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Accountancy Recruitment within Professional Services


Two weeks ago we published the results of our snap survey of finance and accountancy professionals in the wake of the UK’s Brexit referendum decision. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the overwhelming response was one of uncertainty, both for short term hiring implications and long term effects of the referendum, read more here.

So, where are we two weeks on? Has there been any tangible impact on the market? Well, the following may surprise you.

Looking at the total unique roles registered by Marks Sattin, an interesting picture emerges.

  • In London alone, Marks Sattin registered, on average, 94 jobs per week in 2015
  • In H1 2016, up to the result on the 25th June, this had fallen to just over 70 per week
  • Since the result, Marks Sattin  has averaged 94 registered jobs per week in London, exactly the same as 2015

The slow start to 2016 can be partly attributed to uncertainty surrounding the referendum - we have a habit of talking ourselves into a downturn in the UK. Whilst only two weeks have passed since the result, hardly long enough for the whole pantomime to play out, these numbers give us some renewed confidence for the post referendum future.

Deloitte’s recent paper UK leaving the EU, briefing paper on direct and indirect tax implication, advises ‘In the short term, the vote in favour of leaving the EU will have little, if any, immediate impact on direct or indirect taxes’. Correspondingly it is business as usual across our professional services division which specialises in taxation and public practice recruitment. These highly specialist markets are historically driven by the availability of candidates rather than jobs and we have seen little sign of this trend being overturned. Moreover, we expect specific areas such as VAT/Indirect Tax to get even busier should we ever invoke Article 50 and begin the process of designing and implementing our own VAT structures. 

For public practice, summer is traditionally a quieter period, so it will be difficult to determine any tangible effect on audit/assurance recruitment until September/October when the newly qualified ACAs make their annual migration into industry. The mid-tier firms have continued hiring with confidence and volume, being rather less directly exposed to the vagaries of the FTSE100 or financial services.

Undoubtedly, both winners and losers will emerge  over the coming months and years as the impact of the referendum plays out but we suspect the best finance and accountancy candidates will continue to secure roles and that clients will continue to need talented finance professionals  - it was ever thus.

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