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Demand for part–qualified accountants has been greatest in the property, consultancy and media sectors over the past 12 months.

In particular, employers have been chasing candidates with solid A–levels, degrees from good universities, first–time passes for professional exams and a flexible approach to their work. In this economic climate, the most attractive candidates are those who embrace change and willingly take on additional responsibilities and projects. Another big plus is system experience such as Excel modelling.

Despite high competition for the most talented candidates, part–qualified salaries have been fairly static and instead organisations are differentiating themselves by the level of professional study support that they offer. Many organisations have been actively investing in their trainees and this is helping to create movement in the market as they are promoted through the business.

 Give yourself an edge by downloading our full Accountancy & Finance Salary Guide for 2013 including in-depth tables of data and analysis.
Larger organisations tend to have their own graduate training schemes, which provide a ready supply of part–qualified accountants, but smaller ones often don’t have schemes and recruit from outside. Generally, part–qualified accountants are valued for the energy and fresh approach that they bring to their organisations. In exchange, they may be given additional project work that will help to develop them.

Qualification is the natural time for candidates to start looking around for other opportunities, particularly if the prospects are limited in their present role. Often candidates seek an immediate pay rise and the opportunity to gain more experience. Those candidates who have taken on additional responsibilities while they were studying, such as project work, will find that they stand out.
View this year's Accountancy & Finance Salary Guide.