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Sector Insight - Part qualifieds in the City of London

January 2014

The outlook is bright in the City for part-qualified accountants with strong academics and good communication skills

Now is a great time to be a trainee accountant in the City of London. As the confidence of the financial services sector continues to improve, the number of good openings for part-qualified accountants is increasing. Businesses in the insurance and property sectors are particularly keen to hire part-qualified accountants to support them as they plan for growth.

Candidates who are studying for the CIMA qualification are in particular demand among employers although the ACCA qualification is also favoured. CIMA is seen as a very commercial qualification that equips candidates with business-partnering skills and the ability to support commercial decision-making processes. Recent graduates with exceptional academics are sought after as employers realise the benefit of investing in junior talent.

The most commonly advertised positions are assistant management accountant and assistant financial accountant, with salaries ranging from £28,000 to £33,000. Candidates with maths or accounting and finance degrees are popular with employers, as are those with strong communication skills who can relate to non-financial colleagues. Numeracy tests are becoming an increasingly common feature of the recruitment process.

Salaries have not moved significantly over the past six months, except for very academically strong candidates. Instead employers are competing to attract the top graduate talent with study packages. Part-qualified candidates often value good study support above large pay rises since they tend to take a long-term view of their careers.

There has been a steady flow of temporary and contract jobs over the past six months, although most hiring has been focused on filling permanent positions. This trend towards permanent jobs is likely to continue throughout 2014.

The part-qualified recruitment market is always candidate-driven and there are never enough strong trainee accountants to fill all the available positions. Hence good candidates are receiving multiple offers from potential new employers as well as counteroffers from their existing ones. At Hays, we believe it is essential that employers sell themselves and their roles during the interview stage to secure the best talent available.

To find out more about opportunities for part-qualified accountants, visit our website or contact Dominic Morton on 0203 465 0018