PracticeAuditAggressive audit recruitment tactics symptomatic of market revolution

Aggressive audit recruitment tactics symptomatic of market revolution

Competition for the best audit contracts is spilling into headhunting tactics among largest market players

Aggressive audit recruitment tactics symptomatic of market revolution

INCREASINGLY aggressive headhunting tactics are being adopted by the UK’s biggest accounting firms as they battle over a limited pool of senior auditors in a bid to capitalise on increased activity in the large-listed audit market, Accountancy Age has learned.

According to a senior audit partner within the Big Four, their firm has been “on the end of some pretty aggressive behaviour” from competitors attempting to poach partners, or auditors just below partner level.

While headhunting between firms is not a new phenomenon, changes in audit regulation that require companies to put their audit contracts up for tender more frequently means human resources are at a premium and recruitment is taking place at more senior levels than was previously the case.

Increased bid activity – of the 82 FTSE 350 audit tenders to have been completed since October 2012, almost 40% have taken place since July last year – has placed greater emphasis on preparatory work ahead of formal tenders taking place.

At the same time, there is only a limited amount of auditors capable of auditing the biggest and most complex accounts, while it has been suggested that some companies have accelerated their own tenders in order to snag the most experienced auditors in their sectors.

So-called ‘war for talent’ is a hackneyed phrase. But in the case of auditors on the cusp of making partner – and some who are already partners – the phrase seems rather apt.

 

Related Articles

Eight landmarks in the history of accountancy

Accounting Standards Eight landmarks in the history of accountancy

1y Acccountancy Age
Friday Afternoon Live: Discussing the aims and intent of Connolly-driven CogitalGroup

Accounting Firms Friday Afternoon Live: Discussing the aims and intent of Connolly-driven CogitalGroup

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
Leader: Why Connolly's new venture is unlikely to chase Big Four; or follow failed consolidator model

Accounting Firms Leader: Why Connolly's new venture is unlikely to chase Big Four; or follow failed consolidator model

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
EU audit reform to open up £10bn market for firms

Accounting Firms EU audit reform to open up £10bn market for firms

1y Richard Crump, Writer
KPMG quits as FIFA auditor

Accounting Firms KPMG quits as FIFA auditor

1y Richard Crump, Writer
FRC raises concerns about FTSE 350 audit market concentration

Audit FRC raises concerns about FTSE 350 audit market concentration

1y Richard Crump, Writer
One in 20 audit firms quit as market evolves

Audit One in 20 audit firms quit as market evolves

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
EY appoints new global and UK&I government & public sector assurance leader

Accounting Firms EY appoints new global and UK&I government & public sector assurance leader

1y Richard Crump, Writer