wellbeing has been a popular topic for many employers over recent years. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that as employers we are acting and making positive change, not just discussing the subject. The last few weeks since the UK government announced ‘lockdown’ have proved challenging for all as we acclimatise to working from home full time and the usual office environment becomes a distant memory. I, like many others, have been used to the energetic and loud environment that comes with working in recruitment, at a firm with a strong team culture where we ‘bounce’ off our colleagues. As a management team, we are learning to appreciate that this working environment is difficult to replicate when working from home, meaning we have a duty of care to ensure our employees' wellbeing is our top priority. I have been encouraging my team to consider the below as part of their daily activities: 1. Exercise Don't just sit in your house or flat all day staring at a screen! For many, your daily routine would involve a visit to the gym or some form of exercise before, during or after work. With the gym now off limits, make sure you plan accordingly and include some form of exercise, whether it be a run, cycle or walk. This will not only keep you active but provide a chance to clear your head and get away from your workstation. 2. Routine Our daily routine will have changed considerably - no longer are we getting on the train, tube, or fighting our way through the usual hustle and bustle of London life. We are no longer having breakfast and lunch with our colleagues, or having a chat over a Friday beer. Our usual routines have been altered but it is essential we maintain a routine, albeit a new one. Do not work from your sofa or worse still, your bed! Try and create a similar workspace to your usual office environment - a quiet, dedicated area where you can work. There are obviously more distractions when working from home, so take yourself away from these as much as possible. Little things, such as your waking up at your usual time rather than laying in. Use the extra time to exercise, have a relaxed breakfast, read or plan your day. Dress appropriately for the day ahead and avoid sitting in pyjamas. Get up, shower and dress for the day to ensure you are in the right state of mind. 3. Interaction We all love talking to our colleagues - whether we are discussing last nights dinner choice, latest Netflix binge watch or the football scores, we all enjoy that daily interaction and socialising. It is essential we do not lose that when working in isolation! Here at Pro-Finance, we have daily video team chats where we can interact and discuss our plans for the day ahead, which ensures we keep our team spirit and energy levels high. Use the technology available, whether it be Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom, to keep regular face-to-face interaction and avoid sole reliance on email. These are just a few small pieces of advice to ensure we keep active, both physically and mentally, and ensure we maintain a healthy wellbeing. It is still unknown how long this current situation will continue, so encouraging our employees to put their wellbeing and mental health first must be our priority. If anyone has any comments or would like to discuss further, then please get in touch with Tom Eagle on 020 7269 6349 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we reach the end of the UK’s lockdown amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the dust is starting to settle and everyone is gradually accepting remote working and the processes that come along with it as the ‘new norm’. Recent months have been fast-paced and have required a huge practical and cultural shift for most companies, including here at Pro-Group, but recruitment and interview processes are beginning to have a clearer and more streamlined structure. Considering this, we have answered some of the important questions surrounding current interview processes and the position of both candidates and clients in the UK at the moment. Are clients hiring? Yes, companies still need staff to complete work! There is no one universal theme to hiring patterns - some firms have chosen to pause on their hiring objectives given the current situation, whereas some companies are continuing as usual, and are not letting changes to the market and workplace affect their hiring strategies. We also expect the market to recover quickly once the dust settles on this crisis period, especially in professional services. Once we are through the other side, processes that have been paused are likely to be resumed, and we expect to be inundated with new roles. Are candidates available? Here at Pro-Group we are getting ahead of the curve but, of course, for some people finding a new role isn’t the number one priority in the current climate. Those who are still looking for their next challenge are taking measured steps and re-analysing their next move, but more often than not people are happy to continue with interviewing if the potential role is a significant step up - whether this is in pay or responsibility. We are certainly seeing a number of high-quality, immediately available candidates who are open to moving jobs. Now, it is more important than ever to showcase your company and promote the reasons candidates should join your workforce, from key responsibilities and career progression to benefits and company culture. How can we interview? Many interview processes are continuing to go ahead, with companies utilising different softwares and online platforms to conduct interviews and continue hiring. Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams have been the most common platforms used to continue interview processes, and downloads of these types of apps have soared over the past few months. With everyone working from home, arranging new interviews over the phone or by video call has been a relatively smooth process, due to the absence of fully booked diaries and difficulties getting time out of the office to interview elsewhere. Now is a much easier time to arrange communication between clients and candidates, for people to video-call during working hours, and for us to ensure quick and efficient interview turnarounds. How do we onboard? Virtual onboarding is absolutely becoming the new norm. Onboarding gives your new employee that all-important first impression of the company they’ve just joined, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing this right! The last thing you want is to have been through all the processes to hire the perfect person to join your team, just to lose them because your virtual onboarding process isn’t up to scratch. This can include virtual meetings with all the people who would typically be involved in the onboarding process - the leadership team, HR, direct managers, and group meetings with the wider team. It can also include orientation to your company’s core principles, processes and systems. Here at Pro, we are currently speaking to our candidates who have recently started new positions amidst this period of uncertainty and we will be providing further insights and advice on the virtual onboarding process. If we can help you in any way, whether you are a candidate or a client looking for advice on new ways of job searching, interviewing or onboarding, please do give us a call. Here at Pro-Group we can help with any search needs or vacancies across Tax, Legal, Finance, HR, Marketing, Communications and Fundraising - permanent, interim or contract. For help with your recruiting needs, please contact Tom Eagle on 020 7269 6349 or email@example.com.
Jim Brown has worked at Blick Rothenberg since 1997 when he started as a trainee and has been a Partner since 2007. Throughout his career, Jim has helped well over 1,000 international businesses with the practicalities of setting up operations overseas in multiple territories, from professional practices and growing family-owned businesses to venture capital and private equity-backed corporations and listed entities. Jim progressed his career from Graduate to Partner with Blick Rothenberg and has led the firm's international outsourcing team through consistent periods of double-digit growth for more than ten years. He speaks with Tom Eagle, Associate Director at Pro-Finance, about how Blick Rothenberg differentiate themselves in the market, the challenges facing the next generation, and the changing role of Partner. Tell us about yourself, how your career started and what you do at Blick Rothenberg. I’ve been at Blick Rothenberg since I was a trainee (back in the last millennia). I’ve filled a number of different roles in that time, including secondments both overseas and to a FTSE100 listed entity, and have been a Partner since 2007. I now have a number of different “hats”. My primary role is to run our “Global Services” department that provides outsourced business support to companies as they expand internationally. This involves responsibility for a team primarily based in our Covent Garden offices with other resource in both Central Europe and Asia. Beyond this, I work with our technology team to deliver change to ensure that we are working in a tech enabled way and provide our clients with the ability to do the same. I act as the firms Ethics Partner and sit on the management team who are tasked with driving forward the firm’s strategic direction and results. How do Blick Rothenberg differentiate themselves in the market? There are two ways of looking at how we differentiate ourselves. The first is investment in our people. Where most firms' Partners and websites will say that they are client focused we, unashamedly, will say that we are people focused. We believe (and have the track record to substantiate this) that if you hire the best people you can find, support their development and give them interesting and varied work to complete, they will be enthused and our clients will be delighted with the service they receive. We highlight this approach to our clients with the strapline “Our people, your partners”. From a service line perspective, we do believe it is important to have a focus. As a large firm we are “multi-niche”. One of these, and the niche I have operated in for more than two decades, is working with clients whose businesses operate internationally. We support clients operating outside of their “home” territory, whether that be in the UK or in over sixty other territories, with a range of services from high level tax structuring advice through to practical day-to-day support. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone applying to be part of the team? The team is c.100 people. They come from all over the world (between them the team speak over twenty languages) and bring with them many different experiences. This breadth is what makes us an interesting place to work and successful at what we do. To make the most of these varied experiences we need to work as a team. Therefore, if you want any advice about working here, please be prepared to be a team player first. If you want to work on your own, without the support of or the expectation to provide support to others, we will not be the place for you. What advice would you give to your younger self? Volunteer more of your time in the community, you and they will gain from it greatly. When you interview someone for your organisation, what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? That really would vary per person. Some people are immediately relaxed whilst others will be really nervous and take time to settle. I try not to judge on first impressions as they can be misleading. What challenges, personally or professionally, do you think the next generation of finance professionals face? The pace of change. There is a Justin Trudeau quote from Davos 2018 that reads “The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again”. The challenge, from a professional sense, will be what it has always been; understanding your clients and delivering on what they want consistently. Those expectations will change as quickly as even the most progressive firms can evolve. From a personal level, there are more and more opportunities for digital distraction. These need to be managed alongside trying to build relevant commercial and cultural experience to engage individuals and build long lasting relationships. How do you think the role of a Partner has changed over the years? In some places it hasn’t changed at all. Many firms still have a view that a Partners sole role is to run a large block of recurring fees. For many years now, we have promoted to and recruited Partners on the basis that they should be entrepreneurial. This can mean many things such as generating fees, building networks of referrers, developing new business lines, creating new methods of delivering service etc. This is one of the key factors that has allowed us to maintain double digit growth for many years. I think this change in expectation has happened at Blick Rothenberg but still needs to happen in many firms (especially mid-sized firms). If not in finance, what would the dream be? A golf handicap of 14. Any final words of advice for people looking to progress their career? Find a niche and commit to it. You need to then find a place where you can surround yourself with people you can learn from (and don’t forget this isn’t just your peers and superiors, you should be able to learn from the majority of those you work with) and, most importantly, make sure you enjoy what you do and who you do it with. You will never commit sufficiently to have a really successful career if you are not happy doing it. Thanks for your time, and as a little treat for all of our readers - do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? My guilty pleasure is time enjoying the same things my children enjoy. This was Lego, still is rugby and is becoming Warhammer. For those who haven’t come across it; Warhammer involves fighting battles with plastic soldiers set in a distant and grimdark future. I imagine I will grow up one day but I hope it’s not for some time yet. For more information on this article for to discuss your recruitment needs, contact Tom Eagle on 020 7269 6349 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last night on Wednesday 6th November, Pro-Finance hosted an 'ACA/ACCA What Next' careers event. We welcomed Katherine Stone, Corporate Finance Manager at Moore Kingston Smith and Nigel Walde, Partner at Saffery Champness who shared how they translated their years of hard work into senior positions. We welcomed a group of young accountants and finance professionals, ranging from those approaching qualification up to 3 years post-qualified, to our office space in St. Paul's for drinks, nibbles, and networking. Pro-Finance was joined by successful finance leaders Katherine Stone and Nigel Walde, both of whom gave advice and shared their experiences in the industry. Katherine Stone is a Corporate Finance Manager at Moore Kingston Smith - awarded the 2018 Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year in England. She joined the firm in 2013 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant and has worked for a mixed portfolio of clients of all sizes across a number of sectors, providing audit, accounting, taxation and general business advice. Since joining Moore Kingston Smith, Katherine has been involved in a number of assignments including due diligence, listing and fundraising assignments, valuations and financial projections, and she shared her invaluable insights into the world of Corporate Finance post-qualification. Here at Pro-Finance, we have helped many finance professionals make the jump from Audit to Corporate Finance and our specialist recruiters can offer further insights into working in the sector. A role in Corporate Finance gives you the opportunity to be at the centre of how a business operates, and playing an active role in the commercial success of a business is both exciting and challenging and can be a very rewarding career choice. But what can you expect from a career in Corporate Finance, and how difficult is the jump - read our specialist advice here. Nigel Walde is a Partner in Saffery Champness' London office and has been at Saffery's for over seven years, providing specialist advice on claiming the creative sector tax reliefs. He has been providing advice, audit and accounting services to the media industry for over twelve years, having previously worked in the film team at RSM Tenon. During his career, Nigel has worked with a wide range of clients from small independent film and television production companies to major US Hollywood film studios, and he also advises video game and theatre companies. We recently spoke to Nigel about working within the TV, Film and Creative industries, and he shared the secrets to good leadership and the challenges of Partnership - read his 60 Seconds interview here. Once you qualify, you will most likely find yourself at a crossroads in your finance career - there are many options available to you and no-one can tell you with certainty the right step to take; it’s up to you to use your judgement and make the decision that’s best for your future career. Ultimately, your decision will come down to the sector, culture, progression opportunities and professional development and Pro-Finance can provide insights and advice for the next steps in your career. Read our advice article 'ACA - What Next?', regarding firms, specialisms and career development, or consider the options available to you within the audit and accounts market. Once you become a newly qualified accountant, you will also 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 we have put together all the information you will need to help you make an informed decision - Finance Practice vs. Industry: The Big Debate! If you didn't get the exam results you were looking for, there is also no need to worry! Some of the best candidates, Partners, and Finance Directors we have worked with have had fails on the ACA or ACCA - it's an incredibly tough qualification and a fail on an exam certainly doesn't mean the end of your finance career. You may want to reevaluate where your career will head - you may choose to resit at your current firm, to move into industry, or move to a different firm with further study support. Read our advice on what you should do if you haven't got the ACA results you wanted, or contact us for an informal discussion about what to do next! Our expert recruitment consultants often get asked the question - “Why should I use an agency?”. This is a fair enough question for people who have historically gone direct to their employers, and aren’t aware of the numerous benefits that working with a recruitment agency can bring. Whatever stage you are at in your career, having the right people helping you in your job search can bring many benefits and make all the difference when it comes to finding the right role for you. There are various benefits of working with a recruitment agency vs. going direct - recruitment consultants can streamline your whole jobseeking process, source new opportunities that suit your career aspirations, and help you with every aspect of job searching, from inside knowledge from years of relationship building to interview preparation tips. For more information on this article, or for advice on your next steps after you qualify, contact Tom Eagle on 020 7269 6349 or email@example.com.
It was a pleasure to host Matt Meadows, Corporate Finance Partner at Moore Kingston Smith, Jim Brown, Outsourcing Partner at Blick Rothenberg, David Cox, Head of Audit & Assurance at haysmacintyre and Roger Weston, Business Advisory Partner at Saffery Champness on our table at the prestigious British Accountancy Awards this year, which took place on Wednesday 25th September at the Grosvenor House Hotel. Pro-Finance was honoured to attend this event and it was a fantastic evening had by all, hosted by comedian Sean Lock, highlighting and celebrating excellence in accountancy and finance. This leading industry event welcomed over 900 guests from practices all over the country and showcased outstanding achievements from across the industry during the last twelve months. Pro-Finance was proud to sponsor the National Firm of the Year Award, recognising firms who have added significant value to their clients and across all service areas, helping clients to achieve specific business goals, increase revenue and satisfy and delight their customers. Well done again to all those nominated for this award and congratulations to MHA Macintyre Hudson who took home the award for National Firm of the Year. There were over 20 awards won throughout the evening and we extend a huge congratulations to all of the nominees and the winners of these fantastic awards - as detailed below - for being recognised for their efforts as distinctive leaders in the accountancy profession. Thanks, British Accountancy Awards for a fantastic evening - we will see you next year! British Accountancy Awards 2019 Winners: - International Firm of the Year - PwC - National Firm of the Year - MHA Macintyre Hudson LLP - Mid-Tier Firm of the Year: Turnover Between £10M - £25M - Crunch Accounting - Mid-Tier Firm of the Year: Turnover Less Than £10M - PKF-FPM Accountants - Independent Firm of the Year: Greater London, England - Flinder - Independent Firm of the Year: Scotland, N. Ireland & North, England - Infinity Partnership - Independent Firm of the Year: South-East, England - Ad Valorem - Independent Firm of the Year: South-West, England - Dunkley's Chartered Accountants - Independent Firm of the Year: Wales & Midlands, England - Inniaccounts - Independent Firm of the Year: East, England - Farnell Clarke - Small Practice Innovation of the Year: Turnover Below £3M - Mazuma - Mid-Tier Innovation of the Year: Turnover Between £3M - £25M - MHA Carpenter Box - Large Firm Innovation of the Year: Turnover Above £25M - Smith and Williamson - Innovation & Transformation of the Year: Accountants in Industry - Futurelink Accountancy Services - Large Firm Graduate and Non-Graduate Programme of the Year - MHA Macintyre Hudson LLP - Small Firm Graduate and Non-Graduate Programme of the Year - Sterling Finance UK - Outstanding Advisory or Client Project of the Year - Infinity Partnership - Tax Team of the Year - MHA Macintyre Hudson LLP - Audit Team of the Year - BHP - Finance Team of the Year - RSA - Rising Star of the Year - Harry Pampiglione, PwC - Partner of the Year - Roger Isaacs, Milsted Langdon - CFO/Finance Director of the Year - Ciaran O'Donell, Virtual FD - Best Employer Award - PKF-FPM Accountants - Outstanding Contribution to Accounting and Finance - Sue Almond, Grant Thornton Click here to view the full shortlist >> For more information about this article, or to speak to Tom Eagle about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6349 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alicia joined MacIntyre Hudson as a graduate trainee at the North London office in 2007, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2010. Alicia is a Partner in the London office, managing a portfolio of clients, and her key focus is working with owner managed businesses across London and south Hertfordshire, from new start-ups to long-standing companies. You have an impressive career with all of your time being at Macintyre Hudson, what do you think the benefits of staying with one firm throughout your career history are? For me, a huge part of being an accountant is working with people. Being at the same firm means that whether I'm trying to support a new trainee with a problem, mentor someone looking for promotion or deal with a technical client query I have some idea of what they are going through. It also means if I’m not comfortable with the way something is working I know how to go about trying to find a solution. It has its limitations too though, whenever I recruit someone from another firm I encourage them to suggest different approaches to doing things. You must be very proud of being promoted after only 10 years of joining the firm. Are you one of the youngest people that have made Partner? While I was the youngest Partner for a while, I certainly wasn't the youngest ever. I was 22 when I started whereas some of our Partners have started as school leavers at 18. Last year I was awarded number one in the Accountancy Age 35 under 35 just before our AGM. While I was thrilled it also felt slightly awkward, I have never thought I am doing anything special and my fellow Partners certainly helped keep me grounded with the jokes about the advantage of being the only partner under 35 at the time! On day one you never know what lies ahead of you. When did you realise that Macintyre Hudson was the firm you wished to be a Partner at and why? I am quite a loyal person, MacIntyre Hudson has always presented great opportunities and variety which made it easy to want to stay and I'm not someone who would leave just in case there is something better out there. I have had opportunities to move on and have always chosen to stay – while things aren’t always perfect, as a firm it really does suit me, I like the level of client contact that I have had from the beginning, we are small enough that hard work and a good attitude mean you can be recognised and rewarded but large enough to have some top-level specialists that mean we can give a level of client service to be proud of. What is great about working for Macintyre Hudson? I can get a bit over-enthusiastic about why I think MHA is a great firm to work with or for - it has changed a lot in the time I have been here but growth has brought with it lots of opportunities. Inevitably we lose a number of our newly-qualified staff to industry each year, but the feedback we always hear when they come back to visit is realising just how much great training and support they have received at MHA compared to other people out there. How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone who would apply to be part of the team? My immediate team is seven people but I dip into other teams a lot and at peak times can have as many as twenty people working for me. As one of the staff partners in the London office and someone with a growing team, I do a lot of interviewing. The best advice I can give is to be open about who you are and what you value. A key strength in any team is the diversity of skills, abilities and life experiences. Be frank about what you can bring to the table and authentic about what motivates you - while you need to have your interview answers prepped you need to let through some of yourself, it isn't all about scripted answers to questions! How would your team describe you? Tough question! I’d guess fair, approachable and if I am honest possibly a bit demanding. I am a firm believer that you get back what you put in, that doesn't mean that you have to work twelve hours every day of the week, but I want everyone to make the most of the opportunities to learn and develop, it will make people want to invest in you (and also makes it easier to accept the days when you maybe lose your focus a bit!) While I can be out of the office a lot, if someone on the team is experiencing a personal issue, supporting them is a key priority so I will endeavour to stop and make time for them. What advice would you give to your younger self? Maybe to do a couple more life-experience type things before settling down for a career, it feels like there's so much pressure to get a job and start moving forward with life when really another year or two of travelling or learning a language wouldn't have hurt, as long as I could have worked enough to pay for it. That said, I was lucky enough to take a sabbatical in 2013/14 to do a ski season in France which was a great opportunity to catch up on something I wished I had done before. When you interview someone for your team or organisation what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? I really try hard not to be distracted by first impressions, it is easy to be put off by someone rushing their words due to being nervous or distracted by lack of neat presentation. Although, neat and appropriate clothing and a sensible handshake will always help get things off to a good start! What challenges, personally or professionally, do you think the next generation face? There are a lot of unknowns about technology, things are changing so rapidly I can imagine it will be hard for people to plan what to study when things are changing so much. The cost of studying is increasing too so there is pressure on making the ‘right’ decision. Apprenticeships such as the AAT are a great way to balance getting professional training while earning money. It is never too late to change your mind or take some time out, accountancy was a last minute career change for me coming out of university and I have never looked back! What do you do to unwind outside of work? I love doing things that are different from the day job, particularly being active. When I can, I go climbing or to a dance workshop, but at the very least I try and get to the gym or go for a run even if the thought of finding the time is stressful. Aside from that, even if my day finishes late I try and end the evening with a couple of pages of a book - it really helps to switch off Thanks for your time Alicia, and as a little treat for all of our readers…do you have any guilty pleasures you can share with us? Theme parks - every year I take at least one day off to go to somewhere like Thorpe Park or Blackpool Pleasure Beach, genuinely one of my favourite days every year. I recently heard someone say one of the great things about having kids was getting to go to theme parks again and I thought 'wow was I supposed to have grown out of that?'. That and the Christmas Movies channel, but that’s a bit seasonal..! For more information about this article, or to speak to Tom about your recruiting needs or Finance opportunities in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696349 or email@example.com. Back to 60 Seconds archive >>
Stuart Hinds is a Partner at Ecovis Wingrave Yeats and is a chartered accountant with a Diploma in Corporate Finance and over 20 years experience in professional practice working with entrepreneurs and large corporates. As an advisor, he works with entrepreneurs to maximise their wealth by helping them grow their businesses, minimise their tax and by making introductions that generate leads and business. Stuart’s experience in compliance and advisory work means he is uniquely positioned to add significant value to clients as they grow their businesses. In your opinion, how will AI affect the role of an Auditor and what steps are Ecovis Wingrave Yeats taking towards change? AI and Data Analytics tools should enable auditors to do less of the “heavy lifting” and have more time to think, analyse and validate in a more effective way. IT, maths and statistics skills will become more important to maximise the potential that new AI and Data Analytics tools present. At Ecovis, we have a culture of embracing change and new technologies and are in the process of rolling out a new Data Analytics tool in our audit business, as well as liaising with other Ecovis International network firms around the world to leverage AI and other tools that they use. We are also lucky that, unlike most traditional accounting firms, we employ a team of data analysts and data scientists that provide Data Analytics/Big Data/Data Science advisory services to clients which can be a big help to the audit team. You have an impressive career boasting some very interesting roles, you have also been a Partner at both Top 20 firms and then more recently Ecovis Wingrave Yeats, what do you see are the biggest differences or challenges that you have faced, or alternatively what are the positives of working for a more boutique firm at this grade? Ecovis is a pretty unique business being a 6 partner practice based in the heart of Soho and the exclusive UK member firm of Ecovis International which is a top 20 international network of firms operating in 70 countries with fee income of $1bn. It's enabled me to make use of the skills I developed working for large accountancy practices in terms of the complexity of the work that we do and benefit from working in an environment and culture that could only be developed in a firm of our size that is owned and managed by the partners. I also enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit with which we run the business, the speed at which we can change things and make decisions even if that brings plenty of challenges along the way! Ecovis Wingrave Yeats – can you tell us about some of the more interesting clients that you guys currently work with? The firm was founded in 1982 as a practice that focused on supporting clients operating in the Media Sector and we are one of the few “go to” firms in that sector. I know the team find it interesting working on well-known TV and film production companies. Since joining the Ecovis International network 10 years ago, our client base has become increasingly international and I know the staff enjoy working on those assignments and liaising with our international colleagues. Personally, I quite enjoy working with clients like Inspired Entertainment and TCS John Huxley that operate in lots of countries supplying casinos, betting and gaming operators with technology and products although I haven’t managed to get the business trip to Las Vegas just yet! What is great about working for Ecovis Wingrave Yeats? The people, the culture, the clients, the location and the amount of social activities that we do. Also, the fact that we have our own charity, The Ecovis London Foundation and have many other “giving back” initiatives Click here to read more about Ecovis London Foundation How big is your team and what advice would you give anyone who would apply to be part of the team? We have a team of about 25 people. Be prepared to work hard, get out of your comfort zone, learn, develop and take advantage of the considerable support and guidance that is available to you. There is also lots going on socially so make sure you enjoy the culture and social side of the firm too as well as taking advantage of the flexible working arrangements and other benefits. How would your team describe you? I would like to think they would describe me as approachable, reasonable and good-humoured (some of the time …..) What advice would you give to your younger self? Keep investing in your development in your own time by reading books, building knowledge and learning skills that will benefit you in the future. When you interview someone for your team or organisation what is the first thing you notice about a person and what does it tell you? Their initial demeanour – a smile and saying “hello nice to meet you” in a positive and relaxed fashion gets things off to a good start. What challenges, personally or professionally, do you think the next generation will face? The speed of technological change presents huge challenges but also opportunities – embracing change and being tech savvy will be important. Technology has enabled accountants to work faster and better but its also made them more accessible and increased client’s expectations from a service perspective. What do you do to unwind outside of work? Spend time with family and friends, watch sport, play a bit of football and read about business. Thanks for your time Stuart, and as a little treat for all of our readers…do you have any guilty pleasures you can/want to share with us? I do have bit of a reputation for watching trash TV and surprise the trainees when I ask them what they thought of last night’s episode of Love Island, which I only watch because my wife has it on …… honest! For more information about this article, or to speak to Tom about your recruiting needs or Finance opportunities in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696349 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Back to 60 Seconds archive >>
Congratulations on your ACA results! Now you have qualified you have most likely found yourself at a crossroads - this is the time for you to evaluate your career choices which can often be difficult for newly qualified accountants. There are many options available to you and no-one can tell you with certainty the right step to take; it’s up to you to use your judgement and make the decision that’s best for your future career. So what are your options once you qualify? We will explore: - Firms - Specialisms - Career Development 1. Firms There are a number of options from which you will make your decision - you may either progress within your own firm, move to another firm of a different size, or make the move into Commerce & Industry. Some newly qualified accountants will decide to move from practice into industry, which can be a very diverse career path offering a new challenge. The C&I list is vast, ranging from FTSE 100 companies to start-ups, and each option comes with its own pros and cons. Often, people see C&I as an attractive career path as opposed to practice, however this is often because they may not enjoy the nature of audit. It is important to consider that roles in practice are changing and becoming more advisory focused with the use of new technology and artificial intelligence. In practice, you can expect a fast-paced culture allowing you to maintain client interaction and potentially develop into an advisory role. Decide on where you gain most job satisfaction - is it in the variety of work and clients, or do you want to directly contribute to a firm’s strategy? Firms of varying size all have their own individual merits. For example, working at one of the Big 4 or a larger practice not only offers global reach but can provide alternative career paths through secondments. If you work for a small firm, you may consider moving to a larger practice which would give you more exposure to a wider variety of clients as well as the chance to get involved in roles outside of audit - whether this may be corporate finance or working with stakeholders - which is an excellent opportunity for career development. Alternately, choosing a smaller firm is the right path for some people. If you are in a bigger firm and not getting the experience or responsibilities you want, you have the option of moving to a smaller firm where you would get more managerial experience and the opportunity to progress to Partner more quickly. This is a route which would also allow you to have a direct input on strategy and growth due to the likelihood of a close Partner group. Whichever route you decide to take within practice, whether you choose a small independent firm or aim to work for one of the Big 4, be sure you want to pursue a career in practice and plan a route that ultimately leads towards your career goals. 2. Specialisms Obtaining your ACA qualification opens up exciting potential career paths - at the beginning decide if you want to specialise immediately or create a broader experience base to progress from later. Either way, make sure to grab opportunities to gain exposure to specialisms and different service lines early on! After all, expanding your knowledge and skill set can only further your career later on. Often, coming from an audit background means your most likely role within C&I would be very technical and usually based upon financial accounting. Whereas the progression on offer within practice often allows you to manage more people and move into a more client-facing, advisory position. Accounting is an option which gives you the opportunity to use the skills gained in your current role and is a good way to gain technical experience at specialised firms early on in your career. Audit is often used as a stepping stone into the wider business for many accountants, and with a career in audit you can also benefit from internal secondment opportunities within different parts of a business, such as Corporate Finance, ultimately expanding your skill set to the benefit of your future career. It can seem like an overwhelming task to decide so early on the right route for you to take, but getting advice from industry experts could help you make an informed decision! 3. Career development Whichever route you decide to take, make the most of any training and development facilities available to you. Many firms place importance on career development, offering yearly appraisals, learning and development departments for high-quality training and counselling managers. Accountancy practices are often eager to help staff reach their full potential, so make sure you have clear goals, objectives and a strategy laid out in your appraisals. Ongoing training and building up of experience are keys to success in every field. Use the early years of your career to differentiate yourself from your peers with diverse experience through secondments and if Partnership is your long-term goal, ensure you engage in Business Development early on. Stand out from your peers, and people will notice you and support your career ambitions! Passing your ACA opens up so many avenues, from becoming a specialist in a particular field, to working with large corporate companies or even launching your own enterprise. 83% of all FTSE 100 firms have at least one ICAEW Chartered Accountant on the board, which showcases the wealth of opportunities that ACA careers offer. Most importantly, you have the opportunity to shape your career to suit your own interests and aspirations. Ultimately, your decision will come down to culture, progression opportunities and professional development. As long as you keep these things in mind while considering your options once you have qualified, you will be well-equipped to make the best decision for your future career in finance. If you would like more information on this article, or to speak to our finance recruitment experts about your next step, contact Tom on 020 7269 6349 or email@example.com.