Interim roles offer hope amid job cuts

Many accountants will be anxiously considering their career options over
Christmas as finance departments and practice firms cut jobs in response to the
looming recession.

Firms including Deloitte, BDO Stoy Hayward and PKF have announced plans to
cut costs through voluntary redundancy programmes. More job cuts are likely next
year as the expected recession slows firms’ growth.

Opportunities for business accountants are also drying up as companies in
most industry sectors cut jobs. Some experts predict UK unemployment will reach
three million over the next few years.

Investment banks ­ until recently a big recruiter of accountants in practice
­ have either collapsed or announced swingeing job cuts.

But for those who find themselves on the job market, the outlook isn’t all
gloom. Recruitment experts say there are well-paid contract jobs in management
positions for candidates with good experience.

‘Qualified accountants are now considering interim management as a valid
career path in its own right.’ says Keith Mason, regional director at
recruitment company Hays. ‘We are seeing more and more qualified accountants
come to us enquiring about temp roles as a long-term career rather than a
stepping stone.’

One attraction of interim jobs is the salary, which experts say can be up to
50% higher than permanent jobs, if the candidate has the right skills and

Another option is overseas work. Peter Keller, specialist consultant at Hays
says: ‘Temping internationally appeals to people who want to gain international
exposure and benefit from a better work-life balance. Candidates moving to a
European country can benefit from the strong Euro and lower tax rates.’

Back in the UK the sharp rise in business collapses means that business
recovery work is booming.

Begbies Traynor, the insolvency specialist, last week said that business
recovery now accounts for 80% of its income while corporate finance work has

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