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On the whole, accountancy support candidates tend to be good all–rounders who take a methodical approach to their work and have sound attention to detail. Candidates with additional payroll experience are at an advantage, particularly with the implementation of Real Time Information, since most accountancy support staff do everything but.

Employers prefer candidates who have at least five years’ experience and some want to see bookkeeping qualifications.

In London, there has been a rise in SMEs bringing finance in–house from external accounting practices, which has helped to drive demand.

Larger organisations tend to seek forward–looking individuals who hope to progress. The weakness of the macroeconomic climate appears to be holding back blue chip companies who are still operating under strict cost controls when it comes to transactional support.

However, the more agile SMEs are able to respond to specific needs and we have seen a notable increase of jobs in London with signs of growth elsewhere in the UK.

 Give yourself an edge by downloading our full Accountancy & Finance Salary Guide for 2013 including in-depth tables of data and analysis.

While individuals who work in accountancy support roles are not complaining of greater workloads, employers often do not replace them when they leave. This may be because other staff members are willing to pick up extra work, systems have been improved or temporary workers are plugging the gap.

The market for temporary accountancy support staff is always busy, although it has been no busier than usual over the past 12 months. And as most assignments do not exceed 13 weeks, the impact of the Agency Workers Regulations has been negligible.
View this year's Accountancy & Finance Salary Guide.