As January draws to a close, it’s time to look forward and make some predictions about the coming year. Join us as we explore some of the expected trends in the accountancy and financial recruitment sector for 2019.

Scottish Accountancy and Finance Market

Similar to 2018 trends, recruitment for the Scottish accountancy and finance market remains vigorous with Lloyds, Prudential, RBS and ASI in Edinburgh and Morgan and Clydesdale in Glasgow consistently hiring new employees.

Most of these roles, especially towards the end of the year, are for accountants with experience in IFRS and group consolidated accounting. Demand for employees with regulatory reporting experience has declined due to the looming Brexit deadline. Brexit has also caused tax positions, from newly qualified to senior management, to remain in demand as companies worry about the tax implications.

Scotland also continues to show a lack of commercially focused business partnering or income-focused positions and these roles are often in England. Nonetheless, some recruitment occurred within CYB and Lloyds in January 2018 due to the re-footprinting of departments. 

Increased Salary Levels 

Due to a shortage of available candidates, permanent salary levels have started to increase. In 2018, the Big 4 firms increased the salary levels for newly qualified accountants and changed their benefit packages to enhance their candidate appeal. RBS also increased their base salaries for all staff and changed their ‘value add’ offering, which has had the knock-on effect of making their reporting and controls positions more attractive to potential candidates. 

At present, newly qualified candidates with the financial services industry can expect to earn £35,000 to £41,000 per year while mid-managers earn £45,000-£55,000 and senior managers making over £55,000. 

Throughout 2019, we expect to see other companies increase staff salaries and find additional benefits to attract the best and brightest.  

Better Interim Rates 

Within Edinburgh and Glasgow, interim rates have remained strong due to a shortage of qualified applicants and contractors signing up to long-term assignments. Projects such as ASI, CYB, LBG and BlackRock are currently in the market.  

Interim rates are currently at £200-£250 per day for newly qualified employees, £300-£400 for mid-managers and over £400 for senior managers. 

Preparing for Brexit 

Within the financial and accounting sector, asset managers are actively preparing for Brexit by making sure they have the relevant entities and places in place. However, due to the uncertainty around Brexit, deal contingency plans are being put in place for March, and many companies are currently analysing the financial impact of cross border transactions, rise in taxes and other factors that might impact their bottom line. These preparations are causing an increased need for tax and statutory accounting employees with more and more roles becoming available. 

Extensive Brexit planning has been somewhat limited in Scotland, at least from a regulatory standpoint, as most efforts are in London. 

International Accountancy and Finance Market 

The international accountancy and finance market, especially within public practice, commerce and industry, remains competitive and candidate-driven. There is a strong need for candidates with assurance, advisory (corporate finance) and internal audit skill sets.  

Recruiting within the EU

The European Big 4 and top 10 public practice companies are only recruiting within the EU due to the complications and delays associated with securing visas for non-EU citizens. This may also negatively impact British candidates depending on the Brexit agreement and how it affects the freedom of movement.  

Regardless of Brexit, the need for accountancy and finance professionals in Europe remains strong. Germany has demonstrated an even higher demand for financial service experienced accountants, and there’s a significantly greater requirement for German speakers in Western European countries like Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Luxembourg. 

Positions in High-Demand 

  • Many companies, especially within audit and corporate finance, are currently recruiting for senior positions, such as directors and partners, in emerging market locations.
  • Commerce and industry organisations require a new breed of data analytics professionals to add value within corporate audit. 

Recruit with Change Recruitment

Are you looking for qualified staff members in 2019? Speak to one of our specialist recruiters to discuss how we can help your business prosper this year. We’re experts at finding the perfect candidates.

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