Staying ahead of the game - what does the future hold
Staying ahead of the game - what does the future hold

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Financial Services

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General

16/10/20

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Looking forward to the end of the year, it is unfortunate to state that the Covid crisis is still a huge part of our lives, and with this comes the expanding impact on the global economy. True, a few sectors have done well under lockdown conditions but they have been the exception. It has been suggested that by the time this crisis is over, it could, through the destruction of the economy, cause much more harm to the financial system than the 2007 financial crisis, with talk of a V-shape recovery becoming muted. The future is somewhat unknown, and with no vaccine, the virus will continue to change the world we know.The financial sectorOne particular sector which has weathered the storm is banks and other financial intermediaries. They did this by being quick to react and adjust to the new business environment. An environment that requires more attention to liquidity management, conducting business over a long distance, and offering more time and support to their clients. However, the real test will come when the debt moratorium ends. Banks will need to have a clear picture of the outlook of their clients and their new risk profile. " Brexit in the backgroundThere is also no forgetting Brexit, rearing its head in the background of the pandemic. While we wait for a negotiated deal, the outlook is still concerning, as things will not be the same for most businesses moving forward. A new normal and a new kind of relationship with the EU requires a full-scale reassessment of risk. Banks and other financial intermediaries will need to upgrade their risk management systems, just like they did post the 2007 financial crisis. Like before, banks that stay ahead of the game will emerge as clear winners. Safeguarding for the futureRisk - when the ceiling has been lowered on the revenue front, it makes sense for banks to focus their attention on risk, and to put in more efforts to minimise foreseeable loss. Among other things, banks will want to recalibrate their credit risk models, taking into account the varied impact of Covid on all the economic sectors.Credit quality - financial institutions will need to reassess the credit quality of their clients after they emerge from the crisis; paying particular attention to those in sectors that had been more exposed to the fall out. New data and assumptions will have to be incorporated into the model in order to determine EBITDA, free cash flow and costs.Technology - This will, of course, play an important role in risk management. Banks will employ new technologies to help manage operational risk, credit risk as well as market risk. If the 2007 crisis is any indication of things to come, a lot of hard work will have to be put into the management of credit and operational risks, employing new technologies to monitor banking operations, review data and reconfigure risk models.Talent insightFor now and for a long time to come, talented risk managers and professionals are what banks will continually need - people with the right set of skills and experience. Unfortunately, the talent pool of risk managers has not been expanding in line with the new demand.Over the past decade as regulatory demands were on the rise, becoming increasingly more complex, no meaningful efforts were made to attract more talented people into the field of risk management. This has led to a shortage of skilled risk managers even before the emergence of the pandemic. Given the urgency of our current climate banks will not have the time to train people and will need to recruit. This is where we come in, if you're a professional within risk, please get in touch now.

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It has been suggested that by the time this crisis is over, it could, through the destruction of the economy, cause much more harm to the financial system than the 2007 financial crisis

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Deem NaPattaloong

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Deem NaPattaloong

Deem NaPattaloong

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Deem NaPattaloong

Survey results: Business response to Covid-19
Survey results: Business response to Covid-19

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Financial Services

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General

31/08/20

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‘The only constant is change’ has never rang more true and there is no facet of business that has not been changed dramatically by this year’s global events. It is not about adjusting to any ‘new normal’, it’s about making sure you can adapt adequately to this new, more rapid pace of change'. During May 2020, we produced a survey for our contacts to understand how their business was reacting to the pandemic and to gauge overall market sentiment. We received over 130 responses to key questions relating to their thoughts, reactions and predictions regarding the unprecedented level of change we are experiencing. Although market conditions are changing daily, the ease of lock down has brought a wave of positivity as we look to rebuild on the disruption of the past few months. With this in mind, the below report outlines some of the findings from our research, and our predictions for the future. Covid-19 survey

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The only constant is change’ has never rang more true and there is no facet of business that has not been changed dramatically by this year’s global events. It is not about adjusting to any ‘new normal’

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David Harvey

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David Harvey

David Harvey

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David Harvey

Analytical study: An exploration on how to recruit a Member of  Parliament
Analytical study: An exploration on how to recruit a Member of Parliament

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Financial Services

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Market Insight Reports

09/12/19

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On December 12th 2019, the British public are the hiring managers for 650 very important roles. The process for electing new Members of Parliament is never short of criticism and, we as recruitment experts, want to share how we would apply our experience and knowledge to source the right person for this crucial role. This report is an exploration of how we would use our bespoke methods to hire a new Member of Parliament on behalf of the British public. Whenever we engage with a client on a search mandate, we have a consulting session with the hiring manager and HR to put together a bespoke and robust process that, partnered with their needs and our experience, will lead to a successful hire. In this instance, the hiring manager is circa 52 million people, and so we reached out to our candidates and clients asking them to complete a questionnaire on what they would be looking for in their Member of Parliament. We had a great response to our survey, with 161 responses in 48 hours. Thank you to all who participated. From the results, and wider data research, we have put together a guide including an MP job description, the proposed interview process, and specific questioning lines to get the most out of our potential candidates. Of course, this report is a bit of fun, however from exploring the way in which the current system works and looking intrinsically at our own internal processes, we believe there are a number of questions we should be asking ourselves with regards to, not just December 12th, but in the context of hiring in general. It is clear that in any hiring process, honesty, integrity and accountability are up-held at all times, and this could not be more accurate than during a General Election. This General Election is one of the most polarising political events of our life-time with several very clear issues dominating the race so far, including Brexit and the NHS. In an attempt to avoid alienation - and as this is an exercise in process and procurement - we elected to steer clear of any policy based questions; instead focusing on experience and character, and the results threw up some surprises! Download the full report here   Your member of parliament

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This report is an exploration of how we would use our bespoke methods to hire a new Member of Parliament on behalf of the British public.

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Thomas Wesseldine

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Thomas Wesseldine

Thomas Wesseldine

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Thomas Wesseldine

FX volatility | The bottom line, a guide by Western Union Business Solutions
FX volatility | The bottom line, a guide by Western Union Business Solutions

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Financial Services

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General

16/09/19

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From Brexit to international trade tensions, recent economic turbulence has highlighted one thing more clearly than ever: risk management strategies have to be in place to protect profits for businesses trading internationally. If you are an FD or fund manager; many hours of expertise are poured into choosing the right opportunities and tracking yields, but if there is an international element to the investment, even a small change in the currency exchange rate can have a significant effect on profit or the value of returns. With currency rates fluctuating up to five percent in a month last year, volatility is a real threat to any international business transaction. Five percent profit or gains in an investment are hard earned, and can be quickly lost with an unfortunate turn in the exchange rates. The uncertainty exacerbated by Brexit has caused hesitancy to purchase currency with a “wait and see” approach; dealing all FX on spot with their incumbent banking provider. But large swings in rates means that currency volatility and pricing have become higher on the agenda for many; highlighting the need to get the best from a reputable provider. Working to develop strategies based on the unique needs of a business or the requirements of each fund means budgeted levels can be set and protected. If you are trading internationally, you may want to speak to a qualified risk management consultant to consider the following steps: Understand your exposures Businesses could struggle to manage currency risk without understanding where exposures exist and reviewing what they currently do to protect themselves from volatility. Start by assessing your goals, risk appetite, and tolerance to volatility. Is there a budgeted level which is used for accounting purposes? Consider, for example, credit needs and payment requirements such as cost of transfers, bulk payments or international routing. Create a strategy With an understanding of your objectives, you have the power to start making informed decisions. Identify some goals specific to managing currency risk. These could include defining a target exchange rate for some, or all your exposure. Consider establishing a formal risk management policy to define processes. Select the right risk management tools for your business remembering that one size does not fit all. Tactics and execution Once the most appropriate tools have been selected, applying the right trading tactics can mean the difference between success and failure. For a lot of businesses, the strongest strategies often recognise a framework for executing trades at favourable levels while protecting against material risks. It may also be important to review the market and identify recent trading patterns to understand the risks and opportunities available. Evaluate and adapt your strategy Just because a policy has been in place for a long time does not necessarily mean it is still relevant in the current market conditions. Monitor your strategy and consider adapting it to identify shortfalls and build on success. Use a platform which can provide thorough and detailed reporting to assist your decision making. As a provider of cross-currency, cross border payments around the world, Western Union Business Solutions (WUBS) recognises that for a lot of our clients, foreign exchange volatility should be limited as a risk factor. WUBS can offer products which match your strategic currency objectives depending on the needs of your business. In addition, we offer competitive spot rates, optimal routing and cost effective transfers. Our globally leading online platform not only facilitates online payments and bulk upload but can also give real time access to positions and mark to market valuations. Our 10th edition of our highly regarded Market Insight Report represents the views of over 1,100 professionals, and contains insights from our specialist consultants and key business partners on market and employment trends. If you’re looking to find out more on salary benchmarking and the motivations driving the modern workforce today, download our full report which contains key contributions from Seddons Solicitors, Women in Fund Finance, Intoo UK & Ireland and Breaking the Silence.

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From Brexit to international trade tensions, recent economic turbulence has highlighted one thing more clearly than ever: risk management strategies have to be in place to protect profits for businesses trading internationally.

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David Harvey

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David Harvey

David Harvey

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David Harvey

Market Insights 2019 | Yorkshire
Market Insights 2019 | Yorkshire

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Financial Services

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Market Insight Reports

28/08/19

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Commerce & Industry Our Yorkshire office achieved another record breaking performance last year, with private sector recruitment being the driving force. This trend is set to continue in the year ahead, with Yorkshire seemingly more resilient in the face of Brexit than some other regions. Transactional 2018 saw a number of factors that affected the transactional market and had a direct impact on how businesses recruit. Yorkshire has seen the fastest private sector growth of any city in the UK, making it a prime location for businesses who are looking to relocate and want to take advantage of an existing talent pool whilst reducing their operational costs. Specialist Markets Uncertainty has characterised Yorkshire specialist markets, and indeed all markets over the past 12 months, with the implications of possible Brexit scenarios front of mind for many organisations. With GDPR now a reality, organisations have been focusing on how to embed this into their processes. Compliance with the new regulations is a priority for senior stakeholders, and with many organisations still unsure of how to define the industry standard, we have seen increasing demand for junior auditors who can support the process. Professional Services Continued uncertainty about how Brexit is going to impact andshape the market has led to a cautious approach to recruitment within professional services across Yorkshire, particularly at the back end of 2018. While there has been a continuous work flow for Big 4 and Top 10 clients, senior recruitment and new roles across mid tier and small firms has been restrained. Change & Transformation The change management market was busy throughout last year, particularly on the permanent side. Activity has continued to rise this year, as companies look to bring skills in-house and reduce spend on interim and external consultancies. There have been some contract opportunities, mainly across systems implementation or business change. Resource requirements across finance, business and technology change projects have been relatively even. Executive & Interim Last year was a buoyant and encouraging year for the temporary and interim market across Yorkshire. It has, however, been a tough start to 2019, with slow progress for temporary employment and contractors increasingly turning to longer term opportunities in the accountancy and finance sectors. This is partly due to unpredictability around vacancies and when they will come available, together with an uncertain market and a slowing economy. Although this clearly presents its own challenges, it has proved to benefit professional interims as the market has become more candidate driven – making it possibly the perfect time to enter a contracting career. GUEST AUTHOR: INTOO UK & Ireland According to Bersin by Deloitte, ‘Organisations with senior leaders who coach effectively and frequently, improve their business results by 21% as compared to those who never coach.’ Coaching, therefore, should not just be a ‘nice to have’, more an indispensable part of a leader’s skillset. Read more from this guest author piece here. Download the full Yorkshire 2019 Market Insight Report »  View salaries and commentaries in other UK regions and Ireland »

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Our Yorkshire office achieved another record breaking performance last year, with private sector recruitment being the driving force.

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Rafi Davies

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Rafi Davies

Rafi Davies

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Rafi Davies

Market Insights 2019 | Financial Services, London
Market Insights 2019 | Financial Services, London

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Financial Services

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Market Insight Reports

28/08/19

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Insurance The insurance industry has had to contend with significant disruption in 2018. Increasing competition, lower margins, low interest rates and Brexit woes have culminated to curtail growth in the sector generally. This has led to sector consolidation, which presents opportunities for the contract market, but has a dampening effect on permanent hiring. However, there has been a drive to adopt new technologies and make use of big data and better digital strategy to enhance the customer journey, which has also led to a rise in the evolution of Insurtechs. This suggests that project and IT professionals will be in demand. IFRS 17 accounting rules will be effective from 1st January 2021 and organisations are already seeking advice from accounting firms and assembling project task forces to deal with the impending changes. Fintech Last year saw our busiest year to date within the fintech space, which continues to be a sought after industry for candidates from all backgrounds. With more and more fintech businesses taking substantial business away from traditional banks, payment providers, wealth managers and wider financial services companies, there has been a real increase in the number of organisations needing to bring finance in-house. This led to healthy recruitment across all levels throughout 2018 - a trend that is set to continue in 2019. Banking & Capital Markets Uncertainty around Brexit and the continued focus on cost reduction across banking has led to the quietest year we have seen in terms of hiring since 2008. This has been particularly marked on the temporary side, as banks look to replace contractors with permanent staff who would otherwise be made redundant. Private Equity & Investment Management Hiring in the investment management market remains buoyant and competitive, particularly in the alternative spaces like private equity, debt and credit. London remains the major hub, although Luxembourg is also a key market for private equity activity. Risk Management & Compliance The uncertainty around Brexit has caused growth plans within risk management to slow down with many positions relocating to the regions and abroad. This has been the general position across the top tier banks and asset managers. Regulatory 2018 was an unusual year for the regulatory market. The demand for senior managers or heads of regulatory reporting slowed down, but there was an increase in the need for part qualified or newly qualified regulatory accountants across banking and capital markets. Real Estate Real estate investment management continues to attract significant capital from investors. As has been the case over several years, the primary concern for the industry is the availability of suitable assets. This has in turn led to a widened definition of traditional real estate to include alternative or niche areas, such as student accommodation, private rented sector and social housing. The demand for these once niche areas remains very strong because of yield, compared with more mature sectors, keeping the market growing with exciting possibilities. Part Qualified & Transactional 2018 continued to be a year dominated by a shortage of quality candidates. Job flow on the whole was up on the previous year, however Brexit uncertainty seemed to have an impact on the number of candidates willing to move. There remained a demand for junior accountants with up to one year’s experience, with many clients favouring this over entry level graduates. GUEST AUTHOR: Western Union Business Solutions From Brexit to international trade tensions, recent economic turbulence has highlighted one thing more clearly than ever: risk management strategies have to be in place to protect profits for businesses trading internationally. If you are an FD or fund manager; many hours of expertise are poured into choosing the right opportunities and tracking yields, but if there is an international element to the investment, even a small change in the currency exchange rate can have a significant effect on profit or the value of returns. Read more on this guest author piece here. Download the full Financial Services 2019 Market Insight Report »  View salaries and commentaries in other UK regions and Ireland »

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The insurance industry has had to contend with significant disruption in 2018. Increasing competition, lower margins, low interest rates and Brexit woes have culminated to curtail growth in the sector generally.

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David Harvey

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David Harvey

David Harvey

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David Harvey

Market Insights 2019 | Ireland
Market Insights 2019 | Ireland

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Financial Services

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Market Insight Reports

28/08/19

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Commerce & Industry The market in Dublin has been one of varied fortunes over thepast year. Brexit has led to an influx of highly qualified, quality candidates and we have also seen a number of high profile UK businesses setting up their European headquarters here. On the other side of the coin, the SME landscape has shown caution and an understandable reluctance to hire senior and board level staff, due to the ongoing uncertainty. Fund Services Ireland retains its position as a dominant European Funds domicile. By December 2018, continued growth resulted in assets of €2.42 trillion under the management of Irish funds. Irish funds are distributed across more than 80 countries, and there are over 450 fund promoters across Asia, Europe, the USA, the Middle East, Africa and South America that have established funds in Ireland. We have seen significant annual asset value growth every year since 2008, and this trend looks certain to continue. IMI & Banking 2018 was a strong year for growth across financial services organisations. Brexit substantially impacted the Irish market, with large companies planning to relocate to Dublin, creating new roles at all levels. We are increasingly seeing these organisations looking for subject matter experts due to increased statutory requirements. This led to early-stage recruitment which we expect to continue into 2019. Public Practice & Taxation 2018 was another buoyant year in the accountancy practice arena, with practices of all sizes growing and creating opportunities across the board. We have seen a marked expansion across audit, taxation, consulting, and corporate finance departments throughout the year, from the Big 4 to small and medium sized practices. The focus is now on talent quality, with companies learning from knee-jerk, rushed hiring mistakes of the past and willing to wait for the right candidate. Download the full Ireland 2019 Market Insight Report »  View salaries and commentaries in other UK regions and Ireland »

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The market in Dublin has been one of varied fortunes over thepast year. Brexit has led to an influx of highly qualified, quality candidates and we have also seen a number of high profile UK businesses setting up their European headquarters here.

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Matthew Fitzpatrick

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Matthew Fitzpatrick

Matthew Fitzpatrick

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Matthew Fitzpatrick

Market Insights 2019 | Specialist Markets, London
Market Insights 2019 | Specialist Markets, London

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Financial Services

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Market Insight Reports

28/08/19

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Corporate Finance & Transactional Services The hiring boom that characterised the early part of 2019 for the corporate finance space in Europe has sadly not been replicated in London. Centres such as Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Paris and Frankfurt have become the European destinations preferred for expansion by multiple London based advisory and investment banking firms. Accounts & Assurance Despite the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit, 2018 was a positive year for practice recruitment with a steady demand across external audit and assurance. This trend continues into 2019, with scarcity of talent across all of professional services, jobseekers are in a strong bargaining position and able to weigh up multiple offers. Noticeably, firms who are providing study support packages and clear progression are seeing better staff retention rates – a factor which has also contributed to the shortage of candidates overall. Internal Audit The internal audit market has remained stable throughout this year, with increased activity at senior level. The turnaround at this level has been quick with candidates eager to make their next move, as well as more passive candidates expressing interest. Taxation It was a buoyant year last year for opportunities within the various tax specialisms. The introduction of MTG (Making Tax Digital) coming into effect at the turn of the year, combined with preparations around Brexit, resulted in a shift in hiring trends and the establishment of new skill sets. The introduction of US tax reform has also led to a strong focus on business tax advisory teams within in-house functions. Download the full Specialist Markets 2019 Market Insight Report »  View salaries and commentaries in other UK regions and Ireland »

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The hiring boom that characterised the early part of 2019 for the corporate finance space

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David Harvey

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David Harvey

David Harvey

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David Harvey

Industry vs Practice: Which is best for you?
Industry vs Practice: Which is best for you?

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Financial Services

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General

19/08/19

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The professional accountancy bodies of UK and Ireland now boast more than half a million global members, with the accountancy profession contributing £59 billion to GDP in 2017 alone. It’s a crucial function of any modern society, particularly in the uncertain economic climate that has plagued the UK for the last few years. Activities and fees are high for accountants currently, and with accountancy and professional services firms consistently the biggest recruiters of graduates, it’s clear the demand for accountants remains high. While there are many considerations to make when it comes to entering or progressing your career in this field, one of the most important is whether you want to work in practice or industry. Both options – whether working in a firm of accountants or in-house - can lead to interesting and challenging work with opportunities for career development, but which is the right choice for you? Let’s explore both of these options. Practice Many accountants choose to start their careers working in practice, and the commercial appeal of the Big Four accountancy firms are continuing to make this option attractive to new accountants. We’ve seen some practice markets lose talent to industry in recent years, although the high standard of training accountants receive in practice will continue to appeal to both candidates and clients. This makes practice ideal for newly-qualified and qualified accountants who want to work with a range of clients across industries, developing technical skills and exposure to practices across service lines such as audit, tax and advisory. The variety in practice makes it extremely appealing, as does the client management element of most practice roles. The client-focused nature of practice means accounting professionals can hone their people skills while meeting the expectations and demands of their clients, building relationships and problem solving. There’s also a lot of learning to be done in practice, with a fast pace and mix of work, ensuring accountants are kept busy and engaged. Career development is an important consideration to make when you’re entering or progressing in this industry. Many accounting firms, aware of the risk of losing their top talent to practice, provide incentives like career progression and defined career paths, making it possible for professionals to develop more readily in this setting. Those who make it to partner level are generously financially rewarded, which can make this pathway more appealing to some, along with the potential exposure to senior stakeholders. Industry Industry, meanwhile, can see progression limited by both the size of the finance team and the overall ambitions of the company. However, some professionals experience a better work-life balance and less pressure working in industry compared to practice. Industry is often thought of as the final - and most appealing - destination for accountants, many of whom start in practice with the ultimate goal of moving to an in-house role in the wider business industry. Financially, industry tends to be more lucrative than practice. One 2018 survey revealed the average industry salary is 24% higher than practice, with our own market research showing that accountants with hands-on industry experience are more likely to secure commercially-focused roles, while technical positions are most suited to ACA professionals coming out of practice. While the salaries can be higher, however, the training and qualifications within industry tend not to be as comprehensive as within practice, where study packages such as the ATT and CTA are more commonplace. In terms of the style of work, industry accountants generally specialise in business economic matters such as cash flow, budgeting and cost control. Industry accounting professionals may specialise in management and cost accounting or financial accounting, with a more streamlined, focused workload than the variety seen in practice. Where practice professionals work with many different clients, industry allows you to hone in completely on the one organisation you work for, providing continuity and focus, as well as a more regulated workload. The specialised nature of industry accounting means professionals looking to move in-house need strong technical skills and a desire to focus on one core area of the finance function, adding value and commercial insight. Career pathways here can lead to Financial Director or Group Financial Director, with the ability to contribute wholeheartedly to the growth of the overall company. Find your next role with Marks Sattin Whether it’s the pace, variety and career path of practice you’re looking for or the focus, salary and stability of industry, we can help you make your next move. At Marks Sattin we specialise in matching the right candidates with the right organisations, whether you’re qualified, part qualified, newly qualified or interim. View our latest commerce and industry jobs and financial services jobs to find a role that suits your requirements or register as a candidate and start your search.

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The professional accountancy bodies of UK and Ireland now boast more than half a million global members, with the accountancy profession

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David Harvey

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David Harvey

David Harvey

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David Harvey