Part-qualified accountants with outgoing personalities are sought after in the City of London.
Heightened demand for part-qualified accountants in the City of London is reflected in the strong growth in job registrations and placements that we are seeing at Hays. Strategic and management consultancies, in particular, are hiring at this level with many firms registering multiple vacancies. The construction, insurance, media and property sectors are also keen employers of part-qualified accountants as well as of accountants who are qualified by experience.
In general, employers are much more confident about recruiting than they have been for a while and they now have the budget to make new hires. They are actively planning for succession by ensuring that they have replacements for finance personnel who are coming up to qualification and may move on as result. So graduates who are partway through their accountancy training and have between one and two years’ transactional finance experience under their belt are sought after. Accountants who are studying for the CIMA qualification are especially prized since the qualification is seen as relevant to industry and attractive to personality types who are suited to business-partnering roles.
Most of the roles that are arising for part-qualified candidates are assistant accountant, assistant management accountant and financial accountant positions. Over the past six months, there has been a significant uplift in these types of roles being listed. Bookkeeping and company accountant roles for accountants who are qualified by experience still regularly come up although they have not seen the same growth as part-qualified positions.
When hiring part-qualified accountants, employers prefer candidates who have strong numerical skills and analytical degrees (for example, in maths and science subjects). They also look for candidates who are outgoing, articulate and able to communicate with other people within the business.
At present, demand for temporary staff at the part-qualified level has been lower than demand for permanent staff in the City of London. This is because employers believe they will benefit more by employing permanent staff and they will also usually have more candidates to choose from since part-qualified accountants themselves tend to prefer permanent employment. The hiring market for part-qualified accountants is likely to remain permanent-driven throughout 2014 and into 2015 as a result
A part-qualified accountant in the City of London will typically earn between £26,000 and £28,000 and receive study support on top. While salaries have not moved significantly over the past six months, it is likely that they will increase during the second half of the year as employers compete more fiercely to secure the best graduates. At Hays, we believe salary movement is most likely to be led by the insurance and legal sectors, which tend to be very specific about the candidates they hire.
As the economy continues to strengthen, the outlook for the next 12 months looks bright for part-qualified and qualified-by-experience accountants in the City of London.