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Practice hubs pulling job hunters out of London

The opening of regional offices outside the capital by the major accountancy firms is creating an attractive degree of flexibility for job candidates, says Morgan McKinley’s Kathryn Swan.

Kathryn Swan

April 2018

Over the course of 2018, we expect to see continued investment in headcount across all business lines for regional offices across the UK, particularly in the Big Four and Top 10. The growth of hubs outside London has been high up on the agenda for many large firms, looking to establish a strong infrastructure in Reading, the North West and the Midlands particularly.

The opening of regional offices has presented the genuine opportunity for agile working, especially in the large firms. This flexibility is a major factor that attracts candidates to a firm.

So, how is the public practice sector looking with the progression of Brexit policies? The profession remains broadly resilient. Despite Brexit uncertainties and economic unrest, overall business confidence is steady. However, the ongoing indecision is causing hesitations that are not favourable.

As a candidate-led market, demand for talented professionals in the profession remains high. This applies to all business lines, with the highest attrition at newly qualified level with external auditors often leaving the profession at this point.

Those individuals who have a proven track record in achieving results find themselves in a beneficial position. Firms are continually looking for candidates that possess the ability to generate fees and win new clients. This is a significant skill that you need to have in order to secure career progression within the profession.

Looking at the current salary bands in comparison to recent years, there have been no notable or significant changes, with salaries remaining steady for the last six to 12 months across business lines.

For candidates on the lookout for something new, we definitely recommend that you keep your options open, you never know what may come up. Work with a public practice specialist recruiter and question them about the differences between firms they represent so you can assess each individually and approach them with an open but informed mind.

Kathryn Swan is UK Lead for Accountancy Practices at Morgan McKinley

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