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Gary Barlow tax affair may show how tax and audit jobs are getting more interesting

15/09/14

Gary Barlow's tax affairs may highlight the increased importance of getting tax arrangements right in an age of close scrutiny.

The financial sector has certainly gone through some big changes in the wake of the economic crisis - and not just at the banks.

For those working in areas like accountancy, tax has become an increasingly acute issue, particularly as the strain on the public finances has brought avoidance under close scrutiny.

Some high-profile individuals have come under the microscope, like comedian Jimmy Carr and musician Gary Barlow. Take That singer Barlow, along with two fellow band members and their manager, were ruled by a court to have used an investment vehicle that was ostensibly for the benefit of the music industry to squirrel away funds. Instead, the cash went into a company called Larkdale LLP that declared tax-deductible annual losses.

Apologising for the situation via his Twitter account, Mr Barlow said: "With a new team of accountants, we are working to settle things with all parties involved ASAP."

It may be that a number of individuals and companies are seeking to use the services of accountancy firms, creating new opportunities for those looking for roles in the sector.

Companies who do wish to recruit may find they can successfully attract the sort of candidates they want by noting the motivations for accountancy professionals moving from one job to the next.

The Marks Sattin Insight Report 2014 revealed that for those working in tax, accountancy and financial services, the biggest reason for moving was career development, with this being cited by 25 per cent. Just behind this was the quest for a higher salary at 24 per cent, while 18 per cent said they wanted a new challenge or more exciting work.

All that suggests employers who can offer a combination of these three factors will be very attractive. But they will have to move swiftly, as the report also revealed that 40 per cent of survey respondents found their current position within one month of starting to look for it.

That could mean employers might blink and miss an opportunity to bring in some talented staff, but using a recruitment agency could be the best way to prevent that, as this was by far the most common route for career moves in the sector, accounting for 48 per cent of all hires.

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