For finance professionals in the South East looking to take the next step in their career, London is often seen as the most obvious location to find a new role.
However, the Home Counties are an increasingly enticing prospect, with more affordable costs of living and a wealth of opportunities available for accountants looking to stretch themselves professionally and develop their career.
James Taylor, Senior Manager at Robert Walters Milton Keynes shared his insights into what employers in the Northern Home Counties can offer and why finance professionals are choosing to make the move.
Who’s in demand?
“Demand for accountants has been consistently high from employers across the Northern Home Counties, with technical accountants particularly sought after.”
“Opportunities are widely available for professionals with experience in accounting standards, processes and controls.”
“Specifically, knowledge of changes to IFRS 16 and 17 is highly valued by employers, particularly large, multinational firms, of which there are many in the region.”
“Mid-level finance professionals who possess management experience are in a particularly strong position to find opportunities, with employers looking for professionals who can demonstrate the ability to offer strategic insight and advice as well as strong technical skills.”
“We also see clients regularly looking to recruit newly qualified accountants who can bring expertise they have gained from a Big 4 background and who have outstanding academic qualifications.”
“Newly qualified accountants who are first time passers are among the most sought after.”
“Often, accountants associate opportunities outside London with back office roles based in shared services centres.”
“However, the Northern Home Counties has instead grown into a popular location for firms specialising in logistics and distribution. Given the easy access to London and other major UK cities, these kinds of businesses often have a major presence in the area.”
“For these kinds of businesses, experience within logistics is desirable, but increasingly we are seeing employers take a more flexible approach to hiring accountants from other industries.”
“Candidates who can emphasise their adaptability and demonstrate an awareness of the logistics industry are still in a strong position to land these roles.”
“Manufacturing and FMCG firms also have a strong presence in the Northern Home Counties, with the location and lower operating costs attracting them outside the capital.”
What’s in it for you?
“Leaving London is proving increasingly popular with professionals, with other regions offering a lower cost of living and more affordable property prices.”
“In many cases, these professionals continue to work in the Capital attracted by the high salaries London can offer.”
“However, this comes with the added costs of travel, offsetting increased wages and often impacting on work life balance.”
“Employers in the Northern Home Counties are recognising the need to offer competitive salaries and the presence of large businesses in the region means that opportunities for career progression are still available.”
“In addition, these firms are taking a progressive approach to flexible and agile working, encouraging policies to improve work life balance for their staff and exploring remote working solutions.”
“The Northern Home Counties is a growing hub for employers, allowing professionals currently based in the Capital to continue their career development while also being able to enjoy lower costs of living.”
“Still within striking distance of London, the Northern Home Counties can offer finance professionals a different lifestyle and new opportunities to develop your career.”
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